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8 bikes we’re excited about riding this year

Brand new models from Trek, Specialized, Boardman, Orro... and maybe Cannondale and Canyon too

We'll see dozens of new bikes over the coming months but here are the ones that we're looking forward to most. We know for certain that some of these models are on the way, others are shrouded in mystery so we'll just have to wait and see.

Orro Venturi 

Orro Venturi - 1.jpg

British brand Orro unveiled a new disc brake-specific aero bike called the Venturi at last month’s Core trade show. It will be available to buy very soon. 

The Venturi is made using Sigmatex spread tow carbon. The idea is that this reduces weight and increases stiffness.

Although there’s no reason that you can’t fit narrower tyres, the Venturi is optimised for use with 28s. Orro says this is because wider tyres allow lower pressure, improved grip and reduced rolling resistance. Orro also says that wider tyres reduce the space between the frame and the wheels, improving the airflow and reducing drag.

Orro Venturi - 5.jpg

We’re hearing of more bike and wheel manufacturers moving in this direction. 25mm tyres are still most popular on the road but some brands are reporting that 28s are now outselling 23s.

The Venturi will be available in a flat mount disc brake configuration only – there is no rim brake model.

Trek Madone Disc

We don’t know for certain that a Trek Madone Disc is on the way – it’s not on the UCI’s List of Approved Models of Frames and Forks and Trek hasn’t tipped us the wink – but it must be, mustn’t it? Plus, there's a Madone-esque bike lurking in the background of a picture published recently by Trek-Segafredo (the black one at the back). 

Madone Disc.jpg

When Trek took us out to the launch of the (rim-brake only) Madone 9 Series back in 2015, it was decidedly cool about the concept of disc brakes on road race bikes.

Three years is a long time in the bike world, though, and the market has changed since then. Many brands are now telling us that where comparable models are available in both rim brake and disc brake models, the split in sales is roughly 50:50, so it would be crazy if Trek wasn’t bringing out a disc version of the Madone to satisfy that side of the market. Plus, Trek has now added disc brake versions of the lightweight Émonda SLR and Émonda SL race bikes for the first time, so adding a Madone Disc to the roster would be a logical step.

Check out our story on the launch of the new Émondas. 

As for the timing of a Trek Madone Disc announcement… hmm! We’d guess just before the start of the Tour de France with the bike being used by a couple of members of Trek-Segafredo in selected stages.

Trek Domane Gravel


We do know that there’s a Domane Gravel bike on the way – it’s on Trek’s website and everyfink – but it hasn't arrived in the UK yet.

There will be two models, the Domane SL 5 Gravel (£2,600) and the Domane ALR 5 Gravel (£1,650), both built to Trek’s existing Endurance Fit like other Domanes, so we’re not entirely sure what makes them gravel bikes other than the Schwalbe G-One Allround 700x35 tyres.

Specialized Tarmac Disc 

The Tarmac 18 Disc coming has been on the UCI’s List of Approved Models of Frames and Forks since last April, the same time that the rim brake Specialized Tarmac SL6 was added (it's the rim brake model that's pictured below, clearly).

Specialized Tarmac SL 6 Pro - riding 3.jpg

Check out our review of the rim brake Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL 6 here. 

Our reviewer Dave Arthur loved the rim brake model when he rode it last September, saying that it put in a “flawless performance”. We’re excited to find out whether the disc brake version is as good.

Specialized has been keen to have its disc brake road bikes raced at the highest level so we’re guessing this one will see plenty of competitive action this year, possibly starting at the Spring Classics.

Boardman Urb

We first saw the hybrid Boardman Urb bikes – short for Urban, obvs! – at Cycle Show 2017 last September, and they’re now available to buy. 

Boardman Urb 9.4 main.JPG

There are currently three models in the range, each of them built around a hydroformed aluminium frame with mudguard and rack mounts.

The cheapest model, the Urb 8.8, is £699.99. It’s fitted with a single 44-tooth chainring and a wide-ranging 11-42-tooth cassette.

There’s also a £849.99 8.9 with an eight-speed Shimano Alfine hub gear, and the one pictured here, the £1,999.99 9.4 with a Shimano Alfine Di2 hub gear and a Gates Carbon belt instead of a chain.

Cannondale aero road bike 

Look at Cannondale’s range of road bikes and there’s one obvious hole – there’s no out-and-out aero road bike. This is unusual, especially for a brand that sponsors a WorldTour team.

 Cannondale SuperSix Evo 105 - riding 4.jpg

The EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale riders spend most of their time on the SuperSix Evo (it's the Shimano 105 version pictured above). Cannondale says that this bike features “aerodynamically slim Truncated Aero Profile tubes and a lower water bottle position [to] reduce drag, so you save energy as you gain speed”, but you couldn’t call it an aero bike like the Canyon Aeroad, the Trek Madone, the Specialized Venge or the Merida Reacto. A light weight and high level of stiffness were clearly more important considerations in the design process.

We’ve no inside knowledge to share on this one but we’re guessing that Cannondale must be working on something and the timing would be right for a launch some time in 2018 after the latest edition of the Synapse first saw daylight last year.

Bergamont Grandurance adventure bike

Bergamont Grandurance-9.jpg

Bergamont isn’t a brand with a big presence in the UK but we think that’ll soon change with its new gravel and adventure road bike. The Grandurance is a smart looking bike available in carbon and aluminium flavours with all the features we’d look for in this sort of bike.

Bergamont Grandurance-4.jpg

There are eight bikes in the range and prices start at £899, topping out at £2,499, with six of those models geared towards road riding and two focused more on cyclocross and off-road action. This blue mode costs £2,299 with an SRAM Apex 1x11 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes.

The road-orientated models will come with 35mm wide Schwalbe X-One Allround tyres, while the off-road models will get Schwalbe X-One Bite tyres. There’s space for up to 40mm tyres.

Canyon gravel bike

We can’t be sure that Canyon is going to launch a new gravel bike in 2018 but let’s look at the evidence. The direct-to-consumer brand had an aluminium Inflite in the range for several years as its only cyclocross model before launching the new Inflite CF SLX (pictured below), with a carbon-fibre frame and disc brakes, last year.

Canyon Inflite CF SLX - riding 4.jpg

It might be that Canyon will leave it at that but the cyclocross race market is relatively small and ‘gravel’ is definitely a buzz word in cycling right now. For those reasons we think that Canyon will have developed a gravel bike in tandem with the new Inflite, to be unleashed on the world some time in 2018.

It could be that the existing Inflite alloy range gets an update to make it more gravel and adventure focused now that the Inflite carbon caters so specifically for racers, or it could be that we’ll see something entirely new made from carbon. Our money is on the latter.

Honourable mentions

• Cervelo will almost certainly launch a Cervelo S5 Disc in 2018 – expect to see it at Tour de France time if not before. 

• Kuota has just had the Kur22 added to the UCI's List of Approved Models of Frames and Forks. Apart from the name and the fact that it's a road bike, we know nothing about it. They're doing a good job of keeping that one under wraps.

• A Factor One Disc has just been added to the UCI's list.

• Merida has just had the Mission Cross CF (carbon fibre) and Mission Cross Lite cyclocross bikes approved by the UCI.

• Wilier will launch a new time trial bike called the Turbine, but we don't know when.



Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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