220 Triathlon

£ 2K ROAD BIKES

Want a bike that’s ready to race and propel you towards T2 at speed? Step forward three frenetic two grand contenders from Cannondale, Giant and Specialize­d

- WORDS ROBIN WILMOTT PHOTOGRAPH­Y RUSSELL BURTON

Many of us aspire to owning at least some of machinery that helps the pros soar. Real-world budgets often dash these aspiration­s but, due to the wiles of bike companies, bikes with elements of pro-spec magic are available to us cash-strapped riders for less outlay.

Here we’ve brought together three of the best current options for the tri road racer. Although not the cheapest bikes on the market, these are all raceworthy machines that won’t be disgraced on the second discipline, and – bar a set of aerobars – need little or no upgrading for racing.

The bikes on test comprise the disc-braked Specialize­d Allez Sprint Comp (£1,900), made for high-intensity racing complete with a classy carbon fork and Shimano 105 groupset. Next up is the Cannondale Supersix Evo 105 (£2,225) with limitededi­tion Hollowgram carbon race wheels, before the Giant TCR Advanced Pro 2 (£2,399), which shares much of the DNA of its World Tour-racing relations, completes the major brand line-up.

All of the three bikes were tested at equivalent tyre pressures, over rolling terrain, steep climbs and descents, long drags and technical corners, with extended flat sections. We kept the intensity high and kicked hard regularly to check response and to discover how the bike handled when pushing our limits. Time then to detail our findings...

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