2016 has been a busy year for the road.cc tech team with more new bikes and products launched than ever before. There have also been some other big tech stories not involving new launches, with the ongoing disc brake rollout causing much controversy and a small matter of mechanical doping rocking the headlines as well.
In no particular order, here are some of the biggest tech stories of the year.
Suspected hidden engine in bike at 2016 cyclocross world champs
2016 will be remembered as the year when motor doping was added to the lexicon of the cycling world when a motor was discovered inside the cyclocross bike of young Femke Van den Driessch during a race in January. The UCI has since stepped up its scanning of race bikes and no other motor has been discovered since. A one-off?
Mechanical doping: All you need to know about concealed doping
The mechanical doping story led to much interest in gritty details of how you actually go about installing a motor into a bicycle frame, and our explanation of what power assisted cycling is all about answered many questions.
Have disc brakes really led to injuries in the peloton?
One of the biggest tech themes throughout 2016 was the will-they won’t-they race disc brakes in the professional peloton. The UCI introduced a formal trial at the beginning of the year and then Movistar’s Fran Ventoso binned it on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix and blamed the subsequent injury on a disc rotor. The UCI has since reintroduced the disc brake trial for 2017.
Tour Tech 2016: Strange setups
Our coverage from the Tour de France always goes down very well but this summer it was the strange setups of the bikes and components that caused the biggest reaction.
Shimano reveals new top-end R9100 Dura-Ace groupset
Shimano Dura-Ace launches aren’t that frequent so it was with much anticipation that the Japanese company unveiled its brand new flagship groupset earlier this year. Synchronised Shifting, integrated power meter, hydraulic braking, new wheel profiles and wireless connectivity all feature in the latest update.
Campagnolo unveils new Potenza groupset + First Ride
Campagnolo may have lost the groupset wars but it’s not going down without a fight, and in 2016 its attempt to claw back some of the mid-range market resulted in the brand new Potenza groupset. Mat went to Gran Canaria (tough gig) to put it through its paces.
First Look: SpeedX Leopard and Leopard Pro smart road bike
We’ve written about many interesting (and some bonkers) Kickstarter campaigns through 2016, but by far and away the most popular was the SpeedX Leopard road bike. One of the most interesting features of the bike is the Smart Control computer that mounts very neatly – almost seamlessly – to the front of the stem. It gives you your speed and cadence (thanks to magnetic sensors) along with time, distance, altitude, temperature, and more. The info is shown on a 2.4in display. You can scroll through the data by pushing a button at the top of the fork’s steerer tube, where the headset top cap would usually be.
Canyon’s new Aeroad Disc road bike revealed
We’re grateful to some professional cyclists sharing photos of their new bikes and equipment on social media, and back in April Alexander Kristoff posted a photo of the brand new Canyon Aeroad CF SLX Disc road bike that he had been training on away from the races. It was the first glimpse o the bike, which has now been properly launched for 2017.
Cannondale 2016 road bike range first look
It’s been a busy year for the popular US brand Cannondale. It launched the brand new SuperSix Evo race bike, redesigned the CAAD12 with the option of disc brakes, and introducing the ground-breaking Slate gravel/adventure bike.
Pro bikes: Cobbled Classic tweaks that will boost your ride
Emulating the bike and components of the professional cyclists has long interested regular cyclists, but it’s the sometimes unusual lengths they go to in preparing for the cobbled races that resulted in one of our most read articles. If you want tips on how to make your bike more comfortable, this is the place to start.
In my sample size of one , I get 'given' much more room riding my mountain bike by passing drivers. On my road bike I get a lot of close passes...
3 hours ? Mine is good for at least 6 hours. Even the old just radar sensor could cope with that and the light + radar is meant to have a 10 hour...
I think space makes it more aero ? Like the Hope GB track bike ?
For the first time ever, I'm impressed with the overall weight of a Pinarello. Given this bike also tests very well aerodynamically, (and again...
I know! I've mentioned this before on here but in firearms training one of the first thing's one's told is that if you make an error that could...
Bike jackings -was rife in South Africa when i left and probably still is. Sad state of affairs, I hope the rider heals up quickly and suffers no...
What about Miguel Indurain?
Wow! I dream of getting 6,000km out of a chain! My bike has only just cleared 5,000km...
Maybe we need to take a note out of the drivists playbook and label the lack of secure bike storage as discriminatory against the disabled
Well, I passed this lot yesterday and they seemed to be enjoying the ride... (apparently it was the national chopper convention or something!).