Lust-Worthy Road Machines

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Road Bikes of 2017

July 24, 2017 Sports and Outdoors By Photo by Alex Stein, Henry Phillips

Cannondale CAAD12 Disc Ultegra


This CAAD12 might just be the best bike, in terms of value, in cycling. Constructed out of rigid, lightweight 6069 aluminum alloy, the bike is spec’d with Shimano’s Ultegra drivetrain, flat-mount disc brakes, a carbon fork and Cannondale’s proprietary HollowGram crank. It’s quick, no doubt. And just plain pretty. For the price, no other bike comes close. – Jack Seemer

Breadwinner Lolo


This season, I’ve been riding the Breadwinner Lolo. I’m not one to care a great deal about how aero my bike is or how fast I can sprint off the line. The thing that matters most to me is comfort sprinkled with a bit of performance, and the Lolo delivers. The workmanship on the frame is incredible — the weld seams on the Columbus Life tubing are nearly invisible. If I could only have one pony in the stable, the Lolo would be it. – AJ Powell

Colnago V1-r


At the upper end of high-performance road bikes, the product descriptions (and the prices) begin to resemble exotic cars. We talk about sensational handling, ultra-lightweight constructions, wind-tunnel testing. So it’s no surprise that BMC has partnered with Lamborghini, Specialized with McLaren, Look with Maserati — and with the V1-r, Colnago with Ferrari. Ferrari consulted on the choice and layup of carbon fiber (as they did on Colnago’s first carbon bike in 1987), resulting in the company’s lightest frame ever, which, thanks to truncated tube profiles and extensive wind-tunnel testing, is also very aerodynamic. That translates to a ride that’s stiff, responsive and fast, whether out of the saddle in a climb, accelerating on the flats or descending on a winding mountain road. – Jeremy Berger

Argon 18 Gallium Pro


In 2005, Argon 18 launched their first full-carbon monocoque frame. Today, the Montreal-based brand is best known for their award-winning triathlon/TT bikes, but the Gallium Pro, the descendent of that monocoque they’ve refined for over a decade, is still the most beautiful bike from the Canucks. The years of fine-tuning generate a responsive ride both when climbing and sprinting, an engineering feat rarely accomplished. And for all the stiffness, the handling is smooth on descents and the bike works with the body to absorb road noise. In a performance geometry with a matte-black finish and a pop of red on the seat tube, it seems that for the Gallium, time has fostered perfection. – Matthew Ankeny

Speedvagen Road


First impressions from riding a 2016 road edition? This isn’t a cute, talk-about-your-steel-bike kind of steel bike. The stock geometry is racier than most carbon frames and relatively large tubing means that it’ll sprint and descend with the best of them despite having that trademark steel comfort. But the reason you buy a Speedvagen isn’t really the geometry or the tube set — just look at the damn thing. The finish work is miles beyond anyone else (see: painted components, stainless brake bridge, hidden Di2 battery cap, infinite other things) and all of the stock paint schemes are immaculate (if you’re going to get one though, get the “Surprise Me”). This is a bike that, a bit like a golden retriever puppy, manages to justify its exorbitant cost when you catch your first glimpse of it. Then you can’t imagine another day without it. – Henry Phillips

Parlee Altum


Out of all the lightweight carbon bikes I’ve ridden over the years, the Altum was the first one to provide a sensation similar to riding a steel bike. We all love the idea of lightweight bikes, but most of the time, stability or comfort is sacrificed in the name of weight savings. Some carbon bikes can bounce around too much or make you nervous during a fast descent. Parlee claims to have come up with a “new layup process that places the high-modulus carbon fiber in strategic areas to maximize weight reduction without negatively impacting strength or stiffness.” Their new process certainly helped them create the best lightweight bike I’ve ridden. It didn’t bounce around while hammering in the city and it provided a great deal of stability during fast descents (I was able to achieve my first 50+ mph descent.) Paired with Di2 and Mavic carbon wheels, it’s the best bike I’ve ever ridden. – Sung Han

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AJ Powell

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