New cyclocross bikes are often unveiled at Sea Otter, and this year, just as we saw at the 2011 Sea Otter Classic edition, the buzz and new cyclocross products on display are mostly centered around disc brakes, both mechanical and hydraulic.
We saw disc-equipped 2012 and 2013 model year cyclocross bikes from Redline, Raleigh, Diamond Back, Felt, Cannondale, Look, Norco and Colnago, with plenty of others still out there for us to cover in the next few days. While we’ll have extensive photos and more details to come shortly, we have a few highlights from all the new cyclocross gear we saw on Day 1.
Raleigh’s new RXC Pro Disc bike is one of the new high-end, race-ready disc brake cyclocross bikes, and expands Raleigh’s impressive cyclocross line up to, by our count, an impressive twelve models. The RXC Pro Disc joins the SRAM Apex-equipped RXC and the Force-equipped RXC Pro (announced and previewed by Cyclocross Magazine for 2012 but finally arriving for the 2013 year). And we’ve come to learn that a top-shelf Shimano Ultegra Di2 and CX75 mechanical disc brake-equipped Raleigh RXC Pro Disc carbon cyclocross bike will be the ride of choice by at least one fast Belgian racer.
The new 2013 Raleigh RXC Pro Disc cyclocross bike, with Ultegra Di2 and CX75 mechanical disc brakes. ©Cyclocross Magazine
Redline gave us an exclusive preview of the slightly-updated 2013 carbon Conquest Team cyclocross frame, but then we were sworn to secrecy. However, they had several 2012 carbon Conquest Teams on display, including 2012 Singlespeed Cyclocross National Champion Kari Studley’s Avid BB5 disc brake-equipped model, ready to help her to battle the Pro Women in Saturday’s inaugural cyclocross race at Sea Otter.
Kari Studley's disc-equipped Redline 2012 Conquest Team bike. Sea Otter 2012. ©Cyclocross Magazine
While Avid BB7 and BB5 mechanical disc brakes were the norm (with a few Shimano CX75 and Tektro Lyra bikes thrown in), we saw two interesting hydraulic drop bar brake lever options from Formula and TRP, if you can afford Di2 (or want to go singlespeed).
TRP brought their prototypes of the HyWire hydraulic disc brake and Di2 lever, displayed on both a disc-equipped road bike and an eye-catching Ritte prototype carbon cyclocross bike. The levers should be available in July, complete with two piston calipers (very similar to those that came with the Parabox) and 160mm rotors. The package should be lighter than the TRP Parabox adapter system (first tested by Cyclocross Magazine), while expected to cost just about the same.
TRP's new HyWire hydraulic disc brake lever / Di2 shifter as seen at Sea Otter 2012. ©Cyclocross Magazine
Colnago brought a Shimano Di2-equipped C59 road bike, which was unique due to a pair of elegant Formula hydraulic disc brake levers wired for the Shimano electronic system that would be a natural fit for cyclocross. We’re told that the 2013 Colnago Cyclocross Prestige will come without cantilever bosses and will be disc brake only, and we’re likely to see Colnago-sponsored pro riders using the Formula/Di2 levers this season. Sven Nys and Niels Albert racing disc brakes next season? We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s clear that their bike sponsor Colnago would like to see that. These disc models will be available this September.
Formula's new hydraulic disc brake lever and Di2 shifter seen on a carbon Colnago. Sea Otter 2012. ©Clifford Lee
Colnago brought the 7000 series aluminum cyclocross model called the “World Cup,” which was cantilever brake-equipped and disc compatible for 2012. The 2013 model will be disc only (no cantilever posts) and will come as a complete bike, equipped with mechanical disc brakes (Avid BB7′s) and a Shimano 105 drivetrain. Unique to both Colnago cyclocross frames (both carbon and aluminum) is the short curved tube connecting the top tube and seat tube. It is said to help in both structural reinforcement and shouldering comfort, if your shoulder happens to be that far back.
Stay tuned for more details, photos, and product news.
Clifford Lee and Andrew Yee contributed to this report.