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Fifteen of the best ‘dream bikes’ for 2017

Want a top-level machine for 2017? Feast your eyes on this selection...

The term ‘dream bike’ will conjure up different images depending who you are, but without a doubt it refers to the bike that we find the most desirable – the bike we might, for a moment at least, consider selling our children for… almost, anyway.

With bike brands having largely finalised their 2017 bike offerings, the ranges are always topped by a flagship model that as cyclists we drool over and dream of owning even if the bike we have already is fit for purpose. You’ll spot them on plinths at bike shows and expos, just out of reach of us mere mortals.

This list doesn’t recognise mediocrity, run-of-the-mill, or the cheap. What follows is fifteen of the fastest, most exotic, expensive and downright hot bikes that are available in 2017.

From the limited edition, to the Italian thoroughbred, via the technologically (or, do we mean fashionably?) cutting-edge, there is something for everyone.

Canyon Aeroad CF SLX Disc 8.0 Di2

Canyon’s much-anticipated disc-equipped Aeroad race machine has finally arrived, and it’s right at the cutting edge of disc bike frame technology.

The German manufacturer claims that, in the wind tunnel, the Aeroad CF SLX Disc loses only 0.8 watts to the rim brake version, meaning that it’s every inch the aero weapon it always was.

This top of the range bike currently on offer is equipped with Shimano Ultegra Di2, with BR-RS805 hydraulic brakes mounted to 160mm rotors at the front and rear – unless you opt for the 2XS frame size, in which case it’s 140mm discs for you.

– Canyon launch Aeroad Disc and Ultimate Disc –

You also get Canyon’s H11 Aerocockpit and S27 Aero VCLS seatpost thrown in, with Reynolds Strike DB carbon clincher wheels – which are a wind-cheating 62mm in depth and weigh a claimed 1710g if you opt for a tubeless setup.

Supplied also are Continental GP4000 II clincher tyres, with the overall bike weight coming in at 7.8kg for a medium (54cm). On a bike that has full aero profiling, deep section aero hoops and doesn’t yet benefit from Shimano’s new Dura-Ace 9700 groupset, this is seriously impressive.

Price: £4,499
Website: Canyon

Bianchi Oltre XR4 Super Record EPS

We tested this mega-fast aero bike in the autumn of 2016, only then it was equipped with shallow Fulcrum Racing Zero hoops and the new Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 groupset.

This iteration, though, sits at the top of the tree, with the full Italian job bestowed upon it.

 

It’s one for the purists, because while the angular Campagnolo Bora Ultra rim profiles are beginning to look a little dated against rivals, for many it’s blasphemy to build a Bianchi any other way.

As a result, it’s the ‘Dark’ tubular versions of the 50mm Bora Ultras that have been included, paired with graphene-infused Vittoria Corsa G+ tubular rubber, along with a blend of master craftsmanship and technology with Campagnolo’s Super Record EPS groupset.

Elsewhere, the bike is precisely the same as the one we tested – the latest aero profiling tubes with Countervail technology installed at the seatstay junctions and tubing; a very neat and tidy custom-made Vision Metron 5D bar/stem setup; and a Fizik Arione R3 saddle to perch upon.

Celeste is the obvious choice of colour, but we’ve got a soft spot for the black version too.

Price: £9,500
Website: Bianchi

Specialized S-Works Venge ViAS Disc eTap

Want a bike to rival that of World Champion Peter Sagan? Well, Specialized can’t give you his strikingly luxurious dark green paintjob, but they can give you just about anything else, including this disc-equipped SRAM e-Tap monster.

Another hyper-disc-aero bike, the S-Works Venge ViAS Disc eTap doesn’t leave much in the way of upgrade requirements.

SRAM’s cutting edge wireless groupset provides the drivetrain, with an S-Works carbon chainset, complete with Quark power meter and CeramicSpeed bearings (of course), installed in the middle.

The wheels are Specialized’s own Roval Rapide CLXs, which measure a whopping 64mm in depth, shod with S-Works Turbo Tubeless 22mm tyres, and naturally you get the distinctive Venge ViAS-specific aero stem and bar combination.

No expense has been spared, so the saddle is just as specific, with a Body Geometry S-Works Power, complete with carbon rails, installed.

Price: £8,500
Website: Specialized

Wilier Cento10AIR Dura-Ace Di2

We’ve yet to see the new Wilier Cento10AIR bike in the RCUK offices, but it’s an event we’re looking forward to.

