Cycle Show 2013 opens its doors today. To give you an idea of what to expect if you're planning to attend, here are some of the standout bikes from the show. We'll be bringing you more detailed features on many of the bikes here, so be sure to check back in the following days.
Oh, before we dive into the bikes, a quick reminder that we won the BikeBiz Best Use of Social Media award last night, for the second time. We didn't win the Best Website award, but those jolly nice chaps at Singletrackworld did. Hooray them. After winning it three years in a row, we're not too upset at missing out on a fourth gong. There is always next year...
Sir Bradley Wiggins raced his Pinarello Bolide to a fine second place in the UCI World Championship Time Trial earlier this week, and the bike (not his actual bike) is on display at the Cycle Show.
There’s a lot of trick aero technology going on here, with the front and rear brakes concealed behind shields to smooth the passing of the airflow over the frame. The tube profiles have been modified over the Graal, which still exists in the Pinarello range, to extract a claimed 15% increase in aerodynamic efficiency.
A common feature of the latest time trial bikes is an integrated stem/steerer tube/fork assembly. This is to reduce the frontal surface area, so there’s less bike to shove through the air. Pinarello also designed their own handlebar, which fits seamlessly with the frame and has all the electronic gubbins, wiring and cables hidden inside the carbon structure.
The Zephyr from Van Nicholas is their go-to comfort/endurance bike. The shape and profiling of the tubes aims to maximise the compliance the frame offers, with very skinny seat stays where they meet the seat tube, which houses a 27.2mm titanium layback post.
The top tube is tapered throughout its length, it’s very slim at the seat tube and fattens as it reaches the head tube. The down tube and chainstays meanwhile are oversized, as Van Nicholas wanted to retain a decent level of stiffness. The geometry is very similar to their other performance road bike, though the head tube is a little taller.
This is Cube’s most expensive offering, the Litening Super HPC SLT Di2 with, yes you guessed it, a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed groupset. It costs £6,099. We’ve had the 2013 incarnation of this bike pass through the office this year, but we must admit that the new colour scheme, all stealth with coloured pinstripe details, looks very nice.
The Cube Litening Super HPC SL Compact is the next rung down the ladder, with a Shimano Ultegra groupset. Still keeps the smart colour scheme though.
Notice the neat internal cable routing treatment, the gear cables enter the top of the down tube with a pair of barrel adjusters so you can make on-the-fly adjustments.
The greenest bike at the show was this Agree GTC SLT Compact. The Agree range is Cube’s mid-level carbon road bike range, not quite as light or racey as the Litening. The geometry is more angled towards comfort, with shorter top tubes to bring the reach in a bit.
At £999, Cube’s Peloton Race is right on the cycle to work price limit and looks a cracking bike for the money. You get a smartly finished alloy frame with a full Shimano 105 groupset, including the brakes and crankset - two components you often see downgraded to squeeze a bike below a grand.
First up, Condor's updated Super Acciaio. We brought you news yesterday of Condor's updated race-ready steel road bike. The tubeset is now Columbus Spirit and they've oversized the down tube, ovalised at the tapered head tube, and the top tube is ovalised too, to retain the high level of stiffness whilst shedding some weight. The top and down tube are all-new: they look round in this photo, but they actually have a number of flat surfaces, something you notice when you cup your hand around them. Apparently the edges created by these flat surfaces helps to increase the stiffness afforded by the tube.
The bottom bracket is still an oversized BB30 design, but it’s now machined from a single chunk of steel. The previous frame has a separate sleeve welded inside. The chainstays are noticeably curved, dropping down quite a bit in the centre. This, based on feedback from the Rapha pro cycling team, is to minimise the chain hitting the stays over bumpy roads and ruining the paint finish. The frame is about 150g lighter, but Condor have yet to confirm the actual weight savings. When the production frames arrive (this is the first and only one they have) in the shop, they're going to weigh it and let us know.
Condor are working on some interesting disc brake developments, but we can't say any more than that. This is the Heritage, it's currently a development model, and it's been fitted with SRAM Red hydro disc brakes. They're still deciding on the dropouts and which way to go, currently they've placed the caliper inside the dropout, which easily allows rack and mudguards to be fitted. They rear brake hose routing will probably change before the production bike becomes available next year.
The Acciaio Stainless is a lovely look bike, made from Columbus XCr stainless steel.. It's a custom build bike, customers for the £2,799 frame can choose geometry, and for a little more money can choose from a customised paint finish from a wide range of options. This actual bike belongs to a customer who was happy to let Condor display it on their stand before its inaugural ride. He's got good taste we reckon.
Kristian House has been heavily involved in the development and testing of the new Super Acciaio. This is the actual bike he raced on the final stage of the Tour of Britain - he would probably have raced it throughout the race but it wasn't delivered until just before the race, so he decided to stick to his regular carbon race bike.
A new Grammy Slim fork from Columbus saves a further chunk of weight - it's a full monocoque carbon fork with tapered steerer tube and carbon dropouts
Enigma's Evoke, launched at Bespoked Bristol earlier this year, is their new titanium disc-equipped road bike. Enigma have been doing discs on road bikes for many years, mostly on their touring bikes though, this is their first performance-orientated disc-equipped road bike.
