What will the big names have in store for us next year?
Everyone loves a new bike. But the bad news is that all the big bike brands tend to release their new models in a flurry in the weeks leading up to the Tour de France. Not only is that a long way off, but for the other 11 months of the year you’re left without any sexy new bikes to gawp at and wish that you could afford.
But to whet the appetite we’ve got together the brightest brains in the Cycling Weekly office to try and guess what new models we might expect come June. And don’t worry, they don’t all have disc brakes.
1. Trek Madone Disc
Like many bike manufacturers, Trek doesn’t have an out-and-out disc brake race bike available for the Trek-Segafredo pro team just yet. Yes, there is the Trek Domane Disc (which admittedly has a handful of cobbled Classics on its palmarès), but we can’t imagine any of the team’s sprinters jumping on board the Domane any time soon.
We think the most likely contender for a racier Trek disc brake bike would be a disc version of the new Madone. The rim brake version of the Madone was only released in June, and we can’t believe that Trek wouldn’t have though about disc brakes when developing the new bike. The only thing would be whether it can integrate the disc brakes into the frame as well as it has done with the rim brake calipers.
2. Cannondale aero bike
Aside from Focus, Cannondale is the only big bike brand that we can think with that doesn’t have an aero road bike in its armoury. Yes, the Cannondale SuperSix EVO has been redesigned for 2016 with truncated aero profile tubes, but this is still primarily a lightweight bike designed for featherweight climbers.
While the Cannondale-Garmin team isn’t exactly overflowing with sprinters (Wouter Wippert, anyone?), surely there must be some demand for an aero bike to save the likes of Rigoberto Uran a few watts on flat stages. And with the Cannondale Slice time trial bike also receiving a redesign last year, the ground work should already be there for a new aero road bike.
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3. Updated Bianchi Oltre
One bike that is really due an overhaul is the Bianchi Oltre. The Oltre XR.1 came out in 2012, with the XR.2 following a year later, but despite having the appearance of aero bikes, Bianchi doesn’t actually make any aerodynamic claims about either of these models, instead marketing them as “super-rigid” and “super-light”.
The thing is that with the new Bianchi Specialissima now taking its place as the lightweight superbike in the company’s range, Bianchi can have free rein to bring the Oltre bang up-to-date as an out-and-out aero bike with all the integration you see on the likes of Specialized S-Works Venge VIAS and Trek Madone.
4. Disc brake Scott Addict
Following on from the launch of the new Foil last summer, we presume that there will be a new Addict, the company’s lightweight climber’s bike, hitting the headlines next summer. However we’re not just expecting a lighter, stiffer version of the existing Addict, but also a disc brake version for 2016.
This seems to make sense given the launch of the Scott Addict cyclocross bike earlier this year, which came equipped with disc brakes, as well as an 890g frame, making this the lightest cyclocross bike on the market. We’d expect Scott to take what it learned from developing the Addict ‘cross bike and put it into a new Addict Disc.
5. Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc
OK, this one isn’t complete speculation, as we actually saw a prototype version of the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc at Eurobike back in August. We’d expect this disc version of Canyon’s lightweight Ultimate bike through the early by Movistar, Katusha, and Canyon-SRAM, before a full launch in June just ahead of the Tour de France.
We don’t expect too much to change from the standard Ultimate, which was only launched earlier this year, except maybe the strengthening of the fork and chainstays in order to cope with the added asymettric torque of disc brake calipers.
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6. Updated Giant Propel
2015 was the year of the new aero bike, with the launches of the Specialized Venge ViAS, Trek Madone, and Scott Foil all in the space of a few weeks last summer. One big name missing from this aero bike bonanza was Giant, which stood still with an unchanged Propel.
First launched in 2013, the Propel is probably due an overhaul, particularly with all of the cables not going through the handlebars and stem, directly into the frame, as is the case on the latest round of aero bikes.
7. Disc brake Merida Scultura
Merida really hit the headlines in 2015 with its new Scultura, which, at the time at least, was the world’s lightest production road bike. Unfortunately since then, the AX-Lightness VIAL evo ULTRA has stolen its crown, but we think a new Scultura Disc could be on its way that could well take the title of world’s lightest disc brake bike off the Focus Izalco Max Disc.
At the moment, the Taiwanese manufacturer only has disc brakes on its endurance-focused range of Ride bikes, but surely has to add it to one of its racier bike for 2016. The carbon-fibre on the Scultura will have to be beefed up if it is to cope with the torque of disc brakes, but hopefully Merida was planning ahead when designing its lightweight machine.