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Eurobike Trends – What’s coming to Road & Cyclocross in 2018?

2018 and 2019 road bike trends and cyclocross bike trends - whats coming next for bicycles
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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

2018 Argon18 Krypton gran fondo endurance road bike

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.

12MM THRU-AXLES

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…

FSA WE road bike disc brake rotor with smaller holes to pass UCI safety tests

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.

With disc brakes already going on triathlon super bikes from the likes of Parlee, Diamondback and Cervelo, there’s no doubt a bike can still be aero even with rotors and calipers.

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.

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Pinko
Pinko
5 years ago

I am going to have a laugh when sram will approach pro road teams and ask to use the 1x drivetrain.

jon
jon
5 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

Y’know if you build a 1x road frame properly it’s going to be a TON stiffer than a typical road frame. This is because the cross section of the BB tube junctions are compromised when you run a FD. When you get rid of the FD you have full freedom to design an optimal front triangle, which would merge the junctions together smoothly. Think of the way birds bones flare out toward the base, this is because the middle of the tubes aren’t highly stressed areas, but the ends are, so they need to have a larger diameter CS.

The optimal bike design would have extremely thin tubes that flare out at all the junctions. We are still a ways from seeing the ‘best’ bike frame that can be produced. FD have always compromised frame design, especially with carbon bikes.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  jon

Your optimal bike would have really, really poor torsional stiffness, which is what most people observe as a “stiff” bike as they counteract pedal torque via their handlebars and is a primary reason for large diameter down tubes. Torsional stress doesn’t vary over a tubes length.

Birds don’t use their bones as bikes use their tubes.
Birds don’t ride their bodies for hours down bumpy roads.

If FD/2 chain-ring constraints have any actual noticeable affect on frame stiffness, its probably not with CF where it is easy to locally increase layup thickness to make up for reduced cross-sectional diameter. Not that modern frames lack stiffness.

uzurpator
uzurpator
5 years ago
Reply to  jon

Please, stop regurgitating nonsense. Current FDs are very low profile and barely take up space – up to a fact that they include the cable stop on their body. With these designs not having a mount on a frame is just pure laziness and blindly following trends.

Warwick
Warwick
4 years ago
Reply to  jon

I agree with modern design the fd has no impact on bb strength or effective design.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

Tony Martin has run 1x on his tt bike months ago already and loves it.

Antoine
Antoine
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

*years ago. Many TT build are 1X for years. For many TT it’s ok.

uzurpator
uzurpator
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

To be honest, I don’t really care what a guy with a sponsor, mechanic, a pile of gear available every day and FTP rivalling my Pmax uses.

tyler
5 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

both these guys above me – slightly autistic responses.

bikes are plenty stiff. that isn’t really a problem.

how many TT bikes have you purchased, much less criterium-dedicated bikes? what percentage of the Road market spends the majority of their time in 7 cogs?; because that’s all the chainline is really good for.

Brer
Brer
5 years ago
Reply to  tyler

I’ve loved 1x setups for years. I won Nationals in 1992 on a 1x bike I built myself and currently have an eTap Colnago V1-R with 1x on it that works great even with all the climbing Portland offers. Chainline isn’t an issue, if you are in your 1st or 11th cog all the time you need to change your gear to better suit what you are riding. I get an average of 3000 miles per chain as well. I have 9 bikes and now only one has a front derailleur because I just can’t bring myself to ditch a Super Record EPS front derailleur!
You guys enjoy waxing your mustaches and riding your downtube shifting bikes with toe clips, I’ll be off enjoying the sounds on never hearing a front derailleur rub again!

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Brer

“if you are in your 1st or 11th cog all the time you need to change your gear to better suit what you are riding”

Exactly!!! Speak the truth!
I do this all the time via my FD.

Flux
Flux
5 years ago
Reply to  Brer

Front derailleur rubbing? Didn’t realize trimming a FD was *that* difficult! Or go Di2 if you don’t want to worry about chain rub. I’ll take my 2×11 with no big jumps over a 1x all day every day. As the first poster said, good luck convincing pro teams to embrace 1x. They are far more in tune with their machines and the gear ratio they need over non elite rec riders…

Sam Brown-Shaklee
Sam Brown-Shaklee
5 years ago
Reply to  Brer

“You guys enjoy waxing your mustaches and riding your downtube shifting bikes with toe clips, I’ll be off enjoying the sounds on never hearing a front derailleur rub again!”

This wins.

Bogey
Bogey
5 years ago

This came from a guy in Portland so This=Brer!

Cryogenii
Cryogenii
5 years ago
Reply to  tyler

Tyler, here’s a genuine autistic reply as I’ve got Asperger’s Syndrome: don’t be a prick.

