2014 Cycling Spring Gear Review
Fizik R3 Uomo$300 1 of 16
The trickle-down technology from Fizik's more expensive R1 road shoe has made its way to the R3. The kangaroo leather is soft and durable, and the large mesh sections on the sides make it a perfect springtime shoe option. The sole is made of carbon fiber, which is plenty stiff and comfortable, and the straps are made with sailcloth—one of the strongest and lightest materials around. The fit is also excellent, making it a perfect option for anyone looking for a performance road shoe.
The Sock Guy$10.95 to $12.95 2 of 16
With all the gear to buy, it's easy to forget about your socks. The Sock Guy makes excellent options for road and mountain bikers, with a line that offers a wide range of choices depending on your preference of thickness and cuff height.
NUUN Energy$6.99 3 of 16
The beauty of NUUN is that their products are portable and not nearly as sugary as a lot of the other sports drinks on the market. The same electrolyte formula exists in the new energy line of products, but it also includes a load of B-vitamins and a dash of caffeine to sustain energy. It's a good way to kick-start early morning rides. Our favorite of the new flavors is Wild Berry.
Lizard Skins DSP 3.2mm Bar Tape$42.99 4 of 16
New bar tape should be a must every spring. It's the perfect way to spruce up the look of an aging or dirty bike, and your hands will appreciate it too. The thickness and durability of the DSP 3.2 is what set it apart from other bar tapes. It also looks great and should last you for the entire year without withering away. While it is expensive, it's also true that you get what you pay for, and the DSP 3.2 is the proof.
Santini 365 Thermo Fleece Gloves$39.99 5 of 16
Even though the weather is getting warmer, you'll probably still need a good, lightweight pair of full-fingered gloves during morning and evening rides in the spring. The Thermo fleece gloves from Santini aren't so thick that they'll make your hands out after an hour of riding, but they will keep you warm in temps down to low-50s. They're also thin enough to be used inside of a warmer pair of gloves when winter rolls around again.
Specialized Deflect Hybrid Jacket$125 6 of 16
Rain and wind can pick up without notice during the spring months. The deflect hybrid jacket will keep you prepared without overdoing it. The fabric is water and wind resistant, and the wrist cuffs are made to keep any moisture from getting into the sleeve. The arms can easily be removed, converting the jacket into a vest if it gets too hot. It's a good jacket for commuting, or if you don't want to have to buy a jacket and a vest.
Kali Phenom Helmet$159 7 of 16
A helmet is a helmet, right? What most consumers probably aren't paying attention to is the foam used underneath the plastic shell, which is the part of the helmet that'll save your head should you crash. Kali uses a technology called Bumper Fit, a low density, soft foam that absorbs more of the impact in the parts of the helmet closest to the skull. The fit and styling of the Kali are on par with other top helmet manufacturers too, making this a good buy for cyclists wanting to err on the side of safety.
Lezyne Zecto Drive Pro$49.99 8 of 16
Daylight is your friend in the spring, but you should still use a light on morning and evening commutes. The Zecto Drive is perfect if you need a safety light that's versatile. You can strap this light on a backpack, helmet or on your seatpost or handlebar. It's well built and lightweight, and the best part is, you can switch from front mode (white light) to rear mode (red) with the push of a button.
Pedros Starter Tool Kit$150 9 of 16
Part of the freedom of riding a bike is being able to fix minor repairs yourself. The starter tool kit is a great way to get started tinkering with your bike this spring. The tools are all well made and should last a lifetime. There's also plenty of space in the portable tool wrap to add to your collection. Our favorite pieces are the cog wrench, the pedal wrench and the chain tool.
SKINS A200 Compression Tights$99 (each) 10 of 16
SKINS tights are proven to enhance circulation and increase oxygen to your muscles. While the A200 isn't specifically designed for cycling, it's a great asset on your strength training days. I've used them as a light layer over my cycling shorts on morning rides when it's too cold for shorts but too warm for wind-resistant cycling tights.
Lizard Skins Dry-Fiant Shoe Cover/Toe Cover$36/$26 11 of 16
When it rains, having wet shoes can make you miserable quick. These new shoe covers from Lizard Skins not only are extremely durable for the price, but they're a synch to take on and off. Unlike some of the other shoe covers I've tested, the bottom has minimal amounts of fabric, which is a nice way to ensure that you won't tear them clipping in and out of your pedal.
Specialized Body Geometry Gloves$35 12 of 16
Along with bar tape, gloves are the other piece of gear that should be replaced every spring. The gel inserts in the palm are really comfortable, and the mesh on the top is nice on days when it's warm.
Soleus GPS Draft/Bar Fly Mount$99/$20 13 of 16
If you're looking for an entry-level GPS unit, the Soleus won't break your bank. The display buttons take a little getting used to, but the overall function warrants no complaints. It also links to your Strava, making it easy to get track of your training progress. For the price, it's a good buy.
Lezyne Steel Drive Digital$89.99 14 of 16
After years of use, old floor pumps can stop giving accurate tire-pressure readings. The digital gauge on this steel version by Lezyne is easy to use and extremely accurate. The body is made of steel and the handle is made from wood, but our favorite part is the aluminum connector that fits over the presta valve that doesn't leak air when it's removed.
Infinit Go Far/Nocturne$34.99/49.99 15 of 16
What's nice about Infinit is the customizable way they approach nutrition. Since each person's needs are slightly different, they recommend products based on your age, activity level and fitness goals. Our favorite product was the Nocturne, which helps you recover while you sleep.