4 Best All Day, Anywhere Bikes
Soma Fog Cutter
PRICE: R12 389 (frame & FORk)
GET IT NOW: everydaycyclesupplyco.com
The seat tube of this beautiful steel-frame road bike features an illustration of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse near San Francisco, where Soma is based; and just as its beam cuts through the fog, this bike is designed for those long rides that will cut through the clutter in your head.
The frame is adaptable: throw on supple 32mm slicks, and you’ll eat up the Coronation Double Century. Want to explore back roads in the Karoo, or take on the Swartberg 100 Gran Fondo? Then go for wider tyres, with more grip – max width is 42mm on 700c rims, and 47mm on 650b.
Disc brakes? Of course. And there are even rack mounts at the back in case you decide to embark on a self-supported adventure.
The frame is made from heat-treated chromoly Tange Prestige steel, and the fork is carbon fibre. Steel makes for a wonderfully forgiving ride, and you’ll turn heads wherever you pause to sip a cappuccino.
The Fog Cutter isn’t a race bike; but then, Soma doesn’t care much for racing. Think of this one more as a freedom machine. If you’re only going to have one road bike hanging in your garage, the Fog Cutter should be it. – Jon Minster
Specialized Diverge E5 Comp
PRICE: R32 000
GET IT NOW: specialized.com
On paper, the Diverge might seem a little confused, but it’s a super-fun bike to ride.
Specialized has gone for a lower bottom bracket and longer wheelbase than a traditional racing bike, which makes the Diverge stable on just about any surface: manicured tar, gravel verge, green-belt singletrack…
They’ve also thrown in Future Shock Progressive suspension: 20mm of travel under the bars that gets stiffer the further it’s compressed, which means crisper handling and less chance of bottoming out.
This mid-spec model has a lightweight alloy frame (with a carbon fork), and can accommodate tyres up to 700x38mm.
There are three bottle mounts for extra-long days in the saddle, and the 2×11 Shimano 105 drivetrain will give you all the gears you need. – JM
Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL DISC 8.0 Aero
PRICE: R85 000
GET IT NOW: canyon.com
While I adore the sharp handling and instant acceleration of a race bike, the aggressive position makes my back and arms ache on long rides. That’s why I like the Canyon Endurace WMN – the geometry is slightly more upright than its sister race bike, the Ultimate.
To accommodate shorter riders, Canyon has specced the 2XS and 3XS frames with 650b wheels, which reduces toe overlap and helps smaller riders get into a lower riding position.
The Endurace walks the line between comfort and speed with striking balance. It’s marvellously fluid on dilapidated tar, yet light and eager on climbs.
This is the top model in the range, with Ultegra Di2, carbon wheels and disc brakes. If you’re just getting started and you want something much cheaper, there are equally gorgeous alloy models with Tiagra components and rim brakes. – Taylor Rojek
Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc Ultegra
PRICE: R49 000
GET IT NOW: cannondale.co.za
First released in 2006, the Synapse is an elder statesman in the world of endurance road bikes, with a well-earned reputation for reliability and comfort.
The latest version has a classic, clean aesthetic that belies some modern tech: space for 32mm tyres, thanks to an asymmetric frame design; hydraulic disc brakes; and 12mm thru-axles for extra stiffness.
At a time when some companies have gone with actual shocks on endurance bikes, Cannondale has opted to introduce flex by using a 25.4mm seat post and spindly seat stays. Without the extra weight of active suspension, the Synapse feels bright and lively. – Leah Flickinger