2013 Cycling Fall Gear Guide
Pearl Izumi Elite Barrier Jacket - $90
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For an all-in-one jacket, the Elite Barrier gives you plenty of options for fall weather. It's water resistant, windproof, and is easy to stow in a jersey pocket.
Best Feature: The plus side to this jacket is the removable sleeves that turn it into a vest. It's easy to overheat in waterproof material, and this jacket provides good ventilation even without removing the sleeves. Reflective piping for low-light visibility also makes it adequate for early-morning commutes.
Best Uses: Commuting or long-training rides when morning conditions can change quickly.
Hincapie Ghisallo Jersey/Arm Warmers - Price TBD
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The new Ghisallo Series from Hincapie pays tribute to the Giro di Lombardia, one of the oldest and wettest races on the pro calendar. The jersey and arm warmer combo are made with thick fabric to keep you warm and dry on long rides and races when it isn't cold enough for a jacket.
Best Feature: There aren't many waterproof jersey and arm warmer sets out there. This is one that will definitely keep you dry. The fleece lining is also surprisingly warm.
Best Uses: Racing or long rides when you don't want to overheat with too many layers.
Specialized Prospero II Helmet - $110
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This helmet is made with the racer in mind. Much like the more expensive S-Works Prevail from Specialized, the Prospero II is lightweight, well ventilated and easy to adjust on the fly.
Best Feature: The one thing all good helmets do is disappear once you put them on. The Prospero II is really light and comfortable, so much so that you forget about it until it's time to take it off. The price, compared to other helmets in its category, is also hard to beat.
Best Uses: Racing or for those cyclists looking for lightweight performance and comfort.
Lezyne Micro Drive Front/Rear Combo - $90
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The Micro Drive is made of CNC-machined aluminum and is equipped with a very reasonable 200 lumens of LED light. The adjustable rubber strap and snap-fit Composite Matrix mount make both the front and rear lights compatible with nearly any round handlebar or seat post.
Best Feature: The size of the Micro Drive is a huge plus because it's extremely lightweight. The coolest feature is the rechargeable Li-ion battery, which can be plugged into your computer's USB drive while you're at work.
Best Uses: Perfect for early morning or evening commutes. Unless you're riding in the middle of the night or on mountain bike trails where you'll need to see upcoming obstacles from a greater distance, these lights are bright enough for you to be seen by everyone.
Danny Shane Nelson Black Jersey/Shelby S4 Bib Shorts - $140/$209
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In combining classic European style with modern sportswear technology, the new Danny Shane line is made for cyclists seeking performance-oriented clothing that doesn't skimp on style. The S4 bib shorts are also made using 100-percent-recycled nylon, which puts the companies eco-friendly goals to the test.
Best Feature: The fit and the style are what set this cycling kit apart from other kits. The lines are simple, the clothing is extremely well sewn and the fit feels tailored. The Carbonio chamois pad is also top-notch, providing just enough comfort for long rides without being bulky.
Best Uses: If you're looking for performance clothing that doesn't make you look like a walking advertisement, this clothing line does the trick. In the same vein as Rapha, Danny Shane clothing is meant to provide supreme fit and comfort for those long days in the saddle.
Deuter Superbike 18 EXP Backpack - $120
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The Deuter Superbike 18 EXP is an all-in-one backpack for commuters. The Superbike EXP is big enough to carry a lot of gear and can be used in a variety of weather conditions. In order to keep your back cool during summer months, the Airstrips Back System keeps the pack from sitting directly on your back to let air in.
Best Feature: This pack was made for cyclists who like to be prepared for every possible condition. A neon-yellow windshield and rain protector can easily be taken from a storage pocket (it's a vest that's attached to the backpack) should the conditions change suddenly. The backpack also includes a stow-away helmet holder and a rain cover to keep your gear dry as you ride.
Best Uses: This is an extreme commuter's backpack best suited for short to moderate distances. It's big and heavy-duty, and while it's built to last, it'll be too heavy to carry for distances over 20 miles.
Skins Compression RY400 Compression Tights $140
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The goal of gradient compression is to speed up the recovery process by providing more oxygen-rich blood to your muscles after a hard workout. Skins RY400 provides more compression than normal workout tights. To receive the maximum recovery benefits, the tights must be worn for at least three hours.
Best Feature:The pattern of the stitching has changed from previous models. This edition doesn't rub you the wrong way with the seams, and the tight fit feels good to fatigued muscles while you're lying around.
Best Uses: Recovery from racing or long-training rides of more than a few hours.
ICEdot Crash Sensor - $149
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In an effort to provide greater safety and a quicker response time to roadside accidents, the ICEdot notifies your emergency contacts through your phone's GPS connectivity. The sensor easily straps to the back of a helmet and can be synced with any smartphone.
Best Feature: You can program the sensor to notify emergency contacts within a minute of impact. In case the sensor is triggered accidently (such as a dropped or thrown helmet), you can set your phone to ring for up to two minutes before activation, allowing ample time to shut off the alarm before your contacts are notified.
Best Uses: Cycling is a dangerous sport, and when you're dealing with head injuries you can never be too careful. The ICEdot is a must if you do most of your riding alone.
Feedzone Portables Cookbook - $24.95
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The Portables Cookbook,by Allen Lim, features 75 new recipes in full-color that are easy to make and ready to consume on-the-go. Most of the recipes are meant to be alternatives to the highly-processed food that most cyclists eat on a long training ride. Lim's philosophy is to focus on real ingredients to supply the body with what it needs during physical activity.
Best Feature: The rice ball recipe with chocolate and blueberries is a favorite. There is also a wide selection of gluten free and vegan recipes for athletes with dietary restrictions, which can severely limit options when choosing energy bars in the grocery store.
Best Uses: This is the perfect book to plan what to eat on the bike, especially if you've found yourself dreading having to eat one more packaged bar or energy gel on long training rides. The recipes are also really easy, making it perfect for those who don't like to spend lots of time in the kitchen.
Craft Elite Weather Jersey/Arm Warmer Set - $150
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Craft's Elite Weather line is made for the performance-minded cyclist seeking quality fabrics and supreme fit for cold weather riding. The jersey and arm warmer combo is waterproof and wind-resistant, and is lined with a fleece inner collar.
Best Feature: Of all the water-resistant jerseys out there, this has to be one of the best ventilated. Mesh inserts in the arm pits and a surprisingly breathable fabric keep you from getting too warm during hard efforts while still keeping you from getting cold during the chilly early-morning hours. The hidden zipper and high collar to keep your neck warm are details you will also appreciate.
Best Uses: Winter training or racing.
Fi'zi:k Arione VSX Saddle - Price TBD
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The Arione is one of Fi'zi:k's most popular saddles. The Versus X, which will release late in 2013, provides an ergonomic channel spanning the length of the saddle for those cyclists looking for increased comfort and relief of common hotspot areas.
Best Feature: The groove down the center works differently from many other saddles with cutouts. Because a cutout can only provide relief for a small section of the saddle, the benefits aren't gained if you slide back or forward. The Arione is a long saddle, and the channeling, instead of a more traditional cutout, lets you move around while still enjoying the comfort features.
Best Uses: Time trialing or long-distance cycling when extra comfort and hotspot relief is needed.