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The Best Aero Bikes Marked Down Now

Want to ride as fast as possible? Want to win sprints or go on crazy solo breakaways? Then you might need a speedy aero road bike that will save precious watts. These are some of the best aero bikes on sale now.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Road

Tim Declerq slicing through the wind on a Specialized Venge. Photo: Specialized. 

Wind resistance is the main force cyclists have to fight against, so if you want to buy more speed, then bike aerodynamics should be your main focus. You can add aero upgrades like aero wheels and aero helmets, but if you want the ultimate aero package, then you need a solid foundation. You need an aero bike. Not only do deep-section aero frame tubes look dang good, but they can save precious watts, getting you to the finish line just a little bit faster.  

Going full-aero may seem like a pricey proposition, but it doesn't have to be! More bikes at TPC are getting marked down, and I've been hunting for a wind-cheating race bike to give me an extra edge this season. I've found lots of sweet deals on slippery aero bikes. Here are some of my favorites. 

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2021 Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 - 61cm

Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7

Price: $10,299.99 9,069.99

I'm starting this off with one of the priciest bikes currently available at TPC. It’s way too expensive for me (and the vast majority of riders), but it’s notable as the bike that killed off the Venge, Specialized’s former dedicated aero bike. The Tarmac has always been a lightweight climber, but the latest SL7 iteration introduced a fully reshaped frame that took aerodynamics to the next level. It was so slippery, Specialized discontinued the Venge because it no longer felt needed. With the ideal combination of weight, stiffness, and aerodynamics, it’s the ultimate all-rounder that can blitz both flat roads and huge climbs. Since this one is a top-of-the-line S-Works version, you’ll have to pay to play. But I don’t mind daydreaming about it. 

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2021 Cannondale SystemSix - 54cm

Cannondale SystemSix

Price: $5,499.99 4,949.99

When it comes to aero frame tubing, few bikes go as extreme as the Cannondale SystemSix. Those tubes are seriously THICC. They’re the result of serious wind tunnel work, which Cannondale claims has proven the SystemSix to be “the fastest road bike in the world.” Compared to a non-aero bike, it can save 50 watts at 30mph. That is a massive savings and it could mean winning by bike lengths rather than inches. Guys out there, this SystemSix is a “Women’s” model, but that really only applies to the color, saddle, and bar width. It’s close to my size (I’m a man btw) and I’d ride and race it without hesitation. Speed is speed. 

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2019 Scott Foil 20 - Large

Scott Foil

Price: $3,549.99 2,582.99

Scott introduced the first “Project FO1” bike in 2010, which later became the Foil. It combined the best attributes of Addict road and Plasma 3 time trial bikes, to create a super versatile aero weapon. Scott was also one of the first brands to adopt large-volume, truncated aero tubes over conventional airfoil profiles. This reduces drag numbers at higher yaw angles and allows engineers to improve the ride quality. They even took the disc brakes into account with small fins on the fork legs to smooth air moving over the rotors. The original Foil will always have a special place in my heart because it’s the bike that Mark Cavendish rode to many of his epic stage wins at Tour de France during his time with HTC-Highroad. This 2019 model is also the same version Annemiek van Vleuten rode to similarly huge victories with Michelton-Scott. 

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2021 Parlee RZ7 - Medium

Parlee RZ7

Price: $5,699.99 5,129.99

Do you want an aero road bike that will stand out at your next group ride or race? Then Parlee is the answer. Based out of Beverly, Massachusetts, Parlee has been specializing in boutique carbon frames for over 20 years. With the RZ7, Parlee left its classic lugged-carbon frames behind to compete with the best modern aero bikes using its own proprietary Recurve airfoil tube design derived from the NACA shapes Bob Parlee used when developing America’s Cup racing sailboats. Not only is it slippery and fast, but it has been engineered to meet Parlee’s expectations of ride quality, prioritizing smoothness and comfort without sacrificing race bike responsiveness when you get on the gas. 

