Our annual Road Bike of the Year test launched in 2009 and technology has advanced at a dramatic rate in the 13 editions since. Past winners have included iconic names such as the Specialized Roubaix and Cannondale CAAD12, as well as cutting-edge machines like the Rondo HVRT, but in 2022 we have a first – our Bike of the Year is a gravel bike.
We’re proud to announce the Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0 as our Bike of the Year for 2022, beating off competition from 22 other bikes across five road bike and gravel categories to take the overall crown.
Produced in conjunction with our sister titles, Cycling Plus and MBUK magazines, Bike of the Year is split into separate road and mountain bike tests. You can read elsewhere about our trail, enduro and electric MTB Bike of the Year category winners for 2022, but here it’s all about the Revolt.
The Giant Revolt is an established name, having originally launched with an aluminium frame in 2013 – a time when ‘gravel bikes’ barely registered. The carbon model arrived in 2015 and was revamped for 2022 with a lighter, more aggressive frame and adjustable geometry with clearance for 53mm tyres.
“It’s a bike that captures the gravel zeitgeist by offering performance and versatility in equal measure,” says Warren Rossiter, senior technical editor for BikeRadar and Cycling Plus, who led the five-strong team of testers for 2022.
The Revolt Advanced Pro 0 is the flagship bike in the Revolt range at £4,999 / $5,200 / €5,509 and sports a Shimano GRX RX-815 Di2 groupset with Giant CXR 1 Carbon Disc wheels and 40mm-wide Maxxis Receptor tyres.
“It’s not without its flaws,” adds Warren. “The tyres are best-suited to dry conditions, rather than anything wet or loose, but otherwise this model ups the stakes with super-light carbon wheels and electronic shifting from Shimano’s GRX Di2.”
The best of the rest
As well as crowning the Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0 as our overall Bike of the Year, we’ve also announced the winners in each of our road sub-categories. You can find the rest of our Bike of the Year contenders later in this article.
Performance Bike of the Year – Merida Scultura Team
The Merida Scultura Team is a lightweight all-rounder that offers racy handling, improved aerodynamics and a near-faultless spec, including a power meter, at an impressive price in today’s market.
Endurance Bike of the Year – Cannondale Synapse Carbon LTD RLE
Cannondale overhauled the Synapse – a previous Bike of the Year winner – for 2022 and this model, with all-road spec and integrated lights, is a bold take on the modern endurance road bike, designed to take you further afield than ever before.
Budget Bike of the Year – Boardman ADV 8.9
It’s two in two for the Boardman ADV 8.9, which once again takes our budget award. This is a proven class-leader that has shown once again why it’s such a strong all-rounder, both in terms of performance and value.
Women’s Road Bike of the Year – Liv Langma Advanced Disc 1+
Liv is one of the few women’s-specific bike brands out there and the Langma is an impressive do-it-all race whip that won’t break the bank.
What we tested
Despite all that’s going on in the world politically and pandemically – and the knock-on impact that’s having on the bike industry – the standard of bikes being designed, created and mass-produced is incredibly high in terms of usability, performance and innovation.
We’ve focused the 2022 test on five categories, with a wide variety of performance, endurance, gravel, budget and women’s bikes put through their paces by our Bike of the Year team.
The bikes on test range from £650 to north of £10,000, so there is something for everyone, regardless of your riding style or budget.
Some are the latest versions of familiar names, with the likes of the Trek Domane, BMC Roadmachine and Cannondale Synapse all present and correct, while others are brand-new bikes for 2022.
Let’s take a closer look at the contenders.
Performance Bike of the Year
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the convergence of aerodynamics and low weight in top-tier race bikes. With that in mind, this year we’ve focused our efforts on a single ‘performance’ category.
- Merida Scultura Team (category winner)
- Cervélo R5 Disc Force
- Bianchi Specialissima Dura-Ace Di2
- Scott Addict RC10
- Lapierre Xelius SL 9.0
Endurance Bike of the Year
The advent of road disc brakes has allowed endurance bikes to flourish as truly versatile machines that bridge the gap between road and gravel, and that’s reflected in this year’s Bike of the Year contenders.
