In our second report from the new London Bike show we'll take a look at what the likes of Pinarello, Cervelo and Dedacciai had on show, we'll also take a quick gander at Time, Rose, Cinelli, Genesis & Saracen, but first off Dedacciai…
We really liked what we saw of the Dedacciai range at Eurobike, including the mad Temerario. At the time we lamented the fact that there was no UK distributor, well now there is. Chicken Cycles are bringing them in, topping their range off with a bevy of the very beautiful Dedacciai Scuros (the Temerario is likely to be a special order). We were particularly taken with the Super Scuro and we've baggsied one for an upcoming test.
As you'd expect from an Italian marque, this is a striking looking machine. With some Italian bikes there isn't really much actual engineering merit or performance enhancement (beyond the boost of riding a pretty bike) behind those good looks. Given the fact that Dedacciai is as much involved in materials technology as making bikes we're hopeful the Scuro backs up it looks with some technological punch. For £1879.99 you get a 3K carbon weave frame with nano-tech epoxy resin (Dedacciai are big, as it were, on "nano").
Judging by the tube profiles, the Scuro is from the aero road bike side of things, although at a claimed 990g for a medium frame, it's certainly no lard bucket either. The Scuro RS is pretty much the same frame but with external cable routing for £230 less. Aside from the Scuro, a quick flick of the Chicken's catalogue reveals some other very tasty-looking Dedacciai framesets, with our eye being drawn in particular to the Nerissimo at £999.99 and the lovely steel Pista at £719.99.
Moving swiftly along… next up, the bike that for many will be the star of the show, Cervelo's new R5CA. This is the culmination of Cervelo's Project California, which has seen the company let their boffins off the leash to perfect new design and production methods. Essentially, what you're getting is the new R5 fully optimised to the max for the mountains (most of us would probably consider the R5 pretty much at the max on that score, but apparently not - small margins and whatnot). Both the R5 and the R5CA are at the cutting edge of bike technology and although at first glance the result is a fairly conventional looking frame, you soon clock the unfeasibly thin rear seat stays and the fact that the thing has to be practically tethered to the ground when there isn't a rider aboard. Probably.
However, on the R5, and even more so the R5CA, the real differences are hidden from view. The production processes and carbon layups are designed to shed weight without sacrificing stiffness, while also offering some vertical compliance for comfort. Hopefully strength is in the mix there too. The R5CA is, say Cervelo, a "technical showcase" for all their knowledge poured in to one bike, the vital statistics for which are: a claimed frame weight of 675g at a price of £7499 for the frame and fork. Cervelo aren't making many either, 60 are being brought in to the UK and Cervelo's UK distributor, Madison tells us they are already sold - we're guessing to dealers… but maybe not and we'll get an answer on that asap.
Another Cervelo that's been garnering the plaudits lately is the S3, their aero road bike… we tested one last year and it certainly lived up to the hype. They're still making the S2 as well, if you're looking for a less spendy option. The same goes with the P series: the flagship P4 may cost you an arm and a leg (maybe you'll be more areo?) but you can still get the P3 and even the P2, which at £1,499 looks a bargain compared to its newer siblings.
Back to Italy now and there were some interesting Cinellis on show on the Chicken's stand including this version of the Strada decked out with freestyle bars. Despite the set-up, I'm not sure I'd want to be jumping it off anything (well, I wouldn't want to be jumping anything off anything) given the lack of gusseting and general burliness of the frame. Would it be overly picky to say that the weld around the seat tube could be a bit tidier too?
More steel loveliness over on the Bromley Bike stand in the shape of the Cielo Sportif road frame. Made from True Temper OX Platinum tubing, it's a frame made to combine long haul comfort and performance. Cielo is Chris King's bike brand so as you'd expect the attention to detail on the Sportif is pretty stunning… that sort of thing costs though and, at £1895.95. for a frame and fork, the price is pretty stunning too. It is though, a thing of beauty with stainless steel droputs on both the frame and the forks and lovely polished seatstay caps and headtube collars. All the frames are made by hand. Nice. Oh, and you can spec mudguard eyes in the frame and fork if you want them.
It's been a whole paragraph since we mentioned an Italian bike, so let's rectify that with a quick gander at some Pinarellos. There were plenty of them to see with the Sky team livery much in evidence but the standouts for us were two black bikes – the Paris 50-1.5, and the almost unphotograpically black FPQuattro – with a further highlight being the glittery purple and white Dogma which was actually a lot better looking than it sounds.
