With the new year fast approaching, BikeRadar have decided to take a look back over 2013. We've dug through the stats to bring you the most popular news and reviews from an eventful year in the world of road bikes and cycling. Here they are, in no particular order…
Shimano Ultegra 6800/6870 groupsets
Featuring trickle-down technology from Shimano's top tier Dura-Ace group along with weight savings and a new colourscheme, Shimano's 2014 Ultegra 6800 mechanical groupset attracted a lot of interest. BikeRadar also took a close look at the second generation 6870 Ultegra Di2 groupset.
SRAM Red 22
SRAM also caused a stir this year with the release of the 11-speed Red 22 road groupset, with three braking options on offer: standard mechanical plus hydraulic rim and hydraulic disc brakes for the top-end group.
Shimano Claris is a new entry-level road groupset that was released earlier this year. As an evolution of the 2300 group, Claris is an eight-speed setup that aims to offer a quality feel for new road riders.
2 Hydraulic disc brakes
A hot topic for 2013 has been the introduction and increasing availability of hydraulic disc brakes on road bicycles. BikeRadar took a closer look at the topic in the popular article – Hydraulic road brakes: what’s the point?
Both Shimano and SRAM released hydraulic disc systems for road bikes, with Shimano offering the BR-785, a Di2-only fully integrated hydraulic disc brake system that's sold in kit form instead of belonging to a groupset. SRAM instead chose to integrate their Red hydraulic discs into the aformentioned Red 22 group.
Long before Shimano's hydraulic discs were officially announced, BikeRadar brought you news of their existance. This was through an error from Dutch Rabobank pro rider Michiel vd Heijden, after he posted an image to his Twitter account showing his Giant TCX Advanced SL cyclocross bike complete with a first look of the Di2 hydraulic disc brakes.
3 Eurobike 2013
BikeRadar attended Eurobike 2013 to see what the world's biggest bike trade show had to offer. The halls of Friedrichshafen were packed to the brim with the latest and greatest in the world of bikes. We compiled several large image galleries from our visit: these included a lightest bikes and components round-up, a weird and wonderful compilation and our pick of the best products on show.
4 North American Handmade Bike Show (NAHBS)
5 2014 road bike launches
BikeRadar covered all of this year's major road bike launches. The most popular were from Cannondale, Specialized, Focus and Bianchi. Individual stories on Cervelo's R3 dark, plus Scott's Addict and Solace road bikes also made the most-clicked list.
6 Professional bikes
BikeRadar secured unrivalled access to the bikes of many professional riders in 2013. These bikes included Peter Sagan's Cannondale Synapse Evo, Fabian Cancellara's Trek Domane and Mark Cavendish's one-off Specialized McLaren Venge, as ridden to victory at this year's Giro d'Italia.
BikeRadar's Technical Editor James Huang aka AngryAsian has been writing about bicycle tech since 2005, but also has more than 14 years of experience as a shop mechanic. Over the years he's seen plenty of fantastic gear and technology, but also a lot of things that just flat-out piss him off. This year AngryAsian has put together a series of popular rants exposing the things that really grind his gears. Take a look at the most popular ones below:
- AngryAsian: Sponsorship is not about you
- AngryAsian: Race bikes are dumb
- AngryAsian: Gear down to go faster
- AngryAsian: Does it really matter where something is made?
- AngryAsian: I've had it with press-fit bottom brackets
2013's most popular reviews
There are now more than 11,000 reviews on BikeRadar. Here are the most popular road products from 2013. Garmin had a very strong year, with the Edge 510 and Edge 810 computer reviews proving to be extremely popular, the same goes for the new Vector power meter. Unsurprisingly, reviews of both Shimano's BR-785 and SRAM's Red hydraulic discs garnered widespread interest. And the stunning $10,000, 667g Cervélo Rca frameset was another massively popular review.
Some of our content isn't quite so easy to group together, so here are a few of our most popular miscellaneous articles. Ever wondered how heavy the world's lightest bike is? BikeRadar tracked it down and found it was a stunning, one-off 2.7kg (6lb) creation. We also discovered how fake bike kit is costing the bike industry millions in lost revenue every year. And here's something something you may never have asked yourself… Why do cyclists shave their legs?
BikeRadar also discovered an exciting product in the form of Loopwheels, a spokeless suspension wheel concept that we first came across at this year's Bespoked Bristol Show. We then went on to visit Loopwheels and reviewed their prototype wheels for both on- and off-road use.