WORDS: THOMAS OPSTRUP PHOTOGRAPHY RETOUCHING: THOMAS OPSTRUP #best bikes of 2021 In this article you will be presented to what we at Black Road consider some of the best racing bikes of 2021. There will both be aero bikes and non-aero bikes presented here. For the best bikes of 2021 some trends are visible: -Lightweight bikes seems to get more aerodynamic -Tire clearance still getting bigger -Internal cabeling -Press-fit bottom brackets is on decline -Wider wheels to supplement the wider tires -Disc brakes instead of rim brakes A little bit about weight Weight is indicative from the manufacture. Because a small Frame weigh less than a big frame the indication without stating what Frame size it is just an indication. Unless it is mentioned here calculate that the manufacture use a small Frame for presenting the weight. Also remember some weights mentioned are with paint and others without paint. So this adds +/- 40-100 g. To the equation. Normally the producer will mentioned the weight with a small frame without paint. Remember that 100-200 g. more or less frame weight will do close to nothing for you performance even on the steppest mountain. So never judge a frame by its weight alone. I would even say that some very light frames will not be very durable. When famous brands like Colnago and Pinarello makes more heavy and sturdy bikes it is not because they do not have the knowhow to make lighter frames. It is because they choose to balance durability and lightness. The building quality, the material quality, the geometry, the details, the paint quality, is much more important factors if you ask me. Not all carbon are created equal, and not all bottom bracket solution is as good as another etc. What do you think should top the list of the best bikes of 2021? FESTKA SPECTRE Festka Spectre Every single detail of this frame was designed with performance in mind. The carbon filament for Spectre’s tubes is laid by the most advanced robotic machines available. The crucial components are the chainstays made of ultra high modulus 1K filament laid at zero angle. This gives the frame an exceptional bending stiffness, while the Farfalle design ensures an unparalleled torsional stiffness. The combination of the two makes Spectre a unique race machine. The bike needs to be responsive but it must also provide the necessary level of comfort. It’s what we call FESTKA RACE DNA. The Spectre is calm enough to let you grab a snack or take off your rain cape but it will be ready to help you close a gap or avoid a rough patch on the road. Always 110%. Frame weight: 900 g. FESTKA WEBSITE REVIEWS: www.rawcyclingmag.com/bike-review-festka-spectre/ granfondo-cycling.com/festka-spectre-space-odyssey-edition-review/ LOOK 795 BLADE RS Look 795 Blade RS AN AERO FRAME THAT WEIGHS JUST 1KG Thanks to even higher modulus fibers, the proportion of carbon fibers is quite simply doubled (from 32% to 63%), tube stiffness is reached more rapidly and the number of layers can be reduced. This means that tube thickness, and by extension their weight, is greatly reduced. Ultra high modulus (UHM) fibers are added up to 4% in the most strategic areas to ensure optimal stiffness. The result is an ultra lightweight and exceptionally strong aero frame. Frame weight: 1050 g LOOK WEBSITE REVIEWS https://granfondo-cycling.com/look-795-blade-rs-disc-2020-review/ https://glorycycles.com/ride-notes/look-795-blade-rs-long-term-review/ WILLIER FILANTE SLR Wilier Filante SLR is the first ultra-lightweight racing bike with disc brakes and fully integrated cables. It encapsulates the most complex concepts of lightness and total integration in simple aesthetics. These are the features the most demanding cyclists seek in the most technologically advanced racing bikes: ultra lightweightedness, high-speed stability and control, braking performance, electronic transmission, high aerodynamics and full cable integration. All condensed in Wilier’s unmistakable style. Frame weight (Medium) 800 g WILLIER WEBSITE REVIEWS https://granfondo-cycling.com/first-test-wilier-zero-slr-2020/ http://cyclingtips.com/2019/06/wilier-zero-slr-2020-first-ride-review/ COLNAGO C64 DISC Colnago C64 Disc The C64 frame is handmade