australia

LIV women’s performance bikes 2015 – crafted by Giant

BikeRadar recently broke the news on the Giant Bikes 2015 men’s performance range. One notable thing was the clear separation of the men’s and women’s ranges; Giant has taken the bold step to rebrand its female-focused bikes as LIV. So female riders looking for a Giant, will now be offered a LIV – but they’ll find a subtle ‘handcrafted by giant’ marked somewhere on the frame.

The other big news for the LIV range was the recent launch of the completely revamped Avail endurance road bike range, with many options now featuring disc brakes and greater comfort. As well as this, the aero race-focused Envie (Propel for the men) now has improved brakes and there’s also a new performance flat-bar road bike.

Road bikes

For the racers, the aerodynamic Envie range continues with numerous options, all well-suited to road or triathlon racing. The Envie offers a different carbon layup and geometry to the men’s Propel bike, and there’s also differences in gearing ratios and contact points.

The biggest change to the 2015 envie line-up is a new brake. previously the envie brakes were known to be fiddly and underperforming - these new alloy models should fix that :

The Envie range gets new and improved brakes

All Envie models receive a small but significant switch to better performing integrated brakes. As well improved lever feel, the new brakes offer a two-position cable stop to enable simple swaps between wide carbon race-day wheels and narrow alloy training wheels.

The liv envie advanced pro 0 (us$8,300 / au$7,699 / ?tba) is a pro-level race bike worthy of world champion marianne vos :

The LIV Envie Advanced Pro 0

Sitting at the top of the range is the Envie Advanced Pro 0 (US$8,300 / AU$7,699 / ?TBA), a bike that’s worthy of world champion Marianne Vos. This full-carbon model features a Giant P-SLR0 carbon race wheelset, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 gearing and an aero integrated handlebar and stem combo.

Sitting a few price points below is the Envie Advanced 1 (US$2,775 / AU$2,799 / ?TBA) in a super bright blue and yellow, which we expect to be a popular choice. This carbon-framed model features Shimano Ultegra mechanical gearing.

For the ironman and triathlon focused, there’s now a Envie Advanced Tri (US$4,250 / AU$N/A / ?TBA), which takes the aero road model and adds composite clip-on aero bars, bottle cages and Giant 55mm deep aero wheels. This model won’t be offered in Australia (other markets TBC), because the purpose built Trinity Composite W (US$N/A / AU$2,799) is available. In any case, it’s quite easy to turn a standard Envie into a bike like this.

The thrive comax 2 disc (us$1500 / au$1,599 / ?tba) is a new carbon composite flat-bar road bike. while an avail or envie will still be more efficient (faster), the thrive range is better suited to commuting or general fitness riding :

New for 2015, the LIV Thrive CoMax 2 Disc

The Thrive CoMax Disc models are designed for commuters or fitness seekers – it’s a range of performance-orientated flat-handlebar road bikes with carbon composite frames. The Thrive CoMax 2 Disc (US$1500 / AU$1,599 / ?TBA), a model we suspect will do well, offers Shimano Tiagra gearing and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.

At a lower end of the price spectrum, the Thrive Disc models move to aluminium frames, but lose little in the way of components. For example, the Thrive 1 Disc (US$925 / AU$999 / ?TBA) has many of the same components as the Thrive CoMax 2 Disc.

Mountain bikes

The LIV mountain bike range mirrors Giant’s push on the 27.5in (650b) wheel size. All but the entry-level Enchant series is now offered with middle-sized wheels only. Another key change for the mountain range is the removal of Giant’s OD2 technology – a proprietary fork steerer and stem size that made finding aftermarket stems a real hassle.

The liv lust advanced 2 (us$3,600 / au$3,299 / ?tba) looks like a high-value endurance and cross country bike. fox suspension and shimano slx/xt gearing :

The LIV LUST Advanced 2 (US$3,600 / AU$3,299 / ?TBA)

The LUST Advanced series of race and endurance-focused cross-country dual suspension bikes headlines the mountain bike range. The ‘Advanced’ part of the name refers to a carbon front triangle, matted to an aluminium rear triangle. Those seeking absolute performance will likely gravitate toward the LUST Advanced 0 (US$8,050 / AU$6,999 / ?TBA), with its RockShox SID XX fork, SRAM XX1 11-speed gearing and, interestingly, a Giant Control SL Switch dropper seatpost.

