TOUR DE FRANCE INSPIRED BIKES
If the three-week spectacle of the world’s biggest cycling race has whetted your appetite for long-distance riding, take a look at these road bikes that share plenty with the machines of the pro peloton
COULD YOU BE KING OF THE MOUNTAIN ON ONE OF THESE?
THE TOUR de France is undoubtedly the most famous bike race in the world: big-name riders, legendary mountains, three weeks of high drama and a bandstand finish on the Champs Élysées guarantee its appeal. But how often have you sat at home watching it on the telly, wishing you could find enough pennies down the back of the sofa to afford a toplevel bike like those you see underneath the Grand Tour contenders? Yes, the bikes they ride will often set you back well into five figures, but there’s a more affordable way into superbike ownership.
The three bikes we’ve tested here are based upon those featured used by the highest-level pro cycling teams. Canyon’s Ultimate CF SLX has a frame that’s used by the Movistar and Katusha Tour de France squads, allied to a top-drawer Shimano Dura-Ace groupset and race-ready Mavic wheels. At £3,599, it’s certainly a lot of bike for your investment.
Secondly, the Ridley Helium SL20 shares more than just its name with the high-end Helium of the Lotto Soudal race team. It costs 99p more than the Canyon, although its groupset is slightly lower-spec Shimano Ultegra. Will its frame make up for any shortcomings we find in its build?
Thirdly, to find out if it really is worth investing in a bike with electronic gear shifting, we’ve thrown BMC’s Team Machine £3,399 SLR02 into the mix, featuring Shimano’s Di2 system. With a frame closely based on the BMC squad’s Tour de France-winning bike, will it prove a winning combination? To find out, we took all three for a hilly ride to see which offers the most pro-level thrills for your money.