Best aero bikes 2024: fastest speed weapons ridden and rated

We've ridden and rated the best aero bikes and these are our favourites

One of the best aero bikes being ridden by a male cyclist on a country lane in Sussex
(Image credit: Future)
Best aero bikes 2023: Jump Menu

The best aero bikes can save you watts and help you to ride faster. Nearly every bike company has an aero bike somewhere in its range. And for good reason. Our independent testing shows that the difference between the best aero bikes and a lightweight bike with conventional round tube profiles could be as much as 25 watts at 45kph. It'd take a lot of training to gain 25 watts.

What makes a bike an aero bike? They're characterized by deep section tube shapes designed to reduce drag, integrated cockpits, disc brakes, and hidden seat post clamps. Often they'll have dropped seatstays and they will come with deep section aero wheels.

While it's all well and good having the fastest possible aero bike, you won't want to ride it very far if it's uncomfortable or too heavy. Happily, the latest generation of aero bikes boast impressively low weights and deliver a ride quality that's both comfortable enough for a long day in the saddle, as well as a sprint finish.

Increasingly, all-rounder race bikes are becoming more aero as well, with almost all of the best road bikes including many or all of the features mentioned above. The aerodynamic tuning may not be as extreme as the best aero bikes, but they'll be significantly faster than their round tubed predecessors.

We've tested a variety of the best aero bikes across a range of prices. Our picks are below, while towards the bottom of this page you'll find our buyer's guide to the best aero bikes and how to choose. 

The Quick List

Best aero bikes: our picks

Best aero bike overall

Trek Madone on a pink background

(Image credit: Future)
Best aero bike overall

Specifications

Frame / Forks: 800 Series OCLV carbon / KVF carbon, tapered steerer
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2
Wheels: Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51
Tires: Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite 25mm
Weight: 7.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Super smooth ride
+
Light for an aero bike
+
Striking aesthetics

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Limited adjustability
-
No power meter (on this model)

The seventh generation Madone impressed us enough to win 'best aero' category in our Race Bike of the Year awards. That it was up against stiff competition only deepened our appreciation of this striking machine.

The redesign has made the Madone lighter - our test model weighed just 7.5kg, which is light indeed for an aero bike. As a result it performed well when the road pointed up. But it was the overall ride quality that really caught our attention. It floated over poor road sections, even on 25mm tires, and handled beautifully on descents and around corners.  It's an enviable combination that any race bike would love to achieve - and the Madone does it with style.

Taking of style, the new IsoFlow tech may look different, but in conjunction with the new aero cockpit, it's clearly working. The Madone is flat out fast. Trek's claims of a 300g saving, coupled with it stating that it's almost 20 watts faster than its predecessor seems legitimate. However, all these improvements do make for a price tag that will likely make you wince.

Read more: Trek Madone SLR7 full review

Best aero bike for handling

Cervélo S5 on a yellow background

(Image credit: Future)
Best aero bike for handling

Specifications

Frame / Forks: Cervélo All-Carbon / Tapered S5 Fork
Groupset: SRAM Force AXS
Wheels: 52/63 Reserve
Tires: Vittoria Corsa TLR G 28mm
Weight: 8.2kg

Reasons to buy

+
Super fast
+
Great handling
+
Very comfortable
+
More user-friendly handlebars 

Reasons to avoid

-
There are lighter aero bikes

If you followed our Race Bike of the Year awards, you'll know that the Cervélo S5 took top honours. That it doesn't quite win best aero bike here isn't a knock however, rather its testament to the updated S5's ability to perform brilliantly across the board.

In simple terms, for a blend of aerodynamics, comfort and handling, it's just hard to beat. It's little wonder that it's the choice of team Jumbo-Visma in all but the hilliest of stages and has been an important part of their recent successes, which includes back-to-back TdF titles no less.

So what makes it handle so well? It's really the balanced geometry that means you can ride hard without it ever feeling twitchy. The wheel and tire combination also play a part in the bike's impressive comfort and grip. On test our 28mm tires actually measured over 31mm, thanks to the generous internal rim width of the Reserve wheels. 

