How We Tested Them
Over the course of nine days in Tucson, Arizona, our 23-person test crew hammered more than 40 bikesfrom $10,000 pro-level Tour de France machines to $900 starter bikes, from 29-inch-wheel trail bikes to hardtail racers. Each one was ridden by several testers, then scored in a variety of categories, including pedaling performance, handling, comfort, components, and aesthetics.
We tested 20 road bikes this year, and none scored a perfect 10 in any categoryexcept the full-carbon Madone. It earned four, for pedaling responsiveness, handling, descending, and component selection. Shimano gets a lot of credit for that last one. The company's futuristic electronic Di2 shifters and derailleurs add about $2,000 to the priceTrek's Project 1 custom paint job added another $400but every tester raved about their silky smooth performance. In place of pulleys, springs, cables, and missed shifts, Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 have customizable buttons, batteries, wires, and total, overwhelming precision. They're expensive, but testers agreed they're also the most precise shifters they're ever used. And while this pure racer isn't quite as forgiving as previous versions, it's noticeably stiffer in the front end and bottom bracket for uncompromising handling and power transfer. 15 lbs (56 cm); trekbikes.com
PEDALING RESPONSIVENESS: 5 HANDLING: 5 (ALL SCORES ARE OUT OF FIVE)