Antoine
Antoine
5 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

1X simply make sense today with 11 and 12 speed systems to come. 2X made sense when there was less speed behind. Sure with 6 speed one need those two ring. But with 12 ??? you can have all the range AND keep a decent spacing. 1tooth make sense 11-12 but 16-17 for example is a ridiculously small jump.
Your cadence will vary much more with gust of wind or slight move in the rythm or inclination than this spacing. Or you’ll shift every 15 seconds of a ride. It was also measure in lab that optimal cadence is quite a wide notion you will have excellent efficiency in a 20 rpm wide optimum no problem.
Finally chainline was never measured to have a significant impact on efficiency despite many roadies legend. The only bad thing for efficiency is small cogs. So 1X is the future but 9 teeth cog make no sense on a competition road/TT bike.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Antoine

Can you state the downside of a FD, especially on modern electronic shifted drivetrains?

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

Weight, poorer shifting than rear, compromises in frame design, chain drop, needless expense, inferior aerodynamics. Front derailleurs are a pointless relic from the days of crappy rear shifting.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Phil Jones

Weight is minimal and road bikes are already feathery light.
Frame design isn’t affected sans perhaps full on dedicated aero TT bikes (in which I’ll concede a FD isn’t really needed and a lack can help). Expense…ha! Light 1x cassettes get pricey
1×11/12 isn’t enough. Get to 1×14+ and then I’ll pay more attention, but it better not sound like current SRAM and Shimano 1x mtb drivetrains I’ve ridden (and ride on my mtb’s), which are noticeably noisier than my 2x Campy.

Ondrej
Ondrej
5 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

I had 1×11 on my bike and switched to 2×11 di2. Riding alone on my gravel bike 1×11 made sense, i didn’t rub at front compared to my previous 2×11 mechanical, easy to shift just up/down, rock stable-no maintenance.. then I started to chase better guys in a group and soon realized that riding on the edge and tired i have no proper gear to choose – it was either too heavy or easy, i needed something between to keep up.. my combination was 46t front and 10-42 back. you have a pretty wide range capable of everything, but sometimes you miss the most efficient gear.. so it really depands what you ride.. for lonely gravel rides in the nature it is probably the best possibility, for TT it is fine because you don’t need wide ratio, but for racing on roads with very different slopes, where you need both the range and small jumps, it is not the best..

Eugene Chan
5 years ago
Reply to  JBikes

1x with small enough jumps solves the problem for the few of us who prefer non-circular chainrings. I’ve gone back and fort a few times with Q-Rings, but the eTap yaw FD has a tendency to drop chains on the outside.

pinko
pinko
5 years ago
Reply to  Pinko

it looks like people commenting here do not ride bikes?
Ever raced?
Frame stifness bla bla bla… aren’t the legs what makes the difference? And having closer gear gaps is a huge help saving your legs?
Chainline a myth?
The chainline on current 1×11 is so bad that actually wears out your derailer pivots.

I ll say no pro road will ever run single chainring 1×12 or whatever. They already have the technology to do so. I am not going to elaborate the comment any further.

Sram is just a company run by marketers. About 1 1/2 years ago, one of their rep come by the store and he wanted to prove how their 1×12 chainring had a better chain detention than competition. He asked to pull out some other rings to test. Another company ring was as good as theirs, according to their test parameters. Then he said Sram was not going to make oval rings because there is no proven advantage and they break their derailers… now they have oval rings and full bs writing about it…
It is a company I do not trust.

matt
matt
5 years ago

The “race only cyclocross bike” pictured…. has water bottle mounts.

Tomi
Tomi
5 years ago
Reply to  matt

Well usually you train and warmup on the same race bike.

Other Aaron
Other Aaron
5 years ago

Have you Heard of the “3 Peaks CX”?

Brian
Brian
5 years ago

It would be great to see more CX oriented aluminum frames available. Nice to be able to put together two relatively nice bikes for CX racing without breaking the bank. It would be great to see a Smartweld Crux developed, or something similar. Trek has done a nice job with the Crockett updates.

Tomi
Tomi
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

There are lots of alu cross frames in the market already.

tyler
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

turner…………..

Seraph
Seraph
5 years ago
Reply to  Brian

Jamis Nova Pro. Aluminum $1800 bike with Apex1 hydro and a full carbon fork, through axle front and rear, PF30 BB.