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2018 Giant Propel Advanced Pro 1 Disc - Medium

Giant Propel

Price: $4,999.99 3,824.99

The original Giant Propel was already pretty innovative, but the second generation made waves too when it became one of the first pro-level race bikes to fully commit to disc brakes. With help from F1 aerodynamicists, Giant figured out that the disc-brake Propel could be faster than the rim brake version. As the world’s biggest bike manufacturer, this bold move became a harbinger for the entire industry. The 2018 Propel went on to showcase its speed on the world’s biggest stage when Sunweb’s Michael Matthews rode it to win the green jersey at the Tour de France. You can do your own Michael Matthews impression with this green colorway!

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2018 Specialized Venge Pro Disc - 61cm

Specialized Venge

Price: $5,499.99 4,659.99

As I said earlier, the new Tarmac SL7 was aerodynamic enough for Specialized to kill off the Venge. But I still have to include the Venge here because, for the last decade, it has been the benchmark for aero road bikes. It wasn’t the first aero road bike when it was first released in 2011, but to me, it was the bike that kicked off the modern aero bike revolution. Without it, Trek and Giant may never have responded with bikes like the Madone (the modern aero version) and Propel. Despite being discontinued in favor of the Tarmac SL7, this final generation Venge is still the outright fastest road bike Specialized has made. I also think it’s one of the best-looking bikes ever (though this one could use some deep carbon wheels). 

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2021 Felt AR FRD Ultimate - X-Large

Felt AR

Price: $7,999.99 7,199.99

Felt isn’t the biggest name in the road bike market, but if you look over the aero-obsessed world of triathlon, they’re a pretty big deal. Felt’s triathlon bikes have taken racers to the top of countless triathlon and Ironman podiums, and that same speed bleeds over to Felt’s AR line of road bikes. The latest version of the AR featured here was completely redesigned from a blank slate to not only maximize performance but also elevate the agility and ride quality to new levels. The result is a claimed 9% faster than the previous generation AR, while also having sharper handling and more comfort. 

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2020 Ventum NS1 - X-Small

Ventum NS1

Price: $5,999.00 5,099.15

Like Felt, Ventum may be best known for its triathlon bikes. The wild-looking Ventum ONE is one of the fastest Ironman bikes ever. When it came time to enter the road bike world, however, Ventum didn’t go the wacky route. Instead, it unveiled the NS1, an aero all-rounder very similar (in my mind) to the Tarmac SL7. The frame design is lightweight and minimalist in nature, with modest tube depths that stay a bit under the radar without sacrificing aerodynamic efficiency. If you’re a tech geek, the frame is built with buzzwords like carbon nanotubes and graphene, which should definitely make you faster, right?

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2017 Specialized Allez Sprint - 56cm

Specialized Allez Sprint

Price: $2,899.99 2,559.99

Ah, another Specialized. Well, it is the brand that popularized #aeroiseverything, so it should come as no surprise they have a few bikes featured here. To me, the first-generation Allez Sprint is a modern classic. Using hydroformed tubes, Specialized managed to create an aluminum bike as aerodynamically efficient as the first-generation Venge. With SmartWeld technology which moves welds away from key junctions like the bottom bracket and head tube, it’s impressively stiff so it rockets away instantly with every pedal stroke. The Allez Sprint has become a favorite of crit racers who want an affordable aluminum aero bike able to handle heavy abuse and maybe the occasional crash. 

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2021 3T Exploro RaceMax - 56cm

3T Exploro RaceMax

Price: $5,499.99 4,839.99

Aero isn’t just for the roadies anymore. The 3T Exploro’s claim to fame is being the first aero gravel bike. In a discipline where big knobby tires disrupt airflow, negating the benefits of deep aero rims, an efficient aero frame will help racers save more precious watts. 3T even tested the Exploro in the wind tunnel with mud-caked tires to ensure it stays slippery in real-world conditions. The Exploro has already been ridden to a win at Unbound Gravel, the world’s premier gravel race. If you consider how windy it can get in the gravel heartland, an aero weapon like the Exploro makes a lot of sense.

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