Editor's Picks: The Best Bikes of 2014
SCOTT Foil 10Best: Performance Road Bike 1 of 11
Frame/Fork: HMX Carbon
Components: Shimano Ultegra
Wheelset: Syncros RR2.0
SCOTT Foil 10 ContinuedBest: Performance Road Bike 2 of 11
Whether you like to climb, tackle rolling hills, or go solo on long breakaways, the Foil 10 was made to handle any challenge you're prepared to take. If you've got the money to upgrade to a better wheel set and a carbon handlebar, you'll have a rig that's every bit as good as the one used in the Tour de France.
The Foil 10 is a bike that should be on your short list if you're looking for a bike that you can train and race on that won't hinder your performance or break your budget.
Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod DiscBest: Endurance Road Bike 3 of 11
Frame/Fork: Ballis Tec Hi-Mod Carbon
Components: Shimano Ultegra/Disc
Wheelset: CZero 20 mm Carbon Disc
Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc ContinuedBest: Endurane Road Bike 4 of 11
The Synapse isn't the Ferrari in Cannondale's lineup, but it is the Cadillac. While it won't be what you're looking for if you're into shorter races like time trials or criteriums, the Synapse Hi-Mod Disc is perfect if you're into century rides or Gran Fondos. The longer head tube and shock absorbing carbon frame reduce road vibration to prevent fatigue—something you'll definitely notice on longer rides. Add in the performance upgrades from older models of the Synapse, and you've got an endurance frame that's ready for the races.
Raleigh Rush HourBest: Fixed-Gear Commuter 5 of 11
Wheelset: Weinmann Rims with Joytech Hubs
Raleigh Rush Hour ContinuedBest: Fixed-Gear Commuter 6 of 11
Yes, steel is throwback these days, but it's also solid and will last forever—and that's just what you need if you're a daily commuter. Though the Rush Hour blends the line between a bike that's built for the track and a city commuter, we liked the versatility and the solid overall build at a low price point. The flip-flop rear hub gives you the option of using this bike as a fixed gear or converting it to a single speed. It also comes with a front brake (a must for city riding) that can be easily removed if you want to use it as an entry-level track bike. For $500, this is a solid investment—even for roadies looking for a bike that'll build strength in the offseason.
Specialized Fatboy ProBest: Mountain Bike/Fat Bike 7 of 11
Frame/Fork: Specialized M4 Aluminum with RockShox Bluto RL front fork
Components: Shimano XT disc brakes; SRAM X01 shifters/rear derailleur; Race Face Next SL crankset
Wheelset: Specialized Fatboy SL with Ground Control tires
Specialized Fatboy Pro ContinuedBest: Mountain Bike/Fat Bike 8 of 11
The first things you'll notice about the Fatboy Pro is that it's lighter than it should be and that it's remarkably easy to handle. It flies down hills on the trail and is easy to control in tight turns. While it isn't going to be as fast as a more traditional mountain bike, when the road heads up you won't be slowed to the pace of a snail. It accelerates well and can ride over absolutely anything without stopping you.
The wide tires really turn this bike into a monster truck. For a beginner new to the sport of mountain biking, the Fatboy has the ability to take away mistakes that a novice rider might make out on the trail. A line you shouldn't have taken will be crushed instead. This kind of freedom makes this bike a fun option for everyone, and on just about every kind of surface you can think of, from the trail to the snow to urban roads. If I had to pick one bike that I had the most fun on, this would be it.
Trek Speed Concept 9.9Best: Dream Bike/Time Trial 9 of 11
Frame/Fork: 600 Series OCLV Carbon
Components: Dura Ace Di2
Wheelset: Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3
Trek Speed Concept 9.9 ContinuedBest: Dream Bike/Time Trial 10 of 11
One of the fastest and most expensive triathlon bikes on the market, I expected big things from the Speed Concept 9.9 and it did deliver. The agility through turns and tight corners was a surprise and a detail that often goes overlooked, as triathlon bikes usually only focus on straight-line speed.
What stood at to me the most though was the pure speed and comfort that this bike design accomplishes. Some bikes are fast, and others are comfortable, but it's tough to find a machine that is both. While this might not justify the price for some, it does come down to how much you have to spend. Is this bike better than the Cervelo P3, or other top models in the $5,000 to $7,000 price range? Absolutely. Whether or not it's worth the price for you is something you'll have to determine for yourself. But if you're the kind of racing cyclist looking for every edge possible over your competition, you'll get it in the 9.9.