GearBiking

Rounding Up the Best Road Bikes of the Past Three Years

How do we settle on the best roadie each year? Round up 25 of the most promising models and start racking up the miles.

Test director Aaron Gulley surveying two of the more than 25 road bikes we put through the paces in Grand Junction, Colorado (Photo: Claire Bruce)
Test director Aaron Gulley surveying two of the more than 25 road bikes we put through the paces in Grand Junction, Colorado

As you'll hear in the Canyon Ultimate video below, it's not easy picking out the one road bike to rule them all. But that's exactly what we do each year when we test the top models in world-class riding destinations for our Summer Buyer's Guide. Watch on to see what pushed each of these rigs over the top and earned them Gear of the Year accolades.

2019 Gear of the Year: Orbea Gain E-Bike

Yes, you read that right: an e-bike is the best roadie of 2019. Even after long days of cycling on the smooth pavement and scenic gravel trails of Grand Junction, Colorado, the Orbea Gain made us excited to get back out for another lap—and lent a bit of help to our tired legs.

2018 Gear of the Year: Canyon Ultimate 8.0

You know a bike can hack it if it tackles the 7,000-foot alpine ascents, desert circuits, and gravel roads of Tucson, Arizona, with aplomb. And the Canyon Ultimate 8.0 did just that. Plus, the company’s strictly direct-to-consumer sales means you’re getting a top-of-the-line steed for 10 to 40 percent less than rides from other brands with similar specs.

2017 Gear of the Year: Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc

Back in 2016, we said that if the previous generation of this bike (which rocked rim brakes at the time) came with discs, it would have swept the Gear of the Year voting. Sure enough, Giant’s 2017 update of the TCR Advanced Pro 1 Disc won our testers over with its race-ready—but not harsh or uncomfortable—frame and, oh yeah, better braking.

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Road BikingBikingCity Biking
Lead Photo: Claire Bruce
More Gear