Shimano now offering flat-mount Tiagra disc brakes

tiagra disc 2

Riders desiring hydraulic disc brakes on their road bikes can now get flat-mount discs from Shimano at a Tiagra price point. Previously, Shimano only offered this technology at Ultegra and 105 levels.

tiagra disc 3

The BR-RS405 system uses 140 or 160 mm rotors with Shimano’s heat-dissipating ICE technology. Shifters feature 10 mm of reach adjust and will accommodate 10-speed cassettes.

tiagra disc 1

Pricing has not yet been set. Aftermarket availability is predicted for July 2016.



First Impression: Marin Lombard

Marin Lombard—WEB (1 of 20)

Editor’s note: Here at Bicycle Times we are as mindful of price as you are. So we gathered together a group of six very diverse bikes to showcase what you can find right now at the $1,000 price point. See our introduction here.

Marin describes the Lombard as having been “Birthed from cyclocross and touring parents…” and “Part adventure bike, and part urban warrior.” Those descriptions certainly had me sold from the get-go, this is my kind of bike: versatile.

Marin Lombard—WEB (16 of 20)

We’ve had a lot of conversation around the office lately about just how good bikes around and under the $1,000 price point are these days. Assembling the Lombard further cemented that point in my mind. On initial impression, this bike is very well built and spec’d at the price point.

Let’s take a walk around the bike.

Marin Lombard—WEB (13 of 20)

Due to the subtle matte grey and black palette, the Lombard’s gum-wall Schwalbe Road Cruiser tires draw your attention. These 35mm-wide tires seem like an awesome choice for a bike that will see terrain that varies from dirt to street.

Marin Lombard—WEB (7 of 20)

The second thing to strike me were the Lombard’s subtle reflective graphics. Not only is the branding minimal and tasteful, it also adds an element of visibility after dark.

Marin Lombard—WEB (18 of 20)

Promax Render R cable actuated disc brakes promise all-weather stopping power front and rear. Note the Lombard’s dual eyelets for both a rack and fenders. By mounting the brake inside the rear triangle, Marin greatly simplified rack and fender installation.

Marin Lombard—WEB (8 of 20)

Check out that headbadge and ample tire clearance in the fork with the stock 35mm tires. Looks to me like a 40mm would fit no problem. Might even be able to squeeze a 45mm in there.

Marin Lombard—WEB (20 of 20)  Marin Lombard—WEB (19 of 20)

Rear tire clearance is generous at the seatstays, but a little less forgiving at the chainstays. Anything much bigger than a 40mm tire looks to be a tight fit.

Marin Lombard—WEB (10 of 20)

The Lombard’s 9-speed Sora drivetrain with the 50/39/30 triple chainring offers a wide range of gearing. Let me tell you, this Sora group operates more like an Ultegra group from the 9-speed era than an entry level drivetrain. It really is that good.

Marin Lombard—WEB (9 of 20)  Marin Lombard—WEB (12 of 20)

Marin’s house-brand cockpit rounds out the build. All of these bits are functionally perfect and the fit is spot on for me.

Look for the full Lombard review in Issue #33 of Bicycle Times. Subscribe to the magazine or our eNews to have more of this great content delivered directly to your inbox.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the brand of brake calipers.



First Impression: Specialized Diverge A1


Editor’s note: Here at Bicycle Times we are as mindful of price as you are. So we gathered together a group of six very diverse bikes to showcase what you can find right now at the $1,000 price point. See our introduction here.

All-surface road bikes are what the popular kids are riding—especially here in Northern California—and we also enjoy moderate climates, rolling terrain, and unlimited riding opportunities. So it’s no surprise to see NorCal’s own Specialized launch its Diverge line of bikes with disc brakes, endurance geometry, and tire clearance for up to 700x35c rubber. We are reviewing the Diverge as part of our $1,000 bike round up.

The Diverge line includes seven models, from the $8,500 flagship Carbon Di2 to the entry-level $1,100 A1, which we received for testing in late October. Three models are available with a carbon frame and fork, with four available with an aluminum frame and carbon fork. The A1 frame is welded aluminum, mated to a Specialized FACT carbon fork with Zertz gel inserts for road chatter damping. The entry-level 8-speed Shimano Claris group helps keep the overall price of the bike down, but also contributes to its stout 24-plus pounds.


Gearing is a spot-on 50/34-tooth crankset and 11-32-tooth cassette, providing ideal cruising and climbing options. Shifting was a little slower than I’m accustomed to after riding several Dura-Ace and Ultegra equipped machines the past year, and the external shifting cables were a bit distracting at first.


The taller headtube and bowed top tube props me up a bit taller than my daily rider, but I settled in quicker than I thought. I appreciate bikes with longer wheelbases, and the 700x30c Specialized Espoir Sport tires still provide room for fenders; Specialized included handy threaded bosses on the chainstay bridge and rear dropouts to add its Plug + Play fender set.

After spending the past couple months on a repurposed Ibis Hakkalügi Disc bike, I’m ready to put the Diverge A1 through its paces on my test loop through Arastradero Preserve.


Look for a full review in Bicycle Times Issue #33, along with our complete overview of the six $1,000 Bikes For Work & Play, available in early February.



Shimano announces new road disc brake mount

Renderings courtesy of Shimano

Shimano has never been afraid to reinvent the proverbial wheel, and today it has announced it has done it again with a new road disc brake mount standard dubbed Flat Mount.

The new mount has been developed with “leading road bike brands” and we will likely see it equipped on some 2015 models this fall. The design allows road bike manufacturers to move away from the traditional mountain bike mounting system for a cleaner, more integrated look. It will still be backwards compatible with the proper adapters, Shimano says. It also has no visible hardware and will allow easier tool access for rear brake calipers tucked inside the rear triangle.

No actual product images yet, but when they are available we will post them here.



Review: Tektro HyRd hydraulic brakes


Mountain bikes have been reaping the benefits of hydraulic disc brakes for years now, and while they were finicky at first, the products available now are virtually maintenance-free. When they first began appearing on road bikes, mechanical discs were the obvious stop-gap—a brake cable is a brake cable, after all. But now that discs are becoming more prevalent, roadies want the benefits of hydraulic fluid, too.

Read the full story


SRAM publishes ‘stop use immediately’ notice for hydraulic brakes


Disc brakes have made a big push into the cyclocross and even road bike markets in the past year, but they certainly have had their share of bumps in the road along the way. SRAM, Shimano and TRP have all issued recalls for some of their disc brake products, but the latest news from SRAM trumps them all.

Despite an earlier recall that affected only a small production group of SRAM RED hydraulic disc road brakes, the new recall covers ALL hydraulic disc and rim brakes, and recommend riders stop using them immediately for their own safety.

Click here to read the full text of the announcement.


First Impression: Women’s Liv/Giant Invite 2

By Emily Walley

Liv/giant is Giant’s initiative to reach out to female cyclists offering bikes and gear designed by and for women. Click here to read the Liv/giant philosophy. The Invite 2 is Giant’s women’s-specific, drop-bar bike for mixed-terrain adventure. Its aluminum frame makes it light weight, only 24lbs. with the stock pedals, so I’m able to tote the bike up and down steps without a grunt. Read the full story

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