Blend biking’s latest technology and top-line engineering, and what do you get? Featherlight frames, brakes that won’t quit, flawless shifting, and crisp aerodynamic design—no matter what kind of rider you are. Whether you're the urban commuter weaving through traffic, or the mountaineer battling steep singletrack, we discovered the best and most coveted bikes of 2014. If you like cycling, then there’s something in here for you. We know most sport a hefty price tag, but trust us—it’s worth the investment. Pick one of these, and you can kiss your old junker goodbye.
Wait, before you look at the price tag, know this: Alchemy Bicycles are handmade for each and every rider, right in Denver, CO. No imported parts, no gimmicks. If you’re willing to shell out some cash, you can score a two-wheeler fine tuned just for you. The Aithon (nicknamed for fire-breathing horses in Greek mythology) will keep up with the rider who takes it on—or off—the pavement. Its 100% ultra-light carbon fiber frame makes for easy commuting, and is extra forgiving over gravel and graded surfaces. Stock disc brakes put to the test in the Rocky Mountains ensure you’ll stay in the saddle on a wet or muddy road.
Tired of public transport and traffic? The Cannondale Hooligan is made for the concrete jungle. Yeah, we know it looks a little odd, but the hearty aluminum frame will take a beating over potholes, curbs and uneven streets. The combination of low frame, tall head tube, and extra-long seatpost makes this stiff design sturdier than a folding bike. But its 20 inch wheels and low standover height keep it compact—cake to haul up stairs and store in your walk-up bachelor pad. If you’re looking for a new, fun way to get around, this is it.
The Rallye is Spot Brand’s hot new multi-terrain bike. The fast, light aluminum frame is torsionally stiff for quick acceleration, and coated in a corrosive repellent to negate rust build up from a mud bath. Don’t be afraid to powerwash this baby. Designed with the toughest terrain in mind, its carbon fork has a tapered steerer to make tight corners, no problem. Ride the Rallye over cyclocross-like technical obstacles with confidence, or gear down to tear up gravel trails. This bike will push your performance limits to the max, if you dare.
If you’re new at cycling and don’t want to drop lots of dough on a bike, check out the Specialized Sirrus Elite Disc. With its aluminum alloy frame and disc fork, you get lightweight road-bike speed with the security of flat handlebars you used as a kid. The 9-speed FSA shifter goes gear-to-gear without a hitch, and rack/fender mounts let you customize for a commute once you get hooked on cycling. And there’s no sacrifice on the technology you need for a smooth, fast ride—all for less than a grand.
Just because you live where there’s snow doesn’t mean you have to hang up your bike come winter. The Surly Ice Cream Truck rocks a 4.8-inch fat tire on 100mm rims, and is equipped with a steel frame to protect against corrosion. These are two ingredients you want if you’re riding it year-round. New trail-ready frame geometry makes it stiffer and more responsive, ready to float over (or through) just about any obstacle. Basically, think of it as the Monster Truck of all bikes.
If shredding singletrack technical trail is your thing, here’s the bike for you. Turner Bicycles’ new Flux ver 3.0 has been redesigned from the ground up with speed and agility at the forefront of its geometrics. 27.5-inch wheels give you clearance and stability over obstacles, but are compact enough to dip and turn with tight track. It’s torsionally stiffer and has a lighter tubeset than previous models. Plus, DW-link suspension—a subset of traditional 4-bar—absorbs shock and keeps you in the saddle on any twisty trail you pick.
Riders who crush out a high mileage know that a solid bike blends comfort, speed, weight and a mechanics without sacrificing on any one category. In our opinion, the Trek Domaine 6.9 sweeps best road bike. Asymmetric steering gives you total control of the lightweight frame, so you can manipulate direction at any touch. An Isospeed carbon fork provides the rigidity you need to go fast, but allows you to feel the road sans jarring. Not to mention, aerodynamic design and a comfortable light racing saddle will make you want to ride all day long—perfect for endurance and triathletes.
You don’t have to be an Ironman to purchase a triathlon bike. Any serious endurance athlete would appreciate the technology behind what really makes these two-wheelers fast. If you want to strike a PR during your run, bike, swim, check out the Specialized Shiv Pro Race. Engineers designed this bike exclusively for triathlon, so it has all the features you need: an ultralight carbon frame and carbon aerobar, a Shimano Dura Ace/Ultegra drivetrain for consistent and solid transfer of power, and aerodynamic Roval Rapide CL 60 wheels. Want a ride that makes race transitions more comfortable? Bingo, here it is.
So, you’re the kind of rider who wants two in one. You need something for trail adventures, and maybe even overnight bike trips, but light enough for long road rides and commuting around town. The Cannondale Quick CX 1 has a frame inspired by mountain bike design—custom forks for off-road control and disc brakes for any weather. But don’t be fooled. It transitions right to the road too. With its skinnier seatpost and lightweight steerer suspension, it’ll keep up with you on urban rides. For less than two grand you have a mountain bike built for the road that can take you anywhere you want to go.
We’ve touted the trend of electric biking before. Quick recap: e-bikes run off a throttle and rechargeable battery allowing you to conquer tough hills, get exercise, save money on gas, and get to point B faster than a regular bike. Sounds good, right? Well the Yuba El Mundo is an electric cargo bike built to haul stuff comfortably. You have control over the 350 watt gearless motor so you can increase and decrease electric-assistance. If you want to go green, ditch your car for one of these bad boys. You’ll slice your carbon emissions to nearly zero. Its battery life lasts up to 37 miles and costs less than a nickle to recharge. Plus, it’s lighter than most e-bikes at just 66 lbs, and a mid-frame battery mount keeps it balanced.