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Specialized bikes services right now: Is electronic shifting really better? While the majority of road groupsets are mechanical, using cables from the shift levers to change gears, there are a growing number of road bikes that now come fitted with electronic shifting, where a motor shifts the derailleurs between ratios. The main electronic systems are Shimano Di2, Campagnolo Wireless and SRAM eTap AXS, which all offer 12 speeds. There are benefits and drawbacks of both mechanical and electronic options. Mechanical components, such as mechs and levers, are generally cheaper and lighter than their electronic counterparts. They are also, for the most part, easier to fix when something goes wrong. Electronic gears benefit from reliable shifting. There’s no cable tension at play here. If you’ve suffered a hand injury, the ease of changing gear with the press of a button could be appealing. Find additional information at bicycle shop.

Because this bike has high clearance, you can ride it not only on paved roads but also on bumpy streets or gravel paths. Plus, the composite fork (which connects the frame and the front wheel of the bike), grouped with the composite seatpost and ergonomic saddle, absorbs shock, making every ride feel smoother. The flat handlebars tend to be more comfortable— especially for those new to road cycling — as they allow you to sit in a more upright position. “The flat handlebars are generally more comfortable, allowing the rider to be in an upright position, which any cyclist, but especially a beginner rider, would appreciate.

Another bike that’s shed weight, in its case 300g, by abandoning the IsoSpeed system in its predecessor, the Gen 7 Madone has also garnered some striking looks, with its hole under the saddle, which sits on a seatpost cantilevered over the rear of the frame. But that’s only half of the 20 watts saving over the older Madone. The other half comes from the bars, which position the hands 30mm closer together on the tops, for a more aero tuck. It’s incredibly fast handling as well as being a fast ride in a straight line. Trek even fits a wider saddle on the smaller frames, as it’s those that are most likely to be ridden by women, whom the width will suit better.

Not all titanium bikes capture the magical qualities of the much-lauded metal, but we’re happy to report that the Litespeed Cherohala does. This all-road steed was really, really pleasurable to ride and lands at a price that isn’t unattainable to mortals. The Cherohala comes with a straight-bladed carbon fork (with fender mounts) which makes made for a lightweight and durable overall package. Our test bike came with an underrated mechanical Shimano GRX groupset, 105 hydraulic disc brakes, and room for a very ample 38 millimeters of rubber so you can wander off road if you desire. During testing, we found it was plenty stable and plush for packed dirt. The long wheelbase made for comfortable cruising at speed, but testers noted some wheel flop while initiating turns. It wasn’t a dealbreaker, and it can be adjusted to, but it is something to note. If the roads you regularly ride are a combination of surfaces, from smooth asphalt to rough chipseal, the Cherohala would make quick work of them—and last a long time too.

The Vitus Venon Evo has a trick up its sleeve. With its wide tire clearance of 45mm it’s not glued to the road and you can buy the same frame specced out for gravel duties, with a series of models with a GR suffix; we’ve also reviewed the Vitus Venon Evo-GR gravel spec bike. The carbon frame weighs under 1kg and has plenty of compliance built in. The road-going specs are fitted with Michelin Power Cup 28mm tubeless tires on Prime Attaquer alloy wheels. We tested the 105 Di2 model of the Vitus Venon Evo, but there’s a whole range of electronic and mechanical groupset options from Shimano and SRAM. The ride on the road is well balanced and firm but comfortable and there’s plenty of room to fit mudguards on the hidden mounts, making the Venon Evo a good option for year-round use. It’s lightweight as well. See even more details at https://www.capitolcyclery.com/.

Ridley’s Grifn is a jack-of-all-trades road bike for those who don’t want to invest in a fleet of bikes to ride roads—whether paved or not. Its relaxed geometry and stable yet responsive handling is in line with endurance road bikes, but it has enough gravel DNA to regularly hit some dirt roads. Tire clearance maxes out at 40 millimeters with a 1x drivetrain, or 38 millimeters with a 2x set-up. It’s suitable for many gravel jaunts, though the limited tire clearance means it’s not the best tool for the most grueling gravel events. Cyclists often joke about N+1 being the perfect number of bikes, where N is the number of bikes you currently own. During testing, we thought of all the ways this genre-defying bike could replace multiple bikes hanging in our garages. If you want a do-it-all machine, the Grifn is worth a look.