It’s all getting very competitive as many of the bike companies were showing seriously lightweight frames and complete bikes. Carbon continues it’s spread to every part of the bike, while many companies are getting far more creative with their manipulation of the material.
BMC frames are certainly unique with funky lugs meshing carbon and aluminium tubes. Now they’ve launched an all-carbon frame, the Pro Machine SLC01. Apart from the metal threads in the bottom bracket shell, the entire frame is constructed from Easton CNT carbon (even the dropouts), using nanotechnology and unidirectional carbon. By using extremely accurate moulds they’ve supposedly eliminated the need for any machining post-mould. Expect about £2,300 for the frame only, with complete builds in the region of £4-5k.
The TT01, is BMC’s amazing time trial machine. In time-trials 100ths of a second can make a difference, and the full-carbon frame has been heavily worked to save those 100ths of a second by being super-aero in every department. Take a closer look at the headtube hinge, looks good but will it work in practice?
Cannondale were showing of their SIX13 in team replica livery. A carbon top tube and down tube are bonded to an aluminium chassis, with extra boron woven in near the head tube. You can see from this cut-away photo how the two materials are fused together. The replica is kitted out with SRM cranks, Mavic wheels, Campag drivetrain and FSA/USE finishing kit.
Launched last year, the Synapse’s full-carbon and unibody design looks fantastic in this Sunburst Metallic paint job. The range has expanded to five models, plus three women’s specific models. The higher-end models make use of Campag groupsets while lower down Shimano does the duties. It’s worth checking the Cannondale website to see some of the cool colour options.
Weighing just 770g, the Titanium Ghisallo comes with claims of being the lightest production frame in the world. The lightest frame in the world comes at a price though, £2,300 to be exact. The Vortex has unusual 10-sided geometrically shaped main tubes, with teardrop-shaped chainstay. You can see the flares in the top and down tubes, very nice we think. Also spotted was the mental Blade, their TT tandem.
New from Ridley, the Noah is their top-end carbon framed machine. The frame weighs 1,290g and a complete build, using Campagnolo Record components, just 15lbs. The frame is designed along similar lines to a time trial bike – all the areas that contact the air are shaped to provide less resistance, and has an integrated seat post for maximum rigidity and even more reduction of drag. The X-Night is Ridley’s Cyclo-Cross bikes, with a full carbon frame (1,320g), with extra material around the rear stays.
The TR6/4 is one of a new line of titanium and carbon bikes from the ti-experts. The TR pictured here is the Traditional Racing model, there’s also a CR (Compact Racing) and MR (Mountain Racing) alongside. The models share much of the well-practised techniques and attention to detail present on their existing models, but has touches unique to this range. Available as a £1,900 frameset, complete builds will also be available.
The Dual HF makes use of hydro-formed aluminium, already very popular on mountain bikes. The top tube curves beautifully into equally curved seatstays, don’t you think?.
The Scultura’s full carbon lugged beauty goes oversize with a massive downtube. Not renowned for their decals in the past, this Merida would certainly look at home between any racers or weekender’s legs. Subtle and stylish.
Another company excelling at producing stunning carbon frames, and their TT bike was getting a lot of attention. A kinked downtube maintains a huge oval profile down to the aero seatpost, with flared area carbon forks up front. Gear and brake cables run inside the main tubes, further reducing drag – and take a closer look at the downtube mounted aluminium bottle cage mounts. As we’ve come to expect from Scott, all models are adorned with bold love-or-hate-them graphics.
Continuing the dominance of carbon at the middle to top-end, Merckx have some boldly but questionable decaled frames. Looking good though is their cycle-cross bike with huge graphics emblazoned along both tubes.
3/2.5 titanium tubing is ‘ultra butted’ – a varying wall thickness along the entire length of the tube – on the Alta. Designed to be as light as possible, and aimed at lighter riders, spinners, weight obsessed and strong climbers.