No, the Look 695 is not a new bike (and yes it was shot with a fish eye lens), but the Look Cycles
booth deserves special recognition for not only being home (as usual) to some of the trickest bikes in the show, but easily some of the most colorful. From the national flag bikes of their Premier edition to the newest incarnation of their celebrated Mondrian paint scheme (above), the Look booth was awash with frames of every color imaginable. Colors are a good thing.
While we first laid eyes on the radical Look 675 at the official launch the Tour de France, we still can't take our eyes off the bike, nor can we stop hoping for the day when a test bike finally lands at our front door. Although different price points are available, it's starting point is at the $5000 mark and who would've ever thought a "mid-level" bike could redefine the traditional profile of a road bike? Thanks to its integrated stem, the 675 does just that.
Mark the calendar year 2013 as another year that the German bike maker Canyon
continues to taunt the American bike buying public with trick bikes that we cannot buy. When pressed (for the second consecutive year) as to when they will arrive in America, we get the same answer - they are "working on it." And so it goes! Canyon was showing-off two versions of their redesigned Ultimate CLF SX, one which was this prototype version fitted with disc brakes. From internal cable routing to all new seatstays and fork, the new Ultimate is a sleek looking racer with a claimed frame weight of 790 grams. And BTW, disc brakes are still a few years away from becoming standard equipment.
One very cool feature on the Canyon Ultimate that we first saw on a display bike at the Tour de France was their new Flip-Head seatpost. The svelte "suspension" seatpost uses two parallel carbon leaf springs to provide added bump force compliance that unlike a telescopic post does not alter leg extension. The post is bolted at the bottom and slotted so that the seat angle can also be adjusted and the head can be rotated for altering positioning. Look for an accessory version (the CF3 Pro Carbon) to be available next year under the Ergon brand.
Musical Interlude: The song that got me though to this point.
Proving that even the people that make serious bikes can have a sense of humor, the guys who started the new Swedish bike brand called "Rolo
" described the company as one started by a "bike nerd" who was joined by an engineer from the car industry and a business guy to help them stay on track. They had two bikes with the Swedish made frames on display, including the Featherlight that was outfitted with variety of high-end multinational made parts that weighed in at just over 10 pounds. The plan of action is to produce bikes with fixed geometry, but three levels (Prolight, Featherlight, and Roadlight) of custom lay-ups to suit a riders personal wants. For more info: Rolo Bikes
AX-Lightness is renowned for producing some of the trickest, coolest, and lightest road bike parts on the planet. This year they began moving beyond being just a component maker by introducing their own German made carbon monocoque frame; the Ax Lightness Vial
is available in two sizes only and has a claimed weight of 745 grams. The asymmetrical rear end is tied to a front triangle made-up of some massively rectangular tubes and an oversized headset (with 1.5 inch bearings). Look for retail price just over $5000 which includes a 3T Rigidia fork and Engage seatpost.
You can also expect to see a new new brand come out of the German house that is AX Lightness - Engage will be a new frame and line of components. The Engage Clade e11
frame with a tapered headtube, BB386, internal cable routing and Di2 mount will cost around $3000 (including the 3T fork & Engage seatpost) and be available in March of 2013 in four sizes. The medium size has a claimed weight of 795 grams.
After I complained to Giant
that I was disappointed to not see a new road bike in their booth they asked if I had looked inside the "black box"? No, I hadn't. So when I returned to their massive booth, there in the middle sat a very inconspicuous glass box with blacked out sides. Inside was another glass box that was home to this prototype 2013 road bike. Besides a video showing the bike being tested in a wind tunnel, there was not much info, but I heard the aero-enhanced bike might have an early 2013 season roll-out at the Tour Down Under. Of note are the front and rear side-pull brakes with the front brake mounted on the backside of the fork.
From a distance I was certain that all the highlighted bikes in the Rose booth were carbon, but no, the Germany company was showcasing some beautifully crafted aluminum bikes...you remember what aluminum is don't you? The 7005 series aluminum Xeon RS ran internal cables and had some pencil thin seatstays that mimicked their equally impressive carbon version
I know, I know, cyclocross season is here. As such, of the many 'cross bikes that caught my attention, I think this Rapha/Focus Mare
was one of the better looking. Focus has a full family of 'cross bikes and this Jeremy Powers replica stands out with its carbon frame & fork, SRAM Red drivetrain, Easton carbon wheels and pink bar tape.
NEXT UP: A TRAIPSE THRU THE ITALIAN PAVILLION