Next month, Cycling Plus magazine will reveal the best kept secret in road cycling – their 2012 Bike of the Year. To whet your appetites, we’ll be running reviews of some of the contenders here on BikeRadar every day from now until the mag hits shops on 2 March.
This year, the testing team have focused on bikes in the core £1,500 to £2,000 price range (roughly US$2,350-3,150). However, manufacturers were allowed a bit of leeway in case they had a bike that didn’t quite fit within those limits but they felt was worthy of contention.
As a result, the 26 shortlisted bikes range from the £1,399 Pinarello FP Uno ($ TBC) to the £2,199 Forme Thorpe Comp 1.0 (not available in the US). And the reviewers have been impressed. The trickle down of technology means some bikes in this price range now come with Shimano’s electronic Ultegra Di2 transmission or SRAM’s flagship Red groupset, while others use the same carbon frames as current ProTour machines – although aluminium is by no means obsolete.
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Video promo: Cycling Plus Bike of the year 2012
At the end of the day, it’s the ride that’s most important, not how good a bike looks on paper. To ensure consistency, each contender has been tested by senior technical editor Warren Rossiter on an 82-mile route through Wiltshire, England. They’ve then been passed on to other members of our the team for further testing.
“Deciding on our Bike of the Year has been the toughest call to date,” says Warren. “There isn’t a dud bike among the 26 we’ve tested. Don’t by any means discount any of these great bikes, especially if you shop around in pursuit of the best price.”
L-R: mechanic george ramelkamp, cycling plus editor rob spedding, senior technical editor warren rossiter (behind rob) and bikeradar staff writer john whitney put four of the contenders through their paces on exmoor : l-r: mechanic george ramelkamp, cycling plus editor rob spedding, senior technical editor warren rossiter (behind rob) and bikeradar staff writer john whitney put four of the contenders through their paces on exmoorRussell Burton