Best Aero Road Bikes For Triathlon Review

| Bike Reviews | Bikes & Cycling Gear | Gear | 16/05/2013 11:35am
No Comments

All of the best aero road bikes we’ve reviewed in one handy source

Not quite ready to take the plunge and invest in a full-on time trial/triathlon bike? But like the sound of an aerodynamic advantage when you compete? An aero road bike could be just what you’re looking for.

Lighter and better-handling than TT bikes, but quicker through the air than standard road bikes, they’re potentially the ultimate all-rounders.

Here you’ll find our archive of the top-scoring aero road bikes we’ve tested, with all receiving at least 4/5. They’re listed in alphabetical order, and were all still available to buy at time of publication.

You can find more bike reviews in our triathlon bike reviews archive.

 


 

BMC-TMR01-Ultegra-DI2-Super-BikeBMC TMR01 Ultegra Di2 (2013)
£6,000
bmc-racing.com / evanscycles.com

BMC’s Time Machine Road is one of the fastest and most precise-handling aero road bikes we’ve ridden. With excellent performance and potential positions comparable to full-on triathlon bikes, it’s perfect for powerful triathletes wanting one racing bike for both draft-legal and non-drafting events.

Read the full BMC TMR01 Ultegra Di2 review

Pros
+ Cutting-edge aerodynamics, including brakes and battery
+ Awesome power delivery and handling

Cons
– Firm ride takes no prisoners
– Low kit levels for the high price

Performance 5/5
Value 3/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Boardman AiR 9.0 (2013)
£1,999
boardmanbikes.com

Boardman’s AiR range has now been updated – dealers may still have these models at a discount – 2014 edition reviews coming soon

The AiR 9.0 is a great choice for those who don’t want the expense of owning separate tri and road bikes, giving an aero edge, comfort and great performance in a seriously good value package to satisfy both training and racing.

Read the full Boardman AiR 9.0 review

Pros
+ All the benefits of Boardman’s top aero road frame and outstanding kit for the price
+ Excellent handling and sublime comfort even in long sessions

Cons
– Wheels need upgrading for extra speed on race day
– Not the speediest of bikes when the gradients ramp up

Performance 4/5
Value 5/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Boardman AiR 9.4Boardman AiR 9.4 (2012/13)
£3,499.99
boardmanbikes.com

Boardman’s AiR range has now been updated – dealers may still have these models at a discount – 2014 edition reviews coming soon

With an aero edge that invisibly massages your speed upwards the whole time you’re riding it, this bike’s not just an absolute bargain for the price but an effortless way to clock up startlingly fast mileage at any price

Read the full Boardman AiR 9.4 review

Pros
+Aero efficient frame delivers a speed, comfort and handling balance
+ Outstanding kit including race-ready lightweight tubular tyres

Cons
– Not everyone will want to deal with the potential hassle of tubs
– Frame is heavier and slightly softer than the lightest aero bikes

Performance 4/5
Value 5/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Cervelo S5Cervelo S5 (2013)
£2,999.99 (frame only)
cervelo.com

The Cervelo feels solid and stable, with a thirst for speed. On long, straight roads into headwinds the bike’s aero advantages are apparent, helping you to maintain good average speeds with less perceived effort than your riding buddies, and downhill, just getting into an aero tuck gives acceleration that even heavier riders can’t match.

Read the full Cervelo S5 review

Pros
+ As fast as it looks
+ Clear aero advantages

Cons
– All those aero features don’t come cheap
–  Very rigid rear end and occasionally uncertain steering

Performance 4/5
Value 3/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Cervelo S5 Ultegra 2014Cervélo S5 Ultegra (2014)
£3,599
cervelo.com

No you haven’t read that price wrong. You really can get a Ferrari for Fiat money now. If you’re thinking of trying to find dumbed-down detail on this cut-price S5 don’t bother. You really are getting a full-spec Cervélo S5. The class of the S5 is very obvious and Cervélo clearly deserves the reputation it has for premium performance.

Read the full Cervélo S5 Ultegra review

Pros
+ Truly outstanding power delivery and straight line aerodynamic speed
+  Fantastic complete bike value compared to frame-only pricing

Cons
–  Harsh rear and flexy front end undermine comfort and handling
–  High front end won’t suit flat-back fiends

Performance 4/5
Value 3/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Felt AR4 Aero Road Bike ReviewFelt AR4 (2013)
£2,599.99
feltbicycles.com / saddleback.com (UK)

Felt’s AR range has now been updated – dealers may still have these models at a discount – see 2014 edition review below

Borrowing heavily from Felt’s DA time trial bikes, the AR4 is a sleek, fast machine that blends aerodynamic advantage with friendlier road bike geometry and versatility, resulting in a great ride for training and racing.

Read the full Felt AR4 review

Pros
+ Fast and aero
+ Perfect tri setup

Cons
– Sluggish and heavy on climbs
– Limited to hard gears

Performance 4/5
Value 3/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Felt AR2 2014 aero road bikeFelt AR2 (2014)
£4,499
saddleback.co.uk

The Felt AR has a new chassis for 2014 with claims of it being 23 per cent lighter, 39 per cent stiffer and with 24 per cent more aero performance than the previous AR, the frame drawing a lot of drag-reducing cues from the full-on aero bike in Felt’s family, the DA. Find an empty road and open the throttle and the Felt feels wonderful. The smooth aerodynamics and quiet frame give a real sense of speed even when you’re still spinning the middle ring. The faster you push the bike the smoother it feels too, with the kind of flowing vibration damping you’d expect from a sportive bike rather than an aero machine.

