2021 was a strange year for the cycling industry – and we’re still regularly reporting on how the bike shortage situation looks unlikely to end for some time yet – but despite all the disruption, we’re expecting to see some big launches from key brands in 2022. Here’s what we’re anticipating…
We always keep a close eye on the UCI's List of Approved Models of Frames and Forks and will continue to as we look out for next models on the horizon.
The Oltre XR4 is one of Bianchi’s aerodynamic race bikes, the rim brake version of which hasn't been updated since 2016 – although a disc brake version did arrive a couple of years later.
The current model is no longer being used on the WorldTour stage. Team BikeExchange Jayco was riding Bianchi bikes including the disc version of the Oltre XR4 last season, but the one year deal has come to an end, leaving a spot open for Giant to return to WorldTour.
Bianchi updated its lightweight Specialissima CV road bike in 2020, adding disc brakes for the first time. This makes it even more likely that we'll soon see an Oltre XR5 or a completely new aero platform. Either way, it'll be interesting to see whether Bianchi offers a rim brake option or – much more likely – goes disc brake only.
Colnago is celebrating 68 years of frame production this year, and so it could well be that the C:68 is on the way.
Colnago stuck to its signature lugged carbon construction when it released the C64 in 2018 to mark the 64th anniversary, with only subtle changes to the profile of the previous C60. It did also come in substantially lighter and accepts 28mm tyres to meet the demand for wider rubber on a race bike. It’s long due an update though.
Giant announced a new TCR road bike back in April 2020 and revealed the latest Defy endurance bikes in 2018.
That puts the Propel aero road bike as the model that’s most due an update, given the latest versions were announced towards the end of 2017.
The existing Propel Advanced SL Disc frameset is already lightweight (a claimed 982g for the frame and 378g for the fork) but we’d expect Giant to lop off a few grams there by altering the material and build process, bringing it into line with the new TCR Advanced SL.
It’s the same case for women’s specific bike brand Liv, the sister to Giant. Liv’s dedicated aero race bike is the EnviLiv, and that was last updated back in 2018.
In the recent 2022 update to the lightweight Langma climbing frame, Liv brought over some of the aerodynamic elements, namely the EnviLiv’s tube shapes, for energy conservation in headwinds, descents and sprints.
With the Langma well and truly following the trend Specialized set in 2020 with its “one bike to rule them all” Tarmac SL7 that puts an end to the idea of separate climbing and aero bikes, it’ll be interesting to see where Liv goes with the EnivLiv. Perhaps something more akin to Ribble’s radical Ultra?
Ridley updated the Fenix endurance bike for 2021 but the last update to its aero race bike, the Noah Fast, came in 2018 so we could well see a new version soon.
Ridley's Helium climbing bike was also updated a little while ago in 2019.
Both appeared on the UCI’s list of approved framesets in July 2021 so they could officially appear anytime now.
Over last summer Scott revamped its entry-level aluminium Speedster road and gravel bikes which are both now disc-brake only and feature partially hidden cable routing.
The Foil aero road bike was also recently updated in 2020 with internal cable routing for both electronic and mechanical shifting so it could be that the Addict is next in line for a redesign.
That said, Scott massively overhauled the lightweight platform in 2019, and so it’s not like the current model is particularly out of date. The bike already has disc brakes and fully internal cable routing so it's not immediately obvious where the designers will go next. We'll just have to wait and see on this one.
Trek updated the Madone SLR road bike for 2021, but it was a new material and the introduction of a threaded bottom bracket rather than a wholesale change of design. Trek then brought the more affordable Madone SL model in line with its top-end Madone SLR bike for 2022.
But as the last full redesign was for the 2019 model year, we’d say that there’s a strong possibility that we’ll see a new Madone some time in 2022.
Trek introduced an updated Emonda in 2020, adding aero features to its lightweight road bike for the first time, but the Domane endurance bike was last updated quite a while ago now in 2019, so that’s on the cards too. It already has big tyre clearance for up to 38mm though, so perhaps it’s the IsoSpeed tech that will be trickled down the models with an updated version will be introduced to the top-end SLR bikes.
The Scultura Endurance road bike was introduced in 2020 to fill the gap between Merida’s road race models and its gravel bikes, and the lightweight Scultura was made even lighter and more aero last summer. The reduced frontal area, adapting aero-specific Reacto design features around the head tube and fork area, as well as introducing complete cable integration with our one-piece cockpit.
It’s Meridia’s Silex gravel bike which was last updated in 2017 that's most likely to get a revamp.
The bike was built around modern MTB-inspired geometry and comes with plenty of luggage carrying options with its five sets of bottle bosses and rack mounting points. It’s an upright gravel bike that's well-set for touring and year-round use, but it's not for those who want to blast it. Perhaps Merida will introduce a new race version to fill the gap as it did with the Endurance version of the Scultura.
Last year we reported on the US patent granted to Specialized on 16th February 2021 that suggests a full suspension system could be added to the Roubaix range, and so that’s on the horizon…
The system we expect to see on the Roubaix soon relies on the flex of an extended seat post and a damper hidden in the top tube. As usual, the patent is written in the most convoluted language in the world, but you can read Mat’s overview of what it’s hinting at over here.
So, if you were just blasting through and missed it, these are the 11 bikes we reckon are most likely due this year:
What updates would you like to see to these models?