It's a tough choice for most serious cyclists: race rig or endurance bike? The former is built for maximum efficiency and responsiveness, which can translate to a rough and twitchy ride. The latter's longer wheelbase and taller head tube is more comfortable, but more slack: a Cadillac compared to a Porsche 911.

Splitting the difference is Raleigh's Revenio Carbon 4.0, a bike categorized as "endurance race." After four months of testing that included long, casual rides in the Eastern Sierra as well as anaerobic threshold, urban, suffer-fests like L.A.'s Wolfpack Hustle, the full carbon rig proved to be a quiver killer for finding a sweet spot that combined comfort, stiffness, and high-speed handling: a veritable Subaru WRX for the two-wheeled set. It's suitable for criteriums as well as centuries.

A full Ultegra Di2 component group as well as a carbon stem and seatpost from Raleigh's in-house brand, Avenir, tag team to keep the weight around 18.5 lbs. depending on frame size and pedal choice. And its aesthetically appealing, too, with with silver and red highlights that make it sonnet worthy. One caveat: Don't even test ride the electronic group if you're not ready to buy. The precision of electronic shifting makes mechanical shifting feel almost barbaric. [raleighusa.com]