For the most part, 2020 is a year to forget. We’re all ready to wash our hands of the mess and are looking forward to 2021 excitedly, if not precautiously. But it was not all bad. We want to take a minute to look back at some of our favorite bikes from 2020. We carry so many phenomenal bikes it’s hard to pick just a few, but we’ve done our best to select those that stood out from the crowd. Here are our top 7 bike picks from 2020:
Those that know us know our infatuation with the Open U.P. and U.P.P.E.R. So it should come as no surprise how excited we were to find out Open was releasing a new road bike. The Open MIN.D. is a thing of beauty. The elegant tube shapes give this machine an air of sophistication unlike other road bikes looking to be the tech-iest or most aero. This is a bike in its purest form, and it should be given that its name stands for minimal design. But don’t let that mislead you to believe this bike minimally performs. This frame is capable, comfortable, and made to roam.
Like the aforementioned U.P. and U.P.P.E.R., the MIN.D. is only available as a frameset, which means you get the pleasure of selecting each component of your build to construct a truly one of a kind piece of rolling art.
“It’s a sweet, comfortable ride thanks to the integrated seatpost, and it’s so light as well. Definitely one of my favorite bikes in the shop, and that’s coming from a gravel guy.” -Zach Anderson, Sales, Arden Hills
3T Strada Ekar
This one barely squeeks into our 2020 list, but it’s a worthy addition. The 3T Strada has been in the cycling world for a couple years, even making an appearance on the pro tour. The Gerard Vroomen designed frame is an instant classic, and pays homage to the original Cervelo S5 frame designs that Vroomen engineered many years ago.
The Strada was originally designed as a 1x specific frame, so it’s natural that this bike be outfitted with the all new Campagnolo Ekar 1x13 groupset. The new group offers a beautiful combination of range and gear selection, with cassette offerings of 9-36t, 9-42t, and a 10-44t, each meticulously crafted to provide you with the gear ratios you need. The Strada sports the more road oriented 9-36t option.
“The dramatic lines are pleasing to the eye, and the brilliant purple color scheme with the special nod to Campagnolo is definitely a crowd pleaser” -Sam Morgen, Service Manager, St Paul
Norco Bigfoot VLT
We would be remiss on the trends of 2020 if we didn’t include an E-bike on our list. Undoubtedly the largest growth category in our industry, hate it or love it E-bikes are here to stay. We’ve been demoing everything that comes our way, but for the longest time the one thing we’ve been wishing for hadn’t come to fruition, until now. Where better to implement the joy of instant power and assist than on the slow trudge of a fat bike? We love our wide rubber rides and look forward to the snow flying every winter (which is yet another reason why 2020 has been so annoying). The Norco Bigfoot VLT has answered our prayers, and it’s everything we’d hoped for and more.
“Most fun on a fat bike without a two stroke motor. What I like about it is everytime you pedal you’re 18 again. It takes you back in time. It’s such a fun bike.” -Jeremi Smith, Senior Sales, Arden Hills
Cervelo P-Series Disc
Cervelo has dominated the triathlon scene for many years, so you know when a new bike is set to release it’s going to be something special. But the P-Series disc couldn’t have picked a tougher year to come onto the scene. Most triathlon events were cancelled due to the pandemic. Thankfully, triathletes are a determined bunch, and they kept their heads up in anticipation for races to hopefully return in 2021, and the P-Series is their weapon of choice.
“Hands down one of the easiest tri bikes to fit and the best way to cut down on your race time.” -Mike Bieber, Sales & Bike Fitter, Arden Hills
This one flew a little under the radar this year, as we love to highlight Pinarello’s top of the line Dogma F12. But the Prince has everything we love about the Dogma for a fraction of the price. A redesigned frame this year takes cues from the angular, asymmetrical design of the Dogma, plus an integrated handlebar and stem combo that hides all your cables and doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out the assembly. It’s a head turning bike that’s going to be jaw droppingly beautiful for years to come.
“It says Pinarello on it. Nuff said.” -Mike Johnson, Senior Sales & Bike Fitter, St Paul
3T Exploro Race
We don’t like to play favorites, but this is the third Vroomen engineered bike on this list, so you do the math. If we had to pick one bike that we were the most excited for this year, the 3T Exploro Race is it. There was a lot of anticipation around this bike, and although there were some delays in getting it, this bike has absolutely delivered. It’s a one of a kind gravel race machine that’s designed for incredibly wide tires (2.2”!) while still remaining aerodynamic and race oriented.
“We’ve been working with Vroomen for a long time now, and he keeps coming up with designs that impress. This bike has definitely been one of the talking points of the shop this year.” -Rich Sherman, Store Manager, St Paul
Orbea Oiz Trail
“All you need to ride the trails in MN is a hardtail”. We’ve all heard that line before, but the truth is riding a full suspension bike is just more comfortable, capable, and fun. The Orbea Oiz Tr strikes an excellent balance between lightweight XC bike and capable trail bike that has led it to be undoubtedly the best selling mountain bike of the year. If you’re looking for a one-and-done mountain bike for your favorite Metro trails, this is it.
“If you want a lightweight but capable bike, this is it. Orbea has also nailed the parts spec, so you get a lot for your money as well. It’s one of my favorite bikes to put people on.” -Blake Nelson, Sales, St Paul