You can buy the bike from stockists and suppliers in SRAM Red eTap, Shimano Ultegra Di2 and mechanical guises, as well as a Campagnolo Chorus build.

However, it’s the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9170, with the Japanese manufacturer’s own C40 wheels, that has our pulses racing – available through Wilier’s Custom Build program.

The new frame comes in at a claimed 990g, which considering its redeveloped NACA aero profiling is impressive. The integrated ‘Alabarda’ aerobar is designed to perfectly match it, right down to the paintwork, with a fork that splays further outwards from the rotating wheel than normal, to decrease the amount of pressured, turbulent air the bike has to push through at speed.

In the Dura-Ace Di2 9170 custom setup we’ve selected, the bike comes finished with Vittoria Rubino Pro Speed tyres, an Astute Star Lab saddle and Cento10AIR seatpost designed for Wilier by Ritchey.

We even like the four-way black, white, orange and blue colour scheme Wilier has selected to show the bike off as well, although you can go mad with their Infinitamente configuration tool if you wish.

Price: £8,499
Website: Wilier

Trek Domane SLR 9 Race

Another frame to have recently been put to the test at RCUK Towers, we were amazed by the sheer compliance this bike offers – it’s truly class leading, especially if you stick to the 28mm Bontrager tyres.

Top features include the adjustable rear IsoSpeed decoupler, which allows you to custom select just how much compliance you want.

The newest model also sees the introduction of a front IsoSpeed device too, which markedly improves the compliance at the bars – perfect for a cobble-destroying machine.

Unsurprising then, that the bike was developed with input from recently-retired spring classics and time trial maestro Fabian Cancellara.

He rode a fully race-bred geometry with uprated OCLV 700 carbon, which you too can buy if you go through Trek’s Project One – at an added cost of £800, on top of the £400 premium to send it through the Project One system.

This is a dream bike, though – so we’re not fussed. If left alone, elsewhere the bike features Bontrager Aeolus 3 carbon rims, with the excellent Bontrager seatpost and Pro IsoCore bars, with an Affinity Pro saddle featuring carbon rails. You also get an integrated sensor in the chainstay for cadence and speed data recording too.

Price: £9,200
Website: Trek Bikes

Factor One Chpt.III Special Edition

Now we’re talking, although the chances of you owning one of these beauties diminish with each passing day.

A limited edition run of 51 Chpt.III Factor Ones will be built, at a cost of £10,500 for each. It’s the attention to detail that sets this bike apart, though, as well as the top-level SRAM Red eTap gruppo – specifically chosen by Chpt.III architect and Factor brand ambassador and tester, David Millar.

The frame features the split, twin vane downtube aerodynamic concept, the OTIS integrated bar-stem setup, as well as a custom black-grey paintjob that mirrors Millar’s Chpt.III clothing range.

The bike takes advantage of Black Inc 50mm clincher rims, with tan-walled Vittoria Corsa 23mm rubber setting off a classic look favoured by Millar.

Other touches chosen by the Scot? A Brooks Cambium C13 saddle, which Millar also helped design, oversized red CeramicSpeed jockey wheels with dedicated rear hanger, and double-wrapped bar tape that mirrors his preference for a bigger grip while adding a little extra comfort through the hands.

Price: £10,500
Website: Factor Bikes

Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Black Inc.

We enjoyed riding the Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod last year at the Etape du Tour, concluding over the course of that ride and subsequent rides on home turf that it’s quite simply one of the best all-round bike frames available, with a sublime ride.

That was a £3,000 mechanical Ultegra model, but the sleekest version costs a whopping £10,499 – and has the build to show for it too.

Built around what Cannondale claims is an ‘all-new’ disc frameset, the Disc Black Inc. version retains its younger siblings’ usual refinements: BallisTec Hi-Mod carbon layup, Speed Save dampening tech and the distinctive straight-tubed, traditional-looking frame.

Where it stands out, though is in the use of tubeless-ready Enve Carbon Smart SES 5.6 rims, married up to Chris King R45D disc hubs via DT Swiss’ Aerolite spokes. Special, with a capital ‘S’.

The bike is finished with components from Enve too – carbon bars, stem and seatpost – with Fizik’s top-line Arione 00 carbon-railed perch and Schwalbe’s Pro One tubeless tyres installed.

