Road bike buyers guide part one - PERFORMANCE

Road bike buyers guide part one - PERFORMANCE

With the changing times that we are all living in now, it can be hard to qualify a new bike purchase, especially a high-dollar model that will last you years. However, we have been experiencing a demand for bikes at every price level since the beginning days of the pandemic here in the US. 
We field calls and emails daily about bikes, what kind to buy, what to do with them (how and where to ride), and what bike to buy at a given price point. We are hoping that this “bike boom” will continue for many reasons, but the only one that really matters is we hope it continues so the health and growth and love of the bicycle continue.
With that, we are hoping that this series of buyers guides will be helpful, entertaining, and educational enough to empower you to decide what bike is for you, how much to spend, and above all, help open the door to the love of cycling.
Road Bikes
Road bikes are probably the largest category and the easiest to recognize out there as they represent maybe 40% of the sales out most shop doors. To further complicate things, there are multiple categories within the term “road bike” that I will address here first.  The categories are (in no particular order), aero, endurance, climbing, general/all around, and gravel.
We here at Incycle try to simplify these by putting them into only three groups: Performance, endurance, and gravel/cyclocross. The performance category is basically any road bike that will have a component group you can race with and will generally have a carbon fiber frame, and a really nice wheelset. By really nice, we mean at least ¼ of the cost of the overall package is spent on the wheels. Now by “nice wheels” we are not talking full carbon, they may be carbon rims, they may not be, but they will have a high-quality hub with the best bearings that manufacturer makes and 24 to 28-spoke count. We lump aero, climbing, general, and some endurance into this group. 
In this group, you will find bikes from Specialized, Scott, Cervelo, Pinarello, Cannondale, and Bianchi. All storied brands and all with individual personalities, ranging from mild to Peter Sagan. At the low-cost end of this spectrum, prices will start at around $2600 with the Specialized Sport and Comp series of Tarmac with a carbon frame, Shimano 105 groupset, and disc brakes. The Sport comes in with DT R470 wheels where the upgrade to a Comp you will see the same carbon frame/fork and DT wheelset, but now the introduction of the Ultegra group.
 Coming in a $2599.99, the Tarmac Disc SL6 Sport is a bargain. With a full carbon frame and fork, a set of DT Swiss R470 alloy-hooped wheels, and a full Shimano 105 mechanical group with wide-range gearing, you can be sure to conquer any hill or a local group ride or fondo.
 
 
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Cannondale  CAAD13 Disc 105 
From Cannondale, we bring you the CAAD13 Disc 105. A sleek, no-nonsense classic with a modern twist. For $2749.99, you get a full carbon frame/fork and an alloy-hoop Cannondale branded wheels with a Shimano 105 mechanical group. Light, fast, and nimble, this pavement-munching machine will deliver the smiles.
 
 
 
 
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 Cannondale SuperSix Evo Ultegra disc 
Here is where we will start to see prices jump. When you hit the $3000 mark, bikes will start to show serious upgrades in components and even in frames. 
A killer deal here you will find the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Ultegra disc. 
 
With features like an integrated wheel sensor for your smartphone, custom in-mold hidden cable management system, classically elegant tube profiling, and Shimano Ultegra groupset with carbon-rimmed Cannondale brand Hollowtech wheels, this bike stands it's own and comes in at $4199.99
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Bianchi  Oltre XR3
Next, we see a true, modern classic from Bianchi. The Italian brand, known for over a century for making some of the most elegant and liveliest-riding bikes on the planet, hits this one perfectly. The Oltre XR3, engineered with the pro tour team Countervail, has produced what is quite possibly the best value racer in this group. The Oltre XR4 Ultegra disc comes in at $4299.99 you get a full area frame, a custom carbon aero handlebar with internal routing, full Ultegra mechanical group with hydraulic disc brakes, Fulcrum Racing 418 Disc wheels, 
The Oltre is engineered with the Bianchi CV System to cancel the road vibration. The result is in a smooth ride and a racer who can stay focused in his fastest, most efficient aerodynamic position for longer. 
 
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 Cerveló R5
 
Coming in at $7999.99, we have the Cerveló R5. An amazing machine by any standard, but Cerveló ups the ante by bringing a special flavor of the French-Canadian roads and decades of knowledge behind them.
The R5 is a no-compromise dream machine made to handle any road, any time. With clearance to handle up to a 30mm-wide tire and a full carbon frame, fork and rims help you put the power down.
 
 
 
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Specialized S-Works Tarmac
For the no-holds-barred types out there on the opposite end, you can get one of these dream machines:
Where $11,999.99 will get you, a grand tour winning bike out of the box. With a complement electronic shifting, hydraulic disc brakes, full carbon wheels, carbon crankset/bar/stem/saddle shell, a special frame made of a custom blend of carbon fibers in a layup that makes it 20% lighter than other Tarmac frames.
 
 
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Specialized  Venge Pro Disc.
 If aero is your thing (and aero is everything) then look no further than the Venge Pro Disc.
The spec on the Venge Pro is the perfect blend of performance and value. It features Shimano Ultegra Di2 and hydraulic disc brakes, a carbon fiber Roval CL 50 Disc wheelset, and our rainbow-stripe-winning S-Works Turbo tires.
Shimano's new Ultegra Di2 with hydraulic disc brakes not only offers exceptionally smooth and crisp shifts, but it also provides incredible stopping power and modulation.
The Rider-First Engineered™, FACT 11r frame not only makes the Venge the most aerodynamic road bike we’ve ever created, but it's also lightweight and stiff in all the right places. Every tube shape, trailing edge, and design cue were influenced by hours of testing in our Win Tunnel, CFD, 3D-printed prototypes, and real-world rider feedback. Ultimately, this resulted in the fastest road bike we’ve ever made.
The Roval CL 50 disc wheelset is light, strong, and aerodynamic. You'll find the same rims found on its CLX cousin, with the main differences coming at the bearings—hardly discernable to mere mortal riders. It is fast just sitting still and is not just for the flats, the Venge is one amazing climber and nimble descended. $8000