Bike Place is the first of the UK cycling shows, but this one is only open to the trade, it’s the place brands and distributors go to show off the latest shiny products to bike shops and journalists.
So we popped along yesterday to have a gander at what’s new and here are some of the highlights, things that took our attention. We’ve got gravel bikes, power meter and new helmets. Read on…
Bergamont Grandurance adventure bike launched
Bergamont isn’t a brand with a big presence in the UK, but with its new gravel and adventure road bike, we think that’ll soon change. The Grandurance is a smart looking bike available in carbon and aluminium flavours with all the features we’d look for in this sort of bike.
There are eight bikes in the range and prices start at £899, topping out at £2,499, with six of those models geared towards road riding and two focused more on cyclocross and off-road action. This blue mode costs £2,299 with an SRAM Apex 1x11 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes.
The road-orientated models will come with 35mm wide Schwalbe X-One Allround tyres, while the off-road models will get Schwalbe X-One Bite tyres. There’s space for up to 38-40mm tyres.
If you prefer a regular groupset with a double chainset and faster rolling tyres for more road-based cycling, here you go.
The company has also developed a nifty little mudguard that attaches to the fork. Okay, it’s clearly not designed to provide as much wheel coverage as a full-length mudguard, but for riding off-road it should probably keep a large amount of puddle and mud splatter out of your face.
Santa Cruz Stigmata
The Santa Cruz Stigmata has been around for a few years but according to the UK distributor Jungle, it continues to be a popular model, though predominately with mountain bikers that want a drop bar road/cyclocross/gravel bike.
Orange R9 RS carbon road bike
This is the Orange R9 RS. It features a carbon fibre frame and fork with disc brakes, 12mm thru-axles and flat mount calipers, clearance for up to 28mm tyres and has really neat internal cable routing. The frame is Di2 compatible and interestingly, for a proudly British company, the frame has a press-fit bottom bracket and not an externally threaded one like all its mountain bikes.
Complete bikes will cost from £4,600 with the bike pictured here wearing a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset with Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST Disc wheels and Vittoria Rubino Pro 28mm tyres.
This isn’t the first time Orange Bikes has dangled a toe in the road bike world. Way back in 1991 it produced the Dynamo, an aluminium road bike with compact geometry, followed by the D2 in 1995, which was ridden to much success by Team Orange and Jon Clay. Later it ventured into carbon with the Carb-O which it unveiled in 2011, but it was limited to just 120 bikes.
Bombtrack revamps Audax bike
Bombtrack’s new Audax, which has completely transformed from what you’d expect of a traditional Audax road bike, into a 650b bike packed with huge capability and versatility.
As you can see, the company is keen to demonstrate its suitability to lightweight bikepacking/touring with a plethora of bags attached, but you could equally fit a rack if you prefer - there are eyelets all over the frame for everything from mudguards to lots of extra bottle cages.
The frame is made from Columbus steel tubing and the fork is all-carbon. this build, with Shimano 105 mechanical and TRP disc brakes costs £2,100, and the equipment list includes Hunt wheels and WTB Horizon 47mm tyres. You could equally fit a 700c wheelset with space for up to 35mm tyres or so.
It’s a really smart looking bike and we’ll hopefully be getting one in for a test, once we’ve ridden the Bombtrack Hook EXT-C we’re currently testing.
First look at Kask's new Utopia helmet
Here is the brand new Kask Utopia helmet. It’s the company’s most aerodynamic helmet ever, apparently, and being worn by Team Sky in the Tour Down Under currently.
No price has been confirmed yet, but expect it to be in the same ballpark as other top-end helmets in the company’s range, so £200ish. It’s expected to be available May.
In the hand, it obviously feels lightweight and has all the familiar retention systems of Kask helmets, and isn’t a bad looking design. How it performs is something we’ll have to assess when we get one into the office for an in-depth review.
Here is it pictured alongside the other fairly new helmet in the company’s range, the Valegro. To remind you, this is a helmet designed to offer maximum ventilation with 36 vents whilst maintaining a semblance of aero.
Sweet Protection debut road helmets
Sweet Protection is a Norwegian company that you might not have heard of unless you’re into your mountain biking, but it’s expanding its road range. This is the Falconer Aero and it caught our eye because it has two removable plastic elements called Aerocovers to maximise either aerodynamics or ventilation.
The plastic elements are simply but firmly held in place by magnets, and there’s a small ridge to make it easier to peel them off the helmet. As a design, it works really well and is simple.You can customise the helmet with different colour inserts if you fancy.
How aero are these covers? The company claims the Aerocovers “improve the helmets isolated drag by 8% at 40 km/h”.
Away from aerodynamics, the helmet has a four-piece in-mould shell construction with various thicknesses and shapes of the polycarbonate outer shell to provide optimum protection. It costs £220 and we’ll be getting one in for review soon.
At the other end of the scale is this Outrider which costs £99 or £129 if you want it with MIPS. Looks a really stylish helmet and is well finished, ideal for anything from commuting to club rides. Again we’ll be getting one in for review soon so we can put it through the test process.
KS Lev Ci carbon fibre dropper post
There’s a small trend for height adjustable dropper posts, hugely popular on mountain bikes, to be fitted to adventure bikes (like the Specialized S-Works Diverge we reviewed last year) but there aren’t many options for the 27.2mm diameter post standard. KS does make one in this size and new for 2018 is this carbon fibre dropper post with internal cable routing. It offers 120mm of drop, weighs 420g and costs £510.
Acros carbon wheels
These Acros Carbon SLS wheels feature a 35mm carbon fibre tubeless-ready clincher rim, Sapim CX Ray spokes and the company’s own Nineteen RD-Disc hubs, and weigh just 1290g. They cost £1,550.
4iiii Podiiium dual-sided power meter
The power meter market is really hotting up now especially has Shimano has joined the game, but one company that has been gaining a lot of fans, and sponsors Peter Sagan’s Bora team, is 4iiii. It first launched the left-only Precision power meter, but its new Podiiiium dual-sided power meter is available this year.
It builds on the company’s existing product with a small pod attached to the inside face of the driveside crankarm. It’s available on a range of Shimano cranks including 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace and will cost from £899. It’s claimed to offer +/- 1.5% accuracy.
There’s a built-in rechargeable battery that can be charged via a micro USB port hidden under this rubber cover. Battery life is claimed to be in the region of 60 hours. A series of coloured lights are used to indicate information like battery health and calibration.
It has made the pods slimmer to ensure maximum clearance and compatibility with more bikes than the previous Precision power meter. Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless protocols are used to communicate the power data to a suitable computer.
Titici gravel bike
Titici is an Italian company that is relatively new to these shores, but it’s been around since 1961 so it knows a thing or two about how to design and make road bikes, and having recently been acquired by the parent company of X-Bionic, has its sights set on the UK market.
We picked out this model to highlight, a gravel and adventure bikes with wide tyre clearance, hydraulic disc brakes and an SRAM 1x11 drivetrain. It’s also a model that should ably demonstrate the company’s Plate Absorber Technology.
What’s that you ask? It’s a top tube that is extremely slender where it meets the seat tube and is designed to act sort of like a leaf spring and allow a degree of flex to help the bike soak up the bumps.
Here's a closer look at the skinny end of the top tube. Wafer thin isn't it!
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.