aero bikes
  • Tomas Narkus

    Perfect bike: S WORKS frame with TREK’s handlebars and isospeed without any part from SCOTT.

  • Simon Quirk

    Never, ever thought I’d say this but I’d love that Trek. It’s lighter and seems to be more comfortable than the Spec and Trek thinks the drag numbers are better based on what Soec has released. Aero, light and comfortable. Choose three?

  • Robert Merkel

    None of the above until the aero claims are put to the test independently, preferably by at least two different groups.

    • purpletezza

      I agree. Any brand can say they are the most aerodynamic, but without independent measurement it is just marketing speak. Fortunately we don’t need fancy equipment to evaluate them in the ugliness scale, just our eyes.

  • Abeez

    Fuck, they’re all ugly.

    • SeanMcCuen

      I bet if you lined up that Trek alongside your ride, you’d do a 180.

    • purpletezza

      Fortunately we don’t need fancy equipment to evaluate them in the ugliness scale, just our eyes. I agree with your independent evaluation.

    • Allez Rouleur

      Yep!

    • Jessy Vee

      I thought so too, until I spend the last 20 minutes reading the TdF TT bike tech article, then flicked over to this one. I swear, I actually thought the S-Works Venge wasn’t that bad looking… Kinda sexy, even! lol

      The stem is still something only a mother could love. Trek has done a better job in this department, however. The Scott is simple, but some bits look like they got the work experience kid to design them. :(

  • MarcPerel

    No Canton SLX inclusion? :(

  • jules

    Scott needs to get ride of exposed cables

    • Adam Fuller

      Yep, it’s a really jarring note in an otherwise good looking bike.

    • Tom

      Except that it means that almost anyone with a modicum of skill can change a cable. Good to see Scott going for practicality over aesthetics (and probably a 0.0001w aero penalty…). I would also rather that Dura Ace brake over the proprietary Specialized and Trek brakes.

      • jules

        agree that it’s harder with hidden cables but having stuffed around with a few, not necessarily as hard as you may assume.

  • Ross

    Do I have to pick just one?! I am torn between the Venge and the Madone, don’t really like the Foil.

  • Alex L

    I wrote a bit about this on the Trek Madone post, but for my money I wouldn’t be purchasing any of these bikes; each one is too compromised for the kind of money they cost (big money).

    The Trek and the Scott are good looking bikes, the Specialized looks like a flawed design. A negative stem but raised handlebars? That seems like a strange compromise.

    The level of integration looks schmick, but limits too many choices. Perhaps not all riders will suffer this, but for my money they’re compromises I couldn’t live with.

    FWIW, I own a 2013 S5, which is a great bike. Maybe not as [allegedly] aero or comfortable as the new crop of bikes, but it has a standard stem and handlebars, which I’ve lowered twice to adjust fit, something physically not possible with the new bikes without significant investment or a new bike. I’ve also tinkered and upgraded various parts as my budget has allowed. And it has regular brakes. I’m unconvinced that the braking power and modulation of the hidden brakes are up to scratch against the latest generation Shimano dual pivots.

    At the end of the day a new bike is a nice luxury if you can afford it, but legs count more than dollars. And I don’t think these bikes offer bang for buck or versatility.

    • Peter

      “Legs count more than dollars”. So true. My legs will never do justice to the potential these bikes have. Sure, they might make me a bit faster, but I doubt i would ever come close to pushing them to their limits.

  • SeanMcCuen

    the Trek really impresses me. it could be called gimmicky, but I think it’s straight up, even heard the brakes work really well. yesterday I saw a pic of a custom painted all green one, beautiful bike.

  • Tomas Gonzalez

    Just checked the new Madone in my LBS tonight and let me tell you, it is bloody beautiful!!! It looks fast….

  • Dale Smith

    Love all 3. I actually like the look of the Scott the best, but love the Trek too, and I reckon the Spesh will grow on me.
    I’m most impressed with Trek’s innovation.
    I know it’s all marketing stuff to get us to keep buying bikes. But bring it on!!!

  • Shane H

    I must admit I felt confronted with the Vias. But as the Trek and Scott were released I became to appreciate the evolution of the Specialized. All of ’em are crazily different to what we all considered ‘state of the art’ only last year, but I guess that’s what we all have to accept moving forward.
    I can only sympathise with all the home mechanics (and professional ones!); the internal routing and headsets look craaaaaazy!