The fully aluminium-framed LUST series is the more affordable option – the LUST 2 (US$2,450 / AU$2,499 / ?TBA) is likely to be popular, thanks to its Fox suspension package and Shimano Deore 20-speed gearing.

Cross country race focused, the obsess advanced 2 (us$2,775 / au$2,799 / ?tba) shares the same frame as used by the professional liv racing team :

LIV Obsess Advanced 2

The Obsess, a carbon race hardtail used by the likes of two-time U23 world champion Jolanda Neff, is on offer for the speed seekers. In both the US and Australian markets, the Obsess Advanced 2 (US$2,775 / AU$2,799) will be the only model offered; it features a Fox Float Evolution front fork and a Shimano SLX/XT drivetrain. UK models and pricing are TBA.

The giant trance is a bike you'll often see on the trails with its 140mm of suspension travel; the liv intrigue is the female specific version. pictured, the intrigue 2 (us$2,775 / au$2,699 / ?tba) with a price conscious rockshox revelation rl front fork and shimano deore 20-speed gearing :

Built for technical trail riding, the LIV Intrigue 2

And for the less race-focused riders, there’s the 5in (140mm) travel Intrigue trail bike. It’s available in two models: the Intrigue 1 (US$4,700 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) with a Fox Talas Performance front fork and SRAM X0 20-speed gearing, and the Intrigue 2 (US$2,775 / AU$2,699 / ?TBA) with a more basic RockShox Revelation RL front fork and Shimano Deore 20-speed gearing.

Cyclocross bikes

Sitting one below, the brava slr 2 (us$1,650 / au$1,799 / ?tba) should be popular for those looking to give cyclocross a go:

The LIV Brava SLR 2

Introduced last year, the Brava SLR is an affordable cyclocross race bike with disc brakes and a lightweight aluminium frame. While the Brava SLR 1 (US$3,500 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) looks fantastic with its Shimano Ultegra gears and matched hydraulic disc brakes, it’s the more affordable Brava SLR 2 (US$1,650 / AU$1,799 / ?TBA) that will likely be a popular starter bike. The SLR 2 features Shimano’s workhorse 105 gearing and TRP’s Spyre mechanical disc brakes.

If you’re seeking a little adventure, the new Invite CoMax (US$1,650 / AU$N/A / ?TBA) is worth a look. A carbon composite frame is combined with a drop handlebar and a reasonable width tyre for touring, commuting or all-day adventures on a variety of surfaces.

As indicated throughout this article, UK pricing and availability is still to be annouced. Where a price is listed as N/A, the model is not available in that region.








How to choose a bike helmet – video

A helmet is one of the most important cycling accessories you can buy. Your brain is a valuable, vulnerable organ, yet it’s only protected by a thin layer of bone and skin. We were never designed to hit the roads at 50kph, or go hurling down rock-infested hills, so adding an extra layer of protection is an incredibly good idea.

We’ve put together a list that covers everything you need to look for in a bike helmet to make sure it will do its job properly.

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Video: how to choose a road bike helmet

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Video: how to choose a mountain bike helmet

There’s little difference structurally between the desired features of a road or mountain bike helmet, although the styles will vary. For example, mountain bike helmets tend to have integrated visors, while road cycling helmets don’t, because they often impede vision when used with a drop handlebar.?

And dirt jumpers, for example, will favour increased protection, while a cross-country rider will look for light weight and ventilation. Similarly, a road racer might prioritise aerodynamic qualities, while a commuter or weekend warrior will put protection and ventilation first.

No matter what style of riding you do, here’s what you should be looking for in a bike helmet.

Protection

The primary importance of a helmet is protection, and there are plenty of government-instituted standards that they should all meet, which can vary between countries or continents. (In the US, helmets must be CPSC-approved; in Europe, it’s the CE sticker you’re looking for; in Australia it’s AS/NZS.)?

Most helmets are constructed from shock-absorbing expanded polystyrene. Its job is to sacrifice itself during a crash, so after a big impact you might see a cracked helmet – that’s the material doing its job. Once broken, do not use it again.