and custom made entirely in Italy. It is the result of more than 2 years of research, but also the result of the history of a company that has been collecting successes and innovations for more than 60 years. Completely handmade, made to measure, in Italy, it is the result of more than two years of research but also the child of the company’s history, full of successes and innovations since 1954. The tubes and joints of the C64 are made with the best carbon fiber, to produce a unique frame in the world that cannot be compared to any other. Definitely one of the best bikes of 2021. Frame weight (54 cm.): 920 g. COLNAGO WEBSITE REVIEWS: www.cyclingweekly.com/reviews/road-bikes/colnago-c64-super-record-eps www.bikeradar.com/reviews/components/bike-frames/road-bike-frames/colnago-c64-first-ride-review/ ARGONAUT RM3 Argonaut RM3 The RM3 is designed, molded, and fabricated here in our Bend composite facility. We use patent pending molding technology to create best in class composite frame components, forks, and stems. The RM3 is available in both full-custom and 12 pre-designed frame geometries. For custom geometries we CNC a completely new set of frame molds from solid aluminum block, inscribed with the customer’s name. Well derserved spot at the best bikes of 2021 list! Frame weight starting at 750g. Fork weight 370g. ARGONAUT WEBSITE REVIEWS: granfondo-cycling.com/argonaut-rm3-road-bike/ cyclingtips.com/2020/06/argonaut-brings-it-all-in-house-for-new-rm3-road-bike-at-a-price/ TIME ALPE D’HUEZ 01 Time Alpe d’Huez 01 When lightness and performance meet. The new Alpe d’Huez 01 bike is the lightest bike TIME has ever developed, while improving performance, power and dynamism characteristics. Thanks to our RTM technology, no compromise has been made between weight and stiffness. This is why it is the ideal bike for mountainous routes. 840 g TIME WEBSITE REVIEWS: https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/road-bikes/time-alpe-dhuez-01-ulteam-first-ride-review/ https://www.lavelocita.cc/la-velocita-reviews/time-alpe-dhuez-01-review PARLEE Z-ZERO DISC Parlee Z-Zero Disc The Z-Zero Disc is a great example of this unusual dichotomy. Featuring custom geometry, custom tube lay-up schedules, tubing made by Parlee north of Boston in Beverly, Massachusetts The Z-Zero Disc is 100% made to order, with the optimum performance characteristics and technical requirements perfectly met for each individual rider. From gravel epics to gran fondos, no road bike can match the versatility of the Z-Zero Disc. PARLEE tube joining process Pioneered on the Z1, our exclusive molding process is the technical benchmark for fusing carbon fiber tubes into a monolithic structure. Our process is neither “lugged” or traditional “tube to tube” construction. The Z-Zero joining process is more precise, more costly, and unmatched in strength, using only carbon fiber to fuse each tube to another in a manner that yields a wholly unified structure with almost zero redundant material. Frame weight: 800-975g depending on size. PARLEE WEBSITE REVIEWS: https://cyclingtips.com/2018/05/bikes-of-the-bunch-parlee-z-zero-disc/ BMC TEAMMACHINE SLR BMC Teammachine SLR The Teammachine SLR, has won every major title that a bike can win including: Monuments, World Championships, Olympic Games and the Tour de France. With the newest Teammachine SLR design, BMC have achieved the perfect balance of performance. BMC use what they call ACE technology. ACE calculates the cross sections of the frame, the carbon layups and the geometric structure, based on the desired performance values. It then creates thousands of virtual prototypes to achieve the perfect balance of performance based on three key parameters: stiffness, weight and compliance. Frame weight (54 cm.): 815 g. BMC WEBSITE REVIEWS: granfondo-cycling.com/bmc-teammachine-slr01-disc-team-review/ TREK ÉDMONDA Trek Émonda SLR 9 Émonda SLR 9 Disc is an ultra-light, aerodynamic carbon road bike that’s designed and built to be the fastest climbing bike we’ve ever made. You get the legendary ride quality of our lightest platform, plus more speed, thanks to aero tubes wrought from our lightest OCLV lay-up ever. Frame weight: 665-700 g TREK