As the end of the year approaches, the bike industry’s traditional launch season is coming to a close, with a deluge of new bikes and products for 2023 launched over the past few months.
Last week’s Rouleur Live show in London gave us an opportunity to check out – for the first time, in many cases – new gear from Kask, Giro, Bianchi, Ribble, Schwalbe, Cervélo and more, plus a smattering of other goodies.
Let’s get stuck right into it.
Helmet Synthesis helmet
Having only launched on Thursday, this was the first time we’ve seen the new Kask Sintesi helmet. And very smart it is, too.
The Sintesi is the latest addition to Kask’s range, designed, the Italian brand says, as a budget bike helmet for road cycling, gravel riding or cycling to work.
Aesthetically, it’s a smart-looking helmet, with a compact shape and generously proportioned vent layout typical of many of the best cycling helmets.
Inside, you’ll find Kask’s Ergo Fit retention system and antibacterial, antistatic padding.
Kask doesn’t use MIPS, but says the helmet passes its own WG11 internal testing protocol, which apparently assesses the helmet’s protection against rotational impacts.
The Sintesi costs £90 and is available in no fewer than 11 colours. This burnt orange option caught our eye.
Giro Ethos MIPS helmet
Here’s another new helmet for 2023, the Giro Ethos MIPS.
While the Kask Sintesi remains ostensibly a road helmet, this one is aimed at commuting, thanks to its integrated lights at the front and rear.
Those lights can be controlled wirelessly by a bar-mounted Bluetooth controller, with four modes on offer: low blink, high blink, low solid and high solid.
It’s at this time of year that most riders in the northern hemisphere will be recharging or buying a set of bike lights for winter, but could a set incorporated into your helmet do the job or act as an addition?
The helmet charges via USB-C, as has become standard for the latest tech products, and the inside of the helmet incorporates MIPS, the internal layer designed to protect against rotational forces in the event of a head impact.
The helmet is available in two versions: the regular Ethos MIPS ($250) and the Ethos MIPS Shield ($270), pictured here with the visor. UK pricing is to be confirmed.
Bianchi Oltre and Oltre RC
The Bianchi Oltre RC launched last month but this was the first time we’ve seen the new aero road bike.
The Air Deflectors have taken most of the headlines – consumer bikes will come with the head-tube mounted wings, although they’re not UCI-legal – but there’s a lot going on besides.
That includes a new frame shape, with a distinctively bowed fork and seatstays, 30c tire clearance and a cockpit from Reparto Corse, Bianchi’s new in-house componentry arm, with a stem that splits into two.
As well as the range-topping Oltre RC, the line-up also includes the Oltre Pro and, pictured above, the bog-standard Oltre.
This gets the new frame shape but not the Air Deflector wings or Reparto Corse handlebar.
The frame weight also bumps up to 990g, from 915g for the RC and 965g for the Oltre Pro, which is the only frame in the range to also include Bianchi’s Countervail carbon tech, claimed to improve comfort.
Prototype Ribble Allroad SLe
We reported on this one last week – Ribble’s Allroad SLe electric bike – and, as an exhibitor at Rouleur Live, Ribble used the show to wheel out the prototype in its 125th-anniversary paint scheme.
The bike is interesting, of course – it’s an electric road bike with generous tire clearance (so, as the name suggests, we’re heading into the territory of an all-road bike here).
There’s also a prototype 3D-printed handlebar with bulbous tops to direct airflow over the rider’s hands.
But the paint is the real star of the show – it’s a marble finish available in three different colors (red, blue or green). Ribble’s photos accompanying the launch looked good, but it’s drop-dead-gorgeous in the flesh.
While the Allroad SLe pictured here is a prototype with no set launch date, Ribble will be making the paint scheme available on the Ultra SL R aero bike and Gravel Ti.
You’ll also be able to pay a £1,299 upcharge via Ribble’s online CustomColour program to have it splashed across a bike of your choice next year.
