This week at BikeRadar we reported on the Specialized Sirrus X, an all-new gravel-infused hybrid that makes use of the same Future Shock suspension tech of Specialized’s Roubaix and Diverge lines. It’s another bike that further blurs the boundaries between gravel and other disciplines.
We also believe we discovered the longest stem of any professional bike rider, namely the rudder-like 19cm steering stick of Australian Conti team rider Leigh Phillips.
Plus, Aerodefender’s distinctive wheel fairings drove a fizzing comments section as readers debated this aesthetically questionable yet potential slippery solution for those looking to save energy.
With the Tour Down Under already underway, it was also time for us to compile our list of the 2020 WorldTour bikes. Our exhaustive article details all the bikes, sponsors and tech trends from the pro peloton right now.
We also shared the exciting news that we are currently recruiting for a technical writer to join our team of experts here in Bristol.
Token Shuriken oversized pulley system
The Token Shuriken is compatible with current Ultegra and Dura-Ace systems including Di2 derailleurs. Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
Oversized pulley systems such as this one claim to lower drivetrain friction by reducing the angle a chain has to travel through a rear derailleur. Larger than usual jockey wheels make for a straighter chain thus saving valuable watts in the process.
The USP with this Token part has to be its aggressive pricing that dramatically undercuts the likes of CeramicSpeed.
The Shuriken features a carbon cage that houses a 12-tooth upper and 19-tooth lower jockey wheel. It’s compatible with current Dura-Ace and Ultegra derailleurs including those used in Di2 systems. The upgrade also expands the drivetrain capacity of short cage derailleurs, enabling the use of up to a 34t cassette.
Our sample came in at 71g, which is 16g more than the CeramicSpeed equivalent.
Canyon Roadlite:ON AL 7.0
Despite being the cheapest in the range, this bike has a solid spec sheet. Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
Adding an electric motor to a speedy flat-bar hybrid is a surprisingly unpopular idea at the moment, but it’s one that Canyon has really embraced with its Roadlite:ON range.
This model, the most affordable of the range, still packs the same aluminium frame and carbon fork as the more expensive bikes and includes an identical Fazua drive system, too.
The Fazua motor is famed for its compact dimensions, class-leading weight and its ability to completely disconnect itself from the drivetrain once the bike reaches its assistance limit of 25km/h. Three power modes allow for a power boost of 125, 250 or 400 watts.
Spec highlights include a 1x drivetrain made from mostly Shimano Deore components including a wide-range 10-42t cassette, Shimano hydraulic brakes and 35mm G-One Allround tyres from Schwalbe.
At a claimed 15.5kg in a size large (15.89kg on our scales) it’s not considerably heavier than many unassisted hybrids, so we are expecting lively performance and nimble handling.
Togs thumb grips
The Flex Tip Togs can be fitted without having to remove your grips. Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
Togs are a bolt-on addition to your road or mountain bike handlebars. Once in place, they allow for an additional hand position that will likely be appreciated most by those covering long distances.
In the case of the mountain bike/flat bar versions, the Togs locate between your grips and brake levers/shifters and a vertical fin-like shape stands proud of the handlebar itself. The additional position gained through their installation allows a rider to rest their thumb securely above – rather than below – the handlebar.
The cheaper ‘Flex Tip’ versions can be splayed apart to fit over a handlebar without the need to remove any other hardware. As the name suggests, the top section of these will flex to provide shock absorption. These will add just 16g to your handlebars.
The more expensive ‘Carbon Pro’ Togs call for grips to be removed during installation but reward with a noticeable increase in stiffness. Weight weenies won’t appreciate the fact the carbon versions are actually considerably heavier than the Flex Tip models at 22g for the pair.
The road versions provide an additional hand position at the drops. Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
There’s a single road version that brings the same concept to road and gravel bikes, although the extra position comes at the drops rather than the tops. These clamp beneath the bar tape, so they’re far more involved to install. A pair of these weighs 15g.
Flex Tip Togs: £19 / €17
Carbon Pro Togs: £23 / €27
Road Togs: £35 / €50
Rotor Q Rings direct-mount double oval chainrings
This 48/32t combination weighs 178g. Oli Woodman / Immediate Media
While he’s been more than happy with this White Industries R30 cranks, the desire to monitor his meagre watts has led BikeRadar‘s Jack Luke to procure these compact Q-rings from Rotor.
They fit via the brand’s proprietary and very clever OCP system, which allows the Q-rings to be rotated to their optimal position.
Milled from one solid billet of 7075 T6 aluminium at Rotor’s facilities in Madrid, this one-piece 48/32t combo weighs just 178g.
The OCP system allows for adjustment in 1-degree increments. Oli Woodman / Immediate Media