2016 RBA Interbike & Readers’ Choice Awards

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For the third consecutive year the editors of Road Bike Action have been given the honor of both nominating and voting for the winners of the three road bike category awards that get announced at the annual Interbike Gala which is held during the three day bike show at the Mandalay Bay Hotel (September 21-23).
The basis for our selections was twofold: all of the bikes and products had to be tested by the RBA staff and they had to be available for retail purchase from August 1, 2015 to June 1, 2016.
THE READERS’ CHOICE AWARD
As important as our selections are, we think that YOU the people, the cyclists and cycling fans who make it all happen, must have opinions of your own which is why we are once again looking for votes for the RBA Readers’ Choice Award.

What do YOU think was the best road bike upgrade you’ve seen, heard about or ridden this year? Was it a new wheel? Helmet? Bike? Let us know! From all the entries received, one lucky winner will be chosen and to show our thanks they will receive a custom Cat5 Gear bag filled with RBA schwag sent their way. The Cat5 gear bag was one of the most useful and well-designed products we used all year.  The deadline for getting your vote in is September 19. Cast your “Interbike Award” vote at [email protected]

With this year’s nominees now selected (see below), we have already begun compiling our list for next year’s awards. Look for the 2016  winners to be announced in the January 2017 issue of Road Bike Action where you’ll also find our coverage of all the latest bikes and gear from Las Vegas.
THE BIKES
Owing to its racing heritage, the Specialissima preferred to be driven fast and deep into tight corners.
1. Bianchi Specialissima – No other bike we tested better encompassed Italy’s history and passion for cycling. Both its appearance and ride quality were the essence of a superlative!
2. Giant TCR Advanced Pro 1 – The best example of Pro level trickle-down technology and performance. Simply put, it’s the best value we’ve seen all year.
Featured_Norco_IMG_9302 copy
3. Norco Tactic SL – A combination of racing geometry and aero tubing profiles mixed with disc brakes and thru-axles makes this bike a true embodiment of what a modern race bike can be.
 4.  Open U.P. – With a frame design unlike any other that maximizes its versatility for both on and off road use, Gerard Vroomen designed the best engineered gravel bike to date.
Domane 9_Web
5. Trek Domane SLR – Big performance gains by providing even more comfort in this second generation design. It’s easily the most compliant road bike in the field.
6. Felt F1 – Exemplifies all the qualities you want in a race bike: lightweight, stiff, and thanks to the TeXtreme composite, durable.
THE COMPONENTS
Potenza
1. Campagnolo Potenza – Utilizing many of the same design features of their higher-end components, Campy brings their vaunted 11 speed component legacy down to the entry-level rider.
LaufGrit_OpenUP_1v2
2. Lauf Grit fork – Strange looking to be sure, but with its 30mm of travel the suspension fork opens up a new frontier for increased compliance, comfort and safety.
3. Shimano 105 Hydro disc brake – Shimano answered the call for many entry level riders looking for the power and consistency of a hydraulic brakes on bikes that they can better afford.
4. SRAM Red eTap – Simplifying electronic shifting by being the first to go wireless. The new group allows for easier bike builds, cleaner looks and great shifting performance.
THE ACCESSORIES
1. Garmin Varia Rearview Radar – Varia Radar keeps an eye on what’s going on behind you with radar technology providing proximity warnings for approaching vehicles. Anything that increases rider safety is a big deal.
specialized-airnet-helmet
2. Specialized Airnet – Chock full of features, what the Giant TCR is to trickle-down bike technology, the Airnet does the same for helmets; style, performance and great value.
3. Tacx NEO Smart Trainer – The direct-drive design is quiet, super easy to use (even when it’s un-plugged) and is improving the technology in the market.
ELEMNT_Left
4. Wahoo ELEMNT – Chock full of features that simplify the use of a cycling computer. The ELEMNT offers mapping and possibly anything else one might need on the bike.
5. Schwalbe Pro One – The German rubber delivered the goods with solid traction, super-fast performance and a great ride quality.

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