It’s no secret that the 2018/2019 product cycle for the road cycling industry saw the reimagination and evolution of aerodynamic race bikes. With the majority of the industry’s biggest hitters unveiling all-new wind-cheating steeds all pushing the envelope of what is possible within the UCI rule book – the future of aero looks bright.
So with that in mind, we’ve scoured our marketplace with starry eyes and lined up our top picks of the best money-no-object aero road bikes to be had in 2019.
Orbea Orca Aero M10i Team
Spanish outfit Orbea may not be the first bike company that springs to mind when you think of aerodynamic road bikes, but with a lifetime warranty on all of its frames and proven results, they’re worth looking into. The Orca moniker has long adorned Orbea’s race bikes, with the Aero being the latest and first dedicated aero bike in the Spanish company’s fleet. The Orca Aero is said to save 52 seconds over a 50km race circuit when compared to the traditional lightweight Orca and is available in both rim and disc brake flavours.
The M10i-D Team Edition steed on show here features a Shimano Dura Ace 9170 Di2 groupset, a Vision Metron 5D integrated cockpit, DT Swiss ARC 1400 Dicut 48mm Carbon wheelset and a choice of either Vittoria Corsa 25mm clincher tyres or Hutchinson Fusion 5 Tubeless tyres. Oh and that paint? Personally, we dig it, but if custom colourways are more your style, Orbea allows its customers to fully customise the paint finish with its outrageously fun MyO Customisation Tool.
Specialized S-WORKS Venge
Released in the lead up to the 2018 Tour de France, the 2019 Venge is the latest wind-cheating steed to wear Specialized’s moniker reserved for its aerodynamic race bikes. Said to be eight seconds quicker over 40km than the previous iteration Venge ViAS, the new bike is not only faster but almost half a kilogram lighter than the bike it replaces. One of the most winningest bikes in the 2018 WorldTour peloton, the Venge eschews rim brakes in favour of discs, and is one of the lightest amongst the current crop of aerodynamic race bikes.
Unveiled in conjunction with the release of SRAM Red eTap AXS, the featured bike carries the latest American component company’s 12-speed wireless groupset. Elsewhere, the component specification is similar to other S-Works builds, including an Aerofly cockpit, Roval CLX64 carbon wheels and S-Works Turbo Cotton rubber.
Cannondale SystemSix SRAM Red eTap AXS
Pulling the covers off its first dedicated aero race bike just days out from the Tour de France, with the SystemSix, American company Cannondale claim to have created the most aero efficient race bike ever. Said to save the average rider 17 watts at 30kph, true to its name, the SystemSix makes use of six systems to achieve ultimate aero efficiency, these being the frame, fork, seatpost, stem, handlebars and wheelset.
Much like the Venge detailed above, the SystemSix featured here was released in conjunction with the latest SRAM Red eTap AXS groupset. Finished in a sleek champagne and black colourway, the SystemSix Hi-Mod features a full eTap AXS groupset, HED inspired Cannondale KNØT64 tubeless ready carbon wheels and Prologo touch points.
Cervelo S5 Dura Ace Di2
An industry leader in aerodynamic race bikes, Candian company Cervelo is widely regarded as the benchmark manufacturer of the category. With the latest iteration of its flagship S5 aero bike, a radical new stem, fork and handlebar design is said to smooth airflow over the front of the bike, making the latest S5 its most efficient offering yet.
As is the case with the majority of modern aero bikes, the S5 shown here is disc brake specific, making use of a full Shimano Dura Ace 9170 Di2 groupset. Performance wheel company ENVE provides its goldilocks 5.6SES wheelset wrapped in grippy Continental rubber.
BMC TimeMachine 01 Disc
Following modern trends, the Timemachine Road from Swiss outfit BMC will be electronic groupset and disc brake specific. The shift to electronic gearing and disc assisted stopping power is due to the aerodynamic benefits that they provide and is seemingly a common trend in the space. A lack of exposed cabling makes for a sleek, drag reduced front-end whereas removing the brake caliper from the fork crown allows for frame designers to smooth the airflow around the front end of the bike.
One of the most striking features of the bike, however, is how the aerodynamic bottle cages neatly integrate into the downtube and seattube. These were developed in collaboration with Italian cycling component manufacturer Elite.
The Timemachine Road 01 featured here is outfitted with a full Shimano Dura Ace 9170 Di2 groupset, DT Swiss ARC Dicut 1100 wheelset and custom aerodynamic bottle cages from Elite.
Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 Disc
The culmination of three years worth of development, the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer Giant set tongues wagging in late 2017, pulling the covers off what was the first disc-brake specific aero race bike in the Propel Disc. Not only boasting impressive aero and stiffness to weight figures, the Propel Disc platform represents one of the most affordable entries into the modern aero superbike platform.
Sitting atop the Propel hierarchy, the Propel Advanced SL 0 scores a top-end build kit to match. A Shimano Dura Ace Di2 groupset with Shimano Dura Ace powermeter cranks are fitted as standard, whilst 140mm flat mount hydraulic disc brakes take care of the stopping. Rolling stock is Giant’s own SLR 0 Disc Composite Centerlock DBL 42/65 WheelSystem with DT Swiss internals. The Advanced SL grade composite frame at the heart of the bike features a RideSense integrated wireless data transmitter, integrated seat post and is finished with Giant's two piece integrated bar and stem combination.
Ridley Noah Fast Disc Ultegra Di2
Sitting as the flagship aero option from Belgian outfit Ridley the Noah platform has played host to some of the sport’s best sprinters including Robbie McEwen, Andre Greipel, and Caleb Ewan. Refreshed for 2019, the latest iteration is said to be 250g lighter than the Noah SL it replaces whilst a redesigned frontend removes the bulk of the cable clutter, internally routing all brake and shift cables through the handlebar and steerer tube.
The build-kit on local models feature a Shimano Ultegra 8070 Di2 groupset, Rotor Flow cranks, Forza R45 carbon wheels and an inhouse integrated cockpit.
Merida Reacto Disc TEAM-E
Now in its third iteration, the Merida Reacto is no stranger to aerodynamic race bikes. Raced in the UCI WorldTour by Bahrain–Merida, the Reacto has tasted success at the sport’s highest level by some of the world’s best riders. Boasting a claimed module weight of 1,428g, the Reacto is just as feathery as it is aero efficient.
Arguably the best value flagship offering on this list, the Reacto Disc Team-E featured here boasts a full Shimano Dura Ace 9170 Di2 groupset, DT Swiss Dicut ARC 1400 wheelset and an integrated Vision Metron 6D cockpit.
On the lookout for a new road bike and confused by the different types on offer? Our endurance vs lightweight vs aero roadbike comparison piece is loaded with all the information you need to make an informed buying decision.