Litespeed Archon C3

Race: Wind Breaker; $3,000.

Litespeed Archon C3

Litespeed Archon C3    Photo: Photograph by Inga Hendrickson

Integrating aerodynamic shapes into regular road bikes is nothing new, but Litespeed's brand-new carbon line takes it to a new level. Everything from the massive profile of the C3's head-tube junction to the bottle-shrouding down tube was designed with the wind in mind. You can tell: The C3 holds its speed like a rocket. The downside is that getting it up to speed takes a little work. Crafting these shapes takes loads of carbon, which means the C3 is also a bit heavy and unforgiving. Still, with Shimano Ultegra components and hill-gobbling compact cranks, the C3 is a solid race choice for the budget-minded. 18 lbs (56 cm); litespeed.com
PEDALING RESPONSIVENESS: 4.1 HANDLING: 3.9

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