The Santa Cruz’s V10 CC X01 sexy frame is light but sturdy looking, the single front cog slams the gear almost central to the frame with the rear stays jutting as close to the cranks as practically possible. The 10 gear trend allows the cockpit to remain minimal – this should translate to a more focussed ride up front. Most builds should come in at just under 15kg.
Disc brakes on road bikes. There, I’ve said it. The buzz word this year is aero, and Specialized claim their flagship disc brake bikes offer the same amount of drag as the rim brake models. With Campagnolo finally launching its disc brake range, so whatever your feelings might be, the disc evolution is almost certain to become the new high end standard.
Aluminium frames are still cheaper to build than carbon fibre, so manufacturers seem to be experimenting with geometry even in the higher end bracket – are carbon’s days numbered? Manufacturers see the advantage in offering a range of aluminium framed bikes for every occasion rather than the fair weather carbon and wet weather whip combination.
The Female of the species still represent an untapped market, and Ridley is courting female cyclists with their beautiful looking, and thoughtfully specced Ridley Jane SL. The lighter gear ratios are provided by Shimano’s 105 or Ultegra depending on your budget, and are a response to their female customers’ preference for spinning rather than powering through acceleration.
Adventure Biking is the new Tour Cycling, although this is more an exercise in rebranding than anything particularly new, but it’s good to see distance biking getting some love.
Technological trends seem to cross-pollinate, and wider tyres are increasingly seen as standard in road as well as adventure bikes. I moved up from 23mm to 25mm some time ago, and I prefer the ride over longer distances, so I’m tempted by the trend of 28mm, although I’m sceptical that the 40mm trend for 650b rims will catch on.
Over half a million e-bikes were sold in Germany last year, and the phenomenon has attracted hi-tech companies – Samsung have an interesting battery display and are keen to integrate their smartphone technology into the cycling experience. Their display model uses Bafang’s mid-engine technology.
The Taroka Fat e-Bike is pushing the design envelope with a colour scheme that will appeal to the urban market, even if the front wheel drive clearly makes this a beach cruiser. Although Bianchi’s e-Jab design is more practical, they’ve missed one of the most important advantages of e-bikes – if huge tyres add a little weight it doesn’t matter, the batteries will add the watts.
Nearly wireless gears and brakes are on display, in obligatory fancy transparent frames, so you can see them working. Obviously, there’s a little wire that operates the brakes, but the power is supplied by little motors. What could possibly go wrong?
Specialized’s special paint that changes colour depending on the temperature made a debut at the Rio Olympics. As if we don’t have enough anxiety with people leaving their fingerprints on our bike’s newly polished frame at the club ride social.