The dog days are right in front of you. So are roads, trails, and mountains. Time for a new two-wheeler.
May is National Bike Month, and a perfect time to upgrade to a bicycle that properly does your bidding. Whether you’re looking for more power up the mountain, more speed on the roads, or more durability on dirt and gravel, there’s a new bike that will help you elevate your cycling skills to the next level this summer.
The Road Racer
Cannondale Synapse Hi-MOD Black Inc. ($8,120)
A seamless compendium of the highest-end parts, from the Synapse carbon fiber frame to Schawlbe tires to Shimano shifters, the sleek Hi-MOD provides the smoothest performance in the category. And even weighing in at a feathery 15 pounds, it offers minimized vibration and super-tight handling thanks to the three-part Save Plus micro-suspension system (carbon lay-up, rear triangle and fork). It all adds up to a road racer that gives you maximum speed and control all at once.
The Mountain Bike
Surly Instigator 2.0 ($2,650)
You only have to take a look at this monster to see that it’s made to dominate the mountains. The Fox float front fork can absorb the roughest terrain you’re likely to take on. The extra-wide rims are 26 inches, but the bike is effectively a 27.5-inch “tweener” thanks to the rugged, gripping two-inch tires. The rear-end features Surly’s new Modular Dropout System, allowing you single-speed simplicity, standard vertical shifting, or the beefy 12x142 thru-axle setup that’s growing in popularity among hardcore mountain bikers. But the Instigator isn’t about the specs. It’s about having a blast carving up the mountainside.
The Gravel Grinder
Trek Domane Disc 6.9 ($7,899)
The Domane series was designed with cycling superstar Fabian Cancellara specifically to handle the rigors of Europe’s brutal “cobbled classic” races such as the Paris-Roubaix. The IsoSpeed Decoupler isolates the seat tube from the rest of the frame, so the seat maintains remarkable stability even as the frame negotiates the gnarliest of pock-filled mud, gravel, and cobblestone paths. The Endurance geometry lengthens the wheelbase slightly to keep the rider in a back-friendly upright posture. The disc brakes are much less susceptible than traditional rubber rim pads to being compromised by water and mud.
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