And it's official...! The bike-porn-loving public has cast their vote and decided on winners for the inaugural BikeExchange Top Bike awards.
We tallied votes from a shortlist of 20 bikes and cycling products to announce a winner in each category: Road Bike, Mountain Bike, Road Bike Product and Mountain Bike Product.
The 'very special' Bianchi Specialissima has been voted the best road bike of 2016 with its classic lines and futuristic technology.
When Bianchi wanted to launched their latest road bike they wanted to make it something special, and they have certainly succeeded. The feather light frame makes a great starting point but it's the NASA inspired Countervail technology that separates it from the typical light weight road bike. The technology which was developed for NASA is used to reduce the vibration from the road without having to alter frame shape, nor add in any other alterations to soften the ride. The technology has enabled Bianchi to create a classic looking bike with elite performance features.
The Specialissima comes in matte black, or the unmistakable Celeste Bianchi colour, and now you can customise your ride with the Tavolozza program (but why would you mess with a classic?!)
Congratulations to the award winning Bianchi Specialissima.
2. Yeti SB6C
3. Giant Glory
The Specialized S-works Epic XTR has another title to add to its name - the 2016 BikeExchange Top Bike best mountain bike award.
In addition to the popular vote Top Bike award the S-Works Epic has won countless Olympic, World Championship and World Cup titles. A combination of the FACT 11m carbon fibre light weight frame, RockShox RS-1 Brain fork, Roval Control SL 29 carbon fibre wheels and Shimano XTR Di2 drivetrain no doubt gave rise to the name 'EPIC'.
The elite combination makes the S-Works Epic light enough for climbing, stiff enough to maintain speed on the flats and compliant enough to flatten out any bumps. The perfect cross country weapon.
From Patrick Young - Specialized Australia
"It’s great to hear that riders voted the Epic in! Epic riders demand a race bike for all conditions. They look for a wide gear range, water carrying capability and repair item storage to get them through the toughest of situations. The Epic utilises the capability of integrating two bottle cages with our SWAT storage technology (storage, water, air and tool) with a storage box on the down tube. Epic riders demand explosive power and tight like a tiger geometry to dominate the tightest xc trails all the way through to the world cup circuit."
Congratulations to the award winning Specialized S-works Epic XTR.
Road Bike Product
2. Garmin 520
3. Lazer Z1
In a tight contest the ENVE SES 3.4 wheel set with Chris King 45 hubs has been voted the best road bike product in the 2016 BikeExchange Top Bike awards.
The wheel set ticks off three criteria that make the perfect wheel set - light, strong and aerodynamic. The 3.4's tip the scales at just over 1,400 grams making them a climber's dream. The front and rear wheel configuration is an inspired concept which offers the best of both worlds in terms of aerodynamics and stability. The front wheel is 35mm deep and 26mm wide compared to the rear wheel which is 45mm deep and 24mm wide. The unique design is genius: a shallower and wider front wheel to create stability and a deeper, narrower rear wheel to reduce drag and increase speed.
In addition to the performance benefits, rolling a set of these wheels will give you instant kudos from other riders, even if your legs can't.
Congratulations to the award winning ENVE SES 3.4 wheelset.
Mountain Bike Product
The Shimano XTR Di2 has been voted the best mountain bike product of 2016.
Road riding has enjoyed the luxury of electronic shifting for quite some time but now the flawless, precise shifting of Shimano Di2 has made its way into the mountain biking world... and things will never be the same again!
The XTR Di2 has instantly become a must-have for racers and weekend warriors. The shifting system is completely programmable and can be customised to suit your riding style or specific course profile. It could be argued that the qualities of the XTR Di2 are even more applicable to mountain bike racing than road riding given the sharp changes in profile and terrain (another reason the new system from Shimano is so in-demand).
The XTR Di2 shifts seamlessly under load with unmatched speed and precision. If you are sticking to the highly regarded double chainring at the front, Syncro Shift allows sequential shifting to find the next best gear across the two front rings, regardless of where you currently sit in your range. This set-up has been used to great success at the top level of XC racing due to the smaller jumps between gears, something all the single chainring converts secretly envy.
Congratulations to the award winning Shimano XTR Di2.
Well done to all the winners!