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 2016 awards to find the one that’s not only great to ride but great to live with too.
Winner: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 6.0
Not only does the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 6.0 take the title of the best aero bike of 2016, but it’s so good that we also decided to crown it the overall winner in our Bike of the Year awards. This is because the Canyon is not just an aero bike for fit young lads riding racing around criterium circuits, but is such a great all-rounder that it should tick the boxes for almost any rider.
It would almost be possible to crown the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 6.0 our best aero bike just by looking at its slender aerofoil tube shapes and curved rear wheel cut-out, and riding only confirmed the good first impression. The top-end frame has a wonderfully stiff bottom bracket that will cope with the most powerful of riders, but was also thrived uphill, where you could be forgiven for thinking that you were riding Canyon’s lightweight Ultimate.
The thing is that not only has Canyon managed to build an excellent bike, but is selling it to you for an excellent price. For £2699 you’re getting a frame that has won countless World Tour races, equipped with great quality Mavic Pro Carbon wheels and Shimano’s superb Ultegra mechanical groupset.
Runner Up: Scott Foil Team Edition
The runner up in our best aero bike of 2016 is the Scott Foil Team Edition.
Of all the new bikes that we saw in 2016, it was the Scott Foil that had received the most radical makeover. Like all new models, the Foil was claimed to be stiffer, lighter, more comfortable, and more aerodynamic than its predecessor, but while other bikes often fall short of expectations, the Scott lives up to all its accompanying marketing spiel.
This is a bike that always wants to be ridden fast and is at its best when you ride it that way. A sprinter’s dream, the bottom bracket and head tube are both market leaders with regards to stiffness, and when you stomp on the pedals and swing the handlebars from side to side acceleration is instantaneous.
But the great thing is that when you take your foot off the gas the Scott Foil is comfortable too. The slender seatstays and thin top tube combine to make this a race bike that can still be ridden for long miles on rough British roads.