BH Zaphire/Tiagra

How’d we pick ’em? Our primary evaluation process took place over seven days in January on the trails and back roads outside Tucson, Arizona. We spent three days spinning 13-mile laps on a road loop from Gates Pass. Ba

BH Zaphire

BH Zaphire    Photo: Courtesy of BH Bikes

Best For: The budget conscious. 

The Test: It’s easy to get sucked into the hype of sub-650-gram-frame-this and SRAM-Shimano-or-Campy-that and spend more than you need to. But if you just want a good, reliable ride, pick up a Zaphire, which arguably performs as well as top-shelf race bikes of a decade ago. The aluminum frame felt a bit jarring at first, but lowering the tire pressure to 90 psi produced a more forgiving ride. The longish wheelbase and tall headtube made for a more upright riding position, which testers said kept their necks and backs pain-free. 

The Verdict: A lot of a bike for the money. 21.6 lbs

Brand: BH Bikes $1,100
From Outside Magazine, May 2012 Get the Latest Issue