Bikes - Road
The BMC GF02 105 is BMC's take on the endurance/sportive bike category, joining the likes of Specialized and Trek in offering a more comfortable bike which can also be raced. Its carbon big brother – the GF01 – was developed with the northern classics in mind and has been raced there with success under the likes of Thor Hushovd and Taylor Phinney. Evidently, the race pedigree is there, but what remains to be seen is how this translates to the cheaper aluminium framed 02.
Fuji's Sportif 1.3 does a good job of being a well-rounded all-round winter workhorse. The frame's good, new Sora is good, the wheels are good and the £700 all-in price (even cheaper online) is good. As a first sportive bike, a winter trainer or an all-year commuter it's definitely worth a look.
Vitus bikes have been part of Chain Reaction Cycles for the last few years and the range now carries four different models with varying kit levels on each. We were impressed with how the Dark Plasma rode, especially the frame when we tested it a couple of years back and on quick inspection the spec sheet for the Vitus Vitesse here doesn't look too shabby either.
Pinnacle's Dolomite didn't receive a whole lot of love when we reviewed it back at the end of 2011 - thanks to an uncomfortable and uninspiring ride. Since then it's been tweaked by James Olsen (designer of Genesis' Equilibrium) for 2013 and it's clear this guy knows his onions as the new one is a belter.
Legend's very lovely HT 7.5 is one of those rare things, a custom carbon frameset that's made in Europe. In Italy to be precise. Legend are one of a small band of manufacturers that haven't outsourced frame production to the Far East, a shift that has seen the biggest revolution in bicycle production in the past couple of decades.
The Argon 18 Gallium Pro's innnovative frame design features an adjustable height head tube and offers a balanced ride of comfort and stiffness. A road racer's delight.
Bianchi, due to their very long history and famous Celeste paint jobs, have always gathered a lot of fans in the cycling world - they make a nice looking bike, and to my eyes at least the Bianchi Infinito is the real looker of the current crop. The Infinito's combination of slender tube profiles and smart paint job makes certainly do it for me, and I'm equally attracted by what this bike is all about - long distance rides, fast.
The look on their face is priceless, a mix of shock and disbelief that something without an engine can really cost the best part of ten grand. Whether it's a seasoned roadie or a non-cyclist, once they've asked 'How much is that worth then?' the rabbit-in-headlights facial expression is the only response you're going to get to the Passoni Top Force W.
Historically, the approach to travelling with a bike has always been either a case of semi-dismantling your pride and joy and packaging it up in a bike bag or box, then leaving it nervously to the vagaries of airport baggage handling, or taking a folder instead - enter, the Qoroz Travel Won. The Qoroz Travel Won was designed by ingenious types to try and address that issue, to make a bike that's genuinely good to ride and suitable for travelling with as well.