Traveling with speed is one of the most fun elements of cycling, whether you’re a road racer or you just enjoy hopping on your bike for the daily commute.
But what is the world’s fastest bike? In this article, we’ll guide you through some of the speediest bikes out there, exploring:
- The World’s Fastest Road Bikes
- The World’s Fastest Track Bikes
- The World’s Fastest Prototypes
- How To Cycle Faster
Ready to get to grips with the world’s fastest bikes?
Let’s get moving!
The World’s Fastest Road Bikes
Plenty of bike manufacturers would love to claim the title of building the world’s fastest road bike.
Every year we see a plethora of new innovations – some genuinely worthwhile, some gimmicks – in their quest to convince cyclists that theirs is the fastest road bike.
But which road bikes truly stand out from the pack in terms of pure speed?
2022 Canyon Aeroad
If you’re hunting for the fastest road bike on the market, you’ll struggle to beat the Canyon Aeroad.
Built to overcome drag, optimize aerodynamic performance and offer a supreme riding experience, this model is designed to maximize speed and reduce wind resistance.
It also comes with a wide range of frame sizes, adjustable cockpit dimensions and a balanced approach to geometry, meaning that there’s an Aeroad out there for everyone.
And the proof’s in the pudding: Mathieu van der Poel won the 2020 and 2022 Tour of Flanders using the Canyon Aeroad’s ultralight carbon fiber frame.
He also piloted it to a stage win at the 2021 Tour de France, during which the Dutch rider spent a further six days in the yellow jersey.
Trek Madone SL7
Another contender for the world’s fastest road bike is the former World Championship-winning Trek Madone SL7.
One of the first bikes to make a serious effort to smartly integrate the cockpit and seatpost, this bicycle features impressively neat and easily adjustable junctions between these areas.
For extra compliance and smoothness over bumps, Trek have also employed their IsoSpeed decoupler system.
Lightweight and surprisingly comfortable, this is one of the speediest bikes out there.
Cannondale weren’t always experts in the aero-specific market. The sheer quality of their SuperSix Evo race bike meant that they neglected this area of bike engineering for a while.
But with the Cannondale SystemSix, they came back strong, making some serious advancements in the world of speed.
Its combination of aerodynamics and super light weight make it fast as any road bike on gradients up to 6%, while Cannondale claim their aero updates save 50W at 48 km/h.
The Cannondale SystemSix came out in 2018, but in 2022 it still remains one of the quickest, most aerodynamic bikes in the world.
Cervélo are no strangers to speed, and the Cervélo S5 is no exception.
It’s widely considered to be one the fastest road bikes out there, with top riders like Primož Roglič and Wout van Aert opting to ride this model.
The Cervélo S5 was overhauled ahead of its most recent relaunch, with a new integrated cockpit making this latest version as radical as when the bike first came out.
While it’s not the most lightweight bike on this list, the S5’s rapid speed, excellent handling, and smooth riding experience make up for the added grams.
Specialized Tarmac SL7 S-Works
Specialized’s old Venge model was thought to be one of the world’s fastest road bikes until it was retired a couple of years ago. Thankfully, the super-aerodynamic Tarmac SL7-S Works inherits a large chunk of the Venge’s DNA.
The Tarmac features dropped seat stays and a wheel-hugging seat tube, as well as a boxy seat post and fork legs. Some suitably deep Roval wheels also come as standard.
Using new technologies such as a FreeFoil Shape Library and an all-new Rider-First Engineered™ frame, Specialized bill the SL7 S-Works as “a race bike that is truly without compromise.”
All this comes at a cost – the Tarmac is one of the most expensive commercially-available road bikes on the market.
The World’s Fastest Track Bikes
Track bikes are all about finding the balance between being aerodynamic and stiff for speed, while strong enough to withstand the forces of high-speed crashes.
Here are some of the fastest track bikes in the world.
Look T20 Speed
The clue’s in the name with this one. One of the most popular Olympic track bikes, the Look T20 Speed is a quick, light, and aerodynamic model that’s also stiffer than its predecessor.
