Specialized S-Works Venge ViAs
The Venge ViAs is an absurd bike with a matching price tag of 10,000 Euro. On the plus side you can pretend you’re Peter Sagan when you go for the sprint. If I could afford it, I’d buy it and swap the generic bar tape for splash tape to highlight the ridiculous stealth-bomber aerodynamics of the monocoque carbon frame.
Drag reduction extends to the front brakes hidden behind the forks and just look for where the rear brake is hidden and squeal with delight. Rumour has it a disc-ready ViAs will debut in the pro-peloton in 2016.
Focus Cayo 3.0 Disc
If you can’t wait for the Venge ViAs to go disc, for a fraction of the price of you can buy a Cayo. At just shy of 3,000 Euro it’s aimed squarely at the sportive market rather than the professional/mid-life crisis market – and the disc brakes give you the option to keep upgrading the wheels long after the caliper options offered by the 2016 ViAs spin slowly into oblivion.
Boardman Women’s Team Carbon
The redesign of Boardman’s Team Carbon range is divisive, the 80s-techno-dystopia design isn’t for everyone. The reason I opted to pimp the women’s bike is because it’s better looking than the men’s and for less than 1,300 Euros this bike is a steal.
Boardman believes that women shouldn’t be expected to pay a premium for road-specific geometry, so they’ve made sure the women’s bike is just another model in the range. Some reviewers questioned the shorter stem on the women’s Team Carbon bike, but it’s one of the cheaper parts to swap out if you want the extra-aggressive stance for the headwind.
B’Twin Ultra 720 AF
First we wouldn’t buy a B’Twin because they were new and unknown. Then we wouldn’t buy them because they looked god-awful. Then 2016 happened and Cycling Weekly awarded the Ultra 720 AF the Best Value Bike of the Year 2016. The 1,300 Euro price tag is probably the most competitive price point for road bikes, and you got a beautiful looking frame with Shimano Ultegra Groupset.
Read that sentence again. Ultegra Groupset for a 1,300 Euro bike. The design evokes Rapha, Sky, and Bianchi rolled into one – it’s understated black, blue, and white paint job, with pink accents on the trim invites the eye to linger on the frame. Oh… and it comes with a Fizik saddle and internal cable routing. Now look at that price tag again.
As nice as the B’Twin is, it’s not Celeste – the official name of the famous Bianchi turquoise. When you buy a Bianchi, you’re keeping the oldest surviving bicycle maker in business. Bianchi haven’t stopped innovating so the 2016 Speciallisima is a testament to their enduring appeal. With a frame that weighs 780g you can expect the full build to weigh in at just over 6kg.
This is a climber’s bike, but at 9,000 Euro you get more than a skinny, pretty frame. The carbon manufacturing process includes Bianchi’s CounterVail carbon material technology. In short, the frame dampens shocks from the road, making for a more comfortable randonnée. This bike is aimed squarely at the Velominati market.