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Best Aero Bikes 2022: Ride faster for less effort

Cyclist magazine
1 Sep 2021

A selection of the best 2022 aero road bikes introduced and analysed

A systematic approach to aerodynamics could be the biggest step-change in bicycle design since the invention of the safety bicycle. Letting you go faster for the same effort by cutting down on drag, today the aero story hardly needs telling, the bikes and the plethora of data-driven claims speak for themselves.

Direct comparisons between rival bikes aren’t easy, as everything from the testing standards to testing apparatus differs from manufacturer to manufacturer – a fact a cynic will say is bent to each manufacturer’s will, allowing it to claim ‘our bike is the fastest’.

But no matter, it's still undoubtable that aero bikes, as a whole, are quicker than their round tube counterparts. So without further ado, verily we saith unto you, check these bad boys out, our pick of the freshest, fastest and most stylish aero bikes for 2022.

The best aero bikes of 2022

  1. Trek Madone: £7,100
  2. Cannondale SystemSix: £11,500
  3. Cervelo S5 Force eTap: £8,799
  4. Specialized Tarmac SL7 S-Works: £13,200
  5. Pinarello Dogma F: from £11,000
  6. Bianchi Oltre XR4 CV: £11,789
  7. Factor One: £6,400
  8. Giant Propel Advanced: £3,499
  9. Parlee RZ7: Price on request
  10. Argon 18 Nitrogen: £8,500
  11. Canyon Aeroad CF SLX: £6,299
  12. Merida Reacto 9000: £6,500
  13. Scott Foil RC 20: £5,249
  14. BMC Timemachine 01 Road One: £12,100
  15. Look 795 Blade: €6,999

1. Trek Madone SL7

  • £7,100

A former World Championship winner, the Madone isn’t just an aero machine. Its front and rear employ Trek’s IsoSpeed decoupler system for extra compliance and comfort over bumps.

One of the first bikes to make a real effort to neatly integrate the cockpit and seatpost, the junctions between these areas remain impressively neat yet still relatively easily adjustable.

Having recently also lost a little weight, it proves that sublime comfort and extreme speed no longer need to be conflicting.

SEE RELATED: Best aero helmets 

2. Cannondale SystemSix Dura Ace Di2

  • £11,500

For a long period, Cannondale neglected the aero-specific market due to the simple fact its SuperSix Evo race bike was so good. However, in 2018, the American brand made enough advancements in the world of speed and released the SystemSix.

It was a bike with bold claims. At 48kmh it will save you 50w while its combination of aerodynamics and weight make it faster than any climbing bikes on gradients up to 6%.

As seen beneath the EF Education squad, several years later and it's still one of the most extreme looking aero bikes in the peloton. 

3. Cervelo S5 Force eTap

£8,799

Cervelo is no stranger to speed, and here we have the Cervelo S5, the most recent genesis of the Cervelo Soloist.

It’s long been lauded as one the fastest bikes out there, a fact not hurt by appearing beneath Wout, Roglic, and co. Seriously overhauled ahead of its most recent relaunch, a new integrated cockpit means this latest version remains as radical as when first introduced.

4. Specialized Tarmac SL7 S-Works

  • £13,200

Formerly thought to be one of the fastest road bikes in the world, Specialized killed off its Venge model a couple of years back. Inheriting a good dollop of its DNA, the brand’s more versatile Tarmac has since become the Californian bikemaker’s most aerodynamic model.

Remnants of the former bike’s design are evident in the new Tarmac’s dropped seatstays and wheel hugging seat tube, along with the boxy seat post and fork legs. Arriving as standard with some suitably deep Roval wheels, this latest Tarmac is proof that whether you like it or now - we’re all aero now.

SEE RELATED: Best turbo trainer workouts to improve your cycling

5. Pinarello Dogma F

  • from £11,000

With Chris Froome on board, the Pinarello Dogma F8 gained a brace of Tour de France victories. Geraint Thomas nabbed one aboard the F10. While the F12 got its first Tour win beneath Egan Bernal.

Since then Pinarello has decided to stop upping the numbers. The latest Pinarello Dogma is now just known as the Dogma F. The definitive article, as revealed to Fausto by the god of cycling, it's still available with traditional calliper brakes. However, even Ineos has now switched to the slicker-looking disc version.

6. Bianchi Oltre XR4 CV

£10,789

Bianchi’s race bike range has recently been joined by the latest Oltre XR4, which includes the company’s proprietary Countervail – a viscoelastic carbon material that reduces road buzz.

