The tinsel’s up, the turkeys are gobbling nervously, and little faces are aglow with expectation at what Santa might bring. Yup, it’s time to take a look at what BikeRadar wants to find under the Christmas tree this year. Here are our 12 most anticipated road cycling products of 2017.
Hear more about what we’re looking forward to and why in our video at the end of the article.
Shimano Dura-Ace 9150 Di2 – Ben Delaney, US editor-in-chief
Shimano’s new Dura-Ace 9150 Di2 groupset looks slick, and sees the debut of a Shimano-branded power meterCourtesy
I’m most excited about the new Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. The current Di2 is my favorite road group. I love the feel, speed, tunable functionality and dependability. One thing that bugs me, though, is the junction box. On most bikes it comes rubber-banded around the stem, which looks clunky and is annoying when you grab the bike by the stem. (On my bike I zip-tie it to the bottom of a Garmin mount to get it out of the way of my hands and my eyes.) With the new Di2, you can tuck the junction box inside a handlebar, which is slick. On a broader note, I’m eager to check out the power meter — Shimano’s first — with the new Di2 group.
Zipp’s NSW 454 wheels were inspired by whales, and have some big claims behind themColin Levitch / Immediate Media
For 2017, I’m most looking forward to spending a lot of time on the new Zipp NSW 454 wheels. Zipp claims these wheels are much more stable in really windy conditions, thanks to the magic of biomimickry. The presentations they’ve made have been really impressive, but the proof will be in the riding.
I’m also looking forward to spending time on Cervelo’s brand new S3 Disc, which is one of the most exciting aero bikes I’ve ridden in a long time. Also, we’re hearing on the grapevine that Specialized, Cannondale and Trek all have big bike launches next year, which I’m getting excited about.
Canyon’s Ultimate CF SLX Disc 9 combines hydraulic braking with new Dura-Ace, and looks marvellousCourtesy
A bit of a late one this, but I’m rather excited about Canyon adding disc brakes to its entire road bike range. If money were no object, I’d choose the Ultimate CF SLX Disc 9.0, which features Shimano’s newest mechanical Dura-Ace groupset, DT Swiss PRC 1400 Dicut Disc wheels, and the Canyon H36 Aerocockpit. It’s quicker than I’ll ever need, but I have been a good boy this year (promise).
Shimano Dura-Ace 9100, and possible eTap trickle down – Matthew Allen, senior technical writer
Shimano’s new mechanical Dura-Ace groupsetCourtesy
I’m excited to get my hands on Dura-Ace 9100 because there’s a good chance it’s going to be excellent, even if I’m still on the fence about the aesthetics (I think 9000 is one of the prettiest groupsets ever made). Integrated power meters and the Di2 version will likely grab more headlines, but I really like Shimano’s approach to mechanical shifting feel, and I have a lot of faith in the brand’s ability to make stuff that just… works.
I’ve not spent much time with SRAM eTap but I came away from riding it convinced that SRAM is really onto something with its wonderfully intuitive shifting logic. I don’t know what the timescale might be, but it’s safe to say that the tech will be trickled down, and we might even see Rival eTap within the next year. I reckon it could be the ultimate low-maintenance option for all-weather bikes.
Disc brakes coming back to the peloton – Joe Norledge, videographer
We’re looking forward to seeing disc brakes return to the pro peloton in 2017Ben Delaney / Immediate Media
I’m a big fan of disc brakes on road bikes, so it’ll be interesting to see their reintroduction into the pro peloton in 2017. The jury’s still out on how dangerous they really are, but I think the braking performance far outweighs the potential downsides. Once they become ubiquitous amongst the pros, I suspect the rest of the cycling world will follow, which for me is a good thing!
Specialized Roubaix – Rob Spedding, editor-in-chief of Cycling Plus magazine
The Specialized Roubaix is plush, fast and could be the only road bike you ever needRobert Smith
I’m looking forward to finding out if the Specialized’s Roubaix really is as good as the first rides from Warren Rossiter and Ben Delaney make it sound. It’s not that I don’t believe them, I’m just curious to see how the Future Shock ‘suspension’ works. What sort of effect does it have on the handling, and does it make the Roubaix the only bike I’ll actually need?
DT Swiss ERC 1100 S wheels – Robin Wilmott, technical writer
The new DT Swiss ERC 1100 S wheelset is tubeless only, and first impressions are very goodRobin Wilmott / Immediate Media
I’ve just come back from the launch of a new DT Swiss wheelset, the ERC 1100 S, part of their new range of endurance wheels. This one is deep and quite wide – 27mm wide, 47mm deep – and they’re exciting because they’re tubeless-only. They’re part of a five-wheel range: the second part we’ll see in May next year, and the third part much later. I’ve had a ride on them already and first impressions are very good.
The Moots Routt RSL is a racy take on a gravel bike, handmade from titaniumCourtesy
Fresh from Steamboat Springs, Colorado is this racy take on the Routt 45 gravel bike. The Moots Routt Race Super Light (RSL) is described as the “ultimate gravel and mixed surface machine”, with aggressive race fit geometry on a lightweight titanium frame that’s just asking to be hammered down broken roads, dirt roads and rock-strewn double track. There’s 38mm of tyre clearance, a new full carbon CX fork, 3D printed dropouts and slightly shorter chainstays, for a snappier ride.
Mason Bokeh – Josh Evans, social media manager
The Mason Bokeh – described by our tester Guy as the most perfect bike he’s ever riddenCourtesy
Our hugely experienced tester Guy Kesteven recently described the Bokeh as the most holistically perfect bike he’s ever ridden. Set that statement aside and the Bokeh’s ability embodies everything I’ve enjoyed about riding this year. Whether you call it an adventure bike, road plus or gravel bike, the Mason Bokeh is forward thinking and most importantly, versatile. It’s the versatility with not much compromise that excites me most about this bike, and it looks damn good too.
Rawland Ravn – Jack Luke, staff writer
The Rawland Ravn is an all-road adventuring machineCourtesy
At first glance, the Rawland Ravn appears to be pretty far out of the left field, thoroughly into the realms of cycling niche-dom. But on closer inspection, it becomes clear that it is designed to be hugely versatile bike that will take on any guise with ease. Supplied with either (gasp) 26”x55mm or 27.5x42mm wheels and veritably bristling with braze ons, I think this plump-tyred adventure wagon will be my go-to bikepacking rig for 2017.
SRAM Red eTap hydro – Russell Eich, tech writer
SRAM’s Red eTap hydro groupset pairs electronic shifting with hydraulic brakingJosh Patteron / Immediate Media
SRAM’s innovative wireless eTap drivetrain integrates hydraulic disc brakes for 2017. SRAM’s latest road hydro disc brakes feature both contact point and lever reach adjustments, a first for road disc stoppers. I’m a fan of how the previous SRAM discs felt and am excited to try the improvements.
Specialized Ruby – Aoife Glass, women’s editor
The Specialized Ruby is the female-friendly counterpart to the RoubaixSpecialized
I was lucky enough to be one of the first people to ride the new Specialized Ruby road bike back over the summer of 2016. Aimed at the endurance road cyclist, it features women-specific frame geometry and Specialized’s new Future Shock, the coil spring suspension system built into the headset. Along with the vibration-absorbing CG-R seatpost, the idea is to suspend the rider and smooth out the ride, to create more comfort for longer distances. I’m looking forward to giving it a good, intensive test ride along some of the ‘wonderfully’ uneven roads around my part of the UK. There are plenty of them!