The best aero road bikes have shone in their ability to offer riders free speed without the loss of stiffness that traditionally comes with thinner, aero tubing. While such a compromise was previously hard to attain, this year’s Eurobike gave further proof that with the second generation of aero road bikes, more and more companies are nailing the aero-stiffness-weight balance that has proved illusive in the past.
Here’s our run down of some of the best 2015 aero road bikes on show at Eurobike this year – and don’t forget to check out our full gallery above as well as our look at the best time trial bikes at Eurobike.
Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
Canyon's Aeroad has been redesigned as the Aeroad CF SLX for 2015 and features several significant upgrades over the previous model. While the original suffered from a little rearward flex, the new Aeroad CF SLX is designed to be stiffer, lighter and more aero.
The tubes are more angular and muscular looking for 2015, with the whole machine being much more in keeping with Canyon's Speedmax TT bike, including a wheel hugging cut-out on the seat tube. Direct mount brakes incorporated into the Aeroad's design are more aerodynamic than traditional calipers, though Canyon keep the rear brake at the top of the seatstays for maximum practicality. Check out our full first look of the Canyon Aeroad CF SLX.
The Lapierre Aircode is new for 2015 and is the choice of pro team Francaise des Jeux. While the Aircode looks a little curvy compared to the likes of the Canyon, it does utilise aero features such as truncated airfoils, a wheel-hugging seat post and an under-the-stays rear brake.
The fork has a cut-out to accommodate Shimano’s direct-mount brake at the front while the stem is slightly in-set to the head / top tube. We’re fans of the flowing design and know how well the bike rides, so it shouldn’t be missed from your shortlist if an aero-road bike is your next investment.
Argon 18 Nitrogen
The Argon 18 Nitrogen was one of our picks of the show and looks set to transfer the Canadian brand’s almost alchemical combination of stiff yet supple riding into a fast but practical aero road bike.
With a claimed weight of 960g, custom aero v-brakes and a new version of the company’s clever 3D head tube spacing – allowing varying stack heights without a loss of stiffness – it’s one we’re very excited about riding in 2015. Other highlights include a wheel-hugging seat tube, a dropped BB for greater stability and a multi-adjust seatpost allowing a TT/triathlon seat angle, making this a versatile do-it-all machine.
Redesigned and updated for 2015, the new S5 shows Cervelo’s usual obsession with aero detail while continuing its drive for practicality. Thanks to a plethora of wind tunnel experiments, rather than simple validation of current designs, Cervelo has made several big changes to the S5, with resulting claims of a 35 per cent stiffness increase and 21.3 watt saving at 40km per hour while maintaining the same weight of the previous model.
The bike features the same top tube and chainstays as the R5CA, as Cervelo found these to have no significance aerodynamically while the new aero drop bars combine with a slightly wider front profile for lower drag. Brakes remain in their traditional position for practicality and stopping power while there’s also a standard stem. All this adds up to Cervelo maintaining its position at the top of the aero tree, while the bike’s gorgeous looks – combined with the brand’s overwhelming desirability – make this impossible to overlook.
New for 2015, the ESX-R is a slightly more affordable version of the company's ESX aero road bike, which launched earlier this year. Foregoing only around 100g in weight to its big brother, this R variant shares the ESX's frame design, which follows the company's usual path of trend setting rather than following the crowd.
Rather than long teardrop-shaped tubes, Parlee has chosen a thin trailing edge on the rear of the head and down tubes that juts from the main tube shape and has a truncated profile. As the down tube flows into the bottom bracket area, the trailing edge is flattened, making way for a bottle mount – so a round bottle is less of an aero penalty.
Though the frame itself comes in standard sizes, Parlee's clever flexible fitting options mean a custom fit thanks to a head tube spacer that flows into the frame's shape and maintains aero lines with the stem – available in 8, 15 and 25mm heights – and the choice of three seatpost setbacks. Despite being cheaper than the original – at £3,299 for the frameset, compared to £4,000 – the ESX-R remains in superbike territory for most, but is a gorgeous wishlist bike.
A complete redesign of the original Nazare (also known as the Alize), Neilpryde’s newest aero-road bike oozes class with its matt, retro-inflected finish. One clever design detail is the flared bottom bracket area that acts as a cowl for the rear direct-mount aero brake, while a claimed weight of 920g is on the lighter end of the spectrum for aero road bikes.
We rated the original bike highly when we tested it last year and if Neilpryde’s claim of a 20 per cent performance increase at 40km per hour bears out, this is going to be a stunner.
Felt's rebooted AR line was launched to much acclaim thanks to improved stiffness, a slight weight saving and plenty of practical features – including the reversible seatpost. The 2015 range remains largely the same, but with the top-end TexTreme carbon now being available to the AR1 and AR2 models, rather than only the range topping AR FRD.
The clever seatpost, which uses a thin carbon structure to reduce buzz while being clamped securely with an internal wedge, has also been modified to improve comfort. Felt boasts that the frame is as aero as its B-range triathlon bikes and the design utilises a hidden rear brake to keep airflow as smooth as possible, while increasing compliance in the seatstays for a smoother ride.
While it might not be making as big waves as some of the brand new bikes here, it's still a trendsetting – and savagely fast – road bike.
Ridley Noah SL
Standard brake calipers replace the old behind-the-fork and stays models and there’s clearance here for 25mm tyres. The fork maintains its unique split-blade design (with a claimed drag reduction of eight per cent), while the frame’s F-Surface+ technology is designed to delay separation of airflow thanks to special grooving.
It’s not a range that has a bike for every pocket – the frame and fork alone cost €2,999 – but its distinctive looks and Ridley’s pedigree add up to an exciting prospect for 2015.