Disc Brake Discussion Rules Road Race Development
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – Disc brake road racing bicycles are still a hot item. At the autumn show it was obviously that all manufacturers are convinced of the technical advantages.
From BMC to Trek, from Cannondale to Willier; dozens of models, all of them assembled with Shimano Ultegra and 105, SRAM Rival, Force and – starting next season – Red eTap with HRD brakes. And now Campagnolo too.
Following Shimano (Di2), SRAM (eTap) and Campagnolo (EPS), FSA has introduced an electronically shifting groupset. It is called FSA K-Force WE – meaning Wireless Electronic. It’s a complete groupset with derailleurs, shifters, cranks, 11 speed cassette, dual pivot brakes, chain, and its own bottom bracket. The battery is in the seat post, sending power to front and rear derailleurs. Connection is by cable, so the system is not completely wireless. FSA calls it ‘Hybrid Wireless’.
Flat frames, low set rear seatstays
Many aero-design racing bikes were on display at the 2016 autumn show. Here too were notable entries from BMC to Trek, from Cannondale to Willier. Many flat frames, low set rear seatstays, direct mount brakes on front and rear, and many, many special saddle and handlebar stems. Plus the aero racer is ready to be fitted with 28 or 30 mm tires.
Present in all Eurobike halls: the gravel racer. A mix between a cyclocross bike, MTB, and road racer. Similarities: wheels with thru axles, disc brakes and racing handlebars. And ‘fat’ racing tyres, up to a 40 mm. Schwalbe has now a special version of the G-One with nice little studs. Very popular: the 1X drive system by SRAM. One gear wheel up front, eleven sprockets rear and a very sleek rear derailleur. From 11/32 to ‘10/42’. Tough and rough. And since you ask, no suspension for gravel racers (yet?) anywhere.
So what else did we see this autumn? Just a limited number of e-racers. A lot of colours. A few ‘stealth’ black models. Much apparel and accessories from the same branch as the bikes. Many women-specific racers. German suppliers like Haibike, Bulls and Corratec presented good-looking ones. Special colours, specific (female) geometry, and final assembly. Queen in the ladies department is LIV from Grant, followed by brands as Specialized and Trek.