Eighteen of the best disc brake road bikes for 2016

Disc-equipped road bikes are surging in popularity but which 2016 models should you have an eye on?

Disc brakes are set to become a common sight in the peloton, with a UCI trial to continue through the 2016 season at all professional levels.

Having already been trialed at the back end of the 2015 campaign, it seems there is no halting the disc brake revolution – and, as you’d expect, bike brands have been quick to embrace discs, too.

There are plenty of disc brake road bikes to choose from for 2016

While the first disc-equipped road bikes were largely endurance/sportive machines, there’s now a wide range of options available, from out-and-out race weapons you’ll see raced at WorldTour level next season, to bikes designed for cruising in comfort.

– See RCUK’s coverage of all of the best model year 2016 bikes here –

Whatever you’re after, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to disc road bikes for 2016, to suit all riding styles and budgets. Where should you be looking? Here’s our pick of 18 the best disc brake road bikes for 2016.

Cervelo R3 Disc

Cervelo’s R3 Disc was announced in late August, representing the Canadian brand’s first foray into the disc brake road bike market.

The R3 Disc is Cervelo’s first foray into the disc brake road bike market

Based, as the name suggests, on the existing racy R3 – you’ll find the ‘Squoval’ tube shapes and geometry are largely the same – there are still a couple of key changes from the popular and long-standing rim brake model.

The back-end has been tweaked with the seatstays redesigned to fit a wider 135mm disc rear hub without having to increase the R3’s 405mm chainstay length, thus maintaining the same sharp handling.

Expect to see the R3 Disc called into action by the MTN-Qhubeka team (to be renamed Dimension Data in 2016) next season. If you want one for yourself then it’ll be available with Shimano Ultegra (and an FSA SL-K chainset) and hydraulic disc brakes for £3,799.

Website: Cervelo

Focus Izalco Max Disc

Thought disc brake were heavy? Focus claim the Izalco Max Disc is the lightest disc-equipped road bike on the market and it’s bang on the UCI weight limit at 6.8kg, thanks in part to the super-light 790g frame weight.

The Focus Izalco Max Disc is the world’s lightest disc brake road bike

Focus’ first move into the disc brake road bike market was the addition of a disc-equipped Cayo model in the endurance range last year, but now they’ve given their featherweight race bike a disc makeover.

It’s not just about low weight either – Focus say the stiffness of the ‘regular’ Izalco Max, bike of choice for Ag2r-La Mondiale, is retained and comfort has reportedly improved, too. Specced with SRAM Red, the Focus Izalco Max Disc will set you back £4,699, but there’s also a Shimano Dura-Ace/Red bike available for £3,299, dropping the price but raising the overall weight.

Website: Focus

Boardman SLR Titanium

In searching for the best material for a disc-equipped road bike, Boardman Bike say titanium came second only to carbon fibre.

The striking Boardman SLR Titanium was launched after titanium impressed in testing

And so the SLR Titanium range was born, based on the same geometry as the SLR Endurance Disc and comes in two models – the 9.2 (£3,499.99) and 9.4 (£4,999.99) – as well as a frameset only for £1,999.99.

– Boardman launch revamped 2016 road bikes –

The 9.2 comes equipped with Shimano Ultegra and the 9.4 with the electronic Di2 equivalent, and Boardman say they offer ‘incredibly high tensile strength, unparalleled compliance and resistance to both fatigue and corrosion’. They’re lookers, too – Sunday best bikes.

Website: Boardman Bikes

Kinesis GF_Ti Disc

Kinesis have been busy this year, with three disc-equipped road bike models added to their stable. Alongside the Aithein Disc and 4S Disc is the GF_Ti Disc, a disc-ready version of Kinesis’ popular titanium all-rounder.

The Kinesis GF_Ti is now available as a disc-ready frame

Like the Boardman SLR Titanium, the GF_Ti Disc is made from 3AL/2.5V titanium. Rack and mudguard mounts, as well as clearance for 30mm tyres, mean this is a frame which offers plenty of versatility for anything from commuting to touring, winter training to sportives, the club run to a trip to the Alps.

– Kinesis up the ante on disc brakes –

Laser-etched graphics complete a classy-looking steed which is available as a frameset only for £1,799.99.

Website: Kinesis

Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc

Canyon flirted with the idea of a disc-ready road bike by showcasing a prototype version of the Ultimate CF SLX Disc at Eurobike in August.

The Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc prototype was showcased at Eurobike

And while there’s no official word on when this one is likely to hit the market, it’s undoubtedly one to keep an eye on, taking Canyon’s latest version of the Ultimate CF SLX – lighter, more aero and more comfortable for 2016 – and adapting it for disc brakes.

– Canyon showcase Ultimate CF SLX Disc prototype –

Canyon have kept the frameset weight low (a  claimed 1,200g for the frame and fork, compared to 1,075g for the non-disc Ultimate) and ultilised a proprietary ‘RWS’ system to allow for quick wheel changes despite using thru-axles.

