The pro peloton has some stunning bikes, but which looks the best? We’re going to be judging the bikes based on looks alone, but which ones do we rate and which do we hate? Let’s run through them, from the stinkers to our surprising favourite.
Another year of bike racing is upon us and there have been some exceptionally busy mechanics readying bikes for the best riders in the world. We’ve been busy too, ranking the paint department’s efforts.
Did they do a good job with the crayons, or was it a bit of a Friday afternoon rush job?
Right, let’s get to the bikes, starting with the worst, though, we should preface this by saying that we’d happily ride any of the bikes here. And to be clear, this is a bit of a beauty pageant. The limiting factor isn’t going to be the bike when it comes to the actual races.
If you don’t agree with our choices, the comments section is waiting for your opinions.
Sorry Cube, but while this is probably a very fast bike, it isn’t one that gets our hearts racing. There are a lot of harsh angles around the seat tube and we’re not quite sure how neon yellow has made it all the way through to 2022.
Maybe someone in the design team really likes using their highlighter? Aside from that, the huge lettering on the downtube, forks and wheels is just a bit excessive.
Combine it with a kit that is plastered in logos and it’s not exactly winning us over.
Can you see what wheels Bike Exchange is using? We can’t quite make it out.
The team’s Giants aren’t actually that bad, but you’re fighting an uphill battle when you combine those wheels with that kit.
We'd also say that the blocky paint pattern is about as confused as the jersey. There are some similar paint jobs that score a lot better, it’s just that this one doesn’t really work.
Moving on, we come to a collection of designs that are fine, but they’re just a bit meh.
First up is Lotto’s Ridleys. Black. A bit of grey. There’s not a lot going on here, which is a shame, because Lotto has had some brilliant bikes in the past.
The one interesting this here is that the team have switched from Campagnolo to Shimano. We did see Caleb Ewan and Philippe Gilbert using modified shift lever setups, so the move might make it easier for the riders to shift gears when down in the drops as Shimano offers its popular sprinter satellite shift buttons.
Next up is Trek, and we’re talking about the men’s team here. What are lovely bikes are let down by the use of maximum font size on the downtube. Plus the women’s kit and bike designs are nicer, but we’ll get to them in a bike.
We will give a little tip of the hat to the classic drops on that bike.
Then we come to Jumbo Visma’s Cervelos. They haven’t really changed from last year and, well, it’s a little bit of a boring design for some of the most exciting riders in the world. Come on, you’ve got Vos and Van Aert on these bikes, they should match their riding style.
DSM is another team that hasn’t really changed its bikes and again, this is pretty unoffensive but doesn’t exactly make you go wow.
Part of the collection of ok bikes are the two Specialized SL7s in the men’s world tour this year. Bora and Quick Step rather quiet designs this year, with Bora getting a smart black to green frame while Quick-Step have this interesting navy blue finish that is lighter in spots depending on where the light hits it. Seeing as Bora has one of the nicest kits in the peloton this year, theirs is particularly dull.
Quick-Step’s might well be better in the flesh, but seeing as the bike will set you back a cool 13K, most of us will only ever be able to gaze at this through a screen.
We're also a bit disappointed that Specialized hasn’t done anything special for Cav. And Alaphilippe’s bike is quite quiet too. It seems like a case of opportunities missed from Specialized.
Alpecin has basically got the same design as last year which, when you see our winner, might make you think that the design department did one early in the week and then Alpecin’s on the Friday afternoon.
We're surprised that Van der Poel doesn’t get a tastier paint job. He had a lovely bike for the Olympic MTB race, but maybe when it comes to his road machine he prefers simplicity? It is at least a very pro-looking white design.
On a similar note, AG2R’s bikes are very refined. One of the only teams to be using Campagnolo this year and those wheels are lovely.
Onto Movistar now and there is a bit going on here with a blue middle with a hard line above it and a fade below.
But it does work and you’ll find the same bike being ridden by the men’s and women’s team.
Cofidis has their DeRosa bikes back for 2022 and the design is kinda interesting. What makes this for us is the kit. That’s got to be up there with the best we’ve ever seen from Cofidis.
Funnily enough, all they had to do was drop the weird sun and the red shorts. Massive improvements and a worthy 7.
Astana now and here’s a big case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Wiliers of 2021 were lovely and we’re quite happy to see them back again.
Interesting to see that they’ve got the latest 12-speed Dura-Ace shifters, brakes and derailleurs, but that the chainsets are the older power meter models. With the CeramicSpeed pulley wheel system there too, it’d suggest that they’re buying the groupsets in.
That’s got to be a rather pricey upgrade across the whole team.
Bahrain’s design is one that we really like. The reddy orange on the headtube transitions into black through a block pattern that matches the team kit and it is well executed. I think this is the first of our 8s
Also getting an 8 is Ineos’ effort. The red into navy blue really works and even better is Carapaz’s Olympic champs bike.
We really just like it because it is shiny but we also really like the lines on the Dogma F. Nice looking race bike that.
Netting a much better score than the men’s bike is the bike of the Trek-Segafredo Women’s team. Same bike, same components, but, in our eyes, a much nicer colour scheme.
We’ve preferred the women’s kit and bikes for a few years now when it comes to Trek. But they don’t escape the maximum font size. A solid 8.
Groupama FDJ is as French as they come and their approach to National Champions jerseys is the best.
Back to the bike and we love the classy design and the use of white tape. Triple triangle frames aren’t our favourite though. It’s good enough for an 8.
This next bike will likely be doing a lot of winning this year. Ok, the paintwork isn’t the most interesting, but this is a Colnago draped in Campagnolo and it spins on the Bora Ultras. You just can’t get any classier than that.
Pogacar will probably win the Tour on rim brakes again too, which the purist in me loves. It’s an 8 for this one, but we’re giving a 9 for the women’s bike. Now that is a stunning bike.
Bit of a shame that an oil state can’t find the budget to get the women’s team the EPS groupset though.
If you’re going to do a mostly black bike, this is how you do it. Hint hint, Cube. Israel Premier Tech’s Factor Ostro VAM is not only a brilliant bike to ride, it looks amazing. That bare carbon base is lovely…
Cannondale has once again crushed it with the crayons. This is fresh, interesting and we want it. We have never wanted to be pro cyclists more than we do now, though it would mean having to wear the green shorts…
Another stunner is the Aurum bike of Eolo Kometa. This pearlescent white might not be great for around here, but if you spend your winter training in Southern Spain and have a mechanic to wash your bike after races, it really works.
We love the shiny SRAM red groupset and the Enve wheels finish it off. If we were being picky, we’d have black decals on the wheels.
But tan walls make up for it.
Saving the best for last, we weren’t actually going to have a favourite, but this is just too good. It’s the Canyon Aeroad of Canyon//Sram.
This not only complements the kit that is lovely, but it is also, by itself, a stunning design. It is interesting, the colours are great and we can see it being a design that stands the test of time.
Which bike is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. After joining the road.cc staff in 2016 as a reviewer, Liam quickly started writing feature articles and news pieces. After a little time living in Canada, where he spent most of his time eating poutine, Liam returned with the launch of DealClincher, taking over the Editor role at the start of 2018. At the weekend, Liam can be found racing on the road both in the UK and abroad, though he prefers the muddy fields of cyclocross. To date, his biggest race win is to the front of the cafe queue.