THE SELL: Comfort-performance meets quick handling.
THE TEST: The Prisma hits the sweet spot: plenty spry for the fast maneuvering and hard accelerations of big group rides but still plush enough to keep testers happy in the saddle three hours later. The featherweight frame (just 2.4 pounds) is partly to thank for its nimble handling, while the vertically compliant shaped carbon, compact top tube, and tall head tube contribute to that easy-on-the-back feel. Our only (minor) gripe: a few riders felt that the trade-off for all that comfort was slight flex in the bottom-bracket area.
THE VERDICT: "You almost forget the bike is there," summed up one tester, "so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride." 17.7 lbs (56); bhbikes.net
Both the Focus and BH, like an increasing number of mountain and road bikes, have tapered head tubes that flare out toward the front of the bike. It isn't just for style; the design adds rigidity for more precise steering.