With disc brake road bikes here to stay, it’s time crown the best disc brake road bike of 2016 in the Cycling Weekly Bike of the Year Awards.
This is a bike that goes beyond what we’d usually expect from a disc brake road bike, no longer being confined to the endurance category, being more than capable of holding its own when ridden fast too.
Winner: Focus Izalco Max Disc
If you’re not convinced that disc brakes belong on road bikes, then the Focus Izalco Max Disc is the bike most likely to change your mind. It really does thrive on all terrains, and with a total weight of only just over 7.5kg there’s not much of a penalty asssociated with fitting the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
That weight means that this bike simply glides up hills, but the great thing is that it excels in other areas too. Handling is well-balanced, and descending fun and secure in all conditions thanks to those disc brakes. It’s also lovely and comfortable too, with an innovative seatpost design that takes the worse out of any road buzz.
Compared to many other disc brake road bikes, the Focus Izalco Max represents impressive value too. This model comes with a mix of Shimano Dura-Ace components with RS805 hydraulic discs, which seems like great value for money with a price that’s not miles north of £3,000.
Runner Up: Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2
The runner up in our best disc brake road bike of 2016 is the Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2.
This is a bike that sits more in traditional disc brake road bike territory than the Focus, with a ride that saw it crowned our favourite endurance bike of 2016. The Giant comes with the same Shimano hydraulic disc brakes as the Focus, providing faultless stopping in all conditions, but combined with a faultless full Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset.
What we like so much about the bike is that although it comes with a more relaxed geometry that makes it suitable for long days in the saddle, it doesn’t hold you back when you want to put the hammer down either. Testament to these racy credentials is the fact that John Degenkolb won the 2015 edition of Paris-Roubaix aboard a Defy.
At 8.44kg it’s certainly not the lightest bike on the market, but the frame is so good that you really don’t feel those extra pounds even when riding in the hills. And of course on long sunny days that are just crying out for a big day out in the saddle, the Giant is the perfect companion.