Until a couple of years ago, aerodynamics were simply not a factor in designing a road bike. However nowadays even the lightweight climber’s bikes that are designed to win Grand Tour summit finishes are designed with aerodynamics in mind.
The best aero bikes are not always the ones which perform best in the wind tunnel, so we’ve been out testing the pick of the crop as part of our Bike of the Year awards to find the one that’s not only great to ride but great to live with too.
Winner: Planet X EC-130E
The Planet X EC-130E might not be the most technologically advanced aero bike, but it manages to combine speed with practicality in an impressive package.
In what is perhaps a display for sensible northern design, Planet X has decided to position the brakes in their normal places at the front the fork and the rear of the seatstays, and hasn’t gone over the top with the internal cable routing.
Add into the mix the supremely stiff bottom bracket and sharp front end that makes the EC-130E a great race bike, which is also easy to maintain, clean, and live with.
Runner Up: Bianchi Oltre XR4
You can always rely on Bianchi to create a bike that is beautiful to look at, but the Oltre XR4 hits the mark when it comes to performance too.
If you’ve got money to burn on a new race bike, then the Oltre is one of the fastest machines around, excelling in the hills as well as on the flat, working in perfect synchronicity with the Campagnolo groupset.
Thanks to Volta Pro Tours and Daniela Reis for their help with filming. If you’d like to know more about our filming trip in Portugal and find out how you can ride in these spectacular locations, read the behind the scenes look at our shoot.