Bikes, bikes, bikes. Barely a week goes by without a new bike launching, which means we're busy trying out all the newest models. These five bikes from Specialized, Trek, Marin and Merida are some of the rigs we're currently reviewing, and you can expect to see the full verdicts appear on our reviews page in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, remember to also check out our best-scoring road bikes over at road.cc Recommends where we list all of our most recent top-scoring reviews.
The Specialized Sirrus is a bike that definitely stirred up some conversation when it launched in March. The Sirrus is Specialized’s hybrid that has been around for a while, but with the 6.0 the brand has taken things up a notch.
The Sirrus 6.0 is equipped with a lightweight carbon frame featuring a rather distinctive “Compliance Junction” shape. This, we're told, should add more comfort and compliance to the bike.
In addition to the frame's peculiar look, Specialized has also added a sprinkle of gravel to the Sirrus in the form of Future Shock, its unique suspension design for even further bump-dampening.
Although the newest Sirrus has got a bit of a performance polish, it’s still true to its origins with the mudguard and rack mounts, and additional top tube and fork mounts.
How does the frame actually fare in longer-term testing? You'll need to wait a little more to find out.
Continuing with Specialized, a brand that has been at it in terms of new and interesting bike launches. The Specialized Allez has been around for four decades, and Spesh says that this newest edition is the best yet... unless you're a die-hard lover of bikes with rim brakes, that is.
The claims for this bike include being the "lightest in its class", plus delivering more confidence, versatility and performance than ever before, plus catering to more riders than previously.
The frame, as has always been the case with the Allez, is made out of aluminium and weighs 1,375g according to Specialized. It’s paired with a carbon fork to bring the weight down further.
Specialized has borrowed the endurance geometry from its Roubaix model to “deliver unrivalled comfort for long miles and stable handling while ensuring the Allez can still dissect a winding road like a pure race bike”.
If you don’t want it to feel like a race bike, you can bung up to 35mm tyres on, or a pair of mudguards and slightly narrower 32mm rubber that should still be very comfy…
Similarly to the Allez, Trek’s Émonda ALR 5 is a race-ready road bike, made out of aluminium and with bold claims around both the weight and performance. The 300 Series Alpha Aluminium frame is paired with a carbon fork and a Bontrager Paradigm SL wheelset.
The frame is built with Trek’s top-tier road racing H1.5 geometry and comes with an integrated cockpit and Kammtail tube shapes for better aerodynamics.
Our Emonda test bike comes with a Shimano 105 drivetrain, hydraulic disc brakes and, excitingly, a threaded T47 bottom bracket. It also has this very cool 'Azure to Living Coral Fade' colourway.
The Marin Nicasio+ is an update to the brand’s all-rounder steel bike, with a modern twist. Marin has switched the tyres to some big-volume 47mm WTB Horizons rolling on 650b wheels.
The drivetrain has been swapped to 1x only and is provided by microSHIFT. This means you’ll get a 1x9 drivetrain, powerful Tektro mechanical disc brakes and plenty of Marin-branded components.
Marin says this is the perfect bike for long-distance commuting and endurance, plus all-weather ‘pavement’ riding. We’ll need to wait for the review to find out how well it rides, but the classic tube shapes definitely make the bike look like a very capable all-rounder.
As well as the all-round and aluminium bikes, we are also testing a very aero-optimised Merida Reacto. This bike has always been Merida's top dog when it comes to aero, and the brand says the fourth generation model is more slippery and beautiful than ever, incorporating wider tyres, much neater cockpit cable integration and a series of improvements to boost performance.
Before the performance gains, let’s go over the basic spec. This bike comes with SRAM’s Rival AXS electronic groupset, rolls on Merida carbon wheelset wrapped in Continental GP5000 tyres in a 25mm width, and the rest of the finishing kit is courtesy of Merida.
In the tests Merida has run, it found the Reacto CF5 needs just 209 watts of effort for 45 km/h speed, making it “one watt faster”. Contributing to the power savings are a bunch of small details, including integrating the front disc cooler behind the fork and the rear disc calliper in the rear triangle and creating new bolt-through axles with the thread integrated into the fork dropout. All of these should make an impact on the profile of the bike - but whether they make a real-life difference, we'll wait for Stu to confirm in his full review...
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Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.