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Trek Domane SLR
Three years ago, Trek reimagined what an endurance road bike could be with a brand new version of the Domane SLR. It brought a new level of capability to a bike that beforehand had been more of a specific tool meant for spring classics riders, or riders just looking for a more upright, comfortable position. Trek made it more aerodynamic, added in useful integrated features like internal downtube storage, and maybe most impressively 38c tire clearance, essentially making it a gravel bike as well.
This year, Trek has simplified and refined the bike further, changing the adjustable IsoSpeed decoupler back to a fixed version at the most compliant level of the adjustable version, and eliminating the front IsoSpeed, which the brand says was made redundant by wide tubeless tires. That saved a cool 400 grams from the bike. Trek has also refined the aerodynamic tube shapes for an even faster ride.
Want to learn more? VeloNews already had the opportunity to review the Domane SLR.
Complete builds from $7,450; trekbikes.com
Chapter 2 KOKO Aero Road
Based in New Zealand, Chapter 2 borrows a Maori term meaning “to soar, fly” for the name of the KOKO — fitting, given its aerodynamic bonafides. There’s no missing this bike’s wind cheating prowess. It has an integrated fork crown as well as front and rear wheel cutouts in the frame to help guide airflow across the bike’s truncated Kamm-Tail profile tube shapes. The cockpit is also integrated and helps hide the brake and shifting cables internally. But should you need to adjust or disassemble the bike, it features quick fit spacers under the stem for easy adjustability.
Aero bikes have gained a reputation for having less than desirable comfort levels. Chapter 2 has taken steps to make the KOKO a super comfortable ride by including a dual position seat clamp that can be changed from soft to stiff as needed for the day’s ride. It also gets a vibration dampening seatpost and seat stays to round out the comfort.
Chapter 2 builds the KOKO with of High-Tensile Directional Toray Carbon in the bottom bracket and headtube for increased stiffness. The frame is also constructed using a latex mandrel to control carbon wall thickness and resin in the bike.
From $3,899; chapter2bikes.com
Also read: Tech Week: 4 fresh gravel bikes for fall
Is this the ultimate road bike? Canyon certainly thinks so. Now the Ultimate, the lightweight, all-around race bike that serves as a cornerstone of the German direct-to-consumer brand’s road lineup has been overhauled for a fifth generation version that is faster, lighter, stiffer and just about every other ‘-er’ you can think of.
The Ultimate smashes the UCI weight limit at 6.3kg for the top end Ultimate CFR Di2 version, but is still plenty light across the entire line. And Canyon has reinforced other areas of the frame with additional carbon, choosing durability over absolute lowest weight. At the same time, it is an additional 10 watts faster and 15% stiffer than before. And if you already like the way Canyon Aeroad fits, this one should be an easy choice because Canyon has tweaked the geometry to give an identical fit.
Builds starting at $2,999; canyon.com
Pinarello Bolide F HR 3D
Ok, this one technically isn’t a road bike, but it represents some exciting potential things to come. Filippo Ganna piloted this Pinarello Bolide F HR 3D en route to obliterating the UCI Hour Record earlier this month. And just as Ganna’s preparation was focused on this one event, so was his equipment.
The specially-designed track bike is 3D printed from Scalmalloy, a high strength scandium-aluminium-magnesium alloy. It was designed for aerospace applications, but to be fair if Ganna had gone any faster he might have gone airborne. The bike’s design mimics the tubercles found on humpback whale flippers, which reduce drag. And the printed nature of the bike let Pinarello engineers make it to the precise size for Ganna, down to the millimeter.It will be exciting to see where this construction process shows up elsewhere in cycling in the future.