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TECH NEWS BROUGHT TO YOU BY BIKEEXCHANGE
If you’ve been following our coverage of the Eurobike show closely, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this year’s event was sorely lacking in complete bikes. To an extent, that’s true, as most of the bigger brands that once displayed here decided to opt out this time around, either in favor of their own in-house events or abandoning conventional trade shows altogether.
Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be a bicycle trade show without bicycles, and even without most of the major labels, there were plenty of interesting machines to be found.
Look debuted its new 785 Blade RS aero road bike, for example, and Colnago showcased its incredible C64 Gold ultra-premium flagship. US companies Marin and Kona also continue to make inroads off-road with new gravel and all-road models, and a flurry of European brands previewed new disc road and gravel bikes, too. And what’s going on Ridley’s new Noah Fast aero road bike and Eddy Merckx? You’ll find all that and more here.
But surely you’re growing weary of checking out new gear at this point, aren’t you? No? Well, that’s good, because we still have more to share with you in the days ahead.
“Limited edition” isn’t always so limited, but Colnago’s C64 Gold most definitely fits the bill. Only 64 of these will be made, and they will only be available as complete bikes in the paint scheme shown.
The Italian tricolore is featured on the back of the seatpost as well.
The special build kit includes custom Carbon-Ti chainrings, an SRM Origin power meter crankset, and a CeramicSpeed OSPW kit mounted to the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 disc groupset. Wheels come courtesy of Lightweight.
Amazing. And amazingly expensive.
The tubes aren’t aero-inspired on the Colnago C64 Gold, but are instead shaped more for stiffness and ride quality.
Colnago continues to stand out amongst the crowd with the lugged construction on the C64.
The lobed tube profiles have been a long-standing hallmark of Colnago road frames.
A bit more gold.
Brake hoses and the Shimano Di2 wire are all hidden beneath a cover on the underside of stem, then feed into the frame for a fully internal setup.
A small engraved plate reminds onlookers just how rare these will be.
Colnago’s integrated aero road cockpit looks pleasantly tidy, while still allowing for bar rotation as needed.
Colnago says its Concept aero road bike can go head-to-head in terms of aerodynamic efficiency with the mainstream brands.
Colnago is getting into the gravel game as well with the GRV.
Colnago is marketing the GRV as a gravel machine, but tire clearance looks fairly snug on these 33mm-wide Vittorias.
The vestigial riveted-on front derailleur mount also suggests that the bike wasn’t originally designed with 1x drivetrains in mind.
Ridley has updated its aero race bike for 2019, which is now called the Noah Fast, and is available with either disc brakes or rim brakes. The new bike is the result of extensive wind tunnel testing, something that Ridley has no problem achieving with a new cycling-specific low-speed tunnel located in the same business park as its head offices. Perhaps the most obvious change is the simpler fork design. According to Ridley, the old split fork was designed to pull air away from the front wheel, but that’s no longer needed with advancements in aero wheel design.The new bike was benchmarked against market-leading aero bikes such as the Canyon Aeroad, Trek Madone, and Specialized Venge (a number of which have also been updated since).
The Noah Fast is said to be a ground-up redesign on the previous Noah SL. Ridley apparently looked at the bike as a complete module, refining the aerodynamic efficiency of the whole integrated frameset first, and then working backward to engineer how the individual components would split and interact. The fork shape is a clear example of this approach. It’s said the widening frontal shape stops air turbulence forming behind the fork.
The new Noah Fast uses Ridley’s F-Surface Plus technology across the bike. The small grooves are meant to create micro-turbulence to help keep air close to the frame, and are used on the frame, fork, seatpost, and even the headset spacers.
F-Surface is found on the seatpost and seat tube of the bike, too. This seatpost is thinner than the previous version, something that along with the new chainstay design, is said to add more compliance to the frame. Apparently, Andre Greipel remarked on the new comfort without having been told about it.
As seen on the Pinarello F10 and Scott Foil, Ridely is using its own version of fork flaps to trick the wind.
That new integrated cockpit offers an amazingly slim profile to the wind. The disc brake version sees all cables routed internally.
Like many modern aero road bikes, the new Noah Fast was built with mechanics in mind (at least to some extent). Those headset spacers split, meaning handlebar height can be adjusted without pulling everything apart.
The new Ridley Noah Fast frame is said to be a little stiffer than before, the aerodynamics have been improved, and it’s more comfortable, too. In addition to all of that, the frameset is approximately 250g lighter than the previous Noah SL.
Ridley bought the Eddy Merckx brand last year, and both brands now fall under the parent company of Belgium Cycling Factory. Ridley is growing into a comprehensive bike brand, catering to all market segments similar to the likes of Scott or Trek. Meanwhile, Eddy Merckx is becoming a somewhat modern retro brand, sticking to the road where the name is best known.
Recent time has seen just “Merckx” plastered across the down tube, but the new direction sees the Cannibal’s full name return to the frame, just as it was in the early days. In addition to working towards overhauling the existing range, there are plans to get the name back in the pro peloton. It’s expected we’ll see the first wholly new Eddy Merckx, as designed by the Belgium Cycling Factory, at next year’s show. 2020 will be the year for this name to make waves.
