Another batch of shiny new bikes and products from the London Bike Show. Missed our first round-up of the highlights? Read it here.
The news from British brand Moda is that development continues on their planned UK-made carbon monocoque frame that we’ve told you about before. They’re on the second prototype at the moment, made by Vekta Composites of Stoke, who mostly work in the automotive industry. They’re hoping for a release date later in the year.
The range is looking good already. The high-modulus Stretto, for example, comes with a mostly SRAM Force groupset for £2699.99. Moda keep each bike in their range for two years, by the way, rather than for just one.
That’s the £1499 Issimo which is made from Reynolds 931 tubing.
The Intimo is 953 and it’s priced at £1,999.99.
The Finale is the top-level bike in the Moda range, coming with aero tubing and a fork crown that tucks into the frame’s existing silhouette. The cabes run internally and the seatpost is shaped for aerodynamics too. Fitted with American Classic Aero 3 420 wheels and a SRAM Red groupset, it’s priced at £3,899.99.
The Interval TT bike is high modulus carbon fibre, and it’s built with a really stocky head tube and internal cabling. That’s a Shimano Ultegra groupset on there with American Classic Carbon 58 clincher wheels. It’s priced at £3,499.99.
Moda’s magnesium wheels, which been in the pipeline for ages, are finally ready. They’re priced at £799 for tubulars and £899 for clinchers and they’ll be available on www.eurobike.uk.com from Monday.
The Sportive 365 is recent addition to the range from Ribble – called the 365, logically enough, because it’s suitable for year-round use. It’s essentially a version of their Bianco but you get full mudguards fitted here. The head tube is a little longer than you’ll find on a standard road bike so the ride position is a bit more upright.
The frame is currently available at £399.96 if you buy online. As usual with Ribble, you can have it built up from a wide range of spec options to suit your preference and budget. Fully built up bikes start at £879.95.
This is the winter/Audax frame made from Reynolds 525 steel. It takes a CSN BlackStorm fork which comes with mudguard eyelets. It’s priced at £219.95 with the fork currently at a special price of £69.95
The R872 is a different beast altogether, made from Toray T800 carbon fibre. You get a bunch of performance-orientated features including a tapered head tube, a BB30 bottom bracket, and 40mm-deep chainstays for a efficiency at the back end. It’s Shimano Di2 compatible.
If you think you might have seen th R872 somewhere before but can’t place it, it looks a lot like a DeRosa R838 – if it’s not out of exactly the same mould, it’s certainly from one very, very similar. The Ribble is a helluva lot cheaper, though. It’s £579.95 for the frame, or even cheaper if you buy online. You need to buy the forks that go with it. They’re £112.95 – again, cheaper online.
We first showed you a pre-production of the new Marin Verona T3 last summer. The carbon frame comes in at under 900g, which is superlight.
The model we showed you before had external cables but they’re now routed internally. That’s not a monocoque frame, by the way, it’s created by a tube-to-tube method – the tubes are mitred together and then wrapped. It comes in an ‘endurance fit’ with a tall head tube, and Marin spec a compact chainset and 25mm tyres.
The build is really unusual for a frame like this, Marin going with Shimano’s modest Tiagra groupset and Shimano R501 wheels. Maybe they figure that being best known for their mountain bikes, they can’t go too expensive on their road bikes. The Verona T3 is priced at £1,399.99.
Marin offer several other road bikes too. The 6061 aluminium Argenta, for example, comes in a Shimano 2300 build at £599.99 while the Ravenna A6 WFG is essentially a women’s version of the same bike, and it costs the same.
I couldn’t help but be drawn to ARC’s display of carbon fibre wheels like a moth to a flame. Newly set up last year, this was their first public outing. Their mission it to make carbon wheels that are lightweight and strong, and based on the few we saw, they certainly appear to be living up to the claim.
They offer a range of wheelsets split into Sprint and Aero ranges. The later includes a 38, 60 and 88mm wheelsets the Spring range features 20, 32 and 50mm rims built onto lighter hubs. They’re mostly all of the tubular variety, but they will be doing one carbon clincher. Founder Andrew Hill was most keen to show us the 3T VXS. It’s one of their lightest wheelsets at just 980g. The 32mm tubular rim is constructed with a PU foam core and wrapped with a thin T100 carbon fibre with a 3k weave over the top. The rim weighs just 260g.
And there’s their own design hub, a CNC-machined 6061 aluminium shell with ceramic bearings. Sapim CX-Ray Aero Blade spokes lace everything together in a two-cross pattern, and radial on the non-driveside rear wheel. They have their own superlight titanium skewer as well. And the cost? £1,325. That’s very competitive for such a light wheelset.
They’ve also been developing their own brake bloacks. It uses a ceramic fibre material and is reckoned to be very good at managing the high temperatures that braking on a carbon surface generates. Braking performance is said to be very good, as is the wear rate.
Expect to see a lot of ARC wheels this year. They’re supporting two national cycling teams and Czech athlete Svaťa Božák, who is doing the Race Across America this year. Currently ARC sell wheels directly through their website, but they’re hoping to hook up with some dealers throughout the year.
One of the bikes I was most keen to see resided on the Salsa stand. But it wasn’t there. The Warbird, a road cum cyclocross bike designed for the growing gravel racing scene in the US (where they race hundreds of kilometres on predominantly gravel fire tracks and roads) has clearance for bigger tyres and room to let gravel pass safely between tyre and frame. IT’s also one of the growing band of bikes equipped with disc brakes.
But they did have the Colossal, which is a more regular take on a road bike. It’s also equipped with disc brakes, in this case Avid’s mechanical stoppers.
