Most of the big bike manufacturers have launched at least one new or redesigned road bike for 2018, and here are 10 of them.
Lots of the new releases are disc brake bikes, as brands scramble to introduce disc versions of existing rim brake models. New rim brake road bikes are certainly being introduced, but the majority of new road bikes that have been released over the past few months – and that's what we're featuring here – have been disc-equipped.
You’ll also notice that most of these bikes are expensive. That’s often the way; new tech gets introduced at the top level and gradually trickles down to more accessible price points over time.
Bianchi has just added flat mount disc brakes to its Oltre XR3 road bike for the first time. The frame, which features Countervail technology that’s designed to reduce vibration, weighs a claimed 1,150g (size 55cm) and uses 12mm thru-axles. All cables and hoses are internally routed to optimise the aerodynamics. There’s an aero seatpost with a choice of 10mm or 25mm offset, and the seatpost clamp is hidden inside the top tube.
The fork is all-new with a wide 1 1/2in lower steerer tube diameter for improved front-end stiffness. and the fork. It incorporates the same Countervail technology as the frame and has a claimed weight of 450g.
Look out for a review of this bike on road.cc soon.
The F10 Disc frame offers many of the same features as the rim brake model ridden to victory in the Tour de France by Team Sky’s Chris Froome, including flatback seatstays that are designed for aerodynamics and a concave down tube with two different bottle cage positions – the upper one is easier to access, the lower one is more aero. Both the frame and the Onda fork are 12mm thru axle. The F10 Disc will only take tyres up to 25mm wide.
Cannondale has given its Synapse endurance bike a major redesign for 2018. While it retains a similar aesthetic to the previous model, the new Synapse is built entirely around disc brakes and is lighter than before with the frame weighing a claimed 950g (size 56cm). That’s for the Hi-Mod version; the slightly more affordable regular carbon Synapse does without the high-modulus carbon. They accommodate tyres up to 32mm wide and will accept mudguards.
British brand Orro has unveiled a new disc brake-specific aero bike called the Venturi that’s optimised for 28mm-wide tyres. Why 28s? Orro says it made this decision 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.
The frame is made using Sigmatex spread tow carbon that’s designed to reduce weight and increase stiffness.
Liv is Giant’s women’s brand and the Langma is the new road bike platform in the range, available in both rim brake and disc brake versions. The bikes are built to a women’s specific geometry and they’re designed to be lightweight. The top-of-the-range Langma Advanced SL 0 is made from Giant’s Advanced grade composite and has a claimed frame and fork weight of 1.155kg (size small), the complete bike coming in at just 6.05kg (13.3lb).
We first heard about the Lightweight Urgestalt Disc about 18 months ago but it has only just arrived for review here at road.cc. It uses 12mm thru-axles and flat mount disc brakes, both of which have become dominant in this market. The frame and fork have a claimed weight of 1,175g while our built-up review model, with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and Lightweight’s own Wegweiser disc wheels, comes in at 6.7kg, making it the lightest disc-equipped bike we’ve ever had in on test.
The SS26 Disc shares the endurance-focused geometry of the existing SS26 and comes equipped with flat mount hydraulic brakes and 12mm thru axles front and rear. It’s available as a frameset only (£999.99) and built up with either a Shimano Ultegra or a Campagnolo Potenza groupset. We reckon the rim brake version is a great all-rounder so let’s hope the disc model retains some of that performance.
The Foil aero road bike has been around since 2011 but the 2018 range is the first to include disc brakes. The disc brake frame is very similar to that of the rim brake model (apart from the brake mount, obviously) but the fork has been entirely redesigned to cope with the asymmetric forces of the disc brake and to manage the airflow around the calliper. The fork has internal routing and clearance for tyres up to 30mm wide.
Wilier’s new Cento10NDR endurance road bike features what’s called an ‘Actiflex’ system on the rear triangle with stays that flex, a pivot at the top of the seatstays and an elastomer shock damper, the idea being to add comfort over rough surfaces. It can be set up with either disc brakes or rim brakes. The shock absorber is available in three different hardness grades to suit rider weight, terrain and your individual preference.
The X-Lite has been a familiar fixture in Rose’s range for a few years now and it has been completely overhauled for 2018. The bike is designed to be both aerodynamically efficient and lightweight, the rim brake frame weighing a claimed 760g (size 55cm) and the disc brake version 790g. The main frame tubes are Kamm tail profiled to reduce drag, as are the fork legs, while the head tube is narrow to keep the frontal surface area low. The new rim brake model has space for 28mm tyres while the disc brake version will take 30s.
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 road.cc 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.