Drumroll, please! After months of testing and hundreds of hours of riding, we can now reveal the winners of our 2020 Bike of the Year awards, with Cannondale, Propain and Whyte scooping our top prizes for the road, trail and enduro categories.
Run in conjunction with Cycling Plus and Mountain Biking UK magazines, Bike of the Year sees our team of expert testers put the most interesting, exciting and popular machines of the year through their paces to decide on what’s really worth your hard-earned money, and what’s not.
Cannondale’s revamped SuperSix EVO takes our overall road prize, impressing our test team with its winning combination of race performance, comfort and compelling spec, making this a truly remarkable – and versatile – update to an old classic.
Meanwhile, the Hugene from German direct-sales brand Propain tops our trail bike test thanks to its superb all-round performance, coming to life whether climbing or descending, while also providing one of the best value packages we’ve ever seen.
British brand Whyte’s big wheeler, the G-170C RS 29er V2, is our enduro winner. The G-170C’s confident handling, urgency and balance helped set it apart from the crowd in a competitive field, with a lively, fun and hellishly fast ride.
“Bike of the Year is a serious undertaking and one that none of us testers take lightly,” says BikeRadar’s technical editor in chief, Robin Weaver. “That means clearing our diaries of everything non-essential and dedicating every waking hour we can to putting these massive tests together.
“The battles that commenced for the top spots in each category were fiercely fought in every case and it really came down to the finest of details when making our final decisions – but we’ve found three truly worthy winners.”
Read on for more on each of our winning bikes and for the full shortlist of contenders – or head to our Bike of the Year hub, where next week we’ll be revealing winners of each of the sub-categories and publishing full reviews of every bike tested.
Road Bike of the Year | Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra
The main Road Bike of the Year award for 2020 focused on bikes priced between £2,500 and £4,000 – and Cannondale’s £3,000 SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra scored a full five stars to beat off competition from the likes of Giant’s Defy, Canyon’s Endurace, Focus’s Izlaco Max and Trek’s Madone.
The SuperSix EVO has long been one of our favourite bikes, but the road racing legend was completely revamped for 2020. Out went the classic round tubes of the former SuperSix and in came aero profiling, a smattering of comfort-enhancing features and wide tyre clearance on a disc-only frame.
“Cannondale’s reinvention of the EVO, one of the most beloved race bikes of modern times, was a seriously risky undertaking,” says BikeRadar’s senior technical editor, Warren Rossiter. “It’s arguably one of the all-time greats of bike design, but the third-generation EVO mirrors the lightness and handling of the original, while adding an aerodynamic edge.
“The Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra truly is a deserving winner, and it’s also the epitome of a bike that exceeds the sum of its parts.
“If you’re considering a new bike for a new decade, then do yourself a favour and take a look at the latest EVO because we think it will define the 2020s, just as the last EVO defined race-bike excellence in the 2010s.”
Trail Bike of the Year | Propain Hugene
After compiling an initial shortlist of ten bikes priced between approximately £3,000 and £3,500 – and after several rounds of intensive early testing – we whittled our trail bike category down to the final three: the Propain Hugene, Bird Aether 7 and YT Jeffsy.
The YT Jeffsy 29 Pro pushed the Hugene all the way to the line, and just pipped the latter in terms of downhill performance, but the Propain’s all-round ride won over our technical editor, Tom Marvin.
“While some bikes really reward an aggressive, rather than passive, riding style, the Hugene felt at home either being man-handled over and around the trail, or almost left to its own devices,” says Tom, who took charge of the trail category.
“If you’re looking for a real all-round trail bike that’ll get you up to the top just as happily as it’ll fire you straight back down again, the Propain Hugene ticks all those boxes.”
Enduro Bike of the Year | Whyte G-170 C RS 29er V2
With a shortlist containing no shortage of big-hitting bikes, including the Canyon Strive, Santa Cruz Megatower, Giant Reign and Nukeproof Mega, coming up with our final three contenders in the enduro category was no mean feat – but the Specialized Enduro Comp, Cube Stereo 170 SL 29 and Whyte G-170 C RS V2 made it through.
While it was abundantly clear from the very start of our testing that all three of these bikes were incredibly fun to ride, it was the Whyte that we just couldn’t get enough of.
“Whyte’s G-170C 29er V2 manages to keep things lively and fun but delivers a hellishly fast ride if you’re willing to push it,” says Robin Weaver, who led the enduro test.
“Its great spec and incredible handling make it a seriously hard-to-beat bike for the cash. The superbly well-delivered 165mm of travel coupled with balanced geometry and solid component choices ensure the G-170 can deliver in just about every trail situation.” adds Robin.