Pictured is the first new bike to have been produced under the Belgium Cycling Factory’s control. This endurance road bike was mostly complete prior to the purchase, with the new owners just tweaking a few things. This model is called the Lavaredo 68, named after Merckx’s famous Giro d’Italia Stage 12 win on the famous climb, on his way to his first of many maglia rosas. This stage win was the first Grand Tour stage win for Belgium and of course, Merckx himself. With each bike model named after a momentous occasion in Eddy Merckx’s career, the company has a very long list of potential model names.
It’s a good thing Ridley is working to completely overhaul the Eddy Merckx range, because frankly, this carry-over aero disc road bike is an eyesore.
Look debuted its new 785 Blade RS aero road bike at this year’s Eurobike show.
Sorry, Look, but given how refined other aero road bikes have become in recent years, this cockpit looks decidedly cluttered.
The seat cluster treatment on Look’s new 785 Blade RS is certainly intriguing. Normally, this sort of shaping would be meant to let the seatpost flex more easily over bumps, but that sort of movement is unlikely given the deep cross-section.
The rear brake sits on a short carbon fiber stub.
The bolt-on top on the seatpost will allow for different offsets.
Scott’s road range hasn’t changed much for this season, but the new colors are stunning.
Scott is also moving away from its racer-like aesthetic on some models, instead using a classier look that includes more earthtones and muted logos.
The matte and gloss bronze finish on this Scott Foil is truly striking.
Interestingly, Scott is fitting its Foil aero road bikes with 28mm-wide tires straight from the factory.
Scott has finally started adding disc-brake bikes to its Contessa range of women-specific road bikes.
Kona now has a full-carbon gravel and adventure bike, named the Libre. The bike pictured is the cheaper of the two on offer, priced at US$2,999.
Cage mounts on cage mounts.
Pictured is the top-tier Kona Libre DL. That green seems a little boring next to the cheaper sparkly option.
The Libre fits 700x45c rubber with spare room for fenders.
The Libre offers an impressive seven bottle cage mounts (not all of which have to be used for holding bottles). Some of those were made possible with a new fork design. Like the frame, the fork uses a 12mm thru-axle and a flat-mount caliper interface.
The new Marin Gestalt X11 is an updated gravel bike with a number of unique features. It offers space for 700x40c tyres.
There’s some wild tube shaping on the premium aluminium Gestalt frame.
One trend we’re seeing is more dropper seatposts on gravel bikes. Marin fits one as stock on its Gestalt X11. The height is controlled via a modified SRAM shifter, something we were told manufacturers were only recently allowed to use without voiding the SRAM warranty.
The Marin Four Corners is the company’s 4130 steel adventure bike. It offers multiple cage mounting points.
Those cage mounts can be used to carry the essentials.
The Marin Nicasio Ridge is the Californian company’s Plus Road platform. This model can handle both 700c or 650b tyres, the latter going as wide as 47mm.
Wilier Triestina joined the long list of brands to release a disc-equipped aero road bike in July. The new Cento10 Pro is an update on its predecessor, the Cento10 Air. The new bike is a little stiffer than before and available with either rim or disc brakes.
The disc version features a fully integrated cockpit, with internal cable routing from the bar through to the flat mount brake calipers.
The Cento10 Pro uses truncated aero profiles throughout. The flat-backed tubes are almost a given on a modern aero road bike.
The disc bike features 12mm thru-axles front and rear.
Claimed frame weight for the new Wilier Triestina Cento10 Pro is 990g.
An integrated seatpost clamp and wind-cutting seatstays are found out back. The Cento10 Pro Disc is said to fit up to 30mm-wide rubber.
You likely haven’t heard of Arc8 Bicycles, or the engineering mind behind it, Jonas Mueller. But as one of the talents working behind the scenes at the factory end for other major brands, there’s a good chance he’s had a hand in some of the bikes you’ve ridden. The Escapee all-road model is designed to fit tires up to 30mm wide, is available in both disc-brake and rim-brake versions, and boasts a claimed frame weight of just 750g. Pricing is extremely aggressive, too.
In addition to the Escapee all-road model, Arc8 also offers a 100mm-travel full-suspension cross-country mountain bike.
The seatpost clamp is neatly hidden inside the top tube.
The integrated cockpit design of the Arc8 Escapee is definitely interesting. The clamp is analogous to how brake levers are held on to handlebars (and similar to a design WTB pioneered in the 1990s).
Split headset spacers make it a little easier to adjust the bar height given the fully internal cable routing. Inside the head tube, the steerer tube sports a flattenened forward edge so that the cables can fit in between the fork and upper headset bearing.
Argon18 showed off this limited-edition Nitrogen SE model, built specifically for fast lunch rides on flatter terrain.
But why the disc brakes if the Nitrogen SE is meant to be used primarily on flatter roads? According to Argon18, it’s because the anticipated speeds will be higher.
The Fortuneo-Samsic Pro Continental team recently (and suddenly) switched bike sponsors from Look to BH.
The Vision Metron 5D integrated aero carbon cockpit sits atop a profiled headset spacer.
BH is taking a conservative approach to gravel with the new Gravel X, offered only with an aluminum frame for now.
BH says the new Gravel X aluminum gravel machine will handle tires up to 40mm-wide.
The Simplon Pride aero road bike is one of the more distinctive-looking in the category.
Is Simplon’s split stem really more aerodynamic than a conventional single extension? Maybe, maybe not.
The cutout in the back of the seatpost is meant to provide some rider comfort over bumps.