Last week Mark Lynskey flew into the UK for a whistle-stop tour of dealers and magazines, and we managed to grab some time with him when he visited London bike shop Mosquito Cycles (a Lynskey dealer) where he showed us the new Sportive Di2C road bike.
It seems inevitable that disc brakes will become a common sight on road bikes in the years to come (unless the UCI change their mind). US titanium frame builder Lynskey think so and have brought out their first road bike that will accept disc brakes, in the shape of the new Sportive.
An existing frame in their range designed for long rides where comfort matters with a more relaxed geometry than their more racy offerings, the Sportive was the natural platform on which to experiment with disc brakes. The frame uses 3AL/2.5V titanium tubes with subtle profiling and curved seat stays and gorgeous plate dropouts with a three-leaf clover cutaway. It'll cost £1,299.
The Sportive Mark showed us is their latest design iteration. The most obvious visual clue to its difference from a regular road bike is the use of Avid's BB7 mechanical disc brakes, which give the bike a clean look. A new carbon fork with a different layup is fitted to the front, to meet the demands that the disc brake places on the fork.
When asked if the seat stays were of a thinner wall diameter, with the braking forces now concentrated at the rear dropout rather than halfway along the stays, Mark admitted that they could have, but decided to keep the same stays to ensure the frame delivery the required stiffness.
The Sportive has year-round versatility written all over it, with clearance for 28mm tyres and mounts for mudguards and racks. With mudguards fitted the widest tyres that will fit are 23mm front and 25mm rear. And now with disc brakes, we think this is going to be top of our list this autumn when we look to do most of our riding on a comfortable mudguarded bike.
And of course, as you can see from the photos, the frame has been designed for the fitting of Shimano's Di2 groupset.
Since we had the pleasure of Mark's company, we asked him if he though disc brakes were going to become a very common sight on road bikes in the next couple of years.
“My personal opinion is that it's an inevitability. There's certainly going to be the ongoing conversation for the next two, three and four years f why you need disc brakes on a road bike. To answer that question, the first thing you need to default back to is that is the disc brake situation better or worse, is it a good braking methodology? There are a lot of benefits to it. Is it needed on a road bike? No, not necessarily, but I think it's going to happen whether you like it or not. It's coming.
“The first phases of it are going to be interesting because I think, SRAM, Shimano will be taking their exiting mountain bike technology and adapting that. The next phase I think we'll start to see disc brakes that fully make sense for road bikes and they're really going to be significant. On a mountain bike you need to be able to stop, and you need to be able to stop fast. On a road bike it's more about modulation of your speed. It wouldn't surprise me if we see more brake style options in road than you do in mountain biking.”
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.