There was certainly plenty to see at the London Bike Show last weekend. Here's the first part of our look at some of the best bikes on show.
The Boardman SLS Disc was probably the star bike of the London Bike Show, but there were certainly plenty of other lovely machines to peruse at the Excel. Here are just a few of our favourites (and click here for part 2 of our best bikes round-up).
Call us biased if you want, but we like to think that Cycling Weekly columnist Rob Hayles knows a few things about bikes. That means that we’re going to be keeping a close eye on Beacon, the Lancashire-based bike company where Hayles holds the enviable position of chief test rider.
The BF_100 is Beacon’s flagship race bike, the steed of choice for Steven Burke and co. at Haribo-Beacon last year, but we found our eyes drawn to the BF_80. This is the lightest frame in the range, but also features a supple rear end for all-day comfort, which should make it the perfect choice for long, hilly sportives.
The process of buying a Beacon puts the power very much in the hands of the customer, with the choice of components entirely up to you, selected through the company’s neat online configurator. The starting price for a fully built BF_80 is £2299, but we reckon that the above build with the latest version of Campagnolo Chorus and Zipp 303 Firecrests will set you back just over £4000.
The words “non-UCI legal” may bring to mind images of huge aerofoil tube shapes and massive fairings, but the latest version of Cannondale’s Slice time trial bike is an altogether more subtle affair. In fact the main reason that the 2015 Slice won’t be seeing action at the hands of Cannondale-Garmin any time soon is the Aero Save Micro Suspension technology that means that the seat stays are solid rather than hollow.
The frame, which is available in eight builds including three women’s versions, uses the same BallisTec Carbon Construction used in Cannondale’s ultralight SuperSix Evo road frames, so it should be no surprise that this is apparently the world’s lightest time trial bike, with frame and fork weighing in at 1020g, a whopping 485g less than the Cervelo P5.
Despite the focus on weight, aerodynamics certainly don’t seem to have been ignored, with Cannondale using Truncated Aero Profile (TAP) tubes. This effectively means that the front of the tubes are the same as full aerofoil tubes, but the rear is flattened, a designer that the company’s engineers claim offer all the benefits of a full aerofoil shape, but without compromising on stiffness and offering better handling in crosswinds.
One bike which unfortunately won’t be touching down for test in the Cycling Weekly office any time soon is the Canyon Projekt MRSC concept bike. We first saw the MRSC at Eurobike last year, but think it definitely deserves a second look.
The bike is the culmination of a collaboration between Canyon and Deutsche Telekom to build a “connected” bike. An online CPU does a host of jobs, providing GPS tracking, and connecting your smartphone with a host of sensors to give alerts on things such as brake and chain wear as well as alerting the emergency services in the result of a crash.
The other headline feature of the MRSC is the active suspension which is also controlled by the CPU. Sensors in the front and rear allow the bike to adapt to rider position and road surface, altering the viscosity of the damping fluid that is attached to the front and rear carbon leaf springs by polarising the metal particles within it. Canyon claims that this will offer 15mm of travel, enough “for 90% of riding scenarios”.
Sunday saw the launch of the Velosure Starley Primal men’s and women’s teams for 2015. The teams, which will have an international flavour this year, will do much of their racing on the Starley JKS R1 which was proudly on display next to Jack Pullar’s 2012 National Hill Climb Champion’s jersey.
The bike, which features a smart black and orange paintjob, includes Shimano Ultegra shifting and braking combined with Rotor Q Rings and new 3D 24 cranks. The wheels are a pair of 50mm Halo Carbauras, topped with Continental GP4000S tyres, with finishing kit being a mixture of Pro, USE and Fizik.
New in 2014, the ESX-R is “budget” version of Parlee’s ESX aero road bike, and, according to the Massachussetts-based company’s data, only causes the same level of aerodynamic drag as the market-leading Cervelo S5. This particular build certainly doesn’t leave anything to change when it comes to performance, with Dura-Ace Di2 shifting, a Cannondale Hollowgram SiSL2 crankset, and Enve 8.9 wheels.
However what really drew us in was that custom paintjob. Admittedly this particular colour scheme may not be to everyone’s taste, but the world really is your oyster if you decide to design your Parlee from scratch. Alternatively there is also a range of standard designs to choose from if you decide that the £3299 frameset has already damaged your bank balance enough
We currently have a ESX-R on order from Parlee, so will have a full review in the next couple of months.
While not all of the bikes featured here are necessarily all-new models, this Focus Izalco Team SL can be filed under “used”, having been ridden by AG2R-La Mondiale’s Maxim Bouet at the 2013 Tour de France. However the bike certainly didn’t bring Bouet much luck, as he crashed out with a broken arm on the fifth stage.
As you would expect this a seriously high-end build. The highlight is undoubtedly the Campagnolo Record EPS groupset, although we also love the look of those Fulcrum Racing Light XLR wheels, with the turquoise decals perfectly matching the rest of the bike and team kit. All of the finishing kit is from Fizik, and, since it was on the Schwalbe stand, we should probably give a mention to those well used Schwalbe One tyres.