It’s been a really busy year for new product launches in 2019, but there are some products that didn’t get launched that we might have expected to see announced.
Shimano launched Dura-Ace R9100 at the 2016 Tour de France, and three to four years is about normal for a product cycle given the rapid pace of development in the cycling industry right now.
But no new Dura-Ace was announced or even spotted this year. We did our best investigating at the Tour de France, a race where new products are usually used for the first time but came away empty-handed. Which leads us to assume a new Dura-Ace groupset will be announced sometime in 2020.
What could we expect from a new Dura-Ace? The leap to 12-speed seems a given, since Campagnolo and SRAM have both gone to 12 sprockets, and Shimano has produced a 12-speed mountain bike groupset.
And will Shimano go wireless? Every time we've asked the company it has shown little interest unless it can match the shifting performance of its wired electronic.
The latest top-end road race bikes are big on integration, so could we see Shimano develop components design specifically to make integration easier for bike designers? A smaller battery for example?
Disc brakes have also been a big focus for Shimano, with disc brakes being introduced to the Dura-Ace line for the first time with R9100. We'd expect to see some interesting developments focused on lowering the weight and hopefully improving the adjustment options for tuning the feel of the brakes. And will rim brakes still be supported? It would be unlikely Shimano will drop rim brakes but you never know.
What would you like to see from new Dura-Ace?
Canyon’s two flagship road race bikes, the Aeroad and Ultimate, are both showing their age, launched as they were in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Okay, so they each got a disc brake revision more recently, but we’re expecting the German direct-sales company to make a bigger step forward given the progress rival brands have made with their flagship road bikes.
A new Aeroad has been spotted and okayed by the UCI very recently, and the photos we've seen of it being raced show that internal cable and brake hose routing are key changes. But we're keen to see what other developments the new bike hides.
When will this new bike be launched? Given the original bike was launched at the Tour de France we might have to wait until the 2020 Tour de France unless it decides to buck the trend and bring the launch forward.
As for the Ultimate? We've not seen any shots of it being raced yet but that doesn't mean it's not out there being testing. Keep those eyes peeled! The Ultimate CF Evo Disc 10.0 LTD was launched this year, a superlight edition, which does have the feeling of being a final hooray for the model before a new one is introduced.
Trek’s superlight Emonda was first announced in 2014 and then updated in 2017 with the addition of a 665g disc brake frame. Given that timeline, we might have expected to see a new bike being raced this year but so far we’ve seen nowt.
Given the way bike design is going we could expect the Emonda to combine some aero features from the Madone whilst maintaining the low weight it’s known for to create an even faster bike. Or maybe it'll make it even lighter than it currently is?
Giant’s TCR Advanced SL is the company’s flagship race bike, designed to balance low weight and high stiffness. But it’s starting to show its age a little bit when compared to the latest rivals in this market like the Specialized Tarmac SL6 or Trek Emonda SLR. It was last updated with disc brakes in 2017 but it was UCI approved at the beginning of 2016.
A glance at the UCI’s list of approved bikes does show a raft of new TCR Advanced bikes with model year 2021 designations. There are rim and dis brake models and Pro and SL versions. So clearly the company has been busy on an update but the 2021 tag means we won’t seem them until 2020 a the earliest.
The original Diverge launched in 2014 when gravel was very much on the fringe and was updated in 2017 to keep abreast of the changes occurring in the gravel bike market. It would be nice to see some of the developments from the Roubaix, particularly the updated Future Shock 2.0, integrated into the latest Diverge. Demand is growing for wider tyres, the current Diverge is pegged at 42mm, could the new bike push this out to 45mm or beyond?
The AR from US firm Felt was one of the original aerodynamic road bikes when it launched in 2013, and though it has been updated since, our recent review found it wanting compared to more current and state-of-the-art aero bikes. It would be great to see the AR given the update it so deserves.
It was an exciting concept at last year’s Eurobike show, and any hopes that it would become a production-ready product in 2019 faded away when the company launched the second version of the concept bike at this year’s show. It was probably too much to expect it to become a production reality only a year after it was first publicly aired.
Will Driven ever make it into production?
Not a product so much as a group of products... The word standard comes with some heavy baggage in the cycling world. We had some expectation of a common tubeless standard being introduced this year after getting wind that talks were in place following the Continental GP5000 tubeless tyre launch at the beginning of the year.
But so far there has been no announcement. The latest rumour comes from the recent Michelin tubeless tyre launch for an announcement to be made in early 2020. It’s likely we’re going to see an update o the ISO rim and ETRTO tyre standards to provide better tubeless tyre compatibility that should make switching to tubeless less painful.
What new bikes or products did you expect to see launched this year but weren't?
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.