Some cyclists are pavement purists. For them, road bikes are the best tool for the vast network of tarmac that mankind has created. Mountain bike trails? Gravel grinding? There won’t be any of that on the menu. I put together this dream bike quiver to satisfy the pure roadie. If you want to explore every road the world has to offer, these are the bikes you’ll need.
Climbing road bike: 2021 Specialized Aethos Pro - $7,799.99
To conquer the highest peaks, you want a bike that prioritizes light weight and stiffness. The Aethos Pro is not as absurdly light as the S-Works Aethos, but it’s more affordable and has the same impressive stiffness. With a Shimano Ultegra Di2 group and Roval Alpinist CL Carbon wheels, it only weighs 15lbs 7oz. That’s lighter than the vast majority of road bikes on the market. Some might argue that a rim brake bike would be a better choice since it could be built lighter, but I chose the disc brake Aethos because after you get to the top, you need ride back down! (Isn’t that the fun part?)
Aero road bike: 2019 Trek Madone SLR 6 - $6,599.99
For flat roads, solo breakaways, and high-speed crits, your biggest opponent is wind resistance. For these situations you need a slippery aero bike like the Trek Madone to slice through the air. Over the years, the Madone has transformed from a versatile all-rounder into an aero machine. The frame is constructed with KVF (Kammtail Virtual Foil) tubes that reduce drag at high and low speeds and also perform well in crosswinds. This SLR model also uses Trek’s IsoSpeed decoupler technology in the rear, which absorbs bumps and vibration to improve rider comfort.
Endurance road bike: 2020 Factor Vista - $6,499.99
To create the perfect road bike triumvirate, we need to add a comfort-focused endurance bike for long weekend adventures and rough backcountry roads. The usual suspects are the Specialized Roubaix and the Trek Domane, but since we already have a Specialized and a Trek in the mix, I’m going more eclectic and picking this SRAM AXS-equipped Factor Vista. It’s technically an “all-road” bike, but I’m willing to bend the rules after I fell in love with it earlier this year. With relaxed, upright geometry and big tire clearance, it’ll be the perfect complement to the more aggressive Aethos and Madone. And if your roadie tendencies waver and you suddenly veer onto dirt, it can handle it.
Time Trial bike: 2019 Cervelo P3 - $4,399.99 + HED Tri Spoke / Zipp 900 Wheelset - $999.99
Maybe you’ve never had an interest in time trialing. But if you want to be a truly well-rounded roadie, then you should keep a TT bike in your quiver. This Cervelo P3 provides a fast TT frame and an Ultegra Di2 drivetrain for a great price. The Roval CL 60 carbon wheels are nice and deep, and a great option for training.
When it’s time to turn it up to 11 on race day though, you need the uncompromising performance of a tubular disc wheel. That’s where this HED Tri Spoke and Zipp 900 wheelset comes in. Even with the extra set of wheels, this P3 is more affordable than any other bike on this list. Perfect for an occasional “race of truth.”
Just because road bike: 2021 Pegoretti New Love #3 - $6,399.99
This aluminum, rim brake Pegoretti is here simply because I like it. I’ve always loved Dario Pegoretti’s work, and even though this 2021 example wasn’t built by the master himself (he passed in 2018), it carries on his spirit. Plus, the stunning paint job and stylish Campy group will stand out on those casual Sunday coffee rides. Honestly, this is a bike that will probably spend more time hanging on a wall than being ridden, but it’s definitely worthy of being displayed and admired. If you have the budget for multiple, expensive road bikes, why not add a piece of art to your quiver?
Total cost: $32,699.94
For the price of these five bikes, you could buy a nice new car or put 10% down on a decent house. I’m sure my family would love (and prefer) either of those options. But again, this is a dream bike quiver. I’d be happy to own just one of these amazing bikes.
If a blingy $6,000+ road bike is too rich for your tastes, you can still get a bike that performs equally well in the $3-4,000 range.
Did I make good choices? If you wanted the ultimate quiver of road bikes, what would you choose? Let me know in the comments!