Nearly every helmet these days is in-moulded – the outer shell and protective inner material are moulded together – for extra strength. And systems such as Mips, found in certain mountain bike helmets, go even further, by offering additional protection against rotational impacts, which are far more likely when out on a ride.

Scott stego mountain bike helmet: scott stego mountain bike helmet

The Scott Stego mountain bike helmet incorporates the Mips protection system

It’s also now common to see mountain bike helmets offer increased protection with a deeper fit and greater coverage at the back.

Ventilation

When you’re working hard your head is one of the places that helps your body regulate heat, and ventilation is vital for keeping you cool as temperatures rise.

Ventilation usually takes the form of multiple exterior holes, or vents, through which air can flow directly to your head.

GT corsa road bike helmet: gt corsa road bike helmet

The GT Corsa road bike helmet has 22 vents and internal air channelling

It’s not just about how many holes can be formed in the outer shell though. Helmets should also feature well designed internal venting – air channels carved into the inner shell to direct air effectively over the hottest parts of the head. This air is then channelled to large exit ports, effectively your head’s exhaust pipes. With these in place, the helmets can easily stop your head from overheating on all but the hottest days.

Some mountain bike helmets feature larger, more open vent holes because mountain biking has a lower average speed than road cycling. The downside to these larger holes is that greater wind noise is created, which makes them unsuitable for road cycling.

Fit

Your helmet should have a comfortable, snug fit, without being too tight. Measuring your head will give you a good starting point. To do this, pass a tape measure around the circumference of your head, just above your ears. This should help you work out what size to try on first.

Giro saros road bike helmet: giro saros road bike helmet

BikeRadar testers found the fit of the Giro Saros road bike helmet to be especially comfortable

Make sure you try on plenty of different makes and models. Helmets aren’t all the same shape internally, and some manufacturers have a distinct shape to their helmets – rounder, or more oval, for example – so you should be able to find one that suits your head.

Adjustments

Every helmet has a retention system, to ensure the helmet fits properly and stays in place in the event of a crash. Most adjustments are taken care of by either a turn-wheel of some sort or little ratchets that control the adjustable band around the head.

SixSixOne recon mountain bike helmet: sixsixone recon mountain bike helmet

Bike helmet retention system, demonstrated on the SixSixOne Recon mountain bike helmet

Ensuring the fit is comfortable is the rear cradle – ideally shaped to hug the base of the skull to stop the helmet popping off the front of your head if you hit the back of it. The chin strap is also adjustable.

Padding

Padding is the icing on the cake when it comes to comfort. It can help with fine adjustment of the internal shape and wick sweat away from the head, and anti-bacterial treatments can prevent unpleasant smells.

Visors

More applicable to mountain bike helmets than road bike helmets, visors are there to protect your eyes against the glare of the sun and to stop raindrops getting in your eyes or on your glasses, but they shouldn’t obstruct your vision.?

Mavic notch helmet: mavic notch helmet

The Mavic Notch mountain bike helmet has a built in peak to protect the rider’s eyes. This one is fixed, but they are adjustable on some helmets. Road bike helmets don’t tend to have peaks or visors

Adjustable visors are worth looking out for too, so you can fine tune how much they sheild your eyes.

Crash replacement

Finally, check to see if the helmet has a crash replacement scheme. Many suppliers offer subsidised replacements if your lid is damaged within the first year or two of ownership – which, if you’re particularly accident-prone, could be worth having.?Terms and conditions vary though, so check the small print.


BikeRadar rides Smithfield, Cairns – sponsored video

BikeRadar recently travelled to Cairns, Australia, for the?UCI Mountain Bike World Cup?and while there, we took the chance to see why a place best known for its coral reefs, rainforests and crocodiles is now gaining a reputation as a world-class riding destination.

In the midst of the world cup racing action, we met with a local Smithfield family to see more of the comprehensive trail network that plays host to the mountain bike world cup. The Smithfield trails offer 60km of purpose built singletrack with varying trails for all abilities, ages and riding styles.

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Video: BikeRadar visits the trails of Smithfield, Cairns

Famous trail builder Glen Jacobs truly believes these trails and the surrounding area are some of the most special places he’s ever ridden – no wonder he chooses to call it home!

While the trails were originally built more than 20 years ago to host the mountain bike world cup and world championships, there is now a range of surrounding options that cater to children and newer riders if the world cup course seems too extreme.

