BEST FOR: Gravel-grinders (see page 100) and other epic rides (gran fondo being the term du jour for long-distance, mass-start rides).
THE TEST: Though it’s built from less-coveted aluminum and was one of the least expensive bikes we tried, testers couldn’t keep their hands off this candy apple red beauty. With flex points built into the seatstays, fork, and seatpost to add bump-eating compliance, the GF02 felt nearly as cushy as a carbon frame. And while we appreciated the burly wheels with pillowy 28-millimeter tires, their heft was noticeable—a change to a lighter set would drop two pounds.
THE VERDICT: Said one tester: “You can’t buy more comfort or performance for the money.” 19 lbs