It’s late December, so it’s time to put your feet up and reflect on another big year in the world of bicycles and cycling. We try to cover a bit of everything bike-related on BikeRadar and we’re particularly interested in what interests you. So we’ve done some digging and pulled out the most popular articles (not counting forum threads) this calendar year.
We’d like to thing it’s hard-hitting journalism that keeps our readers coming back for more, but as you’ll see below, that’s not always the case. Here they are then, in some kind of order – BikeRadar’s top 10 stories of 2010. Happy New Year and here’s to 2011!
We spotted this amazing mountain bike fitted with Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 electronic groupset at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. Built by Fairwheel Bikes, it’s insanely light at 7.3kg (16lb) thanks to its custom Titus titanium 29er hardtail frame, a Cannondale Lefty fork, ENVE Composites tubular rims and fat Dugast tyres, plus a wealth of lightweight goodies from Tune and KCNC.
The key feature is Fairwheel’s custom designed electronic ‘brain’ that turns the 2×10 gear setup into a trick sequential shifting system using just one shifter. It’s as simple as could be when set in ‘race’ mode: simply tap one button for an upshift and the other for a downshift. Fairwheel’s Jason Woznick says the custom brain calculates the gear inches and then shifts the front and/or rear derailleurs as needed to achieve the next logical ratio.
We feature a lot of fitness and training articles on BikeRadar, but they’re not always about what you do on the bike. This article does what it says on the tin: shows you five exercises you can do at home that will complement your cycling. They won’t make you faster per se, but they will help your whole body fitness and they don’t take much time to do.
Focus Bikes are a huge German company who are popular in both the UK and US. Our technical editor, James Huang, got the scoop on their massive 2011 range when he visited them in August. New on the mountain bike side of things is the carbon fibre FSL range, which boasts 100mm of travel front and rear and an impressive claimed frame weight of around 1.95kg (4.3lb, with rear shock).
When it comes to the road range, Focus have gone for the usual “stiffer and lighter” approach with their Izalco and Cayo carbon frames, which are sure to be popular among the racing and sportive crowd. For commuters, there’s the all-new Planet line of flat-barred bikes. These feature alloy frames, grey matt powdercoat finishes and disc brakes.
Cleaning your bike is one of the most basic maintainence tasks you can do for your beloved two-wheeler, which is one of the main reasons why this workshop is so popular. We take you through the process from start to finish. All you need is some basic cleaning products and an hour to carry out the task. At the end of it, you’ll have a shiny bike that runs as smoothly as the day it was bought. Provided that you do this more than once a year anyway!
German manufacturers have been popular this year, with Cube joining Focus in BikeRadar’s top 10 of 2010 list. Cube’s 2011 mountain bike range includes a completely new AMS full-suspension line-up, new hardtails in carbon fibre and titanium, and a redesigned freeride bike. Mike Davis brought you the full lowdown.
Cube’s 100mm-travel Super HPC
Cannondale, one of the bike market’s big hitters, have pushed plenty of boundaries with their mountain bikes in recent years and 2011 looks to be no exception. The American company have radically lightened their Scalpel full-suspension racer, redesigned their Jekyll all-mountain rig and launched a 29in-wheeled version of their feathery Flash carbon hardtail.
Cannondale’s new Scalpel Ultimate flagship
The Garmin Edge 800 was one of the hottest gadgets to appear in 2010. It took the functionality of the Edge 705 but added a full-colour touchscreen while reducing the number of buttons to just three. The display was also bigger, now showing up to 10 pieces of information. We found it was more intuitive to use than the 705 and have put plenty of time in on it, so expect a full review in the new year.
The Garmin Edge 800 raises the bar again for do-it-all cycle computers
Top road pro Levi Leipheimer won this year’s Leadville 100 mountain bike race in record time on a prototype Trek Top Fuel. He was the only rider in the top five to race on a full-susser with 26in wheels but obviously didn’t find it a hindrance, winning by nearly nine minutes over Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski. Leipheimer had only ridden his intricately personalised Top Fuel twice before race day, but that was more than enough time to fine tune the position that he then spent six hours racing in.
Specialized launched the bulk of their road and mountain bike ranges in the rarefied air of Keystone, Colorado in June. There was plenty of innovation all round from the big S, with the highlights of the road launch being the new Roubaix SL3, a completely redesigned Allez platform and the new CruX cyclo-cross frame.
Specialized’s 2011 Roubaix SL3
On the mountain bike side, the new Camber 120mm-travel trail bike sat alongside a redesigned Epic, an updated Safire women’s model plus 29ers and a new EVO line. So far, we’ve been as impressed with the mountain bikes as we have been with the road bikes.
The 2011 Epic Comp
We know sex sells and – like it or not – you’ve proved it to us by clicking on this article. A lot. The Cyclepassion calendar features female cycling stars in seductive poses and this year there’s a film to go with it. There isn’t much more to say really. The only question is: did you get a Cyclepassion calendar for Christmas?