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The hottest aero road bikes of 2019 (part 1) - get the lowdown on the slickest bikes around

14 super-slick bikes from Bianchi, Cannondale, Giant, Trek, Canyon and more
Updated October 1, 2019

All of the big brands have aero road bikes in the range these days, most in both rim brake and disc brake options.

Aero road bikes essentially draw aerodynamic features from time trial bikes into a road frame, and balance the demands of weight and stiffness into a package that, on paper, looks to be the ideal all-round choice.

You're always working against air resistance when you ride your bike; the higher the speed the more significant it gets. Although most of that air resistance results from you — your body and what you're wearing — a significant chunk is acting against your bike, hence the development of aero road bikes that are designed to produce the minimum of drag.

The hottest aero road bikes Pt 2

Find out which is more important, aerodynamics or a light weight

Cannondale SystemSix — £2,800-£8,999

Cannondale SystemSix Hi-Mod Ultegra 2019.jpg

Cannondale described the disc brake-only SystemSix as the "fastest bike in the world" when it was revealed in July 2018. It also said that the SystemSix is more than an aero bike, although there's certainly a massive focus on aero efficiency here.

Read about our first ride on the Cannondale SystemSix
Find a Cannondale dealer

Cervelo S5 Disc — £2,819-£10,199

Cervelo S5 Disc 2019 (1).jpg

The updated Cervelo S5 features a V-shaped stem integrated into a new fork that's fully external. According to Cervelo, the stem reduces drag by allowing unimpeded airflow along the top tube. The aero-shaped down tube has a cutaway leading edge to allow it to sit close to the front wheel in order to manage the airflow in that area.

Get all the details on the Cervelo S5 Disc here
Find a Cervelo dealer

Bianchi Aria — £2,150-£4,500

Bianchi Aria Ultegra Di2 2019.jpg

Bianchi's Aria, available with either rim brakes or disc brakes, is an efficient aero road bike that handles sharply. Although hardly a budget option, it comes in a variety of builds and is a more accessible choice than any of the brand's Oltres.

Check out our Bianchi Aria review
Read our review of the Bianchi Aria Disc
Find a Bianchi dealer

Giant Propel — £1,749-£9,999

Giant Propel Advanced SL 0 Disc 2019.jpg

You can still buy a Propel with rim brakes but the latest update is a disc-brake only design that Giant says is more aerodynamically efficient than any of its predecessors. It's stiff and efficient and available in a wide variety of builds to suit different budgets.

See our review of the Giant Propel Advanced Disc
Read our guide to Giant's 2019 range
Find a Giant dealer

Orro Venturi — £2,599.99-£3,299.99

Orro Venturi.jpg

The Venturi is a disc brake-only design with 12mm thru axles front and rear. The frame is optimised for 28mm-wide tyres and uses spread tow carbon from Sigmatex — flat and wide unidirectional tapes that are designed to reduce weight and increase stiffness.

Find an Orro dealer

Vitus ZX1 Disc — £1,679.99-£3,499.99

Vitus ZX1 Disc 105 2019 (1).jpg

The ZX1, available only with disc brakes, is a fast and smooth carbon bike that handles superbly. You get Kammtail shaped tube profiles, a fork crown that's recessed into the frame, an aero seatpost and internal cable routing to reduce drag. It offers good value for money in a race-ready package.

Read our review of the Vitus ZX1 CRi Aero Disc Ultegra Di2
Buy a Vitus

Pinarello Dogma F12 — £12,000

pinarello dogma f12

The Dogma F12 might not be a full-on aero road bike like some here but it certainly has aero features such as a flatback down tube profile that's designed to smooth the airflow over the water bottle, and fins behind the fork dropouts to reduce drag around the quick release lever.

Read all about the Pinarello Dogma F12
Find a Pinarello dealer

Merida Reacto — £1,000-£8,250

Merida Reacto Team-E (1).jpg

Merida's Reacto aero road bikes have slim tube shapes, a low seatstay connection and, in some cases, a one-piece cockpit. They're available in two different geometries and in both disc brake and rim brake models. Merida claims the difference in aero efficiency between rim brake and disc models is less than one watt at 45km/h (28mph).

Find out all about the Merida Reacto here
Read our review of the Merida Reacto Disc Team-E
Find a Merida dealer

Rose Xeon CW — £2,721.80-£5,262.99

Rose Xeon CW.jpg

You tend to get a lot for your money by buying direct from Rose, the rim brake version of the Xeon CW aero bike coming with Shimano's second tier Ultegra groupset for £2,132. The disc brake model is just over £300 more expensive.

Buy a Rose

Ribble Aero 883 — £1,699-£4,511

Ribble Aero 883 Pro Team Edition.jpg

One of the best things about buying from Ribble is that you can use its online Bike Builder system to select the parts you want based on your preferences and budget. You can go all the way up to a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, a Quarq DZero power meter and Zipp 404 wheels if you have the cash.

Buy a Ribble

Scott Foil — £1,999-£5,299

Scott Foil 20 2019 (1).jpg

The Scott Foil has been known for its versatility over the past few years and these days it's available in both rim brake and disc brake guises. The most affordable rim brake option, with Shimano 105 components, is £2,499 while disc brake models start at £3,199.

Find a Scott dealer

Boardman Air — £1,349-£3,999

Boardman AIR 9.2 Womens 2019 (1).jpg

The Air bikes feature truncated airfoil tube profiles that are deeper and narrower than those that you’ll find on most other aero road bikes, while the cutaway section of the seat tube is designed to work best with 25mm-wide tyres although there’s space for 28s if you prefer.

Read our review of the Boardman Elite Air 9.2
Find a Boardman dealer

Canyon Aeroad £2,449-£6,799

Canyon Aeroad CF SL Disc 8 Di2 2019

With its Trident 2.0 tube profiles (essentially a cut-off aerofoil, Kamm tail shape) and skinny head tube and fork blades, the Aeroad has been one of the benchmark aero road bikes of the past few years. You also get predictable handling and plenty of comfort thrown in.

We're pretty sure there's a new Aeroad coming, so over the next few months it will be worth keeping an eye on prices of the current bikes.

Read our Canyon Aeroad CF SLX Disc 8.0 Di2 review
Buy a Canyon

Trek Madone SLR — £4,399-£11,650

Trek Madone SLR 8 2019

Trek's 2019 Madones are hugely updated with a new geometry. The SLR range comes with adjustable IsoSpeed and the option of disc brakes. The rim brake version is lighter but there's no aerodynamic penalty in opting for discs, according to Trek.

Read our story on the new Trek Madone range here
Check out our guide to Trek's 2019 road bike range
Find a Trek dealer

About Buyer's Guides

The aim of buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product if we think it's one of the best of its kind.

As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.

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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

Add new comment


matthewn5 | 5 years ago
1 like

This article should differentiate between aero bikes designed using computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel tests, and bikes just styled to look like they are.

PRSboy | 5 years ago

Argon18 Nitrogen is a great aero bike, and just updated and released in disc format.

Argon18 always seems oddly absent from these lists, despite being ridden by a ProTour team.

Hopefully room to include in in P2?

bobbinogs | 5 years ago

Perhaps this list should be renamed "Fugly bikes of 2019, part 1"? Can't wait for part 2. Does the Quasimodo feature?

srchar | 5 years ago
1 like

Some absolutely gopping bikes there. The Rose looks like it was made in CDT class.

jerome | 5 years ago

Within two years every carbon bike will be aero, and current ones with that ugly downtube will look like junk. Well in my eyes they always looked so and never bought one.

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