There were plenty of new bikes on display at last week's Sportline show. Several brands were present including Ridley, Genesis, Saracen, and Rapide. Overall, the general trend was for adventure road bikes. For those unfamiliar, these are road bikes that can also be taken down bridle ways, on canal tow paths, or down gravel trails. They often feature relaxed geometry, flared drop handlebars, wider tyres, more clearance and disc brakes.
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Cyclists appear to be embracing the versatility of these bikes and they are becoming increasingly popular. Traditional road bikes were also on show. Read on for a run down of some of the show's highlights.
Genesis is celebrating its 10 year anniversary and has some special paint jobs to celebrate. I was reliably informed that the font used for the word 'Genesis' will be reverting back their standard type face when the bikes go on sale. Pictured here is the 2016 Croix de Fer, or cross of iron.
The Croix de Fer will be available in a variety of builds and colour ways. The Decade model above was fitted with SRAM's 1x Rival groupset and featured a 42/42 lowest ratio. It is hard to show in the photos, but the matte black contrasted with gloss grey really does look superb in the flesh (steel). The RRP is set to be £1499.99.
The Croix de Fer is classed as an adventure multisport bike. A relaxed geometry, increased tyre clearance, wider tyres and disc brakes, ensure this is bike that will be equally at home on bridle ways and roads.
The steel framed Croix de Fer will also be available in a range of other builds and paint jobs, including the splendid looking Tiagra model below which has a retail price of £1199.99. For 2016 there is also a titanium frameset too, retailing at £1799.99.
Also on display was the new Genesis Datum. The Datum is also firmly in the adventure, multisport category, but differs from the Croix de Fer primarily by being made from carbon. Genesis describes the Datum as a 'rufty tufty carbon road disc bike'. The model pictured below is the 105 equipped model in raw carbon gloss black which is set to retail at £2099.99
Befitting the adventure remit, the Datum is equipped with 33mm Challenge Strada Bianca tyres, hidden mudguard eyelets and Shimano flat mount calipers, as seen on the new Cannondale Caad 12. Flat mount is set to become the new standard in disc brake mounting, but manufacturers are telling us that at present Shimano can't keep up with the demand.
Note the shifter in the above picture. This is a new Shimano shifter aimed at the 105 price point for use with hydraulic disc brakes. It was also recently spotted on a KTM Revelator disc bike. The Datum is also available in red and the white option pictured below. The white frame comes with Shimano Ultegra and features some stunning paintwork on the inside of the forks and other subtle areas – nice touches. The RRP is £3199.99.
Ridley's new range was also on display. The Chronus immediately caught my eye as the new TT bike from the Belgian brand. Equipped with Shimano 105, Deda finishing kit and Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels, the Chronus represents an excellent entry point into time trials and triathlons with a competitive retail price of £1700. The Chronus sits below Ridley's top flight Dean Fast TT bike.
Another bike in the adventure road mould was the Ridley X-Trail. With wide tyre clearance, hidden mudguard mounts, 38mm Challenge Gravelgrinder tyres and Shimano flat mount hydraulic disc brakes, the X-Trail is a very versatile package. The geometry is more relaxed than Ridley's dedicated cyclocross bikes and the chainset is a compact 50-34t best suited to road use. The price of the 105 model pictured is set to be £2200.
Ridley informed us that availability is expected to be from October, with a more affordable aluminium version (around £1100) also in the pipeline.
The model that really caught my eye was Ridley's new Fenix SL Ultegra build. Fitted with a complete Ultegra groupset, Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels and 4ZA finishing kit, the Fenix SL30 will have a retail price of £2100. Considering you are getting a world tour standard frameset as used by Lotto Belisol and a complete Ultegra groupset, this is very competitive package. We look forward to testing it.
Ridley is perhaps most famous for its cross bikes and it has a huge range. This X-Bow caught my attention, with its cool paint job that features Belgian national team colours. It looks like a much more expensive bike than it actually is, as the quality of finish on the aluminium frame was top drawer.
The X-Bow 10 features Shimano 105, TRP mechanical discs, Challenge 32mm tyres and Fulcrum Racing Sport DB wheels, with a retail price of £1200.
The Helium remains unchanged for 2016, with a new matte/gloss black paint job available. The frameset price for the super light Helium will be £1500.
Saracen has also waded into the do-it-all adventure road bike market with its fittingly named 'Hack'. The Hack is intended to be a sturdy, reliable bike that you can use for everything from commuting, trail riding, cyclocross and touring to standard road riding. The Hack has clearance for 40mm tyres too! The model pictured is the Hack R retailing at £799.99. It features Shimano Sora, Tektro mechanical discs, 33mm Schwalbe Performance tyres and a compact 46-36t FSA chainset.
Rapide is still in its infancy, with this being only its second year of making road bikes. The RC2, pictured below, is a disc brake version of last year's RC1, which will still be available in 2016. The RC2 sets its stall out as a dedicated road disc bike, not intended for gravel and off-road use. Having said that, it features simultaneous clearance for 28mm tyres and mudguards.
Availability is expected to be October in three different builds, with the model retailing at £1899.99. The frameset will be available for £1000.
Rapide also had an exciting range of kids' road bikes on display. I liked the versatility these bikes offer, coming with both off-road and road tyres, they are equally suited to riding on paths, roads, trails at Center Parcs or dipping a toe into cyclocross.
The bike pictured above is the RL24 with 36-32t gearing and Tektro Mini V-brakes. Considering its versatility it is a good option for the next aspiring Bradley Wiggins, retailing at £429.99.
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