Made from 50HM1 carbon (the range-topping Dogma is made from 60HM1 carbon) the Paris sits third in Pinarello's road range although the company says that the technology that goes in to it would make it a worthy range topper in its own right. That technology includes the same asymmetric design as the Dogma, the differences being that the Paris has straight chainstays and that at those points where the Dogma frame and fork narrows, the Paris doesn't. Oh, and it has a different fork too, the Onda FPK as opposed to the FPX1. A complete bike with full Campag Super Record will set you back £5850.00.
Pinarello describe the FP Quattro as the sister bike to the Paris, indeed it comes out of the same moulds and shares the same fork, the difference is that the FPQuattro is made from a slightly lower grade of carbon; 30HM 12K as opposed to 50HM for the Paris. Think of it as the same approach that is used by Giant and Cannondale for the TCR2 Advanced and the SuperSix 105 models which are the same bikes as top models in their respective ranges, but again built using a slightly lesser grade of carbon. Not so much lesser though that most of us would notice the difference. If I was in the market for a Pinarello this would be the one I'd choose, an Ultegra equipped model comes in at £2800...
… unless of course I won the Pools and decided it was time to make a bit of a statement, then you might spot me on this, in all its purple and white glittery glory. Purists may sneer at the Dogma's (and other Pinarellos') wibbly forks - front and rear - and, okay, sometimes they've gone a little heavy on the glitter pot, but whatever way you slice it the Dogma is not a bike to be ignored, especially when tricked out with full Campag Super Record and a suitably fancy Corima wheelset.
One last thing to ponder, Pinarello offer these three bikes in a choice of 12 frame sizes so they'll be taking a hit from the UCI should it's stickering programme proceed unopposed. Or there's the possibility they will be offering less sizes.
Time, on the other hand, construct their frames from lugged carbon, which they say gives them total freedom of shape in making the various parts of the frame. There certainly are some interesting things going on with their RXRS rig. Where the Dogma is all curves the RXRS Ulteam is straight lines, although like the Dogma there is some asymmetry at play here, this time in the chainstays, and it's got nano bits too. Complete with a Campagnolo Super Record group and Bora wheelset it's much the same money as a Dogma too, £6824.99.
Now for something completely different, the Saracen Urban CleverMike. The name is allegedly cockney rhyming slang for "bike". Either way the CleverMike which tops the reborn Saracen's Urban range is both an eye-catching and interesting bike. Certainly with the bold cartoon-style graphics and silhouette of the London skyline on the chain and seat stays it will get noticed, hopefully in a good way. The CleverMike is a 6061 alloy frame, with disc brakes, riser bars and slick shod 700C wheels, essentially an urban 29er. We liked it, and the rest of the Urban range which is why we're getting some in to test soon.
We like bikes, we like bargains, we're even partial to the odd balloon, so it was inevitable that our attention would wander to the Rose Bikes stand at the London Bike Show. We've even got a bonus Rose Bikes gallery courtesy of Simon MacMichael.
Rose is the German online retailer that's trying to make its a mark over here and they're offering the usual online attractions of very competitive pricing, allied to Germanic quality in their own brand bikes and kit.
Two bikes particularly caught our attention, and to be honest there were only three road bikes on their stand… and we rather liked the third, the SL 2000 as well but we've already tested the 2010 version of that.
First off, back to Carbon with the Rose Carbon X-Lite so light it was held up by a bunch of balloons – that piano wire was just to stop it floating off. Honest. A complete 57cm (bang in the middle of their size range) has a very creditable claimed weight of 6.75KG (14.8lb) with a full Ultegra groupset, Easton EC90 bars and stem, and Easton EA90 wheels. The frame is high modulus carbon fibre and the fork is full carbon - all that for €3049 (about £2500) and that includes shipping and VAT. It's a handsome looking beast too. The bike on show here was built up with SRAM Force although we couldn't find such an option on the Rose website…
And if you think that's a bargain check out the Di2 equipped Carbon X-Lite 4000 for not much more than £4000.
Our eye was also caught by the Rose Pro-RS440 Compact aluminium bike, Rose produce a number of aluminium bikes, as mentioned above last year we tested the very able sub £1000 SL 2000. On paper at least the RS-4400 looks to be another of those bikes that'll put the cat amongst the pigeons in the bangs-per-buck battle with entry level carbon machines. £1399 buys you a full SRAM Force groupset, all carbon fork, DT Swiss R1500 wheelset, 3T bars and stem and a Fizik Antares saddle all building in to a bike with a claimed weight of 7.1Kg (15.6lb) for a 57cm. Food for thought when you consider that Cannondale's SuperSix 105 tipped our scales at 800g more, as did the Giant TCR2 Advanced. And, yes, need you ask? We're getting one in for test.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.