Today we move onto the second-cheapest price bracket in our sister mag Cycling Plus's annual Bike of the Year examination of the most pedigree road steeds on the market today. Here we're talking rides priced £1,500-£2,000, which is about $2,000-$2,800.
After working our way through some serious competition, the three contenders for this year's crown are…
- BMC's SLR02: a phenomenal riding bike – so direct and responsive that our senior technical editor Warren Rossiter described it as (arguably getting a bit carried away) "almost telepathic". It combines racy geometry with the all-important comfort factor, though its paint job drew mixed responses from our testers.
- Cannondale's CAAD 12 Disc Ultegra: a superbly accomplished machine boasting some serious alloy frame wizardry and an impressively light frame for a disc-braked bike (the only such machine to make it into our top three).
- Cervélo's R2: essentially a pro-level bike (the frame is identical to the R3) with a different paint job and a slightly heavier fork. Don't be put off if your level of athleticism is below-elite though; Cervélo's preference for slightly longer head tubes means ride position won't be an issue for mere mortals.
Stay tuned as we bring you our final group of contenders and unveil this year's winners.
(This video contains paid product placements on behalf of Witter Towbar Systems, Giro, Altura and Bell.)