The Evoke's tubeset is double-butted 3Al /2.5V titanium with a 44mm down tube and 35mm top tube. All the tube profiles are round. The seatstays are the same as those on Enigma's top end Excel race bike. Like the down tube, the head tube has an external diameter of 44mm with a 1 1/2in lower fork race and 1 1/8in at the top. It's been built here with Hope disc brakes and uses Hope's V-Twin mechanical/hydraulic converter.
The Elite hasn't changed this year, but there is a new paint finish and fresh decals, including a smart 'made in England' decal on the rear of the seat tube. Smart new font for the logo on the downtube too. It's made from Columbus Spirit triple-butted tubes TIG-welded together.
The new Fondriest TF4, their new entry-level carbon frame. It costs £1,299. The fork is new, with a recessed section for the brake caliper. The rear brake has been positioned below the chainstays, leaving the seatstays clean and tidy. That's something we're seeing a lot on the latest road bikes, and benefits aerodynamics and can also allow the rear triangle to provide more vertical deflection. It has a tapered head tube and the cables are internally routed.
Here's the much anticipated Kinesis Aithein alu race bike, which of course we had a first ride on recently. The tubes on the Aithein frame are made using Superplastic Forming (SPF), a high temperature process that makes the tubes go ‘plastic’ with heated compressed air forming the tubes over a steel mould. It’s more finely controllable than the more widespread hydroforming that can split narrow walled tubing and it allows the use of thinner, and therefore lighter tubes, meaning that Kinesis can make an alloy frame nearing a carbon weight.
The first time the Bianchi Oltre XR2 Disc has been seen in the UK, and it caused quite a stir. We've seen it already of course, at the worldwide launch earlier this year. The Oltre XR2 frame is made from UMS40 and CN60 ultra high modulus carbon fibres and the weight is a claimed 895g (that's for the 55cm version). That's not quite a light as some (such as the Canyon CF SLX and the new BMC Team Machine SLR1, both of which come in under 800g), but it's none too shabby either.
The very nice Argon 18 Gallium Pro, which has been updated hugely for 2014. New tube profiles and different carbon fibre to reduce the weight to a claimed 790g, that’s down from 920g for the previous version we reviewed recently.
Here's the brand new Starley Stainless frameset. The frame weighs a claimed 1.3kg, so that's pretty light for a frame made from steel – it's not much heavier than some carbon frames. It's been built up with SRAM's new hydraulic rim brakes, and the hydro hoses, as are the gear cables, routed internally. There's a BB30 bottom bracket and space for 28mm tyres with mudguards. The perfect UK year-round bike? Quite possibly. The frameset comes with a carbon fork and a carbon seat post, and a headset is included in the £1,499 price. You get a lifetime warranty.
Specialized's Roubaux SL4 Disc. A full carbon frame featuring their Zertz inserts at the seatstays and fork, geometry designed for long-distance comfort and fitted with mechanical disc brakes. All for £1,500.
Disc brakes are all the rage this year, and De Rosa have now added a disc-equipped road bike to their range. This is the Idol Disc, with Shimano hydro disc brakes and all hoses and cables routed internally. It's interesting that most of the Italian companies have really got into disc brakes, there's Pinarello, Olympia, Colnago and Bianchi.
One of the sexiest bikes at the show is undoubtedly De Rosa's new Sessanta bike. Sessanta being Italian for 60, the brand was founded in 1953 - one in each of the main frame building materials, carbon, steel, titanium and aluminium. This is the titanium version.
This is the titanium model, and it looks gorgeous from every angle. Especially this one.
Though this angle is pretty good too.
Ribble's reasonably priced Reynolds 525 steel winter bike/touring bike, available in a myriad of build options.
Raleigh are extending the size of their Militis performance road bike line-up for 2014. Stu reviewed the Militis 3 a couple of weeks ago and loved the way it handled. There will be three carbon-framed Militis models, and two alloy models. The carbon ones all use the same frame that’s made with T800 carbon fibre, a PF30 bottom bracket and tapered (1 1/8in to 1 1/2in) head tube. It’s the same as previously but for the fact that it’s now Di2-ready and Raleigh claim a frame weight of 880g. Raleigh’s C6 carbon blade/carbon steerer fork is used across the three bikes too.
Want to show your support for Brad after his win in the Tour of Britain? How about this all-yellow Pinarello Dogma 65.1,with colour matched saddle and a Shimano Dura-Ace groupset and C50 wheels.
The Pinarello DogmaK Hydro Disc. We had an exclusive first ride on this bike at Eurobike not so long ago. It represents the company's first foray into discs on road bikes, and required a new fork – which is noticeably less wavy – and revised carbon layup. Apparently the frame is only 50g heavier than the regular version. It's available with TRP's Hy/Rd disc brakes, operated by a Shimano Dura-Ace groupset, or SRAM Red 22 setup.
Watch this space for more from the show and detailed features soon...
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