Cannondale Six Carbon named 2010 Bike of the Year

Lowdown on the 50 contenders for the road bike crown

After extensive testing and much deliberation, Cycling Plus magazine have named the £1,799.99 Cannondale Six Carbon 105 as their Bike Of The Year 2010.

We'll be running full reviews of the winning machine and some of the other contenders here on BikeRadar over the next few weeks.

But what kind of competition was it up against? And what made our testers pick it above the 49 other £1,500-£2,500 machines submitted by dozens of top manufacturers for the test?

Testing times

Every single bike was ridden by as many members of Cycling Plus's 11-strong BOTY test team as possible, over varying terrain. As more testers – who ranged from sponsored team racers to sportive riders and commuters – rode more bikes, their views were then collated, with the aim of trimming the original list down to a top 10, then a top five and finally an overall winner.

The riders would go out in groups, swap bikes, then ride the same route on new bikes in order to compare them over the same steep climbs and sharp descents. They’d ask themselves – and each other – which was the fastest, the most comfortable, had the best kit, the best wheels, was the lightest, the most stylish...

After many miles, and nearly as much arguing, they finally came to a decision as to which bike they thought would please most Cycling Plus readers. The Cannondale wasn't necessarily head-and-shoulders above the other bikes that made the top five, but ultimately it appealed to more testers, and it was also hard to ignore the fact that it offers a sublime ride quality at £700 less than its rivals.

Here's a rundown of all 50 bikes and how they scored. For the full lowdown on all these machines, check out issue 234 of Cycling Plus (you can buy back issues via MyFavouriteMagazines.co.uk).

2010 Bike Of The Year

Winner: Cannondale Six Carbon 105

  • Price: £1,799.99
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium Race
  • Weight: 8.32kg

Verdict: "A sublime blend of speed and comfort – a great all-rounder"

Cannondale marketing manager Michael Cotty said: "After weeks of waiting, to hear that the Six had been elected Bike Of The Year was just incredible ... Although there is little difference aesthetically between the 2009 and 2010 frame, our engineers worked hard to refine the materials and carbon layup schedule to reduce the weight by over 100g.

"That's not an easy task when you also want to try to improve stiffness and comfort all at the same time. The road is the ultimate test bed and fortunately the sum of these improvements has been confirmed by Cycling Plus and their elite test team. The Six Carbon 105. Bike Of The Year. Sorry, I had to end like that. I've been dreaming of saying it for weeks!"

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Runner-up: Storck Scenario 1.1

  • Price: £2,500
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Athena
  • Wheels: Harry Rowland
  • Weight: 7.5kg

"Goes like a bat out of hell – light, refined and super-fast"

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Top 5: Bianchi C2C Infinito Athena

  • Price: £2,500
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Athena
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 7
  • Weight: 8kg

"A bike that's equally at home in sportives or in the peloton"

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Top 5: Felt F3

  • Price: £2,500
  • Groupset: SRAM Red
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 5
  • Weight:7.57kg

"SRAM Red, super-light frame – this bike flies"

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Top 5: Scott CR1 Pro

  • Price: £2,499
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Elite
  • Weight: 7.3kg

"Scott's road bike gets some comfort tweaks but stays fast"

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Most versatile: Enigma Ethos Colombus Life

  • Price: £2,085
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Athena
  • Wheels: Mavic Open Pro
  • Weight: 10kg (with mudguards)

"Great ride, beautiful looks and a decent price too"

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Lightest: Ribble Scuro

  • Price: £2,500
  • Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Wheels: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Weight: 6.9kg

"Whippet fast, very, very light and comfortable too"

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Best debut: Verenti Rhigos.02

  • Price: £1,800
  • Groupset: SRAM Force
  • Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Equipe

"Good handling, great kit and an excellent debut"

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Basso Astra Centaur

  • Price: £2,500
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Centaur
  • Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Equipe
  • Weight: 7.6kg

"Italian style, and a great bike for racing snakes"

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Boardman Pro C

  • Price: £1,599
  • Groupset: SRAM Force
  • Wheels: Ritchey WCS
  • Weight: 7.2kg

"Lightweight, and still the bike to beat at this price"

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Colnago Ace

  • Price: £2,199.95
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Veloce
  • Wheels: Campagnolo Khamsin

"Super-stylish sportive-specific machine that oozes class"

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Cube GTC Agree Race

  • Price: £1,799
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Easton Vista SL
  • Weight: 8kg

"Top quality road bike and at a very decent price too"

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Giant TCR Advanced 3

  • Price: £1,950
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium
  • Weight: 8.1kg

"A popular all-rounder that appeals to everyone"

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Lynskey Cooper

  • Price: c£2,300
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Veloce
  • Wheels: Campagnolo Scirocco
  • Weight:7.92kg

"Absolutely top-notch titanium frame"

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Orbea Onix TLT CT

  • Price: £1,995
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Shimano RS20
  • Weight: 8.4kg

"Universally popular and a dark horse among the bikes"

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PBK Titanium

  • Price: c£1,750
  • Groupset: SRAM Force
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 3
  • Weight: 7.64kg

"Good value and very racy titanium frame"

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Pearson Palace

  • Price: £1,999.99
  • Groupset: SRAM Rival
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium Race
  • Weight: 7.5kg

"Well conceived road bike that delighted all our testers"