Billy Conley
Billy Conley
5 years ago

Why use flat-mount brakes if you want safety? The pads are smaller and therefore have less power. (This is anecdotal, yes, but I’ve compared both many times with a few different calipers and it’s noticeable.) And don’t give me “too much power means more skidding”. I can skid with rim brakes. More power means less effort, and therefore less fatigue. Less fatigue means more attentiveness. More power also simply means more power. I’m also completely tired of people worried about the race safety aspect. I’m way more scared of the road itself than the random chance of hitting the rotor. Lastly, all the scars (there are many) I have are from chainrings and pedals. Been riding with discs and crashing hard and unfortunately fairly often, and not once have I (or anyone I know) been burned or cut by a rotor. Obviously, it can happen, but then again, you can also get swallowed by a sinkhole. Want to avoid rotor-contact injury? Use rim brakes. THEY STILL WORK REALLY DERN WELL.

Antoine
Antoine
5 years ago
Reply to  Billy Conley

Man a fixture has nothing to do with power plus the way flat mount is engineered it is stiffer than a regular mount. From a mechanical POV it only makes a lot of sense.

Antoine
Antoine
5 years ago
Reply to  Billy Conley

Oh and rim brakes works well for sure, until it’s really raining where they become complete dangerous garbage.

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
5 years ago
Reply to  Billy Conley

“Use rim brakes. THEY STILL WORK REALLY DERN WELL”… not compared to disc brakes they don’t, in fact they work about as ‘DERN WELL’ as the rubber bung on the front of a roller skate.

Massimo Amodeo
5 years ago

I am actually running 1x on road and doing deliveries, and I am mega happy of it.

joel w pontbriand
joel w pontbriand
5 years ago

all problems cease to exist once you shave your legs- so there!!!!

mtb4me
mtb4me
5 years ago

What is that chromy-Blue head-tube shot on the opening pic?!

NikK
NikK
5 years ago
Reply to  mtb4me

Wilier Cento10 Air Disc, “and this positively popping blue and fluoro bike has been produced especially for Filippo Pozzato”

Loki
Loki
5 years ago

Why all the resistance to 1x ? Don’t like it, don’t run it and vote with your dollar. If SRAM et al are so much a marketing company they’ll go where the market goes and chase the dollars. If no-one is buying the 1x then you have nothing to worry about, it’ll disappear and you can smugly point out marketing blah blah to your rep in 5 years.

Whether you ‘like’ 1x or not the math tells the story. A 52/39 with a 12-27 10 spd can be replicated with a 48T with a 11-32, where you have one awkward step in the middle and half a cog at the top. A 12-32 would give you the same steps as the 12-27, no awkward step in the middle and you’d lose only the 11T at 116.38 gear inches. 1×12 and you could have it all. Or run a double. Or a triple.

JBikes
JBikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Loki

But the math tells us that 1x on even a 11 spd drivetrain is no where close to 2x systems. The range isn’t there or the jumps are large. There is no way around it. Even 12x isn’t close. Just look at your cherry picked example…a 52/39? Very few people will run this. Most people are running 52/36 or 50/34 cranksets on the road. And comparing 10spd to 11spd cassette?

I run 1x on all my mtb’s. It’s beneficial for frame/suspension design, quieter over bumps, and most importantly, removes bar clutter for my dropper remote. On the road, none of that matters and typically small gear jumps will trump all as the riding/pedaling style is much different than on a mtb. Don’t try to paint it any other way. If people can deal with the downside of either reduced range or large gear jumps for the single upside of not having a FD and its accompanying shifter, that’s great.

My only issue is people selling 1x as okay or the same as 2x with no downside to new road riders that may not know otherwise – and companies are doing this because its cheaper. You can sell it as simpler, but you need to clearly state the downsides (range and/or gear jumps), not pass them over.

Heffe
Heffe
5 years ago

I love riding my 1 x 11 drivetrain, although when I got the bike I assumed I would dump it after a short test period. Now when I think about finally putting the 2x on there the primary downside is that I also think of having to deal with a lot more maintenance, whereas the 1x is so clean and simple to maintain and to operate.

Weed wacker
Weed wacker
5 years ago

Is there really that big of a difference between race only cyclocross bikes and gravel bikes? Less tire clearance, no extra mounts outside of water bottles, and slightly different geo?

Seraph
Seraph
5 years ago

1×11 rules on the road. Really the only thing I would switch it out for would be eTap hydro once that 3T 9-32 cassette comes out. I currently have Apex1 hydro with an E13 TRS+ 9-44 cassette and 38t ring. Perfect for riding in Marin.

Melvin Graham
5 years ago

1x drivetrains are far superior in road racing on flat and hilly courses. Naturally you cannot run them in races that have climbing longer than a couple of minutes, but a 52t with a 11-28 cassette will get you up most short climbs. On punchy courses you’ll notice that advantage when everybody eases off their pedals ever so slightly to change to the big ring on top of the climb when you’re already in the right gear to begin with. Has won me a couple of races this year.

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