Website: Canyon

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc

We’ve long been fans of Cannondale’s CAAD10 frame, a fast, punchy aluminium chassis, so the launch of the CAAD12 caught our eye, and the frame is also available in a disc version.

Cannondale’s CAAD12 Disc is available in three models, with Shimano Dura-Ace, Ultegra or 105

Three disc-brake models are available for model year 2016, equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace (£2,499.99), Ultegra (£1,999.99) or 105 (£1,499.99), and the disc version is more than 200g lighter than the disc version of the CAAD10.

– First look: Cannondale’s 2016 road bike range –

It is also said to be 50 per cent more comfortable than the CAAD10. That, combined with the inherent stiffness of the frame, make the CAAD12 an aluminium contender to rival many carbon fibre frames.

If you’re after something less racy, then Cannondale also offer the Synapse endurance bike with disc brakes, as well as the ground-breaking Slate adventure bike.

Website: Cannondale

Cube Agree C:62 SLT Disc

The C:62 SLT Disc is the flagship, Dura-Ace-equipped model in Cube’s all-new, ‘aero endurance’ Agree range, which launched earlier this year.

Cube have overhauled the Agree range

All new? Well yes, despite the Agree name having been used before, the new range is a complete overhaul on previous version, bringing together two key industry trends – aerodynamics and comfort.

– Cube introduce ‘aero endurance’ Agree for 2016 –

It’s also lighter – ten per cent lighter, Cube say – thanks to the C:62 carbon layup, while comfort is boosted thanks to the CSL Evo fork, offering 40 per cent more fore/aft flex. As for those aero properties, you will find a tidy integration between the fork crown and downtube, truncated Kammtail-profile tubes and low-slung seatstays.

The flagship Cube Agree C:62 SLT Disc costs £3,299 but the Agree range starts with a Shimano 105-equipped bike at £1,599.

Website: Cube

HOY Alto Irpavi

The Alto Irpavi headlines the new range from Sir Chris Hoy’s eponymous bike brand, named after the velodrome at which Sir Chris attempted to break the world kilo record in 2007.

HOY Bikes’ latest model is the Alto Irpavi

A forward-looking machine, the disc- ready road bike uses thru-axles front and rear, while the frame is made from triple-butted 6066, paired with a carbon fork.

– Hoy launch Alto Irpavi disc brake road bike –

Two models are available, with a Shimano 105 groupset and RS685 hydraulic disc brakes for £1,500, or with Shimano Ultegra and RS505 hydraulic disc brakes for £1,800.

Website: HOY Bikes

Colnago C60 Disc

Colnago were ahead of the curve with disc brake road bikes, bringing out a disc-ready model of their C59 years before their competitors were following suit.

Colnago’s C60 2016 road bike will soon be joined by a disc-ready sibling

The C60 is the new flagship model, superseding the C59, and Colnago – unsurprisingly – have brought another top-end disc-ready model to the range as a result.

– A journey through Colnago’s 2016 road bike range –

It’s available as a frameset only, compatible with Di2/EPS and mechanical groupsets. The C60 has a new oversized downtube, while the tube shapes have been updated across the frame compared to the C59, with stiffness the name of the game on this race bike. The frameset will set you back £3,700.

Website: Colnago

Specialized S-Works Tarmac Di2 Disc

Specialized were another brand to adopt disc brakes relatively early on and the S-Works Tarmac Disc, like the Colnago C60, is an unashamed race bike – but with discs.

Specialized are among the manufacturers to offer a wide range of disc-equipped bikes

To retain the Tarmac’s sharp handling, Specialized have used a design which brings the freehub further inboard, overcoming any chainline issues that can arise when using a wider-axled disc hub and the short chainstays found on race bikes. It’s why disc manufacturers typically recommend a chainstay length of 415mm on disc-ready frames but Specialized have managed to stick to between 405mm and 410mm on the Tarmac Disc, depending on frame size.

This version if the flagship model and comes with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 for £7,000 but the Tarmac Disc range drops down to £4,000.

Website: Specialized

Storck Aernario Disc

Another manufacturer pushing the boundaries in realms of disc-ready road bikes is Storck, with the Aernario Disc redesigned for 2016 and coming with a complete claimed bike weight of just 6.3kg.

Storck launched the Aernario Disc in 2014 and it’s been redesigned for 2016

As well as being super-light, the bike is designed – as the name suggests – to be aero, with the tube profiles designed to cheat the wind. Storck have adopted thru-axles at the front and rear and say the fork and seatstays need less layers of carbon fibre thanks to the additional stiffness of the axles.

The Aernario Disc range starts at £3,999 with Shimano 105, rising to £4,649 with Shimano Ultegra and £5,439 with Shimano Ultegra Di2.

Website: Storck

BMC GranFondo GF01 Disc

BMC’s top endurance/sportive bike, the Gran Fondo GF01, is now only available with disc brakes – you have to drop down to the GF02 frame if you want rim brakes.

