Earlier this year we asked you to vote for the bikes and products you’re most eager to ride. Readers from all around the globe cast their votes and after crunching the numbers and tallying the results, we hereby present you with BikeRadar’s 2016 Most Wanted Award winners.
The six road categories are followed by the six mountain categories.
Most Wanted Aero Road Bike: Canyon Aeroad
For the second year in a row Canyon’s Aeroad takes the top honors. Our testers have described the Aeroad as “awesomely fast, surprisingly comfortable and drop-dead gorgeous”. It seems that our readers agreed.
While there are a growing number of aero road bikes on the market, few others strike the same balance of good looks, ride quality and, most important for this category, wind-cheating performance.
Most Wanted Endurance Road Bike: Trek Domane
Trek’s Domane series has a Paris-Roubaix pedigree that has always been at the forefront of this bicycle’s design.
The latest version takes the concept of a rugged yet raceable endurance bike to the next level. The Domane now boasts IsoSpeed technology at the rear as well as the front, allowing the carbon frame to flex and take the edge off rough roads.
Most Wanted Road Race Bike: Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
Canyon appears to be a voter favorite this year. Canyon’s top-notch carbon frames combined with more attainable prices seem to strike a chord with voters.
The main objective of any pure race bike should be outright efficiency and speed, and the Canyon Ultimate CF SLX chassis nails both requirements. On top of that, our testers also found it quite comfortable for long days in the saddle.
Most Wanted Gravel / Adventure Bike: Cannondale Slate
Cannondale’s Slate is what you might get if you put a road bike, a cyclcross bike and a mountain bike in a blender and hit puree.
Even by the very lose standards of what constitutes a “gravel” bike, the Slate breaks from the pack.
The Slate has Cannondale’s signature Lefty fork, in a 30mm travel version designed to take the edge off gravel roads. This bike also rolls on 650b wheels with fat rubber to provide plenty of grip.
Most Wanted Road Group: SRAM Red eTap
While it has started to trickle out onto the market, only a very small number of riders have had a chance to spend time SRAM’s Red eTap group. Given the overwhelming number of votes eTap garnered, it’s clear that riders are eager to try it for themselves.
This new component group takes electronic shifting to the next level by removing all the wires. Nothing to fish through frames — just bolt on, charge up and hit the road.
Most Wanted Technology: Garmin Edge 1000
Garmin’s Edge 1000 is a favorite for many reasons. Some voters noted that it’s a great navigation aid, while others appreciated the fact that it’s able to measure a number of training metrics.
Whether to like to explore, or are looking for a top-notch training tool, the Edge 1000 delivers.
Most Wanted Cross-Country Bike: Specialized Epic
It’s won World Cups, conquered the Cape Epic and is adored by privateer racers far and wide. The Epic has gone through many iterations since it’s debut in 2003, and the latest version is faster and more refined than ever.
Specialized’s Brain technology keeps the rear suspension efficient and — unlike most of its full suspension XC competitors — the Epic can carry two water bottles inside the main triangle.
Most Wanted Trail Bike: Santa Cruz Hightower
The Hightower is longer, lower and slacker than its predecessor, the Tallboy LT, making it even more capable over rough terrain.
By flipping a chip in the upper suspension linkage and swapping the stock 140mm suspension fork for a 150mm model, this trail bike can switch from a 29er to a 27.5+ trail bike.
Thankfully, Santa Cruz offers the Hightower in both 29 and 27.5+ versions, so you can buy it however you like.
Most Wanted Enduro Bike: Canyon Strive
The Strive’s ‘Shapeshifter’ technology sets it apart from the competition.
The Strive uses a proprietary two-position gas switch that sits within the frame’s upper rocker link. Flick the switch at the bar, and the Shapeshifter changes the bike’s geometry, suspension kinematics and rear wheel travel from 160mm to 130mm.
For enduro racing, this means you effectively have a bike that’s focused for the descents when you need it as well as a more ascent-oriented bike when it’s time to climb.
Most Wanted Downhill Bike: Santa Cruz V10
While the voting in some of our categories was quite close, the Santa Cruz V10 ran away with the win for Most Wanted downhill bike.
This landslide victory could be due to the fact that the V10 has been around in one form or another for so many years, or maybe it’s the fact that this bike has racked up so many victories under Santa Cruz Syndicate riders. Often times it’s the simplest explanation that proves correct, so it could very well be that the V10 is the Most Wanted gravity rig simply because it rips.
Most Wanted Suspension Product: Fox Float X2
This heavy-hitting air shock has been development since 2012, with multiple appearances on the World Cup downhill circuit. After years of development, the Float X2 is finally available to all riders.
The Float X2 features adjustable high- and low-speed compression and rebound damping, making it incredibly tunable. Fox recently released a version with a tool-free low-speed compression adjustment knob, so riders can firm up the shock for climbing on the fly.
Most Wanted Mountain Group: SRAM Eagle
Last but not least in our mountain bike categories, the drivetrain that BikeRadar readers can’t wait to gear their hands on: SRAM Eagle.
SRAM went big when it introduced the first 12-speed mountain bike drivetrain by adding a massive 50t cog. Eagle boasts an expansive 500% gear range that drives another nail deep into the coffin of the front derailleur.