And with the network situated right on the edge of Cairns, there is no shortage of accommodation, restaurants and other activities nearby. ?

For more information on Smithfield, and many other Far North Tropical Queensland rides, visit RideCairns.com.?

BikeRadar also visited the surrounding areas of Cairns to check out other popular rides, including Atherton, Mareeba and Port Douglas.








BikeRadar rides Smithfield, Cairns – sponsored video

BikeRadar recently travelled to Cairns, Australia, for the?UCI Mountain Bike World Cup?and while there, we took the chance to see why a place best known for its coral reefs, rainforests and crocodiles is now gaining a reputation as a world-class riding destination.

In the midst of the world cup racing action, we met with a local Smithfield family to see more of the comprehensive trail network that plays host to the mountain bike world cup. The Smithfield trails offer 60km of purpose built singletrack with varying trails for all abilities, ages and riding styles.

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Video: BikeRadar visits the trails of Smithfield, Cairns

Famous trail builder Glen Jacobs truly believes these trails and the surrounding area are some of the most special places he’s ever ridden – no wonder he chooses to call it home!

While the trails were originally built more than 20 years ago to host the mountain bike world cup and world championships, there is now a range of surrounding options that cater to children and newer riders if the world cup course seems too extreme.

And with the network situated right on the edge of Cairns, there is no shortage of accommodation, restaurants and other activities nearby. ?

For more information on Smithfield, and many other Far North Tropical Queensland rides, visit RideCairns.com.?

BikeRadar also visited the surrounding areas of Cairns to check out other popular rides, including Atherton, Mareeba and Port Douglas.








Scott Bikes 2015 – 27.5in Gambler, Solace Disc and more

Scott Bikes recently revealed its 2015 range at a launch in Australia, and BikeRadar was there see the highlights of the latest lineup.

While much of the brand’s range remains mostly unchanged from 2014, key additions include a new disc-brake version of the Solace road bike, 650b (27.5in) wheels for the Gambler downhill, some small but significant changes to the Genius LT and an extravagant Spark with Di2 gears and suspension.

Not all models were ready in time for the Australian launch, but we’ve brought you all the details and photos of everything that was on display.

Road bikes

With the recent success of Simon Gerrans and team Orica-GreenEdge on the Scott Foil, we had anticipated an updated version of this model, which launched in 2011. Sadly, it seems we’ll need to wait another year, as the proven design continues, although it has updated components and paint.

The addict sl continues unchanged from last year. with a frame and fork combo of under 1kg it isn't crying for an update:

The Addict SL continues unchanged from last year. With a frame and fork combo of under 1kg it isn’t crying for an update

The same goes for the Addict SL, with the sub-kilo frame and fork receiving no structural frame changes for 2015. Certain models in the both the Foil and Addict ranges receive replica team-issue Orica-GreenEdge and IAM Cycling paintjobs.

The solace disc features a 15mm front thru-axle:

Disc brakes and thru-axle on road bikes – Scott joins the party?

Introduced in 2014, the sportive and gran fondo focused Solace is now joined by a disc-specific option. The Solace Disc frame has the same geometry and ride quality as the standard Solace, but features thru-axles front (15mm) and rear to handle the disc brake loads. The recreation-friendly ride quality is further enhanced with 28mm width tyres and compact gearing.

The long-standing Metrix flat-bar range has been discontinued; the flat bar models are now offered within the Speedster and Solace road ranges.

Mountain bikes

The biggest change in the mountain bike lineup is the new Gambler downhill bike. The Gambler is now compatible with 27.5in wheels, but can be used with 26in wheels too. Scott’s Floating Link suspension system continues, but a longer length shock and adjusted suspension kinematics means the pivot hardware rotation is reduced from 36 degrees to 9 degrees at one end and 12 degrees to 4 degrees at the other.

This adjustment should mean better small bump compliance and far greater bearing durability for the 210mm travel frame.

 the re-worked rear suspension means there is far less rotation on the frame hardware - allowing for greater bearing durability and increased small bump compliance :

New Gambler? – 27.5in wheels, 210mm of travel and lots of adjustable geometry

The Gambler frame is big on adjustability; bottom bracket height, chainstay length and head angle can all be tweaked to suit personal preference, or to match to particular courses. With the included Syncros angle adjust headset, the head angle can be adjusted from a super slack 61 degrees up to 65.