  • Jon Thornton

    They all look very fast, but I feel no lust for them. Having said this, I really admire the thought that has gone into these new aero bikes. The cable routing on the Trek looks really clean.

    I’ve always ridden metal bikes. One day it dawned on me that if I ever swung my leg over a carbon frame, it would be a pivotal moment for me. Every time I see a fancy new carbon bike I wonder whether it might be my first.

  • Michal

    All these bikes look nice, thought I’m not fan of the rear brake under bottom bracket. I have one on my TT bike and it is “pain in the neck” . Having said that, I’m happy what I’ve got. For me it would be deal breaker how good these bikes ride and handle. Mate has got “isospeed” system and absolutely loves it.

  • Cam

    In the spirit of the question that one has to be chosen: given they are all new platforms that will inevitably have unforeseen problems – somewhere on a spectrum ranging from minor niggles to major flaws – in their first production year, I would put that $15’000 into an interest-bearing bank account, take 12 months to choose one, then buy chosen bike which has been produced in the 2nd manufacturing year of its lifecycle and use the additional interest earned to buy some nice kit.

  • JamesC

    This is probably one of my most favorite posts from you guys ever.

  • dsds74

    None of the above! With 15K I’d rather buy a high end steel bike to complement my mid-range Ultegra-equipped Cannondale and use the remaining cash to go on trips to the Dolomites and other great areas. Plus, nothing is more gratifying than passing someone with a $10K+ bike, aero Giro helmet, and $80 compression socks on a hill on your $2K bike… Though I suppose it’s great for the bike industry and retailers when people with cash to burn keep upgrading every 2 years to outdo the guy down the street.

    • Allez Rouleur

      Good man!

      As someone who owns several $5K USD bikes, I have zero interest in owning a $15K bike. As a recently married and recent home owner…I can’t see myself putting that kind of money into a bike, at least not for quite a few years.

      For me: I have all the bikes I need right now. I’d get a few new parts, some new wheels maybe, and some new socks and shades. I’d put the rest of the money into an awesome bike shed, then a new roof for the house. Then I’d spend the rest on a vacation with the wife, been wanting to get back to Prince Edward Island and do some cycle touring!

      I really do wonder where these $15K bikes live. I’m in a cycling hotbed and while some dudes are on $10K bikes, most are on more like $3-$5K, even in the serious riders packs.

      • dsd74

        I’m likely to get a “look” from my wife (who’s also a cyclist) if I were to delay bathroom renovations to get one of the above bikes. As to where those 15K bikes are, I’d say most of them get pulled out on a Saturday morning for a one hour ride to get a latte. On the other hand, imagine how much triathletes with money to burn spend on all three disciplines combined… yikes!

        • meh

          I really struggle with reverse snobbery of your kind.

          “Nothing more satisfying than passing someone with a $10k bike” or “I’d say most of them get pulled out on a Saturday morning for a one hour ride to get a latte”.

          Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Seriously? Nothing more satisfying than dropping somone you don’t know, who’s ride objectives/goals you are unaware of… and that’s satisfying because they ride a nice bike? Seriously?

          Get. Over. Yourself.

      • Eat More Lard

        I’m certainly not in the $15k bike bracket either (or even looking for anything aero) but someone has to pay for the R&D and the trickle down to the more affordable price point. Good on those who can afford to and are willing to drop the coin, even if it is for the social ride. Cycling is all about enjoyment, right? If it makes you happy and you are doing no harm, then go for it. The 2 year upgrade cycle also creates a healthy second hand market for the rest of us. Cue group hugs ;)

  • Michael Sproul

    [Waits to see what Giant do…]

    • 900Aero

      Stop the rear brake rubbing on the Propel?
      Just a thought.

      • Michael Sproul

        Haha!

  • Ross Surtees

    Venge every time for me

  • alexvalentine

    If I had to pick between the 3, I would go with the Trek. Personally, I would get the new Evo with some aero bits. If you really want to get aero: postion, helmet, wheels, and bars matter a lot more than a frame.

  • DangerDirte

    It’s certainly interesting to see the progression.

    One of my favourite things about bikes is being able to customize the parts to create a ‘unique’ bike. I see a lot of proprietary parts on the Trek and the Specialized that I’d be stuck with or look like a pain in the ass to replace if something goes wrong. I am curious to see how these concepts bleed out into other brands.