WEBSITE REVIEWS: www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/road-bikes/trek-emonda-slr-9-etap-review/ granfondo-cycling.com/trek-emonda-2021-review/ SPECIALIZED TARMAC S-Works Tarmac Sl7 Why should you be forced to choose between aerodynamics and weight, between ride quality and speed? It’s simple, you shouldn’t. Enter the new Tarmac—climb on the lightest bike the UCI allows, then descend on the fastest. We’ve utilized our most advanced technologies, from our FreeFoil Shape Library to an all-new Rider-First Engineered™ frame, to deliver a race bike that is truly without compromise. The days of making sacrifices between “aero” and “lightweight” bikes are over—the all-new Tarmac is the fastest race bike, ever. One bike to rule them all. 800 g. SPECIALIZED WEBSITE REVIEWS: www.cyclingweekly.com/reviews/road-bikes/specialized-s-works-tarmac-sl7-dura-ace www.granfondo-cycling.com/specialized-s-works-tarmac-sl7-review/ SARTO LAMPO+ Sarto Lampo+ Stiffness and absolute aerodynamicity. To meet the needs of an evolved cyclist seeking maximum aerodynamics. Each and every tube profile has been specially conceived and designed to be aerodynamic. A new system of completely built-in cabling, meaning all cables are inside the handlebar/stem/frame system. 950 g. SARTO WEBSITE REVIEWS: https://cyclingtips.com/2019/05/sarto-lampo-plus-frameset-review/ CERVELO R5 Cervelo R5 A high performance bike you can trust. Stiffness and geometry work together for pedaling efficiency and stable handling. Wider tires and frame compliance create a smoother ride to help reduce your fatigue. Disc brakes ensure controlled braking in all conditions. The thoughtful details of the R5 will delight you: RAT thru-axles for fast wheel changes, plenty of tire clearance (for tires up to 30mm measured width), and an integrated computer mount for uncluttered handlebars. The R5’s careful balancing of stiffness and weight results in a bike that accelerates quickly but is stable and predictable at speed. Frame weight: 840 g. CERVELO WEBSITE REVIEWS: www.cyclingweekly.com/reviews/road-bikes/cervelo-r5-2 BIANCHI SPECIALISSIMA Bianchi Specialissima Totally re-engineered with the all-rounder in mind, the Specialissima helps you fly up the climbs and dominate on the flat. The carbon disc frame is light, just 750g, so none of your climbing power is wasted when the road turns upward, but it’s also superbly-stiff providing excellent transfer of that power to the road. The new Specialissima is designed for WorldTour professionals but it is also your complete racing bike. Frame Weight: 750 g. BIANCHI WEBSITE REVIEWS: www.bikeradar.com/news/2021-bianchi-specialissima/ https://www.cyclingtips.com/2020/10/2021-bianchi-specialissima-disc-revealed/ CANYON ULTIMATE CFR Caynon Ultimate CFR Caynon’s most advanced carbon layup. Exceptionally stiff, strong and light. Unparrallelled stiffness to weight ratio tested at the hightest levels of athletic endeavour. Premium components designed to shed weight with no reduction in performance. Frame weight (Medium): 641 g. CANYON WEBSITE REVIEWS: www.bikeradar.com/news/canyon-ultimate-cfr/ sparkbikereview.com/the-new-2021-canyon-ultimate-cfr-is-an-uci-illegal-road-bike-at-6-5-kg/ BASSO DIAMANTE SV Basso Diamante SV The new Diamante SV follows the classic aero bike profile, with truncated aerofoil tube shapes and dropped seatstays. Basso has cleaned the design so that it stands super sharp and pleasing esthetically. Frame weight: approx 800 g. BASSO WEBSITE REVIEWS: http://www.bikeradar.com/news/2021-basso-diamante-sv/ PINARELLO DOGMA F12 Pinarello Dogma F12 As the weapon of Team Sky (now Grenadier) for years this bike needs no introduction. Made from Carbon Torayca T1100 1K Dream Carbon with Nanoalloy Technology. Beautiful Italian design made in Taiwan. A serious contender to end on the top of the list of best bikes of 2021. Frame Weight: approx. 920 g. PINARELLO WEBSITE REVIEWS: www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/road-bikes/pinarello-dogma-f12-dura-ace-di2-disc-review/ glorycycles.com/ride-notes/pinarello-dogma-f12-review-first-impressions/ What do you think should top the list of the best bikes of 2021? Write you comments below.