While we are getting ready to head out to a couple weeks of trade shows and will see plenty of new cross bikes that may or not be available before we start racing in a months time, Vitus, the house brand of Chain Reaction Cycles, has updated their three cyclocross offerings in time to get to the first start lines. The three bikes follow a similar line-up as in 2015, but with updates all around. The top-level Energie Pro carbon bike gets an all-new frame, the Energie race-ready aluminum bike gets a big spec boost, and the Energie GR sticks with an affordable all-around aluminum build. Plus, the complete carbon bike drops down in price by more than 25%, while also shedding weight.
Drop in after the break for more details, pricing, and availability…
The new Energie Pro gets a high-modulus T700 UD carbon frame and sheds 200g off last year’s frame weight, while increasing mud clearance. It also gets a modular dropout system bringing a 12x142mm thru-axle to the frame (or with adapters back to a 135mm QR.) The new all-carbon tapered fork also gets upgraded to a 15×100 thru-axle for better handling. Both frame and fork are compatible with 160+mm rotors with post mounts. The bike gets a tubeless-ready wheelset built with WTB Frequency CX Team rims on Novatec hubs, and clad in Cross Wolf folding clinchers.
The Energie Pro gets a full SRAM Rival CX1 Hydro groupset, with a 40T X-Sync ring and a PG-1170 11-32 cassette. The smaller range cassette is a nod to proper cross racing where tighter gearing tends to better match race paces, but the derailleur can accommodate a 10-42 cassette with the proper hub. Finishing kit uses a lot of house brand bits, which help keep costs down. The bike will be available in five even sizes from 50-58cm. Retail price is said to be £1600 (down from £2200 last season), and a 54cm is quoted at 8.83kg/19.47lbs.
The triple-butted 6061 T6 aluminum Energie gets a boost in its build kit this year with the aim of making it a proper race bike at a more affordable price. The frame doesn’t change much for 2016 keeping a rear QR, but the bike does get the new full-carbon tapered thru-axle fork as the Energie Pro. The frame includes rack and fender mounts and can use a 140mm rotor in the rear. The bike gets the same WTB/Novatec wheelset and tires as the Energie Pro, just with a QR rear wheel.
It also gets a SRAM 1x drivetrain with the same Rival CX1 derailleur, cassette, and chainring, this time with the mechanical shifters pulling on TRP Spyre brakes (160/140mm rotors front/rear.) Price is also kept down with a S350 crankset. Top tubes have been lengthened on the Energies this year (and stems shortened) to improve handling, and the will come in the same five sizes as the carbon bike. Its retail price comes up to £930, and a 54cm should weigh 9.52kg/20.99lbs.
The Energie GR takes the same triple-butted Energie aluminum frame, but builds the bike as an affordable everyday ride. It also shares the carbon thru-axle fork all the way up to the Energie Pro. It gets a lower cost wheelset build of WTB SX17 rims and Novatec hubs, shod with 32mm Kenda Happy Medium semi-slicks.
A new 2016 Tiagra 4700 compact crank paired with a 10-speed 12-28 cassette gives broad usable gearing, while keeping costs low. Braking sticks with TRP Spyres on 160/140mm rotors. The Energie GR shares the same frame as the Energie, so also the same sizing. It will retail for £775, and will weigh 10.24kg/22.58lbs.
All three bikes will be available to buy direct by the end of this month and are already showing up in Chain Reaction’s complete bike departments. Chain Reaction ships worldwide and converts their pricing to local currencies, so have a look on their site to check it out.