The groupset is the full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 Disc, although Cannondale has included its super stiff and lightweight HollowGram SiSL2 chainset.

Price: £10,499.99
Website: Cannondale

Cervélo S5 eTap

Recently we spotted Mark Cavendish’s team-issue Cervélo S5 at a Dimension Data training camp in Calpe, and while this certainly is a dream bike for some, you can’t exactly pick one from Cervélo.

Instead, Cervélo will sell you an eTap-equipped S5 and wireless shifting – something that even the Manx Missile doesn’t have access to thanks to Dimension Data’s tie-ups with Shimano and Rotor.

The eTap version includes the eTap ‘Blips’ satellite shifters, while the wheels are also likely to turn heads: they’re Enve SES 3.4s, which are 35mm for the front, and 45mm deep at the rear for an improved handling and aerodynamic package.

Cervelo also supply their own carbon aero bar, which is fully compatible with 31.4mm diameter stems, an Aero SP17 seatpost that Cav himself uses, and an aggressive frame profile including a very closely-fitting seat tube cutout.

The bike is finished with an FSA OS-99 CSI stem and IS2 headset, and Fizik supply the saddle with an Antares – the middle of the Fizik range in terms of race-endurance picks – while tyres are 23mm Continental Grands Prix.

Price: £8,999
Website: Cervelo

Pinarello Dogma F10

Team Sky’s brand new weapon for the 2017 season and beyond, the F10 is an evolution of the three-time Tour de France-winning F8.

Much like the Bianchi Oltre XR4 when it took the XR2’s place, we’re not sure what happened to the F9, but the F10 is a bike brought bang up to date with the latest technology.

The frame uses Tirayca T1100 1K ‘DreamCarbon’, and has been tweaked in its profile, which has been influenced in part by the Bolide time trial bike.

Bidons are now completely shielded from the wind, while the downtube also features cutaway housing for the new Dura-Ace Di2 junction boxes. Pinarello claim a 12.6% aerodynamic improvement in this area, while small modifications can be spotted around the fork dropouts, where small fins have been installed to improve airflow.

The frame boasts a seven per cent increase in stiffness despite a 55g shaving in weight for a 53cm frame. The bike is built for the latest Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, while the ‘168 Sulfur Yellow’ colourway pictured is particularly striking, complete with Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL hoops.

Price: £8,750 (approx.)
Website: Pinarello

Colnago Concept Super Record

The Colnago Concept, launched in the late summer of 2016, is the bike that we can expect to see the Abu Dhabi WorldTour team ride for the large parts of the season.

It’s Colnago’s attempt at an up-to-date aero bike, and it’s a striking design too, with a sub-1kg frame weight. The name is all some people will need to be convinced this is their dream bike, though.

In keeping with the Italian aesthetic, the bike makes the most of Italian componentry, including a Campagnolo Super Record groupset – traditionalists rejoice for the mechanical version here – as well as Bora Ultra 80mm deep section rims. You can also spec the bike with Super Record EPS or Shimano Dura-Ace, but we think the mechanical Italian groupset is the pick of the bunch.

The bike is built with the neat Concept stem, which – while not integrated – is particularly svelte, and will accept conventional bars.

The frame design is also slightly shy of ‘pure aero’, instead opting for a truncated, angular design that Colnago say is more relevant for the everyday rider that uses a bidon, anyway.

Price: £8,000 (approx.)
Website: Colnago

Ridley Noah SL Disc Ultegra Di2

Belgian manufacturers Ridley have entered the aero disc market, with bikes that could very well be spotted under Lotto-Soudal riders this season.

The Noah SL Disc takes the aerodynamic concepts that have seen Andre Greipel continue to be one of the big players in the sprints, and adds all-weather-beating (ideal for Belgian weather?) hydraulic flat mount discs.

The frame keeps the in-moulded F-Surface Plus frame construction, which allows air to flow smoothly over strategic areas of the frame, instead of detaching and creating drag – an aerodynamicist’s holy grail. A modified F-Split fork to accommodate the disc brake setup has also been developed.

The top-level Noah SL Disc is an Ultegra Di2 version, which although not from Shimano’s top-rung still offers the slickness of electronic shifting, as well as a high quality DT Swiss R32 wheelset matched up to Continental Ultrasport tyres.

