With 2020 just around the corner, let’s take a moment to recap on another eventful year on BikeRadar.
Most of us will remember that 2019 saw Colombian Egan Bernal win the Tour de France at the 106th edition of the race. With the year coming to a close, it’s worth taking a moment to revisit the astonishing facts and figures from this year’s Tour. Can you remember who clocked the fastest speed at the 2019 race?
Meanwhile, the 2019 Eurobike trade show once again brought many of the year’s most important bikes and innovations to one vast exhibition, including CeramicSpeed’s chainless drivetrain, ABS brakes for electric bikes, a 10.2kg e-road bike, plenty of indoor training bikes, this delightfully insane Trefecta RDR and the world’s lightest steel road bike.
The BikeRadar YouTube channel gave intimate access to the team’s colourful exploits through the year, with everything from Hill Climb Diaries through to epic solo adventures and silly challenges on inappropriate bikes.
Otherwise, we once again teamed up with the Cycling Plus and MBUK magazines for our annual Bike of the Year awards. In total, 101 bikes were tested across the road, mountain and women’s categories.
Now, without further ado, these were the stories that attracted the most reader interest on BikeRadar this year.
Shimano gearbox patent
Eagle-eyed Jack Luke was delighted when he learned Shimano had applied for a patent on a mountain bike gearbox.
His coverage dug deep into the theory, the feasibility and even the workings behind such a drivetrain and at the same time sent a sizeable ripple around the bike industry.
- Read the full story | Death of the derailleur? Shimano has patented a bicycle gearbox and we are extremely excited about it
Shimano GRX groupset
Shimano’s gravel-specific GRX component range was your hottest release of 2019 on BikeRadar.
GRX may have arrived late to the party, but it impressed our testers with its gravel-friendly gear ratios and wide range of groupset levels to cater for different budgets.
- Read the full story | Shimano GRX is here: gravel-specific and 1× components for Ultegra, 105 and Tiagra
Peter Sagan’s Specialized Allez Sprint Disc
Peter Sagan took to this year’s Tour Down Under Classic criterium with an absolute showstopper of a bike.
In what could certainly be interpreted as a smart marketing move by the big S, people simply weren’t expecting to see the Slovakian take on the season curtain raiser on an alloy frame, let alone with the 26mm S-Works Turbo tubeless tyres it was rolling on.
Sagan ended up taking second place in the one-hour crit aboard the 8kg alloy bike, before switching to his usual S-Works Venge for the rest of the Tour Down Under.
Andrew Feather, an amateur with an incredible VO2 max
VO2 max is one of the key performance metrics in cycling, and we found a full-time solicitor and family man with an aerobic engine that could be large enough to compete at the Tour de France.
BikeRadar’s Jack Luke and Joe Norledge sent the former UK national hill climb champion, Andrew Feather, to the lab in a bid to find out exactly how good he is.
CeramicSpeed’s Driven drivetrain concept
CeramicSpeed’s chainless, ultra-low friction Driven drivetrain concept captured the headlines when it first emerged last year, but it wasn’t until 2019 that we were able to see the true potential of this concept.
On display at this year’s Eurobike trade show was a Driven-equipped Specialized S-Works Venge, proudly declared as the most aerodynamic road bike ever tested in the Specialized wind tunnel.
The working prototype was also shown cycling through its gears while CeramicSpeed employees explained the workings of the transmission.
A full-suspension Canyon Lux XC bike outfitted with Driven also debuted the concept on a mountain bike for the first time.