Read the full Felt AR2 review

Pros
+ Light, smooth, friendly handling, tri angle adjustable frameset
+ Excellent value whether you go Di2 or conventional format

Cons
– Flexy rear wheel means it’s not the stiffest option in a straight-up sprint
– We’d probably go for the AR4 and upgrade wheels later

Performance 5/5
Value 4/5
Overall 4/5

 


Ridley Noah FAST

Ridley Noah FAST (2012)
£8,100 (as tested)
ridley-bikes.com

Ridley takes the concepts of braking integration and improved airflow management to whole new levels on its super-light and super-fast all-rounder.

Read the full Ridley Noah FAST review

Pros
+ Super-stiff and silly-fast frameset with neat integrated brakes
+ Relatively light for an aero bike if you go for the frameset build-up

Cons
– Extremely expensive as a complete bike
– Unforgiving ride and needs better wheels than the standard issue

Performance 5/5
Value 3/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Scott Contessa Foil (women’s model, 2012)
£2,800
scott-sports.com

Head-turning looks with aerodynamic credentials, aggressive angles and clean, sharp lines make the Scott Contessa Foil a serious bike for contenders on the road.

Read the full Scott Contessa Foil review

Pros
+ Truly aerodynamic design throughout
+ Super responsive, especially for explosive changes of speed

Cons
– Not the most laid-back ride for those who like to mix sportives with races
– Internal cabling might put off keen home mechanics

Performance 5/5
Value 4/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Scott Foil 10Scott Foil 10 (2013)
£5,999
scott-sportsbikes.com

Scott’s Foil is one of our benchmark bikes; its combination of aerodynamic gain, super-surefooted handling and effortless climbing makes it an outstanding all-rounder.

Read the full Scott Foil 10 review

Pros
+ Excellent aerodynamics, yet lightweight and sweet-handling
+ New SRAM Red is far sharper than before

Cons
– Posers and windy day riders will miss last year’s Zipp kit
– Definitely on the firm rather than soft side

Performance 5/5
Value 4/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Scott Foil Team Issue

Scott Foil Team Issue (2013)
£6,499.99
scott-sports.com

Following on from Scott’s groundbreaking CR1 and super-light Addict, the Foil’s already well-seasoned design aims to minimise aerodynamic drag and increase efficiency. The Team Issue is a fantastically assured bike with impeccable handling and equipment, at ease with all types of fast road riding.

Read the full Scott Foil Team Issue review

Pros
+ Superbly rounded ride
+ Truncated tube shapes mean it’s not a handful in the wind

Cons
– Some riders may find the position too aggressive
– Firm ride won’t suit everyone

Performance 5/5
Value 4/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Specialized Venge Expert Di2Specialized Venge Expert Di2 (2013)
£4,200
specialized.com

When the Venge first arrived on the market with its radically different aero shaping and bold red-and- white livery, to say it polarised opinion would be something of an understatement. But as the model has evolved, and more aero road bikes have appeared, its looks seem less outlandish. In fact, we’d go so far as to say that the Expert, with its minimalist black and grey colour scheme, is a fine looking machine.

Read the full Specialized Venge Expert Di2 review

Pros
+ Perfectly pitched handling
+ Smooth and comfortable ride

Cons
– Tiagra parts on a £4,000+ bike
– Still warrants some upgrades

Performance 5/5
Value 3/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

Specialized Venge Expert ReviewSpecialized Venge Expert (2014)
£3,500
specialized.com

The Venge has been around for a few years now and in typical Specialized style, it’s a really well-rounded and easy to ride complete bike option. Despite the big frame tubes and oversized crank axle there’s a discernible loss of power at full gas. Stay in the saddle and spin though and it’s light enough to respond keenly over a tapered pace increase. It doesn’t drop speed as fast as the Wilier Cento 1 Air or the Cervélo S5 on prolonged climbs either, as long as you rely on tempo not torque. A well balanced all-rounder

Read the full Specialized Venge Expert 2014 review

Pros
+ Friendly fit with smooth, balanced handling and  an aero edge
+ Reasonably light and very well-balanced complete bike

Cons
– Noticeably soft though if you kick really hard
– Reasonably light and very well-balanced complete bike

Performance 3/5
Value 4/5
Overall 4/5

 


 

ALSO TESTED

Look 675 (2013), £3,799

Scott Foil 20 (2012), £2,799

 


 

Related Articles

Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2013 at 11:35 am under Bike Reviews, Bikes & Cycling Gear, Gear. You can subscribe to comments. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Share This Page

 



Published by:
Kelsey media Ltd
Cudham Tithe Barn,
Berry's Hill, Cudham, Kent,
TN16 3AG

Tel: 01959 541444




CONTACT US
PRIVACY POLICY

COOKIES
KELSEY MEDIA
SUBSCRIPTIONS

RUNNING FITNESS
OUTDOOR FITNESS