CHARTRES, France — The Tour de France brings out the lightest and fastest bikes, and sometimes the best-looking. We visited the 22 teams to check out each squad's line.
We didn't consider weight, price, or tech; instead going with looks. We considered only the regular bikes, so we excluded those with custom paint and one-offs, like the race leader's yellow BMC. Also, many teams have two or three types of bikes — a climbing bike, an aero bike, and a time-trial bike. We went with the bikes we saw the riders racing most often.Here are the best-looking bikes at the Tour de France, ranked from meh to ooh!
Again, another stealthy black bike. Bor-ing. We ranked this one just ahead of Sky's Dogma only because we liked the bits of green, the type, and that blingy chain. But really, this bike could do with some colour.
OK, so we're moving in the right direction with non-all-black bikes. This is a refreshing ride that goes perfectly with these wheels, and the type is gorgeous. (Just don't confuse this yellow bike with the race leader's.)
Things are really looking up. Colours! This Giant just has a fast look about it, with the big aero tube shapes and deep-profile wheels. It's nowhere near our favourite, but it's a pretty cool ride.
While not a head-turner, the Merida bikes at least have a decent mix of colours. Pretty fast, pretty aero — but the Reacto in this livery just looks like a lot of other bikes.
The Kuota Khan is a good-looking bicycle, with a handsome frame and Campy wheels and groupset. The colours all work well, though it does kind of look like a lot of other bikes. We're also not big fans of mixed-colour bar tape, but it's a solid bike.
This is a serious-looking bike — almost formal, ready for business. The yellow offers a pop, and with the superlight climbing wheels it's got a nice, classic look.
The Timemachine is race-proven and carried Greg Van Avermaet to Olympic gold, but the standard bike used at the Tour lacks flavor. The all-red look just feels flat.
Colnago is a classic Italian brand that people still gush over. The UAE team's bikes are good- and fast-looking race machines. We wish there weren't so much busy type, but still, we'd love to have one.
This is a handsome bike that just works for us looks-wise — not too busy, but with just enough detail to make it visually interesting. The tubular carbon wheels and classic sidewalls really complement this Argon well, and to complete the package there's the fast-looking oversized CeramicSpeed pulley wheel.
At first the Cube bikes seemed a bit obnoxious, but after a few days they kind of grew on us, and we now applaud the team for going all in with bold choices, especially the bright stem and bar tape. It's hardly our top choice, and it still feels a bit too busy, but it definitely stands out in the bunch.
OK, another mostly black bike, but this one sort of gets an exception, mainly because of the added blue bits. It's just a really good-looking bike. The Mavic wheels look great, too.
We're glad Specialized didn't go with another matte-black bike — and added some colour to the new Venge. It's a gorgeous frame and fork that screams fast. You don't get much more superbike than this, with the deep-profile wheels and disc brakes.
This understated BH won over the romantic in us. There's something about a no-frills bike that can still hold its place in a peloton crowded with oversized aero tubes, disc brakes, and other bells and whistles.
Though it's painted a muted matte grey, this bike ranked high because of its gorgeous frame design — and it has just enough colour to lighten things up a bit. With the Campy wheels, it's just a stunning bike.
The Movistar bikes have a distinguished look we found refreshing. There's a nice fade between the two shades, and the Campy group and wheels lend it even more cachet.
The new SystemSix from Cannondale is debuting at this Tour, and it's a very fast-looking aero road machine, especially built up with these Vision wheels and disc brakes. The green and pink add a nice pop of colour, and the frame design looks super slick.
FDJ is a proudly French team, and you don't see more French-looking bikes at this Tour than this. The very name Lapierre and the tricolour paint job make it stand out in a way we like.
The new Venge from Specialized is a superfast machine, and two teams are on it at this Tour: Quick-Step Floors and Bora-Hansgrohe. While Quick-Step's bikes are mostly black, Bora went with a three-colour paint job. We're not always blown away by the bikes ridden by the team's star, Peter Sagan — they can come off as gaudy, depending — but the standard team-issue Bora Venge is quite superb.
The classic Italian brand Bianchi is timeless in its elegant good looks, and it keeps pace with modern aero bikes with slippery designs befitting the world's fastest cyclists. The celeste green is synonymous with Bianchi and its deep heritage. This Tour bike is gorgeous with a handsome colour balance. Bellissimo.
The best-looking bike at the Tour is the Trek Madone. We loved the white frameset and red lettering. It's bold and crisp, and the bike just looks fast standing still. The Bontrager wheels and classic sidewalls complement the bike nicely without being overbearing. We wished the lettering on the down tube weren't quite so big, but it works. In a sea of all-black, boring, and conservative bikes, the stylish Madone is a sight for sore eyes.
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