Walking around the show, it’s easy to spot obvious trends. But we talked to product managers, brand ambassadors, and the marketing folks at hundreds of companies over the four days of Eurobike to get the real scoop on what’s coming to the road and cyclocross bikes of 2018 and into 2019…
MORE CAPABLE FRAMES
We suspect the aero trend that’s dominated designs for the past few years will continue to be an important element. But increased tire clearance and frame comfort are growing in prevalence. In some ways, they go hand in hand, with larger tire clearance making way for 28mm wide tires on most bikes, some even opening up to 30mm or 32mm. That’s about the max you’re likely to find on a “road” bike, but it’s plenty. Adding to the buoyancy from these larger tires are frames with vertical flex (like the Argon 18 Krypton, above), vibration damping or improved ergonomics built in. It’s all in an effort to make you faster and help you ride longer by reducing drag and fatigue.
FULLY HIDDEN CABLES
BMC, KTM & Ridley have all recently introduced new disc brake road bikes that fully enclose their cables and hydraulic hoses into the frame through one piece bar+stem combos. Mechanics must hate it, but it sure looks cool (and is aero to boot!)
FLAT MOUNT DISC BRAKES
Standards are good so it’s nice to see both road and cross getting behind a unified interface for brakes. You know road disc brakes are here to stay when they come on a Colnago C60.
Similarly, 12mm thru-axles are now the standard front and rear, from steel road bikes to carbon cross bikes.
DISC BRAKES WILL GET SAFER & MORE AERO
While mountain bikers have somehow survived just fine, you don’t usually see mass pileups on the trail. So, the UCI is apparently looking at ways to make disc brakes safer for the peloton. TRed proposes their Donchisciotte carbon covers as a solution…
Or maybe safety will come in revising the rotors themselves? All of Campagnolo’s rotors get a smooth rounded profile, as do SRAM’s and Hope’s. Shimano started beveling the edge of their newer R9000 Dura-Ace rotors, and their recent Dura-Ace & Ultegra groups include new rotor designs that use fully closed carriers (so you couldn’t stick a finger through a spinning rotor?) We’ve now seen a similar design from FSA (above), along with a rumor that this might be the UCI-approved solution.
But it takes work, and we’re seeing interesting approaches, like these “fork flaps” on the new Scott Foil Disc. Pinarello has been using a similar concept on their bikes for a few years even before disc brakes came around.
1X ROAD DRIVETRAINS
We already saw it on cross bikes for the past few seasons, then on gravel bikes. It started to get serious this summer with the 3T Strada bike. And now we have 3T’s new wide range Strada Bailout & Overdrive 9-32 cassettes and the looming SRAM XDR wide road freehub body standard that is already creeping into road wheels. It looks like road 1×11 is here, and 1×12 probably ain’t far behind.
RACE-ONLY CYCLOROSS BIKES
Now that gravel bikes have taken over the mantle as the flexible do-it-all bike, ‘cross bikes can get back to being ‘cross bikes. A few purebreds stayed the course, but a lot of brands tried to make one bike that could kinda do it all. Which was cool if you only dabbled in cyclocross racing. For those of us who consider spring the off season, it’s refreshing to hear more brand managers talk about making a true, race-specific cyclocross bike again.