Push performance and training motivation with a new road bike for the summer months ahead. From pro-level rides to budget buys, here’s your guide to the best bikes of 2021.
With summer gliding into view, it’s time to explore the great British countryside by bike – and there is no better way to turbo-charge your mood, energy and performance than by investing in a new ride.
Whether you want to splash your lockdown savings or hunt for a bargain deal, experience an innovative new design or indulge in a classic frame, buying a bike is a deeply personal choice.
But whatever your taste, we’ve rounded up the best new road bikes to keep you rolling all summer.
MF BEST BUY:
Specialized S-Works Aethos Dura Ace Di2
Yes, you could buy a car for the price of Specialized’s stunning new lightweight design, but would a car make you as happy or as healthy?
If you have been saving up your cash during lockdown, the Aethos is the object of beauty you’ve been waiting for.
With a frame weight of just 585g and a total weight of 5.9kg (so light it would be disqualified at the Tour de France) it is the U.S. giant’s lightest ever bike.
Sculpted for optimal aerodynamics, it delivers a uniquely agile and exhilarating ride. This S-Works edition, fitted with Shimano Dura-Ace components, is the top-of-the-range model, but you can pick up an Expert model with high-quality Ultegra components for around half the price (£5,500).
Fuji Transonic 2.1
Fusing elegant Japanese bike heritage with an advanced shape which slashes drag by 6.2 per cent compared to the previous model, the Fuji Transonic 2.1 is a perfectly pitched mid-ranger which delivers speed, style and stamina-boosting comfort.
Featuring a sleek carbon frameset, Shimano Ultegra gearing and disc brakes, and some reassuringly thoughtful detailing – including neatly concealed cables and clearance for 32mm tyres – this is a versatile all-rounder.
The colour shouldn’t matter, but it does, and Fuji’s ‘cement grey’ is one seriously stylish shade.
Trek Domane AL 2 Disc 2021
Bagging a brand new 2021 bike from American bike experts Trek for less than £1,000 represents one seriously good deal.
But given that the Domane Al 2 comes with 16-speed Shimano Claris gears, mounts for mudguards, and a vibration-damping carbon fork, this is one of the best investments a first-time rider could make.
The robust aluminium frame can handle all the potholes on your commute and the Tektro C550 disc brakes provide extra stopping power.
Genesis Equilibrium Disc
Combining old-school durability with sleek, clean lines, steel frames are increasingly popular with today’s riders.
With its Reynolds 725 steel tubing, the Genesis Equilibrium is a robust and reliable bike that can handle any weather.
But with its Shimano 105 groupset, 32mm clearance for tyres, and confidence-boosting disc brakes, you are also bagging plenty of modern-day perks.
Vitus Zenium CR Road Bike
As the in-house brand of Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles, Vitus delivers quality French-designed bikes at the low costs you expect from online retailers.
The Zenium combines a compact carbon frame and sporty sloping top tube with Shimano 105 components and hydraulic disc brakes to provide an affordable bike that’s both robust enough for a commute and speedy enough for a sportive.
Boardman SLR 8.9 Carbon
Few brands can match Boardman’s unique combination of innovative frame engineering and high-spec components as standard.
At little over £1,000, the new SLR 8.9 offers a light, stiff carbon frame but with the welcome bonus of 11-speed Shimano 105 gearing, puncture-resistant Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tyres, and a pressure-mapped Boardman SLR saddle for extra comfort.
Specialized Tarmac SL7 SW DI2
The Tarmac SL7, which is piloted by pro riders such as road world champions Julian Alaphilippe and Peter Sagan, combines aero innovations with a lightweight 800g frame to empower riders to ride 45 seconds faster over 40km than on the previous Tarmac iteration.
With a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and power meter, and Roval CLX Rapide wheels, this is a Tour de France-ready machine.
Scott Addict Gravel 20
Although standard road bikes are your perfect summer companion, allowing you to cover huge distances at speed, gravel bikes are a hugely popular new upgrade for roadies.
The Scott Addict Gravel 20 combines a road-ready carbon frame with rugged 35mm Schwalbe G-One tyres and 22-speed Shimano gears so you can ride on and off road to really expand your horizons this summer.
Pinnacle Laterite 3
A smart, simple and reliable ride, the Pinnacle Laterite 3 is an impressive budget choice which comes with the surprising addition of Shimano 105 components – a rare feature at this price range.
With a durable aluminium frame, mounts for panniers and mud guards, and a fuss-free frame shape, this bike is built for practicality and performance, which is exactly what a new road rider needs.
Cinelli Veltrix Disc 105
From its head-turning blue and red colour scheme to its elegant carbon contours, the new Cinelli Veltrix is a dose of envy-inducing Italian style which performs beautifully on English roads.
With its 1,250g carbon frame and full-carbon forks, the bike can handle our short, sharp British ascents, but its comfortable geometry also makes it ideal for long sunset-chasing summer rides.
Words: Mark Bailey