BMC’s Gran Fondo GF01 range is only available with disc brakes

BMC say the frame is designed to marry performance and comfort, with a relatively relaxed geometry, stable handling and stiff pedaling platform.

– BMC model year 2016 road bikes: the highlights –

Three builds are available, with Shimano Ultegra Di2, Shimano Ultegra and Shimano 105, for £4,599, £3,199 and £2,499 respectively.

Website: BMC

Lapierre Sensium Disc

Lapierre have had a busy 2015, with the launch of the new Aircode SL and revamped Xelius SL this year.

Lapierre have two disc-equipped Sensium models for 2016

And the French firm, like many of their rivals, are also offering disc-equipped road bikes for the first time too, with two models added to the Sensium endurance range. The Sensium was previously Lapierre’s top endurance offering, and while the Pulsium has now taken its crown, the Sensium remains a solid option for sportive/endurance riders.

– See all of Lapierre’s 2016 road range –

A tweaked carbon layup and a move to a resin with greater heat resistance have both been worked into the disc version to reportedly cope with extra firepower of the brakes.

The Sensium 500 CP Disc gets a Shimano 105 groupset and hydraulic disc brakes for £1,699.99 and the Sensium 700 Disc CP is dressed in a Shimano Ultegra Di2 components and hydraulic discs for £2,899.99

Website: Lapierre

De Rosa Idol Disc Ultegra Di2

De Rosa’s Idol has been a key part of their range for a number of years and the new Idol Disc Ultegra Di2 is a rethinking of a classic.

De Rosa’s Idol remains a fundamental part of the brand’s line-up and now comes disc-equipped

The design, geometry and carbon layup are all, De Rosa say, optimised for use with disc brakes, while De Rosa are among the brands to stick with conventional quick release axles on their disc road bike. Yours for £2,999.

Website: De Rosa

Trek Domane 6.2 Disc

Trek’s cobble-busting classic, the Domane, has 12 models across the range in all, equipped with both rim and disc brakes. The Trek Domane 6.9 Disc sits at the top of the disc-equipped line-up.

The Domane  (pic: Trek Bikes)

The flagship model comes with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and a top-end spec sheet but there’s also the Domane 6.2 Disc with mechanical Shimano Ultegra for £3,200.

– Highlights from Trek’s 2016 range –

Disc aside, Trek’s innovative comfort-boosting IsoSpeed decoupler remains the headline feature of a machine which set the tone for endurance bikes when launched back in 2012. Is it due for an update later in 2016?

Website: Trek

Pinarello Dogma F8 Disk

Team Sky debuted the Pinarello Dogma F8 Disk at Eneco Tour in August after the Italian firm added a disc brake model to their range of top-end race machines.

Disc brakes were trialed in the pro peloton at the back end of the 2015 season – here is Bernie Eisel’s Pinarello Dogma F8 Disk

Pinarello insist the geometry, material, stiffness and aerodynamics all remain the same as the rim brake frame on which Chris Froome won the Tour de France in July.

– Pinarello 2016 road bikes first look –

The major difference, of course, is that the frame’s been reworked to accept hydraulic disc brakes using Shimano’s FlatMount standard, while adapters can be used to make it compatible with other systems. Prices are TBC.

Website: Pinarello

Mason Resolution

Mason Cycles launched the Resolution earlier this year and the versatile steel frame is designed to excel across all seasons and road surfaces

Mason Cycles have cut no corners with the Resolution (Pic: Mason Cycles)

Mason say they wanted the ‘buttery smooth ride of steel but with a stiff kick when you accelerate’ and they’ve sourced a Columbus tubeset to use on the stunning Italian-made frame.

The geometry is designed to ride big distances in comfort, with the slightly slacker angles optimised for use with disc brakes and to provide stable handling on road and when taking the odd de-tour off road.

Top of the tree is the Dura Ace Di2 Hydro (£5,595), while other disc brake models in the range include the Ultegra Di2 Hydro (£4,195), Ultegra Hydro (£3,195) and 105 Hydro (£2,895).

Website: Mason Cycles

Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1

The Defy is Giant’s endurance platform, with a huge range of disc-equipped bikes from £499 to £7,999.

The Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1 is part of Giant’s huge range of disc-equipped endurance bikes

The Giant Defy Advanced Pro 1 is based around the mid-range Defy Advanced Pro frame, made from Giant’s second-tier blend of T-700 carbon fibre.

– Giant 2016: Defy, TCR and Propel road bikes –

The frame is designed with comfort in mind but it’s no slouch either, with Giant’s OverDrive 2 steerer tube and carbon fork, and oversized PowerCore bottom bracket, designed to ensure there’s plenty of stiffness at the front end and when stamping on the pedals.

This bike comes with Shimano Ultegra and Shimano R685 hydraulic disc brakes for £2,599 but there are plenty of options across the range.

Website: Giant


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