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Raleigh Avanti Race

  • Price: £1,999
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Shimano RS30
  • Weight: 7.7kg

"Fast, thrilling and exciting, but a bit of an ugly duckling"

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Ridley Excalibur

  • Price: £2,299
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 5
  • Weight: 7.85kg

"Great looking bike and a top all-rounder"

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Specialized Tarmac Comp

  • Price: £1,899.99
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium Race
  • Weight: 8.26kg

"A road bike guaranteed to please a wide range of riders"

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Time Speeder S

  • Price: £2,399
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Centaur
  • Wheels: Campagnolo Vento
  • Weight: 7.96kg

"Firm ride, quick handling – a fantastic bike for racers"

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Van Nicholas Mistral

  • Price: c£1,500
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 7
  • Weight: 8.51kg

"Great quality and value for a bike that should last a lifetime"

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Wilier Izoard

  • Price: £2,400
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Centaur
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 5
  • Weight: 8.1kg

"A very, very classy package from a top Italian marque"

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BMC SLX01

  • Price: £2,499.99
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Easton EA70
  • Weight: 7.7kg

"Unique, stylish looks but the ride didn’t appeal to all"

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Blue RD1.1

  • Price: £1,799.99
  • Groupset: SRAM Rival
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium Race

"Classy looks and a smooth ride from debut machine"

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Cannondale Synapse

  • Price: £2,199
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: DT Swiss R-1900

"Stylish, comfortable and great for day-long cruising"

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Cervelo S1

  • Price: £2,605
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra SL
  • Wheels: Shimano RS80

"Speed, and lots of it, but at the expense of some comfort"

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Cinelli The Machine

  • Price: £2,249
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Centaur
  • Wheels: Campagnolo Ventos

"A sophisticated-looking bike with a ride to match"

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Condor Baracchi

  • Price: £1,999
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Miche
  • Weight: 8.74kg

"A subtle bike but very good for racking up the miles"

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Felt AR 4

  • Price: £2,499.99
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Felt
  • Weight: 7.69kg

"Innovative aero road bike but we’re not entirely convinced"

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Focus Cayo Expert

  • Price: £1,750
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium
  • Weight: 7.9kg

"A little firm for long sportives, but fun for faster riding"

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Fuji SL 1 Pro

  • Price: £2,499
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Elite
  • Weight: 7.5kg

"Well equipped and offering a plush and comfortable ride"

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GT GTR Carbon Sport

  • Price: £1,999.99
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Wheels: Mavic CXP22
  • Weight: 8.3kg

"Highly efficient road bike with classic-looking wheels"

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Gary Fisher Cronus

  • Price: £1,900
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Wheels: Bontrager Race FCC

"Great looks and some innovative touches"

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Kona Haole

  • Price: £1,650
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Equipe
  • Weight: 8.72kg

"Excellent steel bike for fitness and recreational riders"

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Lapierre Sensium 400

  • Price: £2,299.99
  • Groupset: SRAM Force
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 5
  • Weight: 7.6kg

"Great looking bike that places comfort over performance"

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Merida Scultura Evo 907-COM

  • Price: £2,656
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Elite

"Top bike, but maybe not quite enough for the price"

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Moda Finale

  • Price: £2,599
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: American Classic Sprint 350

"Too expensive to win but a great debut for Moda"

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Specialized Roubaix Comp

  • Price: £1,999
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium

"Solid, capable and fairly quick all-day ride. Comfortable too"

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Trek Madone 4.7

  • Price: £2,100
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Bontrager Race

"Lovely frame – a great option for the taller, heavier rider"

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Univega Via Strato Pro

  • Price: £1,820
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 7
  • Weight: 8.2kg

"One for recreational and fitness riders"

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Viner Volata

  • Price: £2,300
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Athena/Centaur
  • Wheels: Miche Syntium

"Lovely frameset slightly let down by heavy wheels"

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Corratec CCT Pro

  • Price: £2,499
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Equipe

"The most colourful bike here but a slightly lacklustre ride"

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Endorfin Speed III

  • Price: £1,899
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Revolution 3

"Light frame, great wheels but outshone by the opposition"

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Fixie Inc Betty Leeds

  • Price: £1,999
  • Groupset: SRAM Force
  • Wheels: DT Swiss RR1450 Classic
  • Weight: 7.6kg

"Stylish steel bike that was surprisingly stiff"

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Pinarello FP2

  • Price: £1,899
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Veloce
  • Wheels: MOst Wildcat F3
  • Weight: 8.6kg

"Decent entry-level bike with Pinarello’s distinctive styling"

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Red Bull Carbon SL 4400

  • Price: €2,649
  • Groupset: SRAM Force
  • Wheels: Easton EA70
  • Weight: 6.9kg

"By general consensus, the stiffest bike we’ve ever tested"

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Comtat Sablet

  • Price: £1,500
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Veloce
  • Wheels: Campagnolo Vento

"Decent debut but there’s just too much going on"

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Best equipped: Planet X Nano

  • Price: £2,500
  • Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Wheels: Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Weight: 7kg

"Well specced and light but handling and clearance issues"

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BH Speedrom 7.9

  • Price: £2,000
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Shimano RS10
  • Weight 8.3kg

"Proved to be one of the least inspiring bikes on test"

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