The new Simplon Pride road bike gets more tech focused with a unique take on aero road integration. We’ve mostly covered the Austrian brand for their low-key road and mountain bike designs, but the new Pride looks is a shift in direction, at least aesthetically. The Pride name is actually the winningest pro bike in Simplon’s 55 year history, and this new iteration aims to build on a race pedigree, stepping up with a neatly integrated aero disc brake road bike with some real world innovation tucked inside it’s sleek design. Take a closer look after the break…
Simplon Pride aero disc brake road bike
The Pride is all about integration and its goal is certainly to build an aerodynamically optimized bike to give the best advantage racing into the wind. As a starting point the road bike has a light, high modulous carbon frame molded over EPS that allows Simplon to get weights down to just 6.8kg for a complete disc brake bike with carbon clinchers and an eTap groupset. Simplon didn’t give us an actual frame weight, but it is likely to be around 1000g to get to that complete bike weight.
Integrated bar & stem
The most prominent element of the Pride’s design is the uniquely integrated bar+stem concept, which creates a low frontal area and tucks all of the cables inside that bar+stem combo. That’s not too difficult of a task on the wireless eTap bike on the left, but you can see even on the Di2 bike on the right that they manage both the hydraulic lines and shift wires inside the bar as well. We’re going to guess that this integrated bar won’t be offered with any mechanical shift builds, as your poor bike mechanic will have a tough enough time as it is.
We’ve seen a lot of integrated bar stem combos that really limit fit, but Simplon claims to have addressed that here by first offering two stem heights with a flat bar (left) and the 20mm raised bar (right) that essentially does the same as a mountain bike riser bar while keeping the aero profile.
In either case, both 0 & 20mm ride bars will be available in 40, 42 & 44mm widths, as well as effective stem lengths to dial in your proper fit when combined with varying reach figures of six frame sizes. The bar+stem is also designed for a low profile that allows air to flow cleanly over the toptube, so there isn’t a provision to really raise or lower the whole setup with conventional steerer tube spacers. That does result in a clean setup, and makes the internal routing of the hydraulic lines a bit more straight forward.
But if beyond that fit adjustability you still need more movement, the frame & fork can be setup with a conventional stem & separate handlebar through the use of a special spacer setup. That’s was a point Simplon was really talking up. Even when they choose a neatly integrated solution, they aim to provide additional compatibility with conventional solutions as well.
Going for full integration, low frontal area, and internal routing isn’t without challenges. The Pride gets a couple of small steering bumpers that slow the full turn of the bars to keep from damaging internal cables, plus it also gets standard bosses under the bar that make it simple to attach a GPS computer to an optional out front style mount.
Smart Thru Axle
Like we saw on their most recent endurance road bike, the Pride gets what Simplon calls a Raptor dropout that curves back slightly at the axle to both improve comfort and aerodynamics. Both frame and fork get flat mount discs, while the front is spec’d with a 160mm rotor and the rear a 140mm. Also lurking on the dropouts is the small red push button of the Smart Thru Axle.
Simplon’s quick release thru-axle design is intended to speed up wheel changes on the road by making it so the axle doesn’t get fully removed to take the wheel out. First you spin the QR to get your desired tension, than the push button allows you to position the clamped QR. Removing the wheel, you just flip open the QR, spin it loose and pull it out. A small grub set screw (the one in the photo above is a pre-production version that hasn’t been sized to length) catches the end of the axle so it doesn’t come all the way out and the wheel is easy to remove. When you need to fully remove the axle, back the set screw out and it will come all the way out.
The same system works on the rear, with both QRs on the non-driveside. The pride gets full internal routing, but of course the eTap HRD version keeps that to just the hydraulic brake lines.
The Pride uses aero tube shaping throughout, with a heavy dose of chopped off Kamm tail aero shapes, plus smooth transitions like this one from the wider lower headset bearing & fork crown into the more narrow downtube.
Out back the bike gets dropped seatstays that taper in to the seattube, plus an asymmetric chainstay layout that starts out wide & boxy at the bottom bracket and then tapers quickly towards the dropouts. Everything is tucked in nicely around the rear tire at the bottom bracket, and while Simplon had this bike setup with 25mm tires on wide rims, there probably isn’t much clearance for anything beyond a 27mm tire.
The Pride gets an integrated seatpost clamp and an aero shaped seatpost as well. But Simplon still built in a cutout section in the upper section of the post to improve comfort where the turbulent air around your spinning thighs is less impacted by the post anyway. And if you want to ditch the shaped seatpost, Simplon makes a separate integrated seatpost clamp that will allow the use of a standard 27.2mm round seatpost.
The Pride is available in a six size range from XS-XXL and comes in two color options – either this gloss black on matte or a hi-vis yellow on a glossy dark gray. The bike also has a couple of standard builds, plus a lot of options for customization. This compete 5300€ bike focuses on a SRAM eTap HRD groupset with 35mm deep DT Swiss PRC 1400 wheels. A more expensive build with new Dura-Ace Di2 is also available that steps up to DT Swiss’ more aerodynamic 62mm deep ARC 1100 wheels.