Last year at Eurobike I was blown away by LOOK’s offering of their 695 Aerolight and I claimed it as my ‘Best bike of the show’. This year Cinelli tried to help me with that choice by naming a bike, ‘Very Best Of’.
It’s a big call to name a bike like that but it did have some impressive detailing work and specs that made it stand out – not to mention the flashy paint job.
With an aeronautical grade carbon fibre monocoque frame weighing just 925g the Very Best Of was a sweet machine aimed at the racing and Granfondo market but it wasn’t my favorite machine at the Cinelli stand – that title went to their XCR model.
The XCR model is made using Columbus seamless, stainless biphasic steel tubing and its level of finish was simply superb.
With offerings like this Cinelli proves once again that steel is not dead but of course there is a weight penalty over your typical carbon offerings – this XCR frame comes in at 1430g.
Now from a company that named their bike the Very Best Of to another company now who just use numbers with their bikes – LOOK. The French company once again had a great selection of bikes on display and their 2015 range has evolved significantly from 2014.
First up of course and taking pride and place at the front of their booth was the magnificent 795 Aerolight. I’d previously ridden this beauty in Paris at the bike’s launch just last month so I didn’t really need to check it out again – but I did anyway as it’s a bike that just draws you to it. The level of engineering that has gone into it is impressive indeed but unfortunately for me it’s simply out of my price range.
Fortunately LOOK are making a big push in the lower and middle end of their range this year with some quality offerings that share a lot of the high end engineering but at a much more attractive price point.
Case in point being the 566. The frame has changed significantly for 2015 with emphasis put on a redesigned top tube for greater stability and better steering to bring it into line with LOOK’s other offerings. Last year the difference between the 566 and the higher end 675’s and 695’s with their integrated steering meant that the jump in on-road feel and steering between the models was too big. This new model 566 has changed that with the stiffer redesigned frame claiming to have much more direct steering and a high end feel – but with a lower end pricetag.
This high end feel everywhere except for in your wallet continues throughout the bike with a quality finish, integrated cables, press fit BB30 bottom bracket and a nice spec throughout. The good news is that LOOK have upped the spec, improved and lightened the frame and yet the prices haven’t changed since 2014 with a 566 equipped with Shimano 105 starting at 2100 Euro. Keep an eye out at your LOOK dealer for these as they should be hitting North America soon – at competive prices.
If your budget can stretch just a bit more then the 675 would be the logical next step and once again the team of engineers at LOOK have made a few nice changes for 2015. This model is made with 3K carbon fibre instead of 1.5K like the 695 & 795 but has the same integrated steering and a very similar look to the top models. With a very neat seatpost clamp, pressfit 86 shimano bottom bracket, high level of finish, Ultegra equipped and for just 3000 euros this one already had me doing my sums. Once again the 675 and all the 2015 range will be hitting North America soon with $US prices to come but it looks like they’ll be very competitive this year.
Find out more at Lookcycle.com
From bikes that I could afford and am seriously thinking of buying to bikes now that I could never afford but still love to look at with first up being this offering from Caterham.
Caterham is a company that is known for its long history in carbon fibre for motorsport, marine and aerospace but now they’ve decided to launch into high end bicycles.
Caterham have just four bikes in their range with the Limited Edition race bike with the highest spec components only being made in 73 examples. The quality of finish on their bikes was impeccable and their aero design, cable routing and overall look was first class.
This is a boutique brand though and if you have to ask about the price then it’s probably not for you. More info on this very exclusive brand at caterham-cycling.com
From one boutique brand to another now with Rolo. Not only did they have some beautiful bikes on display but they also have an interesting strategy in that the very first thing that they worry about is not the weight, the performance, nor the look of the bike, but the fit.
Fit – Handling – Technology are their first three priorities but a quick look at their machines and it’s obvious that finish and look has to be a pretty big priority too as these machines were finished superbly.
Handmade in Europe, custom carbon monocoque frames where you can even choose the carbon layup yourself (within a range of parameters) meaning that it’s you who can choose the weight and the stiffness of your machine – plus all the dream gear to go on it of course.
The frames are all based on the fact that Rolo wanted their machines to be very light, very stiff and very comfortable – a hard combination to achieve but they think they’ve done that and one of their secrets is the use of a brand new material in the layup from German specialist company Kraiburg which is used in the bottom bracket in the bearing seats and the headtube. It’s a thermoplastic elastomer material that dampens the vibration and is blended into the carbon fibre in these key zones with a layer of 0.3mm.
This level of customization, technology and finish comes at a price of course and expect to pay around 8300 euro for the frameset with a 56cm frame weighing in under 710g. More info at rolobikes.com
Still in the zone of dreambikes now we move on to Scappa from Italy where this orange Il Corriero model certainly caught my eye.
As always the level of finish from Scappa was first class but the bright orange, matte finish made it stand out even more in a booth that was filled with dream machines. For more from Italy check out Scappa.it
Color was something that was really in evidence this year at Eurobike whereas last year’s show was often about matte carbon or white carbon this year color seemed to be the theme.
Ridley were getting in on the act with their new Customizer program where the customer can design their own color scheme for their new bike.
They also had on display Tony Gallopin’s yellow retro-style Helium from his day in yellow at the Tour de France which was getting a lot of looks from interested passers by…
as were two Noah’s from André ‘The Gorilla’ Greipel.
The 2015 collection has made a few changes in terms of weight and design but they’ve kept their fairly competitive prices and their large range of roadies with more than 20 different road models on offer not to mention their women’s range, cross, track and more – there’s a lot to choose from at ridley-bikes.com
Another company that has a huge range of bikes but were unfortunately not present at Eurobike were Specialized. Still they were represented on the Corima stand with Vincenzo Nibali’s Tour de France winning bike.
If you’re going to have just one bike at a show you might as well make it a Tour winning bike I guess! Nibali had some custom painted Corima Aero + MCC wheels on board on his way to victory this year with their Carbon hub with 3K carbon fibers. More info at corima.com
Corima had the Tour winning bike but Canyon had the Giro winner over at their stand with Nairo Quintana’s totally decked out in pink Ultimate CF SLX. With its two toned pink paint job, bar tape, bottle cages and even a pink customized BarFly computer mount, despite its small size this bike certainly stood out.
The only things that didn’t get the pink treatment were the Look Keo Blade 2 pedals – something that Nibali did get in yellow for the last stage at Le Tour. Maybe Quintana might get some red ones if he wins the Vuelta? More from Canyon at canyon.com and much more from Eurobike coming up soon on PEZ including more bikes, accessories, clothing and the bold and bizarre.