Building the perfect CT road bike

What’s stopping a bike company (established or not) from building a carbon race bike from 2013, with better tire clearance?

Round tubes: we know know they’re strong and easier to make than shaped tubes with less manufacturing defects/voids (CT did a podcast about this)

External cable routing: works great, easy to service, make the cable guides replaceable and have the ability to “blank” them out.

Threaded BB: if done correctly easy to service and creak free

Rim brakes: tried, tested, light. See if we can get a pair that will allow 32mm tires.

Sells in the low 2k range with shimano 105.

This seems like this is what everyone on CT wants including the writers/editors, or do we just not make up the majority of cyclists?


I’m not sure that would be an easy sell for most people. Actual strength aside, a modern shaped carbon frame looks stronger than traditional round tubes since the joints are more substantial.

I agree with the external routing, assuming you mean external past the headset, and entering the frame on the headtube or downtube. It’s much easier to put a bike on a rack without scratching it if you don’t have fully external cables. I’ve also had better luck with the cables not getting gunked up.

I think there are also a substantial number of people that prefer disc brakes (like myself) for a variety of reasons.

In short, I think that would be a very small niche market that is currently well covered by the supply of used bikes from 2013.


I would never go back to rim brakes. And internal cabling is ok if there are either sleeves molded in, or substantial ports to access the cabling. What I mostly do not want are proprietary non round seat posts, press fit bottom brackets of any kind, and internal cabling through the headset.

So I’ll be on my ti disc frame for a while probably.


Same reason they don’t build brown manual transmission station wagons with Diesel engines that have grease fittings on the suspension components these days. Enthusiasts say they’ll buy it but no one actually would buy them especially if getting peripherals is going to be difficult.

Edit: not sure you’re going to meet that 2k price point with 105. That groupset alone would eat most of the $$$.


Numbers, I think. We always have to remember that the people who read cyclingtips are probably a minority of customers and the majority seems to want something else.


Not a bike I would be interested in, or that I would suggest to a friend. Rim brakes are a no-go, external cables with hydraulic brakes make not much sense, …

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Hey, my car was a manual, diesel station wagon (but blue) until someone drove into it and wrote it off*.

Then again I make round tubed frames with external cabling, threaded BBs and whatever brakes you want. Considerably more than $2k though.

.*The replacement would have been the same but we decided to bite the bullet and go electric.


Wireless should plummet in price as soon as Sensah and the Chinese get into it more aggressively. Claris or Sora will have a wireless option in not too long at this rate, and at the price point you are aiming for. (And this is a good thing for seniors and people who require more ‘accessible’ shifting.)

Wireless takes care of 67% (for 1x)/75% (for 2x) of the internal cabling issue on cheap bikes. Running a single guide for a rear disc housing should be manageable for most manufacturers.

Rim is dead, sadly. There is basically no upgrade path at this point, which means there will be no reasonable resale value for rim bikes. Mech disc will improve (see JuinTech GT-F) and likely be the budget option for price and serviceability, or you can get super cheap hydro today. (Not sure you would want to ride it, and it’s probably disposable v serviceable, but there you go.)

Round carbon is not necessary with wider rims and wider tires. You can get a very comfortable ride on 32s with an alloy frame. It’s not as repairable as carbon, but no one is going to bother repairing a cheap carbon frame. Go alloy and lower the price.

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1st, I’d offer that it doesn’t and shouldn’t need to be CF. But supposing it were and with tube dimensions like the original Looks, you won’t need the 32s. I still use 23s on my two older bikes and they ride better than 28s on any of my newer bikes.


Nowhere near everyone on CT, let alone Joe Public, just a bunch of vocal retro-grouches.

I suspect most buyers who claim to want such a bike already have a really nice one with DA or Record on it, and have no desire for a cheap 105 spec bike. Personally I’ve already got a really nice 2008 model road bike, and having discs on all my other bikes I have no interest whatsoever in a new road bike with rim brakes. Hydraulic discs are just better, with less maintenance.

I’m also completely fine with a press-fit bottom bracket, had one on my last MTB and it was smooth and free spinning for the 8 years I owned the bike.
While I don’t want cabling routed through the headset, I’m happy with it being internal from the side of the head tube back. If it can work in a full suss enduro bike that gets thrashed in the mud, it’s fine in a road bike.


I can’t even be bothered with a detailed reply to this and co…I just come for the sh…t show comments now.


Those bikes existed, maybe not in carbon but still. In aluminium you can still find The Vynl mentioned in another post (if that company hasn’t gone AWOL). I’d be interested to see which 39-49 mm centre bolt rim brakes clear a 32 mm tyre (apart from an eeBrake): Road Rim - VYNL Bikes

The Bianchi Intenso (carbon) had everything (save from 100% round tube) with clearance for 30s (best with 28s though).

And I actually own 2 bikes that fit the bill but are not carbon (not sure carbon is 100% relevant here):

Ti that clears 32s easily (49-57 mm brakes):

Steel that eats up 42s if need be (75-75 mm brakes):


I feel like the Tarmac SL6 got pretty close in terms of a nice racy geometry, threaded BB, decent tire clearance (says it clears a 30 which probably means a 32), partially internal cable routing (not through the headset)


On the lower carbon grade more recent ones yes, but i think OSBB was still all the rage when the SL6 was first released.

Also the Specialized Aethos seems to fit the bill here perfectly.


Consumer preferences - the bike brands try to make what they predict will sell.

That is, we bike buyers wouldn’t buy one. The demise of the rim brake happened much faster than they had predicted, because they just didn’t sell next to disc, which is why there were deep discounts on them for a while. People are willing to pay a premium for aero bikes which don’t really cost manufacturers almost anything extra.

Personally, when it’s time to retire / I crash hard enough to break my current bike (which is an aero road bike with discs) my next bike will be, well, whatever is modern at the time. Although I’ll probably splurge a bit to get a quality frame from the EU or near abroad, like a Time or a Look.

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No need to wait for Sensah or anyone else. We already have a cheap and super-flexible wireless option with the Archer Components systems.

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Other than the price.


Soma + Paul + Tubus for the win. I think a lot of people would be very happy with a bike like that, based on my survey of one (me).


We already have one, reviewed by AVB:

I’m not going back to rim brake and yes the price is somewhat a bit pricey.