2020 hasn’t been all that great as years go, but at least it has given us some properly interesting road bikes for 2021. On the road race side of things, everything is getting more aero, lighter and increasingly focussed on disc brakes.
Some people have been saying that these heavily integrated road race bikes are getting a bit boring. They all look the same and fun handling has been forgotten while engineers chase ever-smaller aero gains. Part of this is true, and the road industry’s focus on professional racing for the development of bikes can stifle design due to the need to comply with the UCI’s rule book.
But swing a leg over any of the race bikes in this list and you’d quickly forget that argument thanks to the brilliant way the bikes pick up speed and then hang onto it.
While the highest-priced bikes are great to look at, very few of us can actually afford to buy them. Away from the top-end models, many road racers are also great for tackling challenging climbs, their low weight and ample stiffness combining to give you amazing acceleration.
And as we know, road bikes aren’t limited to race bikes. You can get some exceptional road bikes that are built for the simple pleasure of riding your bike at the weekend.
The type of bike that you buy doesn’t dictate the type of riding that you use it for. A super-fast race bike can still be used to ride steadily to the cafe - we do this a lot. Conversely, a relaxed weekend bike can be ridden just as hard as you want to go. Here are six of the best 2021 road bikes.