The bike is finished off with a 4ZA finishing kit, including a Cirrus Pro saddle with chromium and titanium rails.

Price: £4,199.99
Website: Ridley-Bikes

Merida Scultura Disc Team

Bike frame-building powerhouses Merida launched the Scultura Disc last year ahead of Paris-Roubaix, and it remains one of the most cutting-edge race-ready disc bikes available on the market.

This team-edition version comes with top-of-the-line ‘CF4’ carbon layup that boasts an impressive frame weight of 900g, considering the extra strengthening the forks and rear triangle need to house the discs, and a race geometry.

Clever design has also been integrated, with radiator cooling fins installed at the rear stays to help moderate brake temperature under heavy load, thus improving performance and reducing potential brake fade.

The team issue heralds from the days of the Lampre-Merida team, so the bike mirrors the kit the team used, including Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and a now-retro colour scheme.

The bike is built up with Fulcrum Racing Quattro carbon wheels and Continental Grand Prix 4000S II rubber, and features a Rotor 3D30 noQ chainset. The handlebar and stem comes from FSA, while the saddle is the excellent Prologo Scratch 2 T.20. Total weight for the bike is estimated at 7.48kg.

Price: £6,500
Website: Merida-Bikes

Cube Litening C:68 SLT Disc

The Litening C:68 SLT Disc is German brand Cube’s latest and greatest machine, dubbed their ‘ultimate racing bike’.

Taking its name (the ‘C:68’ portion, anyway) from the carbon layup, the frame and fork is built using an Advanced Twin Mould technique that promises incredibly low weight with impressive levels of stiffness and compliance. Naturally.

With a Dura-Ace Di2 9170 groupset installed throughout, and a naked-carbon look, the bike has a total claimed weight of 6.6kg – remarkable as it beats the current UCI weight limit, and integrates the very latest electronic shifting technology Shimano make. That’s quite a recipe for an all-round race bike.

Compliance is improved using a Syntace P6 carbon seatpost, along with a Racelite carbon handlebar, while the hoops are carbon too – Newmen Advanced SLs – and even the Fizik Antares R3 features carbon braided rails. The tyres supplied are Schwalbe One tubeless.

Price: £5,999
Website: Cube

Storck Fascenario.3

Launched at Eurobike 2016, the Storck Fascenario.3 is an all-rounder of a bike that features what Storck call ‘Advanced Sectional Aerodynamic Shaping’ to arrive at the shaped and sculpted tube profiles. Storck say they give optimum aerodynamic efficiency along with comfort, stiffness and overall performance.

The frame is manufactured with “nanocarbon technology” for the best compromise, a beefed up bottom bracket area, and features forks that bow outward around the wheel body for maximum aerodynamic performance.

The rear triangle uses very slim flattened seatstays with a claimed overall weight for the frame of 770g, and the D-profile F.3 carbon seatpost that comes in at 130g while increasing comfort.

The bike is bought as a frameset, with either electronic or mechanical builds available. The top of the range build with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and DT Swiss RC38 hoops comes in at a whopping £10,399. Want a limited edition Aston Martin-badged one? You’ll need to part with £15,777.

Price: £10,399
Website: Storck-Bicycle

Giant TCR Advanced Pro Disc

Giant’s TCR Advanced Pro Disc features at its core Giant’s popular Compact Road Geometry, and adds the capability of disc brakes to its already diverse race ability.

Formed of Giant’s own Advanced Grade Composite carbon, the bike is currently available in one iteration: Ultegra Di2. The frame features a ‘Megadrive’ rectangular downtube profile that links the oversized bottom bracket area to the front end.

Incorporating Shimano’s BR-RS805 hydraulic disc brakes with 140mm rotors, the brand claims the best stiffness-to-weight ratio in its class. The bike is built up using Giant’s own high-grade components, including Contact SL bars, stem and saddle, a Variant carbon seatpost for extra compliance and a fork that makes use of the Overdrive 2 steerer concept for sharp yet predictable handling.

The rolling stock is also Giant’s own, with the SLR 1 Disc hoops installed. They’re tubeless-ready, with the Taiwanese brand supplying their own 25mm Gavir SLR tubeless rubber to use with them, optimising the system.

The bike also includes a removable ‘RideSense’ chainstay-integrated sensor to transmit speed and cadence data via ANT+.

Price: £3,599
Website: Giant-Bicycles

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