A new year means three things: resolutions, racing, and new rides; while Velo‘s February Issue had you covered on the racing, the 2013 Buyer’s Guide has you covered on the latter, with more than 90 bikes from tarmac to singletrack, and everything in between.
Following a unique Editor’s Note by Velo technical editor Caley Fretz, the Velo tech crew develops a case of déja vu, as senior tech guru Lennard Zinn takes a look back at the forefather of Shimano’s electronic shifting, an innovative system originally pioneered — albeit ahead of the technology of its time — by a name that may surprise you.
With a new wheel size hitting the mountain bike market this year, the Velo tech crew explores the origins of this medium-sized next Big Thing, and explains why this indecisively-branded wheel standard, which in truth is anything but new, is making a resurgence; two other technologies, once ahead of their time, have experienced similar rebirths, as Logan VonBokel reports.
In Kings of the Cogs, Fretz, VonBokel, and editor-in-chief Neal Rogers take an in-depth look at the best of what SRAM, Shimano, and Campagnolo have to offer. Meanwhile, Velo brings you the Pro Price Tags for the gear and equipment of the world’s top mountain and road riders.
Each road and mountain bike description in the Buyer’s Guide offers insight into the ride’s design, as well as frame, fork, and component highlights, available sizes, and frame or bike weights, and the guide kicks off in earnest with Dream Bikes and a sub-12-pound Cannondale SuperSix EVO Black. But first, Velo reporter Matthew Beaudin offers his take on custom frames with insight into the manufacturing of his own new steel steed.
Next up, the six Workhorses, which start at $1,500 and peak at $4,600 with the Trek Domane 6.2, offer solid options for road and criterium racing while bridging the divide between low price and high performance. Lightweight carbon and aluminum frames combined with upper-mid-level components make these bikes ready to race, right out of the box.
In Aero Road Bikes, check out the most aerodynamic bike in the world as per VeloLab’s independent testing, along with the winner of VeloLab’s 2012 aero road bike test and the bike that won Milan-San Remo and the world road championship in its debut year. Meanwhile, our Endurance Road Bikes section features two carbon steeds you may have anticipated, plus several others you probably haven’t.
Velo‘s Buyer’s Guide also takes a look at the rapidly-growing Women’s Road Bike segment, with a host of carbon and aluminum race and training machines with women’s-specific geometry to suit any budget.
After a guide to custom steel, titanium, aluminum, and carbon bikes, the Cervelo P5 heads up a beautiful, streamlined selection of Time Trial Bikes, including the machine that won Tony Martin his second-consecutive world time trial title.
Specialized’s Crux leads the way into Cyclocross Bikes, spearheading a selection of race-ready machines from across the price board with a mix of disc- and cantilever-equipped frames, and even one with Shimano’s Di2 electronic drivetrain.
A carbon Scott headlines a healthy selection of Trail Bikes with up to six inches of suspension travel, ranging from an entry-level frame to a top-dollar, Shimano XTR-equpped Niner. This section features trail bikes in all wheel sizes, including the new, or newly-returned, 27.5-inch wheel.
An unlikely bike made of an unlikely materials, along with a neon-green shoe, open the door to full suspension and hardtail Cross-Country Bikes. The Velo tech crew’s selection of cross-country bikes reflects a shift in consumer demand with regard to wheel sizes, and the generous selection of four-to-five-inch travel bikes should cover any use you have in mind.
Demand for women’s frames is growing in the off-road segment as well, and Velo answers with women’s specific mountain bikes from Giant, Specialized, Trek, and others. With a nod toward shorter reach requirements, the 26-inch frame lives on in a reasonably-priced women’s full-suspension trail bike.
You may think that the moon lander last saw service in 1972, but you’ll find a Moonlander among the Workhorses of mountain biking, accompanied by a selection of hardtail and fully rigid workhorses, and even a belt-driven single-speed.
After perusing these pages and agonizing over the many choices we offer for your next steed, enjoy Dan Wuori’s latest At the Back, on the discrepancy between fantasy and reality. While he’s no longer a fan of Barry Manilow, he does have two choice, and quite accurate words to describe Velo‘s 2013 Buyer’s Guide.