- Cannondale Synapse Carbon LTD RLE (category winner)
- Trek Domane SL 6 eTap
- BMC Roadmachine X
- Cervélo Caledonia Ultegra Di2
- Bombtrack Audax
Gravel Bike of the Year
‘Gravel’ covers a huge variety of riding, from heavily-laden bikepacking escapades to multi-day stage races, and that’s reflected in the wide spectrum of gravel bikes within this burgeoning category.
- Giant Revolt Advanced Pro 0 (category and overall winner)
- Cinelli Nemo Gravel Disc Ekar Mendini
- Vielo V+1
- Cube NuRoad C:62 Pro
- Cervélo Aspero Rival AXS
Budget Bike of the Year
You don’t need us to tell you that bike prices have gone through the roof in the past couple of years, but there are still plenty of affordable options out there. We’ve focused our budget test on bikes between £650 and £1,150.
Women’s Road Bike of the Year
Despite the huge growth in women’s cycling over recent years, the number of women’s-specific road bikes on offer has actually decreased.
Instead, major bike brands including Specialized and Trek – which formerly offered women’s-specific bikes – have opted to offer an improved range of unisex bikes, acknowledging that there needs to be a greater range of sizes and fits for all genders.
Liv is a notable outlier and has continued to offer truly women’s-specific bikes. These are built based on women’s fit data from the frame up.
Somewhere in the middle, a number of brands offer a number of women’s-specific builds, using a unisex frame built up with women’s saddles and proportionally sized handlebars, including Cube and, under the Contessa label, Scott.
We stuck with women’s-specific bikes for the purposes of this test, but it’s worth reiterating that female riders are, of course, not limited to just these models.
What we haven’t tested
Bike of the Year is our biggest test of the year, covering 23 road and gravel bikes, and 24 mountain bikes. With thousands of miles in the saddle, and tens of thousands of words in our reviews, our team puts in the hard yards through winter and early spring.
But we can’t review everything.
Bike and component shortages have been well publicised and affect the industry from top to bottom, from brands waiting on a single small part to launch a new bike through to the test bikes available to media and, of course, the scramble to buy chains, brake pads and just about every other consumable part.
We put out more than 100 bike requests for this year’s road and gravel test, before whittling down our final selection of 23 bikes.
If there’s a bike you think we should have included, chances are we tried. Some newly launched bikes may also have arrived outside of the testing window to be included or allow for comparative testing. And, of course, there’s a limit as to the number of bikes we can test.
The result, however, is the most comprehensive bike test out there, and one that spans almost every type of drop-bar bike on the market, with prices ranging from £650 to north of five figures. There really is something for everyone.
Meet the testers
With more than a decade of Bike of the Year experience behind him, BikeRadar’s senior technical editor, Warren Rossiter, headed up the endurance category.
Simon von Bromley
As our nerd-in-chief, BikeRadar’s senior technical writer, Simon von Bromley, was tasked with heading up the performance category.
Katherine Moore took charge of the women’s category, pitting these leading bikes head-to-head to find the best of the bunch.
Robin Wilmott and Simon Withers
Previous Bike of the Year winners
With more than a decade of Bike of the Year tests under our belts, here’s how the honours board looks.
- 2021: Boardman SLR 9.4
- 2020: Cannondale SuperSix EVO
- 2019: Rondo HVRT CF0
- 2018: Giant TCR Advanced 2
- 2017: Specialized Roubaix
- 2016: Cannondale CAAD12 105
- 2015: BMC GF01 Disc 105
- 2014: Cannondale Synapse 5 105
- 2013: Giant Defy Advanced 2
- 2012: Focus Izalco Pro 3.0
- 2011: Storck Scenero
- 2010: Cannondale Six Carbon 105
- 2009: Giant TCR