Lynskey Sportive Di2C unveiled

Mark Lynskey was in town and showed us his new disc brake equipped road bike

by David Arthur   July 11, 2012  

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.”

www.lynskeyperformance.com

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13 user comments

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That looks rather pleasing.

posted by BigDummy [298 posts]
11th July 2012 - 10:53

3 Likes

Looks well thought through, but someone, somewhere, has to start producing a decent alternative to BB7s. I know there are some others on the market, but I'm yet to read of an alternative that gets more than mixed reviews.

I'm also waiting for a more elegant power solution for Di2. The current battery box is properly fugly, and always sticks out like a sore thumb on the bikes I've seen. Integrate it into a bottle cage, perhaps?

posted by thereandbackagain [155 posts]
11th July 2012 - 10:56

4 Likes

If you ask methe battery should be in the frame.It should't be hard to hav a compartment out of site. Taking that futher, why not integrate the bottle cages?

posted by mattsccm [280 posts]
11th July 2012 - 11:15

2 Likes

I don't think you'll have to wait too long, I expect there to be some interesting developments from SRAM/Shimano with regards to compact hydraulic disc brakes. Eurobike in September is when we'll see quite a few

I think Mark's observation about the second phase of disc development being an interesting one

We're starting to see better integration of Di2 batteries as well, like with BMC TimeMachine, which places the battery inside the seatpost.

Shimano are releasing a battery that will fit inside seatposts, expect this to be used a lot

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posted by David Arthur [1761 posts]
11th July 2012 - 11:39

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The battery in the seat post is a cheeky solution. At least it would encourage people to take the post out from time to time.

I'd hate to get a jammed seat post with a battery stuck in there too - nearly all of the standard removal techniques would be out of the question.

posted by thereandbackagain [155 posts]
11th July 2012 - 13:24

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There's no need to remove the battery to charge it though, you can just charge through the harness

Really no excuse for a seized seatpost these days, but yes I agree that would be annoying!

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posted by David Arthur [1761 posts]
11th July 2012 - 13:45

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David Arthur wrote:
There's no need to remove the battery to charge it though, you can just charge through the harness

Really no excuse for a seized seatpost these days, but yes I agree that would be annoying!

Ah that makes a lot more sense.

Two of my mates have recently managed to stick their carbon seat posts into their frames. One on a Bianchi, one on a Mercian. Silly boys.

posted by thereandbackagain [155 posts]
11th July 2012 - 17:17

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What did 'more brake style options than in mtbing' mean?

Curious on that one. Although discs seem to be making the break through on sportive bikes for 2013 already as the Roubaix will have that as an option too.

posted by Super Domestique [1655 posts]
12th July 2012 - 8:30

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SP, I think he meant just that, there might be more options in the future.

We're already seeing v-brakes (like on BMC's new aero bike) and hydraulic brakes (magura/cervelo) coming on some bikes, and disc brakes might come in various flavours, depending on the sort of riding and braking power you want.

For example, if you're riding in the Alps you'll want a bigger rotor with better heat handling properties than that which you would need if only riding in the UK, where smaller and lighter would be wanted

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posted by David Arthur [1761 posts]
12th July 2012 - 8:43

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Too much variation could make for interesting wheel changes / neutral service car options!

I like discs but not the look on road bikes tbh. They make them look to 'heavy duty' imho. More cyclo x than an elegant race machine.

I can't imagine needing more power than my ultegra rim brakes on the road either but then I haven't done an alpine descent.

posted by Super Domestique [1655 posts]
12th July 2012 - 13:23

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It's not just about outright power SP, it's more really about modulation of power. You can dial in much better modulation with disc brakes, so you could have more power but never with the risk of locking a wheel.

It's really going to be a case of wait and see on the disc brake front. We've got an interesting few years ahead of us

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posted by David Arthur [1761 posts]
12th July 2012 - 13:42

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True. Modulation can be controlled by feel though, as old school as that sounds.

I guess I like the elegance most of all.

I like the discs on my mtb (shimano hydro) for feel but the mech discs (tektro) on my son's hardrock feel more powerful even though they aren't for eg.

Every time I read about the coming of discs (and I don't dispute they are coming) people rave about how much lighter wheels can be. True enough. But the brakes will be heavier.

It's not a weight issue that needs solving anyway, as most pro bikes could fall well under the uci weight limit without blinking.

Thanks for the reply btw.

posted by Super Domestique [1655 posts]
12th July 2012 - 13:55

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You're right. I've ridden many mtb disc brakes over the years, I remember some early incarnations that had masses of power, but even with the best fingers in the world, it was hard to modulate. Result was lots of locking up. Modern discs have come along way though

Bike designers are always looking for the next thing, brakes could be it

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posted by David Arthur [1761 posts]
12th July 2012 - 14:45

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