The Japanese tri-specific bike brand Ceepo have launched one of the most radical bikes of the year so far at Eurobike, the Shadow-R. With a beam frame design, plus the unique 'SideFork' at the front to improve aerodynamics, this is a bike that would make the UCI wince.
Say what you like about triathlon, but its increased popularity and relaxed rules on bike shapes and geometry has certainly thrown up some crazy shapes recently, with brands pumping cash into tri-specific designs; think Cervelo's P5X, or Diamondback's Andean. The Shadow-R might just be the craziest yet, and Ceepo say there's more to that front fairing than just aerodynamics; it's designed to dampen road vibration too, providing a functional horizontal alternative to the traditional front fork. There's also a fairing over the front tyre that leads into a headtube, and a gaping hole between this and the frame. While it looks convoluted from the side, from the front the wind sees very little, as you can see in the pic below.
The tubes are truncated and the entire frame weighs 2.2kg, not light but then again there is quite a lot of it. The huge slab of carbon in front of the bottom bracket has a storage solution inside for tools, and there's also an integrated bento box on the top tube. The bottom bracket itself is lowered for better high-speed stability and better overall aerodynamics, using the EVO386 standard. It's compatible with all electronic groupsets from Shimano, Sram and FSA, and can also take a Sram 1x system. A twin position front derailleur means the Shadow-R can fit almost any sized chainrings from 56T right down to a 50T compact.
Braking on the Shadow-R is disc-only, and it can take mechanical or hydraulic systems. Ceepo say it can take 28mm tyres "with room to spare", and the seatpost is also reversible.
We haven't got prices or availability yet, but it's safe to predict you'll be SideForking out a fair bit of cash for the Shadow-R if you're convinced it's the bike for you...
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.