“I like riding fast, but I don't race," you may say.

Well, it’s a great day to be you, because this year has seen an explosion of new options in the category loosely referred to as endurance road. The BMC Roadmachine 02 and its peers, which include the Canyon Endurace CF SL and the updated Specialized Roubaix, are designed to better handle and offer more comfort on paved and unpaved roads, while borrowing some performance and aerodynamic features of race bikes.

Our pick

BMC Roadmachine 02 TWO, $5,499

We've sampled many of the new endurance models, and the Roadmachine is one of the more race-influenced, with quicker reflexes, a crisper-feeling ride, and cleaner frame design (no shocks, decouplers, or springs) with some aerodynamic shaping. A flat headset bearing cap allows one of the lowest bar positions among its peers - but if you want a higher bar, it’s still possible with BMC’s 20mm taller headset cap.

BMC also built in more vertical compliance than is found in a racing bike, and more control via disc brakes and a slightly stretched wheelbase. Wide-range gearing, clearance for larger tyres, and hidden fender mounts also offer additional versatility.

Our Roadmachine 02 weighed just over 8.15kg for a size 54: not unreasonable, but it does reflect the weight penalty of the 11-32 wide-range cassette and disc brakes. But as we discovered climbing a 13km route featuring about 915m in elevation gain, this is one of those bikes that climbs lighter than its weight, and wastes nothing - whether ascending, crossing flats, or punching over rollers, it moves with crisp efficiency.

And it is smooth while doing so. One tester remarked, “It’s buttery on fresh pavement and feels really good on rougher and broken stuff.” And these impressions are based on 25mm tyres; the Roadmachine will also fit 32s. – Matt Phillips