May 1, 2016
LIGHT WEIGHT, HIGH PERFORMANCE
With an easy access to carbon fibre in Europe, the performance bicycle industry can now resort to new technologies at competitive prices, thanks to the knowledge developed by Formula 1 teams and the aerospace industry. As spring and nice weather approach we all start to consider the idea of laying our hands on a bicycle and enjoy the great outdoors. So banish those winter blues by checking out the best new bicycles and proposals to help you choose the one that best fits you.
After relaunching the Aeroad CF SLX than won the 2014 Tour de France, German manufacturer Canyon turned the attention to the Ultimate CF SLX. Combining aerodynamics and comfort with the impressive lightweight, the fourth generation of the Ultimate CF SLX was expected to be something special. And so it is. The tube profiles have been overhauled and the integrated Aerocockpit was introduced, first seen on the Aeroad model. The bicycle has an eight per cent saving on the weight and a major improvement in comfort. www.canyon.com
Specialized S-Works Venge ViAs
With frame modelled by McLaren's in-house MIDAS software, the American brand Specialized left no stone unturned in the pursuit of a super-fast bike. And when it was officially introduced to the public ahead of the Tour de Suisse, it was accompanied by some bold claims – including a two-minute saving over a flat 40km course, compared to 'standard' bikes, and a full-minute over the previous Venge. You will not find any cables showing, due to its internal routing, and the bike shows an aggressive riding position, providing an even greater super-fast look.
Lapierre Xelius SL
The French bike manufacturer Lapierre has been very busy with the improvement of the Aircode SL and the Xelius SL, both launched in the summer 2015. The new Xelius SL is a refined version of the Aircode, but shows a much more radical look, with a frame weighing only 850g, with a significantly lower gravity centre. Instead of joining with the seat-tube, the seat-stays attach directly to the top tube, not only for aesthetics, but also because this kind of joint eases the pressure on the stays, meaning Lapierre is a much lighter and thinner bicycle that provides more comfort.
Giant TCR Advanced SL
This American constructor revamped its TCR for 2016, shaving even more weight off their already lightweight climber's bike, tipping scales at just 856 g for the frame. Giant Bicycles claim they have achieved the weight savings without sacrificing its stiffness, due to the use of carbon fibre. Moreover, it features the state-of-the-art, award-winning Maestro Suspension.
Giant has been a pioneer in building high performance bicycles since 1972, building aluminium frames to achieve a low production price for high quality bikes. They were the first to offer affordable carbon fibre frames, and they created the first compact geometry road bikes.
Bianchi makes stunning bikes since 1885, and the latest Specialissima is very much proof of it. With its super-light 780 g full carbon frame, it also features the Countervail carbon integrated technology, which provides an anti-vibration effect over the frame, thus increasing its rigidity. The cable routing is fully internal, and if you want the classic celeste look, you will need to add 20g to your weight expectations because of the additional weight of the paint. All of this makes it a bike built to be as sure, fast and reactive on the way down as it is light and comfortable riding on the way up.
Trek Domane 9 SLR
According to the American firm Trek, "the 2016 Trek Domane
9 SLR is the ultimate race bike".
The bicycle was first launched for the 2015 Tour de France, and Trek claimed that they obtained savings that are equal to 19 watts (two minutes/hour) when compared to non-aero bikes. These are some of the characteristics that make this one "the fastest road bike there is", packed with class-leading aerodynamics, thanks to a revamped frame and a host of integrated features. Even the water bottle mounts were optimized, and the 'Vector Wings' on the fork, which protect the brake system while cornering, are evidence of the attention to detail the Domane 9 SLR has received.