    Obviously if I’d won a free bike and had to pick one I’d be pretty stoked. I’d probably pick the Scott to minimize future labour/part costs. Just not keen on the rear brake location.

  • aradilon

    If i need to pick one i would pick the new Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 2015, yeah it isn’t on this list, but it’s a good mix between a climber and an aero bike, and to be honest where i live are more hills than long roads. Also, for most people being a minute faster in 40km doesn’t mean much, we just like to ride our bike and don’t care how long it takes. (only on hills for strava xD)

  • Husain Bushehri

    I would include the Canyon Aeroroad to this list, and you can’t say Aero and ignore Cervelo (S5, S3…). If the IsoSpeed is anything as good as the Domane’s, then I would happily go for the Madone even if its not as aero as the competition. I’m excited to see the Madone included in Project One at some point – custom paint & specs for a wide range of budgets.

  • Nick Nelson

    Can’t believe no one has gone with Scott. I have no love for any of these brands. Reading into each, the Scott looks/sounds like the most practical/well rounded. The lightly exposed cables would make maintenance easier, go electronic and half the cables disappear ;). IMO it looks the best, relatively simple and clean. The BB brake sounds annoying, but those short seat-stays could use any help in the comfort side (the reported reason they went under the BB with the brake).

    I’ve been riding metal for a number of years. Some of the aero claims/metrics have piqued my interest from a competitive side, but I would really miss the ride quality of steel/ti and the fit of my custom frame.
    The critics say carbon ride quality is always improving… maybe someday.

  • Il_falcone

    The Scott. It’s not only more aesthetic, it also probably has the best brakes not affected by excessive cable friction. And that’s even more important with all the “free” speed those bikes are supposed to provide.

  • Madblack

    Specialized is by far the meanest looking! Trek gets credit for some very mifty engineering solutions. And the Scott…. Well, it’s a Scott.

  • haitch

    I am not a super-fan of the seat stays joining the seat tube too far down, which kills the Scott for me. The other two look really clever in different ways. I probably wouldn’t consider any of ’em for a next bike, but isn’t it fun that you can get exactly what the pros use if you want? Can’t say that about F1, MotoGP or the rest.

  • All are great looking bikes, but if I had $15k to spend it would go towards a custom titanium Baum or Firefly

  • Mikey

    which one will work best on the roof of my car?

  • Ralph

    Are these manufacturers going down this aero path due to the 6.8kg UCI regulation?

    On this point would the same rider be faster on an aero bike or a lighter bike? Eg trek madone v emonda?

    • Sean Doyle

      Yes and no. The weight wars have been done and they really can’t make bikes much lighter without finding some radically new material wise. Aero has been proven to pretty much trump weight on all but the longest alpine climbs.

  • Matt

    I’ll take Argon 18’s new Nitrogen Pro: http://www.argon18bike.com/bikes/road/nitrogen-pro.html?f

  • The Rabbit

    We are seeing quite a few of the new FOIL’s in the Tour; however most of Quickstep and Tinkoff are on the old Venge / Tarmac models. Cancellara is still on the Domane. Would this be because not even team mechanics could keep up with the convoluted maintenance of the new generation?

    • Ralph

      Seems a bit poor if you can’t get your sponsored riders onto your best machines for the year’s biggest race. I mean in F1 using last year’s car is seen as a classic sign of disorganisation / lack of coin. And you think the first people taught to actually service these things would be the pro mechanics. Bah some things in pro cycling I can never understand.

  • 900Aero

    Where does a Cervelo S5/S3 or Pinarello F8 fit into this picture?

  • philipmcvey

    Seems I’m in the minority, but I like ALL of them. Would I drop $15k on ANY of them? No, as per another post here I’d buy a custom frame from Baum. No amount of R+D and proprietary tech can get past the fact that sizing is a compromise on all three of these bikes. Sure, you can get a longer stem, setback post etc, but a bike fit followed by a frame with custom measurements would probably make me as efficient as I can be on a bike. If I had to choose I’d go for the Venge – I might be falling for the marketing hype but their stats say it’s the fastest, and if I’m buying an aero bike I’d want speed above aesthetics. If the Canyon was sold here it would be a non-issue; looks better than any of these and cost far less.

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