While the tubes of the frame are suitably blade-like, Bianchi reckons the real aero gains come from the rider being able to maintain an aero tuck for longer, thanks to the Countervail, which makes the ride less harsh and reduces fatigue.

It’s the rider that creates most of the drag, after all.

7. Factor One

Chris Froome's Ostro Vam might be the more practical pick, but Factor's One is still its most aero bike. With a distinct fork assembly that sits forward of the headtube, it distils the brand’s left-field aero know-how into a frame that’s UCI legal but still seriously fast.

Factor worked with aero specialists bf1systems to tone down and reshape the front end without increasing drag, yet the One keeps Factor’s signature ‘Twin-Vane’ down tube, which it claims siphons turbulent air from the front wheel through the frame, rather than around it.

SEE RELATED: Seven best aero wheels

8. Giant Advanced Propel

  • £3,499

The only bike to have received flowers from Marcel Kittel, the Propel manages to blend excellent ride comfort with aero-clout and fast handling.

The position is of the ‘stick the rider up high’ persuasion, with a tall headtube in the Cervelo mode, and with a roster of big-race wins, it looks to work. 

9. Parlee RZ7

The tubes on the RZ7 feature a distinctive scallop on their trailing edge, the benefits of which are not just aerodynamic. Instead, their design has allowed Parlee to cut weight and also increase tube stiffness.

With faring covered discs the RZ7 is as fast as it looks. Yet this never translates into a harsh ride. In fact, when we took it out for a spin it proved extremely capable on broken surfaces - something further boosted by its ability to fit tyres up to 32c. All in it’s a very modern and very fast aero bike.

10. Argon 18 Nitrogen

  • £8,500

Balance is the name of the game for Argon 18’s Nitrogen - it takes comfort cues from the Canadian brand’s Gallium Pro and blends them with aero profiling inspired by its dedicated TT frameset.

Having formerly sponsored Astana, Argon 18 has since dropped out of the WorldTour peloton. However, its continued involvement with several national teams means its bikes still regularly compete at the highest levels, particularly on the track.  

11. Canyon Aeroad CF SLX

The German online powerhaus has been successfully turning bicycles into Grand Tour and Monument successes for more than a decade, and the latest Aeroad shows no signs of abating.

Handling is racy, offering assured tracking through tight corners, and thanks to the now de rigeur T-shaped bar-stem combo (offered on the higher-spec models), revised truncated tube profiles and wheel hugging downtube, it’s one of the fastest bikes on the market.

12. Merida Reacto 9000

  • £6,500

Between them, Merida and Giant produce 80% of the world’s bike frames, so Merida should know a thing or two about what makes a good bike, or in this case, a fast one.

The long-standing Reacto is the same bike that helped Vincenzo Nibali hold of the pack at the 2018 Milan-San Remo. Blade-like in appearance, its aggressive nature is tempered by an S-Flex seat post which features a cut-away section to boost compliance. Cooling fins built into its calliper mounts stop things from getting too heated when screaming down the mountain.

13. Scott Foil RC 20

  • £5,249

Winner of Paris-Roubaix, the Foil demonstrates a refined ride quality more akin to a regular road bike, but with all the wind-cheating features you’d expect.

Low slung seatstays and truncated tube profiles are capped off with an aggressive front end, centred around the Syncros bar-stem combo that sleekly mates with the headtube.

14. BMC Timemachine 01 Road One

When a bike straddles time-trial and road categories it’s fair to say it’s fast, and when a reconfigured version of the Timemachine gave Rohan Dennis a rapid – yet brief – Hour Record title, that only bolstered the credentials of BMC’s aero-road machine.

The front end assembly integrates like a Transformer, while the rear end sets the stays as low down the seat tube as UCI rules allow, a design almost ubiquitous across the aero board.

15. Look 795 Blade  

Available in the UK as a frame kit only, the 795 Blade’s chunky aero tubes are resolutely stiff, yet overall the bike doesn’t feel unwieldy or overly harsh.

The modicum of compliance offered by the bowed seatstays and fork legs makes it a little more accommodating on a rough road than a good number of its aero competitors. And, credit where it’s due, it’s unquestionably fast.

When we tried the calliper brake version we found ourselves wishing for the extra control offered by discs. Make this the version you pick when ordering and we’re happy to recommend the 795.

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