The scott genius 740 with 150mm of travel gets a paint change for 2015:

The Scott Genius 740 with 150mm of travel gets fresh paint for 2015

Launched in 2013, the trail orientated Genius range continues into 2015. The carbon 910 and 710 models receive a slightly updated frame which drops 70g and offers a super light top chain guide to suit 1 x 11 drivetrains. The rear dropouts also receive an update, moving to a new ‘ISD SL’ version, which offers cross-compatibility between 142 x 12, 135 x 12, 135 x 5 (QR) and the use of Shimano’s direct mount derailleur hanger.

The enduro-focused genius lt 720 offers 170mm of travel and features a full aluminium frame:

The enduro-focused Genius LT 720 offers 170mm of travel and has a full aluminium frame

To meet the booming enduro market, Scott will offer the Genius LT range in three models, all with 27.5in wheels and 170mm of travel. The top-end 700 Tuned features a full-carbon frame, the 710 features a carbon front and aluminium rear, and the base model 720 features an all-aluminium frame.

The biggest change to all models is a custom Fox 36 fork with three compression modes linked to the same TwinLoc remote as the rear shock. Additionally, the new models include an angle-adjust headset and a 1X11 specific top mount chainguide – although the two cheaper models still feature 2×10 gearing.

Plenty of options if you're after spark in 2015:

27.5 vs. 29in? The choice is entirely yours with the Scott Scale, Spark and Genius ranges

Scott continues with its 29in and 27.5in Spark and Scale range for fast-paced cross-country. New colours is the most obvious change, but the Spark 700 Ultimate Di2 is also very interesting. The recently announced Shimano XTR Di2 shares a battery with the Fox Float Factory front fork’s lock-out and the Fox eNude rear shocks three compression modes. Sadly there wasn’t a sample on hand, but Scott claims a slightly less impressive weight of 10.1kg (22.27lb) for this bike.

Otherwise the 700 series frames receive an update to allow for easier water bottle fitting and also a change to the new ISD SL dropout, and most Genius, Genius LT and Spark models receive an updated rear suspension TwinLoc lever with integrated clamp.

Urban and family bikes

The scott scale 24

If your child isn’t a Julien Absalon fanatic, this Nino Schurter Scale 24in may just be perfect

Something that was attracting plenty of attention was the Scale 24in kids bike with Nino Shurter graphics – perfect for aspiring racers! Joining this model is the Voltage Jr 24 Disc, a burly-looking kids bike with mechanical disc brakes – sadly it weighs nearly 13kg and still features mediocre suspension.

Scott’s e-bike range continues, featuring 250W Bosch motors combined with the handling characteristics of non-motorised models.

The new scott sub speed 10 features a new frame, stealth graphics and matching fenders:

The Sub is now the Sub Speed range with a new frame and matched fenders

And lastly, Scott’s urban Sub range is now the Sub Speed range. It features a new Speed frame with internal cable routing, stealthy graphics and matching fenders. The top-end Sub Speed 10 looks the part in solid-green, with a Gates Belt drive, eight-speed Shimano Alfine geared hub, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and Syncros components.








By Emma on June 30, 2014 | Mountain Bikes
Tags: , , , , , , ,

BikeRadar rides the Bump Track, Port Douglas – sponsored video

BikeRadar recently travelled to Cairns, Australia, for the?UCI Mountain Bike World Cup?and while there, we took the chance to see why a place best known for its coral reefs, rainforests and crocodiles is now gaining a reputation as a world-class riding destination.

We managed a day away from the racing to visit the Daintree Rainforest, the only place in the world where coral reefs meet rainforest. While there, we met with Johnny from Bike N Hike Adventure Tours for a guide down the Bump Track trail, a short 6km of historic fireroad that ends with a ride along Four Mile Beach.?

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Video: BikeRadar visits Port Douglas and the Daintree

These trails are perfect for an adventure with the family. While you’ll need some previous cycling experience to negotiate the steep hills, there’s little in the way of technical obstacles. These trails are suited to all abilities, even those new to mountain biking.