Filippo Ganna’s Pinarello Bolide F HR 3D
Here’s one of the most interesting – and, undoubtedly, fastest – bikes we’ve seen this year: Filippo Ganna’s Pinarello Bolide F HR 3D.
This is the machine Ganna rode to break the Hour Record in October.
Pinarello used 3D printing to create the Bolide F HR’s complex frame shape, notably the ribbed seat tube.
It’s designed to mimic the tubercles seen on the fins of humpback whales – an idea we’ve seen previously on Zipp’s Sawtooth rims and said to help manage airflow in an area heavily disrupted by the rider’s legs.
We’ve covered the bike in detail already but it’s also worth pointing out the titanium bullhorn-style handlebars (also 3D-printed), kinked in a similar shape to the cockpit on Ganna’s TT bike.
Oh, and check out the monster 65-tooth chainring on the crankset.
Cervélo ZHT-5 hardtail
Propped inconspicuously against a wall next to Cervélo’s stand was the brand’s new ZHT-5.
The ZHT-5 is Cervélo’s first MTB and, as is fitting for a brand with a history so focused on racing, it’s a hardtail.
Cervélo describes the ZHT-5 as a hardtail “purpose-built” for XC racing and it will be raced in anger for the first time at the opening round of the XCO World Cup in Valkenburg, the Netherlands, next May.
The XHT-5 rolls on 29in wheels and sports a 100mm fork. The geometry is described as “rationally progressive”, with a 68.5-degree head tube angle.
The frame is suitably light at a claimed 870g – Cervélo has made some of the lightest road bikes out there throughout its history and that continues here with the ZHT.
Elite Justo smart trainer
We’re right into indoor cycling season now, so smart trainers are being dusted off by many riders after their summer hibernation.
The Justo is Elite’s latest trainer and features side-to-side movement in a bid to improve ride realism and comfort.
Elite makes some of the best smart trainers out there – including the highly rated Elite Direto, on which the Justo is based.
Other key talking points include +/- 1 percent power accuracy, maximum slope simulation of 24 percent and the ‘Flex Feet’, which provide the Justo’s movement when pedalling.
We’re testing the Elite Justo right now, so look out for a review on BikeRadar soon.
Canyon Ultimate CFR
This one is likely to be one of the most popular bikes of 2023: the new Canyon Ultimate.
Our senior technical editor, Ashley Quinlan, went to the launch of this bike in Nice and delivered his first ride review of the Dura-Ace Di2-equipped CFR model.
The Ultimate is Canyon’s all-round race bike and this latest take tweaks the geometry to mirror the Canyon Aeroad. It also gains a few aero tweaks of its own and, as we’ve come to expect from the latest launches, additional tire clearance (there’s room for 32mm tires, Canyon says).
The CFR is the flagship frame, and Canyon will also be offering second-tier SLX and third-tier SL models.
Schwalbe G-One Overland gravel tire
The G-One Overland is new to Schwalbe’s line-up of gravel tires.
Schwalbe is a regular fixture in our round-up of the best gravel tires, with the G-One series offering a wide range of models for a variety of gravel riding.
In fact, there are now seven G-One models in all: G-One Speed, G-One Allroad, G-One Overland, G-One Bite, G-One Ultrabite, G-One R and G-One RS.
While the likes of the Schwalbe G-One RS are aimed at gravel racing, the German brand describes the G-One Overland as “the gravel tire for commuters, adventurers and e-bikers”.
It’s designed for use 50 percent off-road and 50 percent on the road, with a focus on durability and cornering grip through the chunky blocks on the shoulder.
That durability comes into its own, Schwalbe says, if you spec these on an electric gravel bike.
The Overland is available in 40mm, 45mm and 50mm widths.
We’ve just finished testing a set of Overland tires, so look out for a review very soon.
Roster cycling jeans
Here’s a bonus entry to end this round-up. Cycling jeans, anyone?
Yep, we spotted this denim number from Roster.
Bib shorts for the commute and office?