As part of the 2016 Cycling Weekly Bike of the Year awards, we’ve been looking out for the best endurance bike on the market, something that is ideally suited for making those long days in the saddle just that little bit easier.
However we’re not just looking for the most comfortable bike that money can buy, but something that is still fun to ride and also able to cope when it’s time to put the hammer down.
Winner: Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2
While a lot of endurance bikes focus on comfort at the expensive of all other factors, the Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 is a much more balanced bike that eats up long days in the saddle for breakfast, but still has a performance edge for when you want to up your average speed and win that sprint for the town sign.
Most of the comfort comes from the relaxed geometry with the super-long wheelbase that was over a metre on our 56cm test model, but there’s also Giant’s D-Fuse composite seatpost which helps to give a really comfortable back-end which soaks up the worst of any road buzz.
The Defy also comes with a pretty impressive spec for its £2,299 price tag. You get Shimano’s impressive Ultegra mechanical groupset combined with RS785 hydraulic discs which provide powerful and consistent stopping whatever the conditions.
Runner Up: BMC Granfondo GF01 Disc Ultegra
The runner up in our best value bike of 2016 is the BMC Granfondo GF01 Disc Ultegra.
Like the Giant, the BMC Granfondo GF01 is an endurance bike that is happy to be ridden fast when needed. Fundamentally it’s great fun to ride. The hydraulic disc brakes are impossible to fault and allow you to fly down descents secure in the knowledge that you’re always going to be able to stop once you get the bottom, and the ability to fit 28mm tyres means there’s the option to go off road if you want.
Wide tyres also mean improved comfort, but most of the credit for the comfortable ride goes to the frame, which means that the carbon layup and geometry have both been engineered to keep you feeling fresh over the couese of long rides. The compact chainset and 11-32t cassette also means that there should always be that extra gear to get you all even the very steepest of climbs.