While in the area, the easily accessed Mossman Gorge embodies the charms of the Daintree Rainforest with its lush flora and clear flowing cascades. A paid shuttle bus is available, although it’s free to cycle or walk in too.

Port Douglas is an hour’s drive north of Cairns. For more information on Port Douglas’ Bump Track, and many other Far North Tropical Queensland rides visit RideCairns.com.?








BikeRadar rides the Bump Track, Port Douglas – sponsored video

BikeRadar recently travelled to Cairns, Australia, for the?UCI Mountain Bike World Cup?and while there, we took the chance to see why a place best known for its coral reefs, rainforests and crocodiles is now gaining a reputation as a world-class riding destination.

We managed a day away from the racing to visit the Daintree Rainforest, the only place in the world where coral reefs meet rainforest. While there, we met with Johnny from Bike N Hike Adventure Tours for a guide down the Bump Track trail, a short 6km of historic fireroad that ends with a ride along Four Mile Beach.?

Please install Adobe Flash player to view this content

Video: BikeRadar visits Port Douglas and the Daintree

These trails are perfect for an adventure with the family. While you’ll need some previous cycling experience to negotiate the steep hills, there’s little in the way of technical obstacles. These trails are suited to all abilities, even those new to mountain biking.

While in the area, the easily accessed Mossman Gorge embodies the charms of the Daintree Rainforest with its lush flora and clear flowing cascades. A paid shuttle bus is available, although it’s free to cycle or walk in too.

Port Douglas is an hour’s drive north of Cairns. For more information on Port Douglas’ Bump Track, and many other Far North Tropical Queensland rides visit RideCairns.com.?








BikeRadar rides Mareeba, Cairns – sponsored video

BikeRadar recently travelled to Cairns, Australia, for the UCI mountain bike world cup and while there, we took the chance to see why a place best known for its coral reefs, rainforests and crocodiles is now gaining a reputation as a world-class riding destination.

On our return from riding Atherton, we visited the short and easy-riding trails of Davies Creek, in the Mareeba area – roughly halfway between Atherton and Cairns. These trails are perfect for a short pedal or an adventure with the family.

With little in the way of technical obstacles, these natural flowing trails are suited to all abilities, even those new to mountain biking.

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Video: BikeRadar rides the Mareeba area, Cairns

Unless you’re into all-day epic rides, the use of a car is your best access to this trail network. As you drive down the dirt road toward the trail head, you’ll quickly get a sense of remoteness within the bush. Be sure to take plenty of water and spares though, because there’s not much available in the area.

On the way back into Cairns, we stopped in the town of Kuranda, which is just five minutes’ drive from the famous Barron Falls.

For more information on Davies Creek, and many other Far North Tropical Queensland rides, visit RideCairns.com. 








Knog offers combo-lock version of its Party Frank lock

MELBOURNE, Australia (BRAIN) — Knog is now offering a combination-lock version of its Party Frank cable lock, called the Party Combo. Like the Party Frank, the Party Combo has a seamless 620mm (24.4-inch)-long braided high-tensile steel wire with a fiber core technology that the company says adds resistance to bolt-cutters.

GT Grade endurance bike launched

First things first: GT doesn’t want you to call the GT Grade a gravel racer, as the carbon-framed disc road bike is more versatile than that.

Compared to a standard road race machine, the Grade’s geometry leans far more towards an endurance or sportive bike; it’s a little taller at the front, a little longer in its wheelbase (as you’d expect from a disc bike), a little lower at the bottom bracket and a little shorter in terms of top tube and reach. Rounding out the geometry to assist with rough-road riding, the head angle is slightly slackened.

GT arrived at what the company calls ‘all-day’ geometry using GURU’s fit system data, as GT and GURU share the same parent company, CSG.

GT has been away from the higher end of road for a while now, but the brand historically had a deep road legacy. From 1996’s US Olympic bikes which pioneered? clever aerodynamics, to the sponsorship of Lotto with Ti Edge bikes to later US teams JellyBelly and Saturn.

The GT Grade bike has been in development for three years. Initially the team at GT had identified a trend away from traditional race machines with the shift to a more comfortable ride and a more comfortable position. The bike is designed for adventure, GT says. It was designed to be able to be raced at a gran fondo, yet ridden off the beaten track on dirt or gravel roads aided by the inclusion of large volume tire and disc brakes.

