High-End Road Bikes Head To Head Review
We review four of the best high-end road bikes
The latest of our triathlon bike reviews focuses on the best high-end road bikes.
The first tempting glimpses of the heart-quickening superbikes for the next cycling season are revealed at the glitzy global shows of summer. If we’re lucky we might even get a quick five-minute spin on one somewhere foreign too. It’s not until late autumn that we get the chance to get production bikes for a proper run out on our familiar home roads, though.
The bikes in question this month are a mix of a brand new super-bling speed-bikes from Swiss innovators BMC, a stunning looking all-rounder from iconic French brand Look, a component refresh on one of our favourite aero road bikes of last year – Scott’s Foil – and a cost-effective version of the Cannondale race bike that’s been hailed as the “best bike in the world” by some.
They sound good on paper but what’s the reality when you stick a red light on and ride them dawn till dusk on dirty UK roads?
Look’s new all-rounder is as distinctive to ride as it is to look at – it’s definitely more about power and precision than it is plushy pootling.
Read the full Look 675 review
+ Innovative integrated looks and pin-sharp handling
+ Stiff power delivery
- High frame weight and harsh ride
- Di2 battery could be better integrated
Cannondale’s SuperSix isn’t a new bike, but the EVO Hi-Mod version introduced in 2012 dropped it into the competitive ultra-light frames fight. The builds available with this frame are cleverly-thought-through kit lists that create stunning performance at a relatively reasonable price.
+ Stunning ultra-light, yet powerful and punchy frameset
+ Ride is really soft but it still corners and sprints very well
- Tubular tyres will scare some people off
- Leaves you with absolutely no excuses
Scott Foil 10 (2013)
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
+ Excellent aerodynamics, yet lightweight and sweet-handling
+ New SRAM Red is far sharper than before
- Posers and windy day riders will miss last year’s Zipp kit
- Definitely on the firm rather than soft side
BMC’s Timemachine 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 Timemachine TMR01 Ultegra Di2 review
+ Cutting-edge aerodynamics, including brakes and battery
+ Awesome power delivery and handling
- Firm ride takes no prisoners
- Low kit levels for the high price
Look’s 675 is an outstanding-looking bike and if you’re after a more upright position with pin-sharp handling and powerful acceleration, with big gear capability, then it should be on your list. It can be punishing on less forgiving roads, though.
The BMC is a distinctive looking and firm-riding machine and there’s no doubting the TMR01 is an absolute speed-demon. You are compromising slightly on weight and definitely on comfort to gain the aero advantage, though, and it’s expensive as a complete bike.
Scott’s Foil 10 isn’t cheap either, but thanks to component changes it’s a better performer than it was last year. This keeps the super-light, sweet handling and punchy frameset at the top of the made-for-multi-sport, all-rounder aero road bike charts. If aero gain counts for more than comfort then we’d give the nod to the Scott.
In terms of overall performance though, Cannondale’s SuperSix EVO Hi-Mod is just jaw dropping – it’s the best all-round road bike we’ve ever ridden.