Over the past six months, I’ve been in charge of testing 56 bicycles, with the goal of picking the best bikes on the market for 2011. I’ve plowed road bikes to 10,000 feet in swirling New Mexico snowstorms, spun down back roads and dusty singletrack in Tucson with dozens of enthusiastic bike testers, and steered bikes—much to my back's displeasure—over the Flemish cobbles. And I’ve ridden some damn good bikes.
Sadly, my legs (and my garage) have more capacity than a magazine, and we couldn’t find space for a handful of notable bikes. So over the next days and weeks, I’ll be reviewing a few more of this season’s noteworthy bikes, starting with the breathtaking—in performance and price—Serotta Meivici SE. Happy reading and riding.
Serotta Meivici SE
$8,395, frame and fork; $11,386 as tested
THE SELL: An exquisite piece of custom-made, high-speed art.
THE TEST: With carbon fiber as common—and nearly as cheap—as aluminum these days, you might wonder why a bare Meivici SE frame and fork costs more than most premium race bikes. The answer is the labor: Serotta hand-places each layer of carbon, varying the thickness and stiffness throughout the frame to match each owner’s size and riding style, a process that takes some six to eight weeks to complete. The lugs, which come in multiple sizes, add to the customization. Think of the Meivici as a bespoke Brioni suit amid the racks of Hugo Bosses and Ralph Laurens. “It oozes class, with a ride to match,” one tester said. You can build it up however you please, of course, but ours came adorned with Campagnolo Super Record, the 11-speed groupo with, in our opinion, the best ergonomics and shifting on the market (except perhaps Shimano Di2)—“This drivetrain is a revelation!” a rider exclaimed. The Eurus wheels are as stiff and fast as they are sleek, and it all adds up to a ride that’s neither too stiff nor too plush, but approaching perfect.
THE VERDICT: Mother of God! 16.1 lbs (56); serotta.com