The kicked-up chainstays and forward-positioned seatstays are designed for comfort: the kicked-up chainstays and forward-positioned seatstays are designed for comfort

The kicked-up chainstays and pencil-thin fibreglass seatstays are designed for comfort

Patrick Kay (PK), product manager for GT Road, said there is a disconnect between most everyday riders and pro bikes, “with prices hitting $10,000 that’s not accressible, and more of a race bike than most of us will ever need.”

“In the US and Canada, gravel and adventure road riding is a movement, not a trend,” PK said. “Gran fondo riding in the US and UK is strong and growing. In Australia we are seeing riders taking advantage of the vast network of outback dirt roads, and even in Italy we are seeing events inspired by the gravel road Strada Bianca.” GT is aiming the Grade at all of these riders.

The GT signature triple-triangle frame is here, but not just for looks, PK said. “By moving the seatstays outboard not only do we reduce the size of the rear triangle but also add plenty of tire clearance,” PK said. “The bonus also off shifting the stays further outboard is the increase in torsional stiffness this enables.”

GT's signature triple triangle: gt's signature triple triangle

GT’s signature triple triangle allow for bigger tyres as well as a small rear triangle

The carbon frame weighs a claimed 965g for a 56cm. The butted alloy frame tips the scales at 1,320-1,350g. The top-of-the-range carbom fork is 475g with the thru-axle dropouts. On the alloy model GT uses a carbon fork with an alloy steerer, which is a little heavier.

The top three frames feature thru-axle dropouts, while the other four models use traditional dropouts and quick-release skewers.

Carbon and glass in the Grade frame

“We wanted to design this bike like you would a high-performance motorcycle,” said Andy Schmitt, the engineer behind the Grade who has designed bikes for Schwinn, Mongoose, GT and Cannondale. “We created a solid foundation with the tapered head tube flowing into a large oversized down tube. This meets the PF30 oversized bottom bracket, which makes for a great terminal for the down tube and the oversized chanistays.”

“The main frame’s more compliant features are a seat tube and seat stays that are designed to flex,” Schmitt said. “By kicking up the chainstays and having the seatstays fitting forward of the axle, that enables movement too. Finally, the top tube is allowed to flex upwards.”

The grade alloy gets the full-carbon fork with 15mm thru-axles and ice-rotor-equipped shimano hydraulic brakes: the grade alloy gets the full-carbon fork with 15mm thru-axles and ice-rotor-equipped shimano hydraulic brakes

Shimano ICE rotors on the higher-end bikes

GT used very stiff high-modulus carbon in areas where ultimate stiffness is needed, but Schimitt wanted a completely different performance for the seatstays. GT experimented with the lowest modulus carbon they had for the long, arched stays, but wanted more flex, so the company ended up testing and experimenting with fibreglass. Fibreglass is has a similar strength to carbon but with a far lower modulus, and it is much cheaper. The fibreglass stays are finished with a final carbon layer to add impact resistance.

GT said the frame has created more than 10mm of deflection when measured at the top of the seatpost when you remove the seatpost flex from the equation.

The seat tube has a bi-directional taper at the bottom bracket; this flattening shape means the tube acts more like a hinge allowing for more fore-aft movement whilst the massive down tube and oversized chainstays and BB ensure drievetrain stiffness. The final component of the “flexi-comfort” design is the top tube; the flat, broad shape restricts the amount of lateral movement, whilst the shallow depth is designed to allow the top tube to arch upwards in the same path as the seatstays.

Details on the GT Grade

GT designed the carbon fork to complement the comfort inherent at the rear. By reducing the length of the taper, making more of the steerer a standard 11/8in diameter makes for more comfort, GT claims, but retaining the oversized lower race means the steering response isn’t compromised. The 15m thru-axle design has a leading axle, so whilst the 15mm combats braking forces and adds steering precision the increased offset to 45mm aids smoothness, GT claims.

The all-carbon fork features a 15mm thru-axle: the all-carbon fork features a 15mm thru-axle

The top-three bikes feature thru-axle forks

The Grade is full of neat touches, like discreet mudguard eyes and a clip-on bridgeless fender mount with o-rings. The PF30 bottom bracket uses the new Praxis Works adaptor, which saves any fuss and faff associated with press-fit. Something that will set bike mechanics’ minds at rest is the full external cable routing. Both drivetrain and hydraulic lines are grouped together with a neat routing system under the down tube.

