With the Eurobike cycle show in Germany at the end of August, the Interbike show in Las Vegas mid-September, and the UK’s very own Cycle Show at the NEC next week, we’re getting a good idea of what next year’s bike market is going to look like.
In road bikes there are a couple of very obvious trends coming on stream: hydraulic braking; and quicker frames with lighter weights and increased aerodynamic efficiency. We’ve looked at SRAM’s range of hydraulic brakes — both disc and rim — here before, but in the international bike trade it’s probably no surprise to discover that Shimano is taking control in 2015. The Japanese giant’s electronic Di2 groupset-only R785 hydraulic disc brake is the most popular option — appearing on a huge range of 2015 models — but its new R685 hydraulic discs, which are compatible with old-school mechanical groupsets have had a very positive first year, too, and their influence on the market can only grow wider.
When it comes to which road brands have adopted the idea of disc brakes with most gusto, Cannondale looks to be leading the way. Seven models in the Synapse range of sportive-style bikes alone come with disc stoppers, either hydraulic or cable operated. For example, the entry model — the Synapse Tiagra Disc 6 — comes with an aluminium frame, Shimano Tiagra 10-speed gears and Promax Render mechanical disc brakes for £845*. Meanwhile, the Synapse HM SRAM Red Disc has a cutting-edge high-modulus carbon frame, SRAM Red 22 gears and matching hydraulic disc brakes, for £4,495*.
One thing that can be easily forgotten when talking about bikes with disc brakes is that they need complementary wheels fitted with disc brake rotors, too. To that end, it’s a significant step to see wheel specialist Mavic releasing a disc version of its entry-level favourite, Aksium wheelset. For people wanting a bit more refinement and less weight, Mavic also has a disc brake-compatible Kysrium Pro wheelset coming out in 2015.
Light and aero
With the road bike-buying general public tending to be guided mostly by what the pros use, you’d think manufacturers would be constantly trying to reduce the weight of their products. However, with cycle sport’s international governing body, the UCI having a strict 6.8kg (14.99lb) minimum weight limit for complete race bikes, and with that limit being easily achieved these days, the ‘pro influence’ has actually rather hampered development when it comes to bike weights.
So it’s probably not coincidentally that at the same time that the UCI has suggested it will relax or reconsider that 6.8kg limit, some of the most famous race bike brands have brought out new, ultra-lightweight frames. The most exciting for us — particularly as we have them in stock already here at All Terrain Cycles — is the brand new Emonda from Trek.
Another speed-influenced trend that has gained more ground is the promotion of aerodynamic efficiency. So you’ll see more bikes in 2015 with bottom bracket-mounted rear brakes, even more bikes with internal cable routing, and some quite exciting carbon frame shapes. Comfort hasn’t been forgotten either. Time has revealed a new-for-2015 ‘Aktiv’, which uses an internal automotive-inspired mass damper to help absorb road vibrations.
If you want to see next year’s bikes now — including ATC brands such as Trek, Giant, Raleigh and Cube — then this year’s Cycle Show will be taking place at the NEC in Birmingham on September 26-28. Adult tickets cost £13 in advance and children under 14 can enter for £1.