Brand new 2016 road bikes are rolling off the production lines right now and will be popping up in a bike shop near you soon. But what are the most interesting and exciting new bikes?
We pondered this very question in the road.cc office and this is the list of the most interesting bikes we came up with.
The Slate really needs no introduction. It's the US company’s take on the increasingly popular gravel/adventure/roadplus/call it what you want market. Unlike regular road bikes though, it has smaller 650b rims fitted with bulbous 42mm tyres, and it’s propped up by the Lefty Oliver, a single-sided suspension fork delivering just 30mm of bump-absorbing travel. Won’t be available until early 2016 but we’ve swung a leg over it, you can read our first ride impressions here.
More and more bike companies are keen to offer a gravel/adventure sort of road bike in 2016, it’s the hottest new bike category. With geometry and specification that blurs the traditional boundary between a road and cyclocross bike, they are ideal for mixed terrain riding and very versatile. The Gestalt is Marin’s take on the genre, and it has disc brakes, single ring drivetrains, thru-axles on the top-end models, and clearance or wide tyres. With three models hitting a good range of price points, it’s a good looking bike.
Boardman recently revealed its 2016 range, which as well as featuring plenty of updated carbon fibre bikes, also sees the introduction of the brand's first titanium model. Who saw that coming? Titanium has been picked for its comfort and long-distance qualities, and the SLR Endurance Disc Titanium gets disc brakes, a carbon fork and 28mm wide aero rims.
The most dramatic bike to debut at the Tour de France this summer, a race which has essentially become a bicycle showroom for the many brands involved, was the Specialized S-Works Venge Vias. It’s a long-awaited update to the company’s aero bike and the designers took a dramatic step towards reducing drag, with unique brakes and a radical aero handlebar and stem.
Disc brakes are likely to enter the professional peloton on more than the trial basis that we’ve seen this year, and Cervelo is primed with its updated R3 Disc. It hasn’t merely taken the classic R3 and slapped on some disc brakes, the frame has been re-engineered with asymmetric stays to accommodate the disc brakes. It’s using a custom FSA off-set chainset to straighten up the chain line with the wider rear axle, and there are 12mm thru-axles front and rear. You might just see Mark Cavendish riding this bike next year...
Time trial bikes certainly appeared to have reached a pinnacle of aerodynamic design (they all look very similar don't they?) but there are still gains to be found, and French brand Look has been busy developing the new 796 for 2016. First spotted at the Tour de France, the new bike is big on integration but the main story is just how skinny the tubes are when viewed from the front. The aim has been to reduce the frontal surface area, and it’s right on the limit of the UCI rules; the 25mm head tube is as narrow as it is allowed to be.
So Canyon has updated its venerable Ultimate CF SLX for 2016, but probably the most exciting news (if you’re into disc brakes) is the teasing of the new disc version of the Ultimate.The German company has made no announcement of its release, so it might not make it as a 2016 model year bike, but given how finished the prototype shown at Eurobike was, don’t put it past them. It’s got disc brakes, clearance for up to 30mm tyres, 12mm thru-axles, flat mount disc tabs and a claimed 1,200g frame weight.
No longer just the preserve of entry-level road bikes, aluminium is back in fashion for top-end road bikes, and Swiss company BMC has developed the TeamMachine ALR01. As its name suggests, it is based on the styling of the carbon fibre TeamMachine SLR01, but is built out of triple butted hydroformed aluminium. The frame weighs a claimed 1,295g, light enough to get a sub-7kg build with some decent equipment we reckon. The frame has the same geometry as the carbon race bikes, save for a 1cm taller head tube, most likely a decision based on BMC reckoning that many people will buy the bike for sportives and endurance riding, as much as for racing.
Will Team Sky’s Chris Froome be racing a disc-equipped Pinarello next summer? Probably not, but he could, because the Italian bike company has readied the new Dogma F8 Disc for the 2016 season. It’s based on the regular Dogma F8, with aerodynamic tubes designed in collaboration with car manufacturer Jaguar, but uses Shimano’s flat mount standard to add a pair of hydraulic discs to the build and a modified fork and rear stay assembly. It’s been put through its paces in a professional race this season already.
Cyclocross bikes have wide appeal, ideal for racing but also for an alternative winter training and commuting bike, with space for wider tyres and quite often eyelets for mudguards and racks. Now though, with gravel and adventure bikes starting to take over as a choice for someone wanting road bike handling and performance with the capability of a cyclocross bike, we’re starting to see some cyclocross models being returned to the dedicated race bikes they once used to be. Kinesis has developed the brand new CX Race which shuns any concessions to versatility, so there are no bottle, rack or mudguard mounts. It’s all about the racing, and it does look a very rapid bike.
Any new 2016 bikes that interest you that we haven't listed here?
The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.
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As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.
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.