Stan’s NoTubes new Grail disc road rim, on DTSwiss 240 hubs, tips the scales at a claimed 1,685g a pair. The new Stan’s Grail rim uses a 24mm outside diameter rim, with a large internal diameter of just over 20mm. They are of course tueless compatible, though the Grade ships with a standard clincher set-up. The Stan’s rim is rated far higher (110psi) than the company’s mountain bike rims.

The seven GT Grade models

Grade Ultegra carbon — ?2,999 / US$3,299

  • Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra 11-speed with BR-R685 hydraulics
  • Gear range: 52/36 and 11-32
  • Rims/hubs: Stan’s NoTubes Grail rims (460g) on DTSwiss 240
  • Tyres: Continental Ultra Race 28c
  • Handlear: GT Drop-Tube bar (14-degree outward flair on the drops) 2014 butted aluminium
  • Seatpost: FSA K-Force light carbon
  • Saddle: FiZik Aliante MG

The new gt grade is an endurance bike designed for everything from sportives to dirt- and gravel-road riding: the new gt grade is an endurance bike designed for everything from sportives to dirt- and gravel-road riding

Grade 105 Carbon — ?2,299 / US$2,599

  • Drivetrain: Shimano 105 with BR-R685
  • Gear range: 52/36 and 11-32
  • Rims/hubs: Stan’s NoTubes Grail rims (460g) on Formula centre-lock hubs
  • Tyres: Continental Ultra Race 28c
  • Handlebar: GT Drop-Tube bar (14-degree outward flair on the drops), 6061 butted aluminium
  • Seatpost: FSA SLK carbon
  • Saddle: Fi’z;ik Aliante MG

The carbon 105 bike looks like a great package: the carbon 105 bike looks like a great package

Grade Alloy X — ?1,599 / US$1,7499

  • Drivetrain: Shimano 105 with BR-R685
  • Gear range: 52/36 and 11-32
  • Rims/hubs: Stan’s NoTubes Grail rims (460g) on Formula centre-lock hubs
  • Tyres: Continental Ultra Race 28c
  • Handlebar: GT Drop-Tube bar (14-degree outward flair on the drops) 6061 butted aluminium
  • Seatpost: FSA SLK carbon
  • Saddle: Fi’z;ik Aliante MG

The alloy x is gt's highest spec alloy grade : the alloy x is gt's highest spec alloy grade

Grade Alloy 105 — ?1,099 / US$1,299

  • Drivetrain: Shimano 105 with TRP HYRD brakes
  • Gear range: 52/36 and 11-32
  • Tyres: Continental Ultra Race 28c
  • Handlebar: GT Drop-Tube bar (14-degree outward flair on the drops) 6061 butted aluminium

Grade Alloy Tiagra — ?899 / US$1099

  • Drivetrain: Tiagra with TRP Spyre brakes
  • Gear range: 50/34 and 12-28
  • Tyres: Continental Ultra Race 28c
  • Handlebar: GT Drop-Tube bar (14-degree outward flair on the drops) 6061 butted aluminium

Next in line is the tiagra model at ?899 / us$1,099: next in line is the tiagra model at ?899 / us$1,099

Grade Alloy Sora — ?799 / US$899

  • Drivetrain: Shimano Sora 9 with Bangle mechanical brakes
  • Gear range: 50/34 and 12-28
  • Tyres: Continental UltraSport 28c
  • Handlebar: GT Drop-Tube bar (14-degree outward flair on the drops) 6061 butted aluminium

The sora-equipped bike will be priced at ?799 / us$899: the sora-equipped bike will be priced at ?799 / us$899

Grade Alloy Claris — ?TBC / US$799

  • Drivetrain: Shimano Claris with Tektro mechanical brakes
  • Tyres: Continental UltraSport 28c
  • Handlebar: GT Drop-Tube bar (14-degree outward flair on the drops) 6061 butted aluminium

The base model $799 claris model shares the same 1,350g alloy frame as the alloy x: the base model $799 claris model shares the same 1,350g alloy frame as the alloy x