Show Season Once Again...

Bike show season is upon us again. While we are not lucky enough to travel to Eurobike, we did make a short trip to Interbike. Look for a post regarding this year’s Interbike in the next week or so. (Sorry for the delay in getting stuff up lately, 'real' life has been getting in the way, grin)

As per standard operating procedure, there were many releases leading up to Le Tour. Some thoughts that I have regarding the trends we are seeing coming down the pipe:

  • As we talked about in our "aero" post, the march towards increased integration continues. Integrated brakes are no longer good enough. Integration of bars and stems are now becoming much more common, with each brand having their own take.
    • I especially like the unique solution that that Argon 18 has put forth in the AHB5000. They have a modular design that allows you to adjust different stem lengths. Fewer SKUs for them and some adjustability for the consumer. Everybody wins.
I like the idea of moving the brake away from the crank and bottom bracket.

I like the idea of moving the brake away from the crank and bottom bracket.

  • Speaking of integration,  brakes are now entering their second generation, going beyond the V-brakes from the earlier systems. Again, it is interesting to see the different manufacturers coming up with solutions to try to improve performance (the new Venge, and Madone for example). Now, these advances may be rendered moot by of the push towards discs (and one could argue whether they are 'advances' at all) but time will tell. The momentum of discs currently seems such that, in ten years, rim brakes will only be on entry level bikes (essentially following the same pattern as when discs took over mountain bikes).
Stem to bike integration and brake design that increases leverage.

Stem to bike integration and brake design that increases leverage.

Trek's center pull brake design. Note the 'door panels' on either side of the head tube that open to allow the cable to move/brake to move.

Trek's center pull brake design. Note the 'door panels' on either side of the head tube that open to allow the cable to move/brake to move.

  • Cannondale is continuing their ‘going against the grain’ of the rest of the industry that I am starting respect and admire. The new EVO has some aero nods, but it is not an “Aero bike” by any means. Also, continuing the development of the aluminum CAAD series with the CAAD12. The CAAD 12 is likely one of the best values in cycling. Many other companies seem to be entering the premium aluminum game: BMC ALR, Trek Emonda AL, Specialized Allez. I am really interested in testing this class of bike, and hope that I get the opportunity in the coming year.
  • A big surprise (to me anyway) is the about face that Cervelo has done with disc brakes. It was not long ago that Cervelo had stated that it did not think that discs had a role in road cycling. More importantly, it appears that Cervelo has done a very good and thorough job thinking about what discs mean on a bike and engineering it specifically for that purpose. I like their solution to the potential shifting problems that comes with having short chainstays on a disc equipped bike (Shimano recommends 415mm, which is why it has been easier to do endurance bikes in disc versions before race bikes.) The R3 disc maintains the caliper versions 405mm chainstay while still having optimal shifting by moving the crank out slightly towards the drive side, moving the chainline. I like this much better than Specialized’s solution of a proprietary Roval wheelset on the Tarmac Disc. Also, the rear brake flat mount for two rotor sizes (on the Cervelo). Check out coverage here.
  • Canyon has announced that it intends to enter the North American market. This is a move that I am very excited to hear about. Canyon bikes have been getting rave reviews for the last few seasons, both in performance and value, and I am very keen on trying them. More on that here.
  • Other things we are looking forward to:
    • Once again getting everyone’s two cents on tubeless road.
    • Talking about discs and thru axles with manufacturers. 12mm thru seems to be the new standard. Is there is an actual performance benefit, or is it mostly just market forces (i.e people thinking that they need it).
    • Looking at the new groupsets: Rotor Uno, FSA electronic, eTap