Many manufacturer’s that supply pro tour teams now create bikes specfically for the early season cobbled classics. TREK, MERIDA and BIANCHI all have such bikes but with no sections of pave in this part of the world why would these be relevant to you? We do still have poorly surfaced roads and gravel covered lanes and the longer wheelbases and slightly more relaxed positions of these bikes will certainly inspire confidence whilst bashing around your local lanes.
Taller headtubes offer a slightly more upright postion without having to use a mass of spacers which can some times cause the front end of the bike to feel a bit “wooly”. 25mm tyres can also help in the comfort stakes giving a bit more cushioning over the rough stuff and with extra volume reduce the risk of impact punctures.
Frames have rapidly evolved and TREK with their game changing ISO Speed decoupler (DOMANE) have backed up the tech with wins in both the tour of Flanders and Paris – Roubaix. Isolating the seat tube from an otherwise super stiff frame gives upto 33mm of fore and aft flex to give unprecidented comfort and control. MERIDA choose to flatten their chainstays and use Flax and flex in the rear triangle to improve comfort whereas BIANCHI introduce Kevlar into the seatstays and forks to improve comfort. Whether skimming the cobbles of northern France or grafting through the undulating lanes of the Cotswolds these features will keep you fresher and give you more confidence.
If you want to see them in the flesh please feel free to pop in for a visit. We stock MERIDA’s RIDE, TREK’s DOMANE and BIANCHI’s INFINITO. If you can’t stretch your budget to carbon then don’t forget that all of our brands offer aluminium bikes with the same principals – TREK even do an aluminium DOMANE!