This is the steel frame (there’s also a titanium version if your wallet can stretch) and it’s fitted with an Enve carbon fork, slotted into a 44mm head tube. This allows any headset fitted, from regular 1 1/8in to tapered, as well as providing a much larger surface contact area for the big top and down tubes.
A frame and fork will cost £900, and the titanium frame and fork £1,900. Full steel bikes will start from about £2,000.
Couple of new things from Schwalbe. Well, quite a few interesting updates actually. First there is the new and improved Lugano tyre. It’s their affordable training tyre that now gets a Kevlar Bead, so it’s better able to withstand punctures, yet the price is the same.
There’s still life in tubular tyres yet, despite their development of a tubeless tyre they reckon is the fastest ever tyre they’ve tested, the Lugano T is an entry-level tub with a £30 price tag. Kevlar Bead wards off punctures. Spend a bit more and the Durano HT is a tyre built in a specal part of the factory where everything is meticulously made by hand with a lot more care and love. It has a cheaper dual compound than the Ultremo’s triple compound, and costs about £50.
Next up is the brand new Marathon 23mm tyre. The Marathon is a classic tyre in the German tyre company’s range. If you’re doing any long-distance/round the world type epic rides, the Marathon is your dependable choice. And now it’s available in a racy 23mm width, which is aimed at fast commuters or anyone who wants a solid tyre for the winter.
And lastly, they have an Ultremo ZX clincher tyre in a whiter than white colour option. They already do a range of colours so you can match them up to your bike, but it’s taken them a while to perfect the white finish. Funnily enough, because of the white finish, the tyre actually comes up a little wider than 23mm... such that I couldn’t get it back into the slot in the stand.
This is Vittora's range-topping, and therefore most expensive, shoe - the Hora Evo costs £219.99. Each shoe weighs just 276g and uses a micro ratchet and cable closure to keep it firmly in place. A full carbon unidirectional sole ensures it's stiff for racing.
Prefer something a little more classic looking? The aptly named Classic costs £114.99 and is styled on a pair of Vittoria shoes from 1976. They're handmade in Italy and are compatible with three-bolt cleats.
Sitting near the top of the range is the Unique. This shoe is one of the lightest the company makes, and with the use of three simple Velcro straps weight is down to 229g (size 8). It sas a smart one-piece outsole and a material that prevents shrinkage over time.
While the shoes above command high prices, the Twister is very much more affordable, with a £74.99 price tag. It uses three Velcro straps and a nylon mesh synthetic leather upper and nylon sole.
This is the Twister Carbon, with an upgrade carbon fibre sole. It costs £99.99.
We've already covered the new USE wheels in some depth, but it's always nice to chat to the USE guys - they're a friendly bunch. The wheels are now in full production, and we have a pair of road wheels on the way for testing.
To recap, this is the company's first entrance into the wheel market. They've developed a range of carbon fibre rims, both carbon clincher and tubular, with actual windtunnel testing. Rest assured, this aren't off-the-shelf rims. They've designed their own hubs too, and they're all laced together with bladed Sapim CX Ray spokes.
The key feature, aside from the shape, is the super slippery nano coating that is said to reduce surface friction. It's similar stuff to that used by British Cycling on all their road, track and mountain bikes in the Olympics. It also prevents dirt and grime from clinging to the surface.
This is the lovely carbon fibre Corsa from Tifosi. It's one of the few carbon fibre bikes designed with mudguards in mind. There's capacity for 25mm tyres with the mudguards in place. A frameset costs £1,139.99 and is available in five sizes from XS to XL. You get to choose from black or white.
I'm quite excited about carbon road bikes that take proper full-length mudguards, and wrote as much in this article.
Disc brakes on road bikes are frequently being talked about as the Next Big Thing. Maybe they are, maybe they're not. Whatever way the pendulum swings, we're very keen on bikes like the Saracen Hack. It's an aluminium framed bike that was originally conceived as a cyclocross bike, but was turned into a fast commuting, training bike at the last minute. Nothing to stop you from putting some off-road tyres back on it though. The Hack 2 here costs £1,149.99, while the Hack 1 costs just £899.99.
Looking to ride a long way this year? The Salsa Fargo Expedition bike is a bike designed for long-distance cycling. It comes with a chromoly steel frame and provision for racks, bottles and mudguards with more braze-ons that just about any other bike we've ever seen.
South West London bike shop Sigma Sport probably had the easiest stand setting up job of everyone there. They simply parked up their team car, with a load of bikes on the rack. Job done.
The glorious Rapha Feather bike has been artfully created by Ricky Feather from Columbus XCR stainless steel with wrap-around seat stays and clearance for mudguards. The rear brake cable is routed through the top tube, internally. The bike belongs to Max Leonard, and will be used for the Rapha Continental project.
Everywhere you look, there's beautiful little details. The headbadge, for example.
The top tube houses the rear brake cable for clearner lines.
Looks fast, don't you think? Canyon's Speedmax CF Evo TT bike stands right at the cutting edge of aerodynamics.
It's Trident tube profiles aim to minimise drag with its curved leading edge and angular, chopped-off tail, very much like a Kammtail. It's found on the fork legs, down tube, seat tube, seat post and seat stays. You can read more about it in this very detailed article.
Integration is key. The fork features a strut in front of the head tube, the stem section fits on top and then flows into an aero-profile base bar.
The front brake is concealed within the fork.
This is the Boardman Air 9.8 that Alistair Brownlee raced to victory is the London Olympics triathlon. The Air series covers Boardman's aero road bikes. Brownlee's bike is fitted with deep-section Zipp wheels and SRAM's new RED groupset.
You don't see these Olympic number tags that often.
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.