Read more: Cervélo S5 SRAM Force full review

Best aero bike for value

(Image credit: Future)
Best aero bike for value

Specifications

Frame / forks: Advanced Grade Composite disc / Advanced SL-Grade Composite full carbon
Groupset: SRAM Rival AXS w/ Halo power meter
Wheels: Giant SLR1 Disc 50
Tires: Giant Gavia 25c
Weight: 8.46kg

Reasons to buy

+
Aerodynamic
+
Smooth
+
Includes power meter
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
On the heavy side

The updated Propel saw it slim down a little, especially the frame's rear triangle. It's helped make it more comfortable and a little more versatile, while still retaining it's genuine aero credentials. In fact, Giant says it's faster than the previous model by some 6.2 watts at 40kph.

Tire clearance has been upped to 32mm, which further aids comfort and handling. On review, it all added up to a smoother ride compared to previous iterations, so much so that it could easily be your every day road bike. If this raises eyebrows given the Propel's weight, we think that unless you live and ride in the mountains, it's unlikely to be a penalty - with the bike's innate speed more than making up for the number on the scales.

While the Propel Advanced can be had in various builds, our Advanced Pro 1 represented good value. While it's not cheap, it delivers unmatched performance-to-price ratio, making for  an "excellent bike with an exceptional price".

Best lightweight aero road bike

Specialized Tarmac SL8 road bike

Specialized Tarmac SL7 merges aero and lightweight

(Image credit: Future)
Best lightweight aero bike

Specifications

Frame: Tarmac SL8 carbon
Groupset: Shimano Dura-AceDi2
Wheels: Roval Rapide CLX carbon
Weight: 6.6kg / 14.6lb

Reasons to buy

+
Stiff
+
Very light - 6.6kg 
+
32mm tire clearance

Reasons to avoid

-
S-Works price tag
-
Not overly compliant 

The new SL8 builds on the aero all-rounder profile of the previous Tarmac. Designed a race bike for all occasions - or stages - the update is said to be lighter, stiffer and more aero. 

Certainly the drop in frame weight is notable. Using the same layup as the featherweight Aethos, Specialized have shaved off the grams, with the SL8 frame weighing just 685 grams. This helps make for a total weight of just 6.6kg for the S-Works model in a size 56cm. 

We found it added up to a bike that's super stiff and just as responsive. If you like the SL7, you'll be pleased to read that the geometry of the SL8 is much the same. The result is the same playful characteristics that translate to a fast and snappy ride feel.

Read more: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL8 full review

Best aero all-rounder

Scott Foil Ultimate RC which is one of the best aero bikes

The new Scott Foil is lighter and more aero but also more comfortable

(Image credit: Future)
Best all-round aero bike

Specifications

Frame: Foil Disc HMX carbon
Groupset: SRAM Red eTap
Wheels: Zipp 454 NSW
Weight: 7.3kg / 16.0bs

Reasons to buy

+
Aero properties make for a rapid ride
+
Added comfort features

Reasons to avoid

-
Adjusting the stack can prove tricky
-
Still a little on the heavy side

The latest iteration of the Scott Foil has new, deeper tube profiles that Scott says improve the bike's aerodynamics, delivering a ride that's 1m 18s faster over 40k at 40kph. The curved seat tube hugs the rear wheel, although Scott says that the geometry is unchanged from its past Foil models.

Scott has reduced the number of joints in the frame as well, which it says reduces weight, although this - very expensive - Ultimate spec still weighs 7.3kg, which is a little more than its rivals. 

Comfort is also said to have increased, in particular thanks to the large cut-out in the rear of the seatpost, which adds a significant amount of flex at the saddle.

Fast on the flat and on gently descending roads and with good vibration damping on coarse tarmac, the Foil does show its weight on steep ascents, although that's mitigated by reassuring handling on descents.

