The Everyday Champion: Road Bikes that Do it All

 

How do you know that cycling has become more than just a hobby?

One way might be to take a quick mental inventory of how many bikes you own.
  • You may have started out with a solid bike for road cycling
  • Then bought another one for a triathlon you did a few years ago
  • Then one for cruising around the beach during your summer vacation
  • After that, perhaps you added another for off-roading (because why not?)
  • And your most recent addition is a commuter bike to help save on gas money while running errands

We don’t blame you. Cycling is a lot of fun, and with so much ground that can be covered on a bike, it’s not uncommon for cyclists to own multiple bikes, each matching a specific cycling niche or need.

However, in the past few years, hybrid bikes and bikes with multiple purposes have started becoming more and more popular. I mean, who wants their trip to be limited by which bike you chose to ride for that day? Cycling trips can now include road riding and mountain biking in the same day, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities for routes and destinations.

One type of bike that we’ve noticed gaining heavy momentum are the everyday road bikes built for world-class racing, or as we like to call them, the “Everyday Champions”. Not only are these bikes more affordable when compared to purchasing a solid road bike and a fancy race bike separately, but they also perform at a high level that matches the pace of road bikes and race bikes part for part.

In a vast sea of seemingly endless bike feature combinations, it can be difficult to identify an Everyday Champion bike from something similar, like a high-end road bike. So, we’ve made a list of features to help you identify an Everyday Champion:

  • Race geometry. Meaning it has a low headtube and steep tube angles, but with a wide wheelbase and massive tire clearance
  • Carbon or light aluminum frame. Tuned for racing compliance, an Everyday Champion is comfortable during long days in the saddle and when riding over rough road surfaces
  • Vaguely aerodynamic. It has aero shaped tubes with a clean integration between the fork and the frame, is reasonably light, and has thin seatstays
  • It specializes in nothing, but does everything very well. It sprints well, it climbs nicely, and is comfortable to use on all-day rides
  • Stable handling. Even when you’re going at top speeds, an Everyday Champion is able to dive in to corners without making you nervous
  • Easy to service yourself. Be on the lookout for components such as a BB86 bottom bracket, 27.2mm round seatpost, standard caliper brake mount, internal cable routing with molded sleeves. Basically, no weird, proprietary parts
  • Tough as nails. An Everyday Champion isn’t the lightest bike out there and is slightly over-engineered for survivability. In other words, you would be confident in your ability to ride on the cobbles during the spring classics
  • Di2, mechanical compatible, and switching out cable ports is fairly simple. One thing an Everyday Champion does not do is hold you back – even if that means being able to equip it with the holy grail of groupsets, Shimano’s Di2

 

One of our favorite Everyday Champions is the Ridley X-Trail. It has everything we look for in a race-ready road bike.

 

Race geometry with good aerodynamics and stable handling

 

Carbon Frame and internal cable routing

 

Easy to service yourself and Di2 compatible

The Ridley X-Trail rides as smoothly and confidently on daily rides as it does in races. It’s been a bit over-engineered to be able to hold up to the demands of both of these cycling niches, and to us that’s a huge plus. You can tell a lot of love, effort, and detail went in to the designing of the Ridley X-Trail to ensure that it could perform alongside high-end road bikes and high-end race bikes.

If cycling is more than a hobby to you, we think you’ll love the Everyday Champion bikes. Of course you can keep your current collection of bicycles – they’re very sentimental. But, we think that if you try out a bike that you can enjoy riding in more than one setting, that you’ll have to add just one more to your fleet.

3 thoughts on “The Everyday Champion: Road Bikes that Do it All

  1. Interesting article on “Everyday Champion Roadbikes.” I like and prefer this concept. I use a Felt CycleCross bike with aluminum frame and carbon fork for the same purpose. Are there other bikes in this category that would also recommend? Besides just the Ridley bike that you mentioned.

  2. I have a Giant AnyRoad. It serves many purposes and with the carbon fork and seat post, it’s very comfortable. Love the disk brakes also.

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