Ready for the new year? If it holds as much riding as 2018, we certainly are. Looking back, the year has been filled with the usual onslaught of new products, though some attracted more attention than others. Here’s our look back on the stories that our readers read the most!
#1 – Rim Width vs. Tire Width
For the second year in a row, our look into the relationship between tire and rim width took the top spot. It doesn’t matter what discipline you’re talking about these days – tires are getting wider and perform best when paired with the proper rim width. This story may clear up some of the confusion around tire and rim sizing.
#2 – 2018 Specialized Epic Actual Weights
Moving up from the number three spot in 2017, the 2018 Specialized Epic was apparently one of the hottest bikes of the year. It was actually a pretty big year for Specialized overall – one of our stories on the new Stumpjumper just missed out on the top 10 with a #11 spot, and the new Shiv disc wasn’t far behind. But given that the new Epic was launched in 2017, it makes sense that this story has gotten a ton of traffic.
#3 – Shimano unveils XTR 12 Speed
In 2018, no other drivetrain commanded as much attention as the new Shimano XTR M9100 12 speed group. Which is pretty impressive considering it isn’t even out yet. Shimano has been carefully honing the new group to ensure it was exactly what consumers expect, and the excitement surrounding the group seems to indicate they’re on the right track.
#4 – 13 speed shaft drive concept turned heads
Shimano’s XTR attracted many eyeballs, but this wild concept that unexpectedly surfaced from Ceramicspeed at Eurobike was close behind. Granted, it wasn’t fully functional and was just a concept, but the idea of a floating shaft drive that turned a completely flat pie plate of a cassette was definitely intriguing for many. And it was 13 speed – because, of course.
#5 – SRAM Eagle continues to soar
Shimano may have stolen the spotlight with XTR, but SRAM is cleaning up with their Eagle 12 speed groups in the absence of a 12 speed group from Shimano that you can actually buy. Our guide to the different 12 speed Eagle Groups (all 4!) proved popular.
#6 – Extremely custom & extremely light weight Scotts
Light weight bikes seem to always be in style, so of course these incredible, custom Scotts gained a lot of attention. Gustav Gullholm not only created a 6.22kg Scott Scale and a 7.86kg Scott Spark, but claims to have done so in a way that kept them durable enough for daily use. That, and the finish work is amazing.
#7 – Prototype Cannondale System Six aero disc brake road bikes
Cannondales are usually hot. So a prototype Cannondale System Six Aero Disc brake road bike is extra hot, right? Seems so from the numbers…
#8 – Touring the legendary Shimano Factory
It’s probably little surprise that with the excitement around the new XTR group, our factory tour post from their launch in Japan saw a lot of clicks. Steeped with tradition and dedicated to precision, this is a factory tour not to be missed.
#9 – Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc review
Another Cannondale, this time in the form of a review. Most road bikes have added disc brake options at this point, especially for consumers. So when Cannondale makes a disc brake road bike with a focus towards comfort and well rounded performance, people listen.
#10 – The life long tire sealant that wasn’t
You gotta hand it to Finish Line – they had an idea for a revolutionary tire sealant and went full send. Unfortunately, they didn’t quite stick the landing. We were promised a tire sealant that would never dry out and it turns out that depending on the tire, that didn’t end up coming true. Finish Line has since removed the claims of it lasting the life of the tire. We tested the sealant with mixed results, and while it was a valiant effort, it’s a tough sell now that it’s marketed without the “life long claim.”
Here’s to a great new year!
We probably don’t say this enough, but from the bottom of our hearts, thanks for reading and making 2018 a great year. We’re always working to improve the content and coverage, and we hope that 2019 will be a great year for everyone – both on and off the bike.