Read more: Scott Foil Ultimate RC full review

Best aero bike for adjustment

Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 8 Di2 on a grey background

(Image credit: Future)
Best aero bike for adjustability

Specifications

Frame / forks: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX / FK0060 CF
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra 8100 Di2 with 4iiii Precision power meter
Wheels: DT Swiss ARC 1400 Dicut
Tires: Continental Grand Prix 5000 25/28
Weight: 7.53

Reasons to buy

+
Fast
+
Lightweight
+
Good value
+
Handy cockpit adjustability

Reasons to avoid

-
Chattery front end
-
Narrow rims (by modern standards)
-
Extra bolts to think about with width-adjustable cockpit 

Another aero bike that makes a solid claim as being an all-rounder, the Aeroad is fast, responsive and pretty lightweight. 

There's some compliance there too, with rear-end comfort delivered by a combination of a 28mm rear tire and a flexing seatpost. However, it's the Aeroad's level of adjustability that really sets it apart from other aero race bikes.

The stack height can be altered by 15mm without having to do any fiddly re-cabling or steerer tube cutting - but does require a proprietary headset tool. The width-adjustable cockpit, with Canyon says aids the bike's aerodynamics, delivers 40mm of adjustability, three width settings and collapsibility for travelling. Whether you feel the need to adjust your cockpit width is another question, however.

Read more: Canyon Aeroad CF SLX 8 full review

BMC Time Machine 01 Road Four which is one of the best aero bikes

BMC Time Machine 01 Road Four

Best for on-the-bike storage

Specifications

Frame: Timemachine Road 01 carbon
Groupset: Shimano Ultregra Di2
Wheels: DT Swiss ERC 1650 carbon
Weight: Not specified

Reasons to buy

+
Clean Aesthetics
+
All day comfort
+
Rider Adjustability
+
Raw Speed

Reasons to avoid

-
Narrow tire clearance
-
Price

Since its introduction in 2012, the BMC Timemachine has always been a head-turner, but there was no doubting its purely functional credentials, sacrificing comfort for ultimate speed.

The platform has come a long way since then, and the Timemachine Road iteration is far more rider friendly, and while it retains its rapidness, the latest design manages to also shoehorn in an element of compliance, with the end result being pretty close to perfect.

Equipped with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 disc brake set up, semi-integrated cockpit, 62mm deep section DT Swiss Arc 1400 Dicut 62 wheels and fast rolling Vittoria Corsa Control tires it leaves you with no question as to the bike's ambition, but with the added comfort factor, it now means it's a lot more than just a one trick pony. Our only grumble is with the limited 25mm tire clearance.

Read more: BMC Timemachine 01 Road full review

Pinarello Dogma F which is one of the best aero bikes

Pinarello Dogma F

(Image credit: Future)
The winningest bike of the Tour de France

Specifications

Frame: Dogma F carbon
Groupset: SRAM Red
Wheels: DT Swiss ARC 1400
Weight: 6.8kg /15.0lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Fast
+
Aero
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

Pinarello's superbike is still the winningest Tour de France bike of the last decade, even if the Dogma F is yet to chalk up an overall win. There are several build options, including an increasingly rare a direct mount rim brake option. 

Pinarello says that the F is the lightest version of the Dogma yet, thanks to parts like a 3D printed titanium saddle clamp and redesigned bar/stem rather than a drop in frame weight. It's marginally faster than its predecessor as well. There are 352 different frame and component size options available, so there's plenty of scope to fine-tune your fit.

It's a dream of a bike, a rapid, nimble ride, and of course, with the price tag, a rather expensive one at that.

Read more: Pinarello Dogma F first ride review

Cannondale SystemSix Carbon Ultegra Di2 which is one of the best aero bikes

Cannondale SystemSix Carbon Ultegra Di2

Best for handling

Specifications

Frame: SuperSix carbon
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed
Wheels: HollowGram 64 SL KNØT carbon
Weight: 7.6kg / 16.8lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Compliant frame
+
Fast wheels
+
Handling

Reasons to avoid

-
Weight
-
Tires

The SystemSix is Cannondale's first ever dedicated aero road bike, and the brand has come out swinging. It looks exactly the way you'd expect an aero bike to look: it's all stark angles and chunky tubes and you'd be forgiven for thinking it'd be uncomfortable, but actually the Sys