THE CARBON-FIBER REVOLUTION CONTINUES. As engineers refine the way carbon is constructed and shaped, road bikes get wispier and tougher. When combined with more traditional materials like aluminum and titanium, strategically placed carbon tubing and components save weight, boost pedaling efficiency, and improve ride quality. These bikes are built for speed; providing torque is still up to you.
BIANCHI 928 L'UNA / $5,300, 17.1 lbs
Why It's Cool: The Ferrari of road bikes: blindingly fast, impeccably equipped, and designed to turn heads.
The Ride: The L'Una lives up to Bianchi's 121-year heritage of building dream machines for Italy's top racers. If traditional carbon is sexy, the L'Unathe only white-carbon bicycle on the marketis an Italian supermodel. Spec'd with a glassy-smooth Campagnolo Chorus drivetrain, Bianchi's own carbon crankset, and featherweight Campagnolo Eurus wheels, this rig is race-ready out of the box. On the road, the sculpted carbon fiber soaked up the chatter of small bumps, dips, and cracks. The extra-large bottom bracket may look overbuilt, but it didn't flex at all on a 15-mile hill climb, translating each pedal stroke into pure power. On the steep 3,500-vertical-foot descent, the L'Una hugged high-speed mountain curves, inspiring confidence when the pavement turned rough.
Right Bike If: You race (even on solo rides), and you want a ride that matches your ambition. Sizes: 50, 53, 55 (tested), 58, and 61 cm; www.bianchiusa.com