Launched at the start of 2020 to coincide with what should have been an Olympic year, it’s a super popular choice at the top level of the sport, having been used by the French national team and various other national federations.
Its frameset has all the indicators of a speed machine, with a claimed 10% weight reduction, 11% drag reduction, 12.5% lateral stiffness improvement, and 27% increase in power transfer over its predecessor.
All this high-level engineering comes at a price. You’ll need deep pockets if you’re planning on riding the Look T20 Speed.
Inexpensive, versatile, with an all-rounder spec; the Vitus Six is the perfect track bike for less experienced riders, but it’s also packed with pace that will satisfy serious cycling addicts.
The optionally-included Tektro brakes mean it can also be ridden as a fixie on the road if you can’t get down to a local velodrome, while 25mm width all-rounder wheels can help you mix it up at any track discipline.
A specially track-tuned aluminum frameset geometry helps give this bike the perfect blend of stability, as well as the ability to react quickly in tight situations. Featuring a frame constructed from double-butted 6061 T6 aluminum tubes, it’s a tight, fast ride.
Though not a contender with the likes of Look T20 Speed for outright speed, we’ve included it anyway as we think it provides some of the best bang-for-buck pace of any track bike we’ve come across.
The World’s Fastest Prototypes
Before we go, let’s take a look at some of the world’s fastest prototype bikes that aren’t commercially available.
Designed in collaboration with Red Bull’s F1 team, the BMC Speedmachine is a prototype triathlon bike that uses deep truncated aerofoil tube shapes and a wide-stance fork to help boost speed.
Its basic design is fairly conventional, using a traditional double-triangle frame. But the customized Red Bull paint job, matching wheels, and custom 1x chainring makes this a smart, unique model — not to mention speed.
According to David Zurcher, CEO of BMC Switzerland, the BMC Speedmachine is “the first Formula One bike”, a testament to its rapid credentials.
Isabeau Courdurier’s Lapierre Spicy
A special job created for the French enduro rider Isabeau Courdurier, the Lapierre Spicy helped the current French champion reach third place in last year’s Enduro World Series – and it certainly looks like a podium-winning build.
The Lapierre Spicy is a speed demon, with SRAM XO1 Eagle AXS drivetrain, RockShox Zeb Ultimate Blackbox 170mm fork, and Renthal Fatbar Carbon Lite 760mm bars.
How To Cycle Faster
Can’t afford one of these speed machines? Here are some tips to up your pace without blowing the bank on a new bike.
#1. Easy On The Brakes
Screeching to a halt each time you reach a junction means you’ll keep having to restart from stationary. Instead, slow down more smoothly, reduce how much you brake, and try to read the road ahead.
#2. Ride In A Group
Group riding can be great for motivating you to move faster.
Plus, if you tuck behind a riding buddy, it takes up to 40% less effort to maintain speed than the person in front of you.
#3. Pedal Faster
Your cadence is how many times you spin the pedals every minute, and finding the right cadence for you can take time.
Try to experiment with your cadence by pedaling faster in a higher gear to pick up speed.
Being more aerodynamic makes a big difference to your average cycling speed.
Reducing your head-on profile by dropping your chest towards the handlebars can help make you more streamlined, and therefore faster. Wearing tight-fitting lycra clothes will also help with aerodynamics.
#5. Improve Your Fitness
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Improving your fitness by riding more or using a turbo trainer, spinning bike, or exercise bike will seriously increase your ability to generate speed.
The Need For Speed
Speed is a crucial component of cycling, whether you’re a road racer, a track cyclist, or an off-road mountain biker.
As we’ve explored today, engineers have come up with all sorts of solutions to provide bikers with the maximum amount of speed. In this article, we’ve explored the top end of the spectrum.
But what is the average bike speed? Check out our guide to typical biking speeds to find out more.
And if you’re worried about the potential problems with rapid riding, take a look at our article on speed wobble explained.