Wheels of Fortune: 5 Road Bikes Worth Considering

Maybe you already ride your bike to work, because you’re eco-conscious like that. What we’re talking about is completely different. Road cycling is an epic test of will: man vs. road, pedal vs. thigh muscle. The world’s greatest endurance sport offers the thrill of adventure and the satisfaction of conquering mountains, countries, and personal bests. Whether you’re new to the sport or looking to upgrade, you’ll want (at least) one of these new bikes.

1. Giant Defy 3

You don’t need to spend a fortune on your first good bike. The Giant Defy 3 is a classic all-rounder: it’s not the lightest, nor the most aggressive, but it’s got a great frame and solid starter components. If you’re susceptible to the road bug, it’ll make sure you catch it. $1,070

2. Trek Domane 4.5 Disc

This all-carbon endurance bike, with fatter tires and relaxed geometry, is perfect for centuries (100-milers) and other rides where speed isn’t the only thing that matters. The Domane’s innovative “IsoSpeed decoupler” allows the seat tube to move independently of the rest of the frame, taking some of the edge off those cobblestones or dirt roads. $3,700

3. Cervélo’s S5 Dura-Ace D12

To purists, the aerodynamic tubes on this bike are both ugly and excessively heavy. But those extra 200 grams buy you insane sprinting power, thanks to a shape that’s obsessively engineered by the Toronto company, and fine-tuned in aerospace wind tunnels. It also has programmable electronic shifters that let you shift 10 gears at a press of a button. $7,500

4. Focus Izalco Max Disc

By itself, the frame on this bike weighs a mere 790 g, which is about as much as three copies of this magazine. That translates into swift acceleration, speedy hill climbs and speedier (i.e. more fun) descents — at which point you’ll appreciate the disc brakes, which only recently started appearing on road bikes after being standard for years on mountain bikes. $8,500

5. Ritte Snob

It’s been more than 20 years since a steel-framed bike propelled its rider to victory in the Tour de France — it just can’t compete with carbon-fibre in lightness or stiffness. But the comfort, durability, and style of a clas- sic steel frame remains unmatched. This bike combines that old-fashioned appeal with modern geometry and features. Sure, it’s heavy. But it’s real, dammit. $4,500