We've been busy checking out the bikes currently being ridden in the Tour de France and here are the ones we reckon would shade it in a beauty contest.
Of course, the appearance isn't going to affect how fast you get to the finish line, but other things being equal, we'd all prefer to ride a good looking bike.
Bianchi’s celeste Oltre XR4 CV
We couldn't do a roundup of the best-looking Tour bikes and not include an Italian bike, could we now? Bianchi is famed for its iconic celeste colour, which translates as sky blue although it's more of a minty green. This new Oltre XR4 is draped in a cloth of celeste with just a black stripe along the edges and it’s a smart looking bike, although there are a few too many sponsor logos for our liking. The tan sidewalls look ace on this bike, however.
Alberto Contador’s chromed Specialized Tarmac
Say what you like about Alberto Contador, he probably has the best-looking bike of any of the GC contenders. We’re pretty certain Chris Froome is jealous with a dull black Pinarello (maybe that'll change as the race goes on). We love the mirror effect of the labour intensive chrome finish, so polished you can see your reflection in it. The three coloured bands, representative of his Grand Tour victories, are set off nicely against the black tipped fork and rear stays.
Bora-Argon 18’s Nitrogen aero road bike
Black and red are two colours that work really well on a road bike, and it’s a colour scheme that Argon 18 sticks with to the letter on this Nitrogen aero bike. It’s a bit busy on the logo front perhaps, but there is some nice colour matching going on with the bar tape, saddle and rim decals. We love tan sidewall tyres but we're not sure it works on such a logo-tastic bike.
AG2R’s Focus Izalco Max
AG2R’s light blue and white painted Focus race bikes are a breath of fresh air in the peloton which mostly consists of black or otherwise quite drearily painted bikes. Thankfully, none of the brown from the team kit has found its way onto the bikes; that would have spelt disaster. If we were marking them we'd have to dock the team a point for excessive logo action, though. We know it's a Focus, we don't need it repeated quite so often on the frame.
Marcel Kittel’s Specialized Venge
The finish looks a bit similar to Contador’s bike in this picture, but in real life they’re very different. Kittel’s bike is painted in a gleaming silver paint and the down tube logo and small panels dotted around the frame are filled with explosive graphics inspired by the CERN particle accelerator.
Katusha’s Canyon Aeroad
Everyone knows red bikes are fastest, right? Canyon’s Aeroad CF SLX aero road bike is the main choice of the Katusha team and they look resplendent with the red paint job. The angle of the Canyon logo emphasises the speedy appearance of the bike, and the lack of wires with the SRAM eTap groupset keeps the bike uncluttered. Lots of black finishing kit, including the wheels, saddle and bar tape, completes the bike nicely.
Trek Segafredo’s Madone
Sticking with the red theme, Trek Segafredo keeps it simple with this finish on its Madones. Masses of integration makes for some clean lines and barely any exposed cable. All in all, this is a classy looking bike. A white saddle with black bar tape, though? We’re not big ones for following the rules here at road.cc but we can’t help thinking the bike would look better with a black saddle.
Cannondale-Drapac’s SuperSix Evo
There’s something quite traditional looking about the SuperSix Evo, with mainly round tubes and super-skinny stays and fork legs. The green, black and white frame colour scheme is carried through to the stem and seatpost.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.