Disc-equipped road bikes were everywhere at the recent Eurobike cycle show, the biggest gathering of bike brands anywhere in the world.
Disc brakes on road bikes as a trend has been gathering pace every year for the past few seasons now, as regular road.cc readers will no doubt know. For 2016 there are even more new disc road bikes to add to the growing list, but you could have guessed that. Here are six new disc bikes from Bottecchia, Merckx, Koga, Cube, Ritchey and Cipollini.
Merckx first launched the EMX-525 back in 2012 - its name derived from the number of race victories by founder Eddy Merckx - and for 2016 it’s now available with disc brakes, with the launch of the EM-525.
The shape and lines of the main tubes appear to be the same, and there’s the same skinny and kinked seat stays. New though are the chainstays and the fork, and the application of 12mm thru-axles front and rear.
Merckx is using the Flat Mount standard - which really does appear to be prevalent on 2016 disc bikes, and gives the bike a much nicer appearance with no ugly brackets needed.
There’s space for 30mm tyres as well.
Merckx claims a 900g frame and 380g fork weight.
Dutch company Koga last year launched the Solacio disc road bike, but following a name infringement issue, it has renamed it the Durado Disc for 2016.
Aside from the change of name, the bike is exactly the same. That means a carbon fibre frame and fork with Shimano’s Flat Mount standard, tapered head tube, press-fit bottom bracket and carbon fibre dropouts.
No thru-axles though, this one uses conventional quick releases. The bike pictured costs €2,899 with Shimano Ultegra gears and hydraulic disc brakes.
Cube has revamped the Agree road bike fro 2016, which sits between the entry-level Attain (which replaces the outgoing Peloton) and top-end Litening. The new Agree is a claimed 10% lighter than the previous model, and is available in a wide range of builds, with regular rim brakes or disc brakes.
The frame is made from Cube’s C62 carbon fibre, which isn’t quite as light or costly as the C68 blend it uses in the Litening.
Cube has adopted thru-axles at both ends and Flat Mount caliper mounts. The frame looks aerodynamic, but we’re not sure it’s actually been wind-tunnel tested. The seat stays are dropped and kinked at the top tube and seat tube junction. The seat clamp is integrated into the top tube.
All cables and brake lines are internally routed. Good news for fat tyre fans, the Agree will take up to 28mm tyres, and ships with 25mm rubber. More from the Cube 2016 range in a future article.
Italian company Bottecchia was showing this Doppia Corsa Ultegra Disc at Eurobike. It's a smart looking frame, crafted from carbon fibre with a claimed weight of 1,200g for the frame, 360g for the fork.
There are thru-axles front and rear. All cables and hoses are internally routed. Bottecchia looks to have given the frame a bit of aerodynamic styling, with the rounded tube profiles and flat back surfaces and the integrated seatclamp.
Weight with a Shimano Ultegra groupset with hydraulic disc brakes is a claimed 8.4kg. The price? That's €3,199.
I wonder what Mario Cipollini would have made of disc brakes if they had been introduced during his career? I’m sure he would have had an opinion.
Anyway, on his sleek and dark Eurobike stand this year was lurking (a dark bike on a dark stand will do that) this NK1K disc road bike.
It’s based on the regular rim brake version of the same name, with aero shaped tube profiles and dropped seat stays. It has thru-axles at both ends, the rear dropouts are carbon fibre, look it says as much on the frame.
There’s full internal cable and hose routing, too. The frame and fork even uses the latest Flat Mount caliper standard.
Had your fill of carbon fibre? How about something different then, such as this Ritchey Ascent. The Ascent used to be a mountain bike back in the 1980s, but it's been reborn as a versatile do-everything steel road bike. It fits neatly into the growing category of adventure/gravel/touring bikes with disc brakes and space for big tyres that can be used for just about any sort of riding except racing.
The Ascent will a 40mm tyre on a 700c wheel, or 2.1in on a 650b wheel (Cannondale isn’t the only company dabbling with the smaller wheel size y'know). The steel frame is fully equipped with all the bottle, mudguard and rack mounts you need for any sized adventure, from riding to work to travelling across Europe.
The frame is fitted with a cromoly fork with a 1 1/8in steerer tube, with lowrider mounts. The Ascent is also available in a Break-Away version
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.