ACTIVE Best of 2015: Bikes
From the boutiques to the mass produced, hundreds of companies (perhaps even bordering on the thousands) exist that manufacture bicycles. And despite our desire to do so, we did not ride every single bike that hit the market in the past 365 days.
However, with our annual regret of failing to ride every bike in the world (hello, New Year's resolution) and a sincere apology to all the fantastic bikes surely absent from the list below, here are our picks for the best bikes of 2015.
Best Endurance Road BikeCannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc 1 of 7
We aren't shocked that Cannondale's gem of a road bike is finding itself on numerous best-of lists to ring in the new year. With disc brakes, precision steering, a comfy geometry and a stiff-mod carbon frame that allows for 32 mm tires, what's not to love? If you're gearing up for a century ride, or you're a veteran of the Gran Fondo circuit, you won't find a better bike than this.
Best Aero Road BikeFuji Transonic 2 of 7
If only everyone could get it right on their first go-round. The Transonic, the mainstay manufacturer's first attempt at an aero bike, is like Harper Lee busting out "To Kill a Mocking Bird" as her first novel. Of course, it helps when you've been churning out other sweet steeds since 1899. Whether you're on a budget or in the mood to splurge, this all-carbon race bike comes in a variety of options with differing groupsets.
Best Mountain Bike/Fat BikeSpecialized Fuse Expert 6Fattie 3 of 7
Simply put, we had more fun on the Fuse than any other bike this year, period. Falling somewhere between a fat bike and standard mountain bike, the Fuse uses 3-inch tires on 27.5-inch rims to achieve the best of both worlds—improving traction without sacrificing performance. The result is a one-of-a-kind trail experience that's both fast and forgiving.
Best Bang for Your BuckBulls Harrier 4 of 7
It's not easy being a budget-conscious cyclist these days. But if you're a roadie looking to wring the most out of your spare change, look no further than the Bulls Harrier. Complete with ultra-reliable Shimano 105 components, a carbon fork and a surprisingly light aluminum frame, the Harrier can match bikes costing three times as much. Bulls, a popular European brand now offering bikes stateside through its website, has created the perfect mid-range bike at a low-range cost.
Best CommuterGenesis Equilibrium Decade 5 of 7
What do you want in a commuter bike? Durability, responsive steering and excellent quality, right? Well, the Genesis Equilibrium, touted as the UK's all-weather beast for the roads, hits all marks. Sure it's got the look of a throwback road bike, but it's so much more. A steel frame that absorbs small bumps and potholes, carbon fork, comfortable riding position, eyelets for mudguards and a pannier rack make the Equilibrium one of the highest quality commuters you can buy.
Best Touring BikeTern Verge S27H 6 of 7
Foldable bikes often get a bad rap for being less functional than typical bikes, but we contend they're equally enjoyable. Tern's tank of a folding touring bike, the S27H, gives the cyclist out for a multi-day ride front and rear cargo racks, a hidden tire pump in the seatpost, Valo lights powered by your pedal stroke and the biggest gear range you'll find on 20-inch wheels. It's one of the best touring bikes you can buy, and it just so happens to fold in half.