However much you’re looking to spend on a new bike, it’s important to know that you’re getting value for money. So here’s the best value bike of 2016 in the Cycling Weekly Bike of the Year awards.
This is a bike that is not only relatively inexpensive, but also offers an exceptional ride and even more exceptional specification for the money.
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Winner: B’Twin Ultra 720 AF
The £1,000 price point is probably the most competitive in the cycling market, but the B’Twin Ultra 720 AF has really blown the competition out of the water. For £1,050 this bike gives you a great aluminium frame, solid Mavic Cosmic wheels, and, almost unbelieveably, a full Shimano Ultegra groupset.
That groupset is undoubtedly the highlight of the package. As anyone who has ridden with mechanical Ultegra will testify, it is a superb groupset in every way. The shifting is precise and reliable, even under load, and the direct-mount brakes fitted on this model offer greater modulation and power than the standard design.
However the frame is certainly no slouch. Ok, it’s not going to be making an appearance on the World Tour any time soon, but power transfer is still good enough for sharp accelerations and tackling the steepest gradients. Comfort is also particularly good, and despite the lack of a carbon seatpost, we were still more than happy putting in big miles on this bike.
Runner Up: Sensa Calabria Matt Ultegra Di2
The runner up in our best value bike of 2016 is the Sensa Calabria Matt Ultegra Di2.
It might be double the price of the B’Twin, for the extra money there’s certainly a step up in the level of kit on offer. Not only do you get an aero carbon frame, but there’s also a move north in the Shimano groupset hierarchy, up to Ultegra Di2.
If you’re after a very fast race bike without blowing the bank then this is probably it. The frame is completely uncompromising, with a seriously stiff bottom bracket that makes sure that every watt of effort is transferred through the back wheel and onto the tarmac. This does mean that the ride can be a little harsh for long rides over rough roads, but if your in the midst of a crit it’s hard to fault