The term 'road bike' is very broad these days with the emergence of endurance and aerodynamic bikes, but the traditional road bike is still a staple of the pro peloton and any group ride around the US. Traditional road bikes are built to be lightweight, agile, and high-performing machines. They don't have the aero tube shapes and profile of an aerodynamic bike, or the elongated headtube and wheelbase of an endurance bike. Instead, they have featherlight frames and are designed to perform equally well when climbing mountains or racing on flat roads. For this reason, the majority of general classification riders in the professional racing will favor the traditional road bike design over an aerodynamic or endurance specific bike.
Here are seven of the best traditional road bikes for 2016 for under $2,500.
Scott Addict 30
The Scott Addict 30 shares the same 'HMF / IMP SUPERLIGHT Carbon technology' frame and fork as the rest of the Addict range, except for the top shelf Team Issue and SL versions. The approximate weight for the complete bike is an astounding 7.86kg thanks largely in part to the 860g frame and 360g fork combo, but with different componentry could tick under the 7kg barrier (The Addict 10 with Shimano Dura-Ace components and Syncros wheelset weighs 6.92kg).
The Addict has the same race geometry utilized by Orica-GreenEDGE and IAM Cycling, and includes an oversized bottom bracket to improve power transfer. The frame comes in an impressive size range, from the tiny 47cm, right up to the XXL 61cm.
RRP: $2,499.95 USD
Frame: Addict HMF / IMP SUPERLIGHT Carbon technology / Road Race geometry / Replaceable Dropout / STD Seattube / INT BB
Fork: Addict HMF, 1 1/8" - 1 1/4" Carbon steerer, Integrated Carbon Dropout
Drivetrain: Shimano FC - RS500 52x36, Shimano 105 Black RD & FD
Wheels: Shimano WH RS11-A, Continental Grand Sport Race Fold 700x23C
Cannondale CAAD 12 105
For the longest time, Cannondale has been the industry leader when it comes to aluminium bikes thanks to the CAAD series. While many other manufacturers have switched their focus to carbon bikes, Cannondale have stayed the course and continued to develop and refine this aluminium classic. The frame is made from SmartFormed 6069 Alloy and is said to be lighter and stiffer than previous CAAD versions. The CAAD is available with a number of different groupsets, this version equipped with Cannondale HollowGram Cranks and Shimano 105 front and rear derailleur. It also comes in a Shimano BR785/505 Hydraulic Disc version with Maddux RD 2.0 wheels if you prefer a little extra stopping power.
There's never been a better time to join the Aluminati.
RRP: $1,680 USD
Frame: CAAD12, SmartFormed 6069 Alloy, SPEED SAVE, BB30a
Fork: CAAD12, SPEED SAVE, BallisTec full carbon, 1-1/8" to 1-1/4" steerer, integrated crown race
Drivetrain: Cannondale HollowGram Crank, Shimano 105 RD & FD
Wheels: Mavic Aksium, Schwalbe Lugano, 700x25c, folding
Trek Emonda S6
When Trek created their Emonda line they had one goal: 'to create the lightest line of production road bikes ever offered'. No doubt they succeeded with the Emonda SLR frame weighing a featherlight 690grams and a total build weight of 4.88kg for a 56cm. Thankfully much of the same technology has filtered down to the 'SL' and 'S' series, the Emonda S series representing a more affordable lightweight option. The S series is made from Ultralight 300 Series OCLV Carbon and shares the 'ride-tuned performance tube optimization' and 'E2 tapered head tube' the other Emonda models do.
The Emonda S6 is rounded out nicely with complete Shimano Ultegra groupset and Bontrager's own wheelset and tires.
