Bike of the Year
If 2019 has been the year of gravel/adventure then there's no
better ambassador than the OPEN WI.DE. (WInding DEtours).
OPEN have already proved to be masters of the sector with their UP
and UPPER models, and the WI.DE. takes things a step further with
the ability to run tyres up to a whopping 2.4in wide in 650B (46mm
Those distinctive double-dropped chainstays give maximum
clearance whilst still permitting the use of road, rather than MTB,
cranksets, keeping the q-factor nice and compact. This, together
with some pin-sharp handling, makes this a far more versatile bike
than you might expect from the chunky tyres (in fact, pop some
35-40mm slicks on there and you have a brilliant long-distance mile
muncher for road use).
many brilliant OPEN builds this year, which really show off the
versatility of the frame, and it's a bike that simply looks
'right'. In a year that's seen a huge amount of technical
innovation across all disciplines, the WI.DE. stands out as a
unique take on the gravel/adventure theme.
This relatively small, independent brand (their motto is
"Working hard to stay small") draws on the combined experience of
design supremo Gerard Vroomen and industry legend Andy Kessler to
build the kind of bikes that they want to ride themselves
(something that they share with our other favourites, Parlee). In
doing so they've created some real stars, of the kind that bigger
brands might overlook, and we can't wait to see what they do
Meanwhile we're looking forward to our next WI.DE. build, every
single one is unique (check out just a few of the many options in
our interactive online Bike
Moots Routt RSL
Another gravel champ that's just as happy covering long distances
on the road, with the natural flex and durability of titanium
providing comfort without compromising on performance. Moots
handbuild each frame at their home in Steamboat Springs, Colorado,
from US-made titanium tubes, and their impeccably neat, precise
welds are a thing of beauty.
The RSL is the lightest, stiffest Moots "multi-surface" frame,
with a racy geometry, room for tyres up to 40mm wide, and
3D-printed Ti disc brake mounts. We just love the ride quality of
Specialized Shiv Disc
It's not all gravel, of course, and the Specialized have seriously
impressed us with their latest Shiv triathlon bike. Adjustability
is the key here - this is a cutting edge design with some
impressive aero features giving it a uniquely aggressive look, but
it's also a pleasure to fit (and correct fit, after all, is at the
heart of everything we do).
Check out this
recent full-on 'dream build' for an example of just how far
this speed machine can go.
Specialized Turbo Creo SL
E-bikes have turned a corner this year, they're no longer solely
the preserve of the casual cyclist. The Turbo Creo SL is the
perfect example - a proper road bike that looks, feels and handles
like any other high-end machine - it just happens to have smooth,
range-extending power built in when you want it.
Dave Arthur took it for a spin up Box Hill and was
suitably impressed. We're finally at the stage where you don't
need to worry about being an "early adopter" - e-bikes have
matured, and we're going to be seeing a lot more of them in the