Picking the best road bikes will always create an uproar. At the end of the day, factors like fit and desired ride quality mean that, for some riders, one bike could be the greatest thing since handlebar shifters, while to others it seems more like a Softail mountain bike. For that reason, we decided to simply pick our favorite bikes out of the ones we’ve ridden so far this year. Hours of deliberation, meticulous research, and most importantly, riding, are boiled down into the bikes that we dug the most. Whether it was the pristine paint job that won us over, or the impeccable craftsmanship, or the feeling of confidence we had with the bike beneath us, these bikes all gave us what we desire most in a road bike.
Scott Solace 10 Disc
I’m getting older. And I’m getting slower. And sometimes my back hurts. And I don’t climb like I used to (which, if we’re honest here, wasn’t that great anyway). And so, for the first time in my cycling life, I found myself in among the majority of cyclists out there shopping for and buying bikes — I was in the “endurance” geometry market. Thankfully, endurance isn’t a dirty, bad, boring word. Rather, it’s a quite nice word, and one that sets you up for a quality ride at, typically, a fantastic value. Scott sent me a Solace 10 Disc to try on for size, equipped with mechanical Ultegra and Scott’s Syncros components and wheels. It fit perfectly. The bike comes stock with 28mm tires (my favorite size for road), hydraulic disc brakes, through axels, and a color scheme and geometry that could easily be confused for a “performance” bike. It rode like a dream. It was — if I may let my old man side run wild a bit — regenerative to ride. Fatigue took longer to settle in, the ride was comfortable without being bland and the bike quickly became my go-to steed for anything other than crit or circuit races. And, right in the mid-$3,000s, it’s one of the best values in bikes. – Matthew Ankeny
Canyon Ultimate CF SLX Disc 8.0 Di2
Over my bike testing years, I’ve fallen hard for a lot of two wheeled Sirens. But over time, some of the amore wears off and logic takes control. You start to parse out not simply by “life-partner” or “summer fling,” but by what’s a solid value, what’s a good ride for a particular rider, what’s a “future proof,” smart buy, et cetera, et cetera. The romance wears away, and things become more cerebral. With this Canyon, all that’s out the window. I love this bike. I am in love with this bike. It’s perfect. The right mix of racy, stiff, responsive, fast, with steady, secure, supple and comfortable. In this groupset — Ultegra Di2 and Mavic Cosmic wheels — you can’t find a more trustworthy, long-term bet. Add on the hype of Canyon coming stateside, and you cannot hear a more seductive carbon fiber call than this. Give in; there’s no shipwreck with this one. – Matthew Ankeny
BMC Roadmachine 01
The BMC Roadmachine 01 is the pinnacle of the Swiss brand’s road bike line. It’s fast, confidence inspiring and comes with all of the bells and whistles you could hope for in a road bike. The version we tested came kitted with Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 and hydraulic road disc brakes which make you feel like you’re riding a space-age terminator version of the Roadmachine. Virtually every piece of the bike is integrated and internally routed — which makes for a buttery smooth and clean aesthetic. On the flipside, it also makes the bike a bit of a hassle to get set up. Once the bike is fit to you however, the struggle is well worth it for the payoff in aesthetics.
At the end of the day however, aesthetics only take a bike so far and ride performance is where it really counts. The Roadmachine knocks it out of the park. It’s a race-bred steed that isn’t too absurd to designate as your go-to road bike. Don’t get us wrong, it’s not the most comfortable bike out there, but it’s stiff in all the right places and offers compliance enough to tackle your favorite 60-miler.
Cannondale SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra Di2
To be frank, it doesn’t get more pro than the SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod. The V-brake version is the bike of choice for many of the riders on the Cannondale-Drapac professional cycling team during the Tour de France (notably American Taylor Phinney). The disc brake version, in our opinion, is even better (damn UCI and its silly rules!). The frame is laterally stiff, yet compliant in all the right places. Even riding through the less-than-smooth streets of NYC, it isn’t totally jaw shattering — that’s pretty astounding for a hi-mod carbon performance road bike. If there’s one knock on the bike, it’s the aesthetics of the fork (it’s a bit too lean for our tastes). But last I checked, aesthetics have little to do with performance and the one-piece BallisTec fork saves weight and provides some next-level ride quality.
Now, get a kit to match the bike. Read the Story