Over the past few years we’ve seen a massive step up in the development of performance frames, with technological advances and innovation leading to more and more competition to create the fastest bikes. Arguably the biggest player in this fight has been aerodynamics. The focus on creating the most streamlined machines possible has made 2019 the year of the aero bike. Drag is the biggest force working against a rider, so eliminating every bit possible is the biggest challenge for the manufacturers.
At speeds in excess of 15mph air resistance is the biggest force you must overcome. It’s massively more important than rolling resistance or weight. Even on a climb the gradient must be 8% or above for weight be as important as aerodynamics for even an average rider. And of course, what goes up must come down, and you make up more on the descent than you lose on the climb with an aero frame. Not to mention the time spent on the flat.
With all this being said, we’re proud to have the best the aero market has to offer, with each appealing to a slightly different rider.
Cannondale System Six:
The most aerodynamic complete bike in the world.
Thorough and verified testing in numerous settings demonstrate that this race-bred speed machine really is the lowest-drag, most efficient, all-around fastest UCI-legal road bike on the market today. Not only the fastest in the wind tunnel. Not only the fastest for a select few riders in a select few scenarios, but the fastest for anyone interested in going faster, just about everywhere you’d want to go faster.
Orbea Orca Aero:
The best all-round aero bike. Extremely aero, but also a fantastic climber and stiff for the sprinters.
Chase small improvements in every aspect of your riding, but don’t overlook the massive advantage offered by Orca Aero. A bike that doesn’t just cheat the wind but openly defies it – an ode to efficiency and stiffness that relishes the assault of a 1700 watt finish – Orca Aero is the perfect accomplice for riders who aspire to become more familiar with the podium. Marginal gains are for those playing the long game – Orca Aero would rather take the win today.
Aero plus comfort – an all round bike for those looking for speed and smoothness.
Aria is Italian for “Air” – and cutting through it is what this bike is all about, using numerous features inherited from Bianchi’s pro-level TT bike, the Aquila. While its stablemates, the Oltre XR3 and XR4, make use of patented Countervail technology to deliver unrivalled stiffness for sprinting and all-out maximal effort, the Aria is focused on all-round all-day use alongside pure aero speed. And it certainly succeeds in this aim – the Aria is a rare thing; an aero bike that rides incredibly smoothly with no compromise in agility or responsiveness.
Bianchi Oltre XR3 + XR4:
Aero bikes built for the sprinters.
The only word to describe the Bianchi Oltre XR4 is stunning – both in looks and in ride quality. It is without question one of the best looking any of us has ever seen – that in itself puts it at the top of most people’s wish-list – but to back that up with a ride that is class leading in every sense makes the XR4 irresistible. Never has a bike with these levels of stiffness, power transfer or aerodynamics delivered such a sublimely smooth ride feel, with handling that is just perfection!
The XR3 is inspired by, and derived from, the XR4 which was developed in close conjunction with the pro riders of the UCI WorldTour Team Lotto NL – Jumbo. The proven (and unique) benefits of Countervail technology in eliminating vibration, reducing fatigue and enhancing handling are all carried over from the XR4. What differs is the frame shape and the carbon fibre lay-up that the Countervail material sits within. Like the XR4 this is a highly aerodynamic bike – the frame is slightly simpler in places, but retains 90% of the aero benefits and a striking family resemblance.
The ultimate exotic Italian aero bike. It is the combination of pure power and speed. Every detail has been studied to bring the aerodynamic performance to a higher level. Superb ride quality and efficiency transform this bike into a real weapon with which to fight your competitors!
Possibly the highest performance aero bikes ever made, and offering a range that arguably has the best of all worlds as well. Big announcement coming mid-September. Watch this space!