RRP: $2,499.99 USD
Frame: Ultralight 300 Series OCLV Carbon, ride-tuned performance tube optimization, E2 tapered head tube, BB86.5, DuoTrap compatible
Fork: Émonda carbon, E2
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra, 50/34 (compact), Shimano Ultegra RD & FD
Wheels: Bontrager alloy hubs, Bontrager Tubeless Ready rims, Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x23c
BMC TeamMachine SLR03
The TeamMachine SLR03 'pays homage to the characteristics of the Teammachine family', giving you a taste of what the pro's of BMC Racing Team have at their disposal. The SLR03 geometry is almost identical to the SLR02 and SLR01, albeit with different frame materials affecting weight and stiffness. The result is the same great handling and comfort of the SLR01 and SLR02, which took literally thousands of versions to perfect through BMC's proprietary computer technology.
The SLR03 is available with a range of Shimano drivetrains: Ultegra, 105, Tiagra or Sora. The 105 model here is equipped with a standard 50/34 compact setup on the front, and a large 11-32 cassette on the back, ready to conquer the steepest of climbs.
RRP: $2,149 USD
Frame: Teammachine SLR03, ACE Technology, 03 Carbon
Fork: Teammachine SLR, 03 Carbon, Angle Compliance
Drivetrain: Shimano FC-RS500, 50-34T, Shimano 105 RD & FD
Wheels: Shimano RS010, Continental Ultra Sport 2 SL, 700 x 23C, Folding
Specialized Tarmac Elite
The Tarmac from Specialized has to be one of the most winningest bikes in pro cycling history: Contador, Aru, Sagan, Majka, Nibali, the list is endless and it doesn't seem to matter what the terrain is. It could be the mountainous Giro, the prestigious Tour de France, the Classics, or even the World Championship; all have been won onboard the all-conquering Tarmac. The Tarmac Elite shares much of the same performance features of its cousins at a much lower price tag.
The 2016 Tarmac Elite has Specialized FACT carbon frame and fork, Shimano 105 drivetrain, and Fulcrum Racing S5 wheels: a ready-to-race package at an affordable price.
RRP: $2,400 USD
Frame: Specialized FACT 9r carbon, FACT construction, compact race design, 1-3/8" lower bearing, OSBB
Fork: Specialized FACT carbon, monocoque, OS race for 1-3/8" bearing
Drivetrain: TURN Zayante by Praxis Works, BB30, 52/36T, Shimano 105 RD & FD
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing S-5, S-Works Turbo, 120TPI, folding bead, BlackBelt protection, 700x24mm
Focus Cayo 105
The Cayo series from Focus fits into the performance category: racey enough for crits, and comfortable enough for Gran Fondos and long rides for hours on end. The Cayo's geometry is a little more forgiving than the 'Race' Focus Izalco Max, and also comes with 25mm Schwalbe Lugano tires to further aid comfort. The Cayo 105 comes in a large size range from 48cm to 60cm and each frame is individually designed to optimize weight-to-stiffness ratio - a 60cm frame isn't just a bigger 48cm frame.
As the name suggests, the Cayo 105 comes with the ever-reliable Shimano 105 drivetrain and a disc version of the 105 is also available.
RRP: $2,050 USD
Frame: Cayo P2T Carbon
Fork: Focus CRF 01 Carbon T4
Drivetrain: Shimano RS500 52/36, Shimano 105 FD & RD
Wheels: Fulcrum CEX 7.0, Schwalbe Lugano 622 X25
Bianchi Intenso 105
The Intenso was created by Bianchi to be 'a true all-around endurance race bike', perfect for those looking for equal measures of comfort and performance. The longer headtube eliminates the need for spaces that can negatively affect handling of the bike, and Bianchi have developed unique carbon lay-up techniques to take some of the vibration out of the road without creating an endurance type geometry often seen with 'comfort' bikes.
As the name suggests, the Intenso 105 comes with Shimano 105 drivetrain and features Fulcrum Racing Sport wheelset.
RRP: $2,299.99 USD
Frame: Carbon Endurance C2C
Fork: Full Carbon 1-1/8" - 1.5" with Kevlar
Drivetrain: Shimano FC-R565-L 50/34 Compact, Shimano 105 FD & RD
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing Sport, Hutchinson Equinox 2 700 x 23