The best all-rounder bikes: If you could only have one bike, what would it be?

Three builds, three opinions, three tiers. The Cyclingnews tech team goes in search of the best bike solution for commuting, riding and racing and more

The Best All-Rounder Bike
(Image: © Aaron Borrill)

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The current global situation has seen a massive spike in bicycle sales the world over with many people choosing the safer, more responsible option of commuting to work by bike rather than risk public transport. For many, this simple act of getting to and from work represents a form of escapism allowing riders to unwind, de-stress and choose their own routes. Naturally, the terrain on offer will dictate the type of bike needed - city dwellers may go with a traditional 'flat-bar' commuter, such as those found in our guide to the best hybrid bikes, others maybe a fixie or folding bike, while those who stay in less populated areas may look to purchase a gravel grinder, adventure bike or possibly even a road bike to cover greater distances. It all depends on what your chosen route offers up in terms of terrain.

For the Cyclingnews tech team, the commuting concept is nothing new and when our offices in Bath, UK were still open, each one of us used a bicycle to get to work. For the most part, the bikes we used were test items but we'd often ride our very own bicycles to the office - for Aaron and Josh this usually took the form of their race bikes, although the winter hack did get us through the worst of the weather. Graham, on the other hand, had just relocated to Bristol from Scotland and was using our 3T Exploro test bike before lockdown interrupted his final relocation plans. This got the team thinking... If we were to unpack the notion of commuting and apply it to a one-bike scenario taking into account such realities as racing and gravel grinding not forgetting travelling to and from work, what setup/build would best represent each of our ideal builds?

Aaron Borrill

Aaron was the Tech Editor Cyclingnews between July 2019 and June 2022. He was born and raised in South Africa, where he completed his BA honours at the University of Cape Town before embarking on a career in journalism. Throughout this career, Aaron has spent almost two decades writing about bikes, cars, and anything else with wheels. Prior to joining the Cyclingnews team, his experience spanned a stint as Gear & Digital editor of Bicycling magazine, as well as a time at TopCar as Associate Editor. 

Now based in the UK's Surrey Hills, Aaron's life revolves around bikes. He's a competitive racer, Stravaholic, and Zwift enthusiast. He’s twice ridden the Cape Epic, completed the Haute Route Alps, and represented South Africa in the 2022 Zwift eSports World Championships.

Height: 175cm

Weight: 61.5kg

Rides: Cannondale SuperSlice Disc Di2 TT, Cannondale Supersix Evo Dura-Ace Rim, Cannondale Supersix Evo Ultegra Di2 Disc, Trek Procaliber 9.9 MTB