2017 marked the year of the gravel bike and 2018 will likely be more of the same, but with a healthy dose of race disc brake race bikes as well. Standards are sorted out and riders are stoked to have consistent braking and wider tire clearances. And, 650b wheels are becoming more and more common for gravel bikes — further extending the terrain these bikes are capable of riding. Yes, these are all disc brake bikes because we’re all-in.
For 2018, not everything is going gravel, but still, it’s a hefty part of the bikes we’d like to ride next year, so let’s let ‘er rip.
BMC Teammachine SLR01 Disc
As one of the hottest grand tour machines, the all-new Teammachine SLR01 is available in both rim and disc flavors. With unmatched comfort and responsiveness, the new SLR01 takes a proven Grand Tour winner and darling of media outlets to another level. This one will also be piloted by local favorite, TJ Eisenhart, next season as he takes his game to Pro Continental status.
Allied Alfa All Road
American-made monocoque carbon fiber frames are like the fabled White Whale these days. With factories upon factories building carbon frames for every manufacturer in Taiwan, it takes guts to make it happen on this side fo the pond. But Allied Cycle Works is doing it and doing it with panache. Lightweight, tough and capable, the Allied All Road can swallow 38mm tires and still come in under 15 lbs. With 12 sizes, Allied has you covered if you either want an aggressive fit or prefer a more comfortable, upright position.
Open Cycles UPPER
Gerard Vroomen and Andy Kessler of Open Cycle are no strangers to the bike biz with palmares as high and deep as they come. But, Open Cycle is trying hard to stay small. That may be difficult with such a killer bike as the UPPER on the menu. This one is a thoroughbred race bike that just so happens to be able to swallow 650b mountain bike tires for the ultimate in all-road performance. It does come with a price, but of all the gravel bikes on the market, this one is the most drool-worthy in our minds.
Orbea is best-known for their Orca race bikes, but the Terra has my eye with all-road capability and on-road performance. It’s still a stiff chassis, but larger tires can do wonders. The only downside are some of the outlandish color schemes. Luckily, MyO program can have you up and running with whatever color scheme suits your fancy.
Cervelo R3 Disc
As one of the winningest platforms in history, Cervelo’s R-Series gets a new R3 disc for 2018. And, it also gets a killer bright-yellow color scheme. With clearance for 28mm tires, this one is still an on-road machine, but expect comfort and zippiness in spades here — without breaking the bank.
Canyon Endurace CF SLX Disc
Since their entry into the US market, Canyon is struggling keeping up with demand, but we’re guessing they will figure it out and the Endurace CF SLX Disc is the one we’ve got our eyes on. With great styling, amazing prices and buzz-winning performance, the Endurace CF SLX has all the trappings to be the best bike for everyone not racing in a Grand Tour. We’ll see if it gives the BMC Roadmachine 01 a run for the best endurance bike on the market.