“That Whyte’s engineers have ensured it’s still masses of fun to ride is the icing on the cake, and why the G-170C RS 29er is our Enduro Bike of the Year.”
How we tested Bike of the Year
Robin provides an insight into how we put our Bike of the Year test together – otherwise, read our full feature for the inside scoop on the 2020 testing, including how we chose this year’s categories.
“First, we fret over which bikes to include before requesting them,” says Robin. “When we do finally get the bikes, the fun can properly begin.
“To paint the most accurate picture and make comparing every bike as straightforward as possible, we do a lot of back-to-back testing. We’ll scrutinise setup, adjust and tinker, then head out again and again until we’re happy. Then we’ll ride the bikes in varying conditions and on a multitude of different terrains/surfaces to ensure we can really get the measure of each bike.
“We’ll also get second opinions to help validate our findings (or call them into question) before heading out on the bikes again to finalise everything. This can take months. And although confident in our process, there’s still no shortage of sleepless nights as we decide over the scores and ultimately, the winners of each category.
“That was harder than ever this year as there are so many good bikes currently on the market – which is great for you, the reader, but a real headache for us testers.
“Finally, we travelled somewhere a little less grey and rainy for one last hurrah and to nail down our winners. Our road test team headed to Gran Canaria and the mountain bike test to BlackTown Trails in Spain to shoot the beautiful images and video we need for the magazines and website.
“Bike of the Year is a massive process and truly a team effort. It’s driven us close to the edge at times but we think you’ll agree, the results are worth all of the stress and hard work. We hope you enjoy it!”
Bike of the Year 2020 | The full list of contenders
Road Bike of the Year
The following bikes were shortlisted for our main Road Bike of the Year award, with a price limit of £2,500 to £4,000. We will also be announcing winners for each sub-category.
- Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra (Performance Bike of the Year and overall Road Bike of the Year)
- Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.8
- Specialized Tarmac Disc Comp
- Orbea Orca M25 Team D
- Canyon Ultimate CF SL 8.0 Di2 Aero
- Vitus Vitesse Evo CRS
- Specialized Roubaix Comp
- Canyon Endurace CF SL 8.0 Di2
- Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2
- Cannondale Synapse Carbon Dura-Ace
- Bianchi Infinito XE
- Trek Domane SL6
- Cannondale SystemSix Carbon Ultegra
- Cervélo S3 Disc
- Trek Madone SL6
- Cube Litening C:68X Pro
- GT Grade Carbon Pro
- Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX
- Canyon Grail CF SL 8.0 eTap
- Giant Revolt 0
£1,000 Road Bike of the Year
The following bikes were shortlisted for our £1,000 Road Bike of the Year award, to be announced week commencing 23 March.
- Specialized Allez
- Van Rysel RR 900 AF
- Carrera Virago
- Boardman SLR 8.9c
- Triban RC520 Disc
- Canyon Endurace AL 7.0
- Cannondale CAAD Optimo 105
- Giant Contend SL2
- Vitus Zenium Carbon
- Ribble R872 Carbon
Superbike of the Year
The following bikes were shortlisted for our Superbike of the Year award, to be announced week commencing Monday 23 March.
- Wilier Cento 10 NDR
- Ribble CGR SL SRAM eTap HRD
- Focus Izalco Max Disc 9.7
- Felt AR2
- Rondo HVRT CF0
- Scott Addict RC Pro
- Cube Litening C:68X SLT
- Orbea Orca OMX M10i LTD D
- Cannondale SuperSix EVO Di2
- Specialized S-Works Venge
- Pinarello F12 Dura-Ace Di2 Disc
Trail Bike of the Year contenders
The following bikes were shortlisted for our Trail Bike of the Year award, with a price limit of £3,000 to £3,500.
- Propain Hugene (Trail Bike of the Year)
- Cannondale Habit Carbon 3
- Norco Optic C3
- Scott Spark 930
- Trek Fuel EX 9.7
- YT Jeffsy CF 29 Pro
- GT Sensor Carbon Expert
- Bird Aether 7
- Bergamont Contrail Pro
- Radon Skeen Trail CF 10.0 SL
Enduro Bike of the Year contenders
The following bikes were shortlisted for our Enduro Bike of the Year award, with a price limit of £3,500 to £4,500.
- Whyte G-170 C RS 29er V2 (Enduro Bike of the Year)
- Specialized Enduro Comp
- Cube Stereo 170 SL 29
- Giant Reign 29 1
- Nukeproof Mega 29 Elite
- Canyon Strive CF 9.0
- Starling Twist
- Cotic Rocket Max Gold Eagle
- Santa Cruz Megatower C R
- NS Define 150 AL