It's common now for online retailers to list products that aren't yet ready to ship out, and we've even heard cases whereby the stock hasn't even been ordered from their distributor yet!
It means you're in for a nice surprise when your pre-ordered present arrives, whether that's a few weeks or even months later, but problems can arise when launch dates get delayed. Whether you're in agreement with the practise of products being out there to ogle at and/or pay for long before you can really have them, here's a selection of the most highly-anticipated bikes and gear out there prior to landing on the shop floor.
Prices and info for Shimano's latest second-tier groupset have been out for a while now, but UK shipping dates are currently estimated at early August for the mechanical version and the electronic Di2 is still TBC. Improvements compared to the previous Ultegra groupset include trickle-down technology from the top-end Dura Ace components such as SynchroShift technology and better feedback through the levers - you can read more here.
Edit: it's been pointed out to us that Ribble Cycles are already stocking Ultegra R8000, but only with 50/34t chainrings and 172.5mm cranks so far.
Another highly anticipated Shimano release, this time their first ever power meter. It's in the form of an integrated chainset, requires calibration after every ride and has an ANT+ sensor in the right crank where the unit can be recharged.We took a first ride back in January, and we're still waiting for the units to land along with everyone else - shipping was earmarked for late June, but after a quick search online some retailers are now listing estimated delivery at late September.
We've already got the lowdown on the latest Synapse from Cannondale and the 2018 version of this popular workhorse has a lighter, stiffer frame, mudguard mounts and disc brakes. Online retailers who are listing the Synapse already are estimating delivery dates at early October, with a range of specs available to pre-order.
Lezyne's UK distributor is still showing these new lights as being four weeks away from landing with them, and Wiggle are estimating stock to arrive near the end of August. This clever light has a 40 LED lumen main beam and two laser strips each side that create a luminous bike lane either side of you to really improve visibility on the road. Charging is simple via USB, as is mounting with just a rubber strap to wrap round your seat post.
The Hammerhead Karoo is making waves amongst cyclists, with a popular social media campaign to win units garnering plenty of attention and the spec list drawing inquisitive riders towards its claim to be the most comprehensive cycling computer to date. Hammerhead promise unrivalled mobile connectivity, big battery life and an extensive mapping feature that makes Karoo a sat nav, phone and GPS bike computer in one.Although pricing is still TBC, you can sign up for an early offers list to get a 'special price' when the first units ship out. The Karoois only available direct through Hammerhead's website.
We reported on Giro's new £349 Techlace shoe last week, with its patented lace and strap system and extremely low weight of just 150g for a size 42. You can't pre-order the Prolight Techlace yet, but it's on Giro's website with an option to be notified when the shoe becomes available.
This £9,500 superbike is reworked for 2018, and versions of it have already been seen at the Tour de France this year being ridden by the likes of Peter Sagan and Philippe Gilbert. The frame is now under 800g, tyre clearance is up to 30mm and aero improvements have been made to the seatstays, seatpost, seat tube and fork. This top spec Tarmac isn't in stock until late September on Evans' website, but if your budget is more modest then you can already get the sub-£2k SL4 version and the SL5 with new Ultegra R8000 groupset is set to land in late August.
What do you think about retailers listing products super early… exciting and useful,or downright annoying? Let us know in the comments!
After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since. He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.