Bolle Messenger Premium Hi-Vis$100 1 of 13
For urban cyclists and commuters, the new Hi-Vis Messenger helmet from Bolle improves safety with a new color scheme and integrated rear LED lights. Two different helmet liners also make it an ideal option for winter and summer cycling, and the Click-To-Fit closure ensures a secure fit for most head shapes. Bolle's exclusive safety QR code will also provide others with your medical information in an emergency situation.
POC Contour Bib Shorts$250 2 of 13
As the name indicates, the POC Contour bib shorts are well-fitting and look good on the bike. The highlight here, though, is the multi-layer chamois insert, which doesn't feel particularly thick but is plenty dense—making it ideal for long rides due to their supreme comfort. And if you're not big on taking the time to wash your cycling gear by hand, these are built well enough to handle plenty of rounds through the washing machine without coming apart at the seams.
Sidi Shot Vent Carbon$549 3 of 13
A minimalist silhouette, central boa dials and a well-vented sole make this new model from Sidi quite a bit different from the other shoes in their lineup. The Shot Vent is also one of the lightest and stiffest shoes Sidi makes, and was tested last year out by Chris Froome in the Tour de France. The downside? This is also one of the most expensive road shoes on the market, though most of the hardware is replaceable and should stand up to years of abuse.
Tifosi Crit$79 4 of 13
With the cost of cycling-specific sunglasses often reaching into the $200+ price range, this option for Tifosi is moderately priced and performs just as well as many other higher-priced models. Vented lenses improve circulation and airflow to prevent fogging, and the Grilamid TR-90 used in the lens is strong and highly bendable—which should survive most spills. Each pair also comes with three separate lens options for varying light conditions.
Castelli Volata 2$119 5 of 13
Whether you're looking for a race day jersey that's slightly more relaxed than a second-skin aero jersey or a race-inspired jersey that's comfortable enough to train in, the Castelli Volata 2 is the answer to your problems. Without sacrificing much in terms of aerodynamics, the cut steers away from the extreme while still feeling tailored and plenty fast. The Volata also features mesh along the sides and shoulders of the jersey for ventilation, dimpled fabric to limit drag and wicks moisture away from the skin well enough to make it suitable for summertime use.
ENVE SES 3.4 Clincher$2,700 6 of 13
If a wheelset upgrade is on your spring shopping list, the newly designed SES 3.4 from ENVE should be on your radar. The 38/42mm rim depth hits a sweet spot that makes it aerodynamically efficient on flats while still being surprisingly responsive to accelerations even on the steepest of mountain passes. They also ride extremely smooth, improve comfort on rough roads and feature one of the best carbon brake tracks we've ever tested in wet weather. Consider this an option if you seek an all-around wheelset that you can race and train on in a variety of weather conditions.
Specialized Flux Expert$250 7 of 13
Springtime means warmer weather and more time out on the road. For those early morning and evening rides when visibility is an issue, the new Flux headlight from Specialized is just about as good of a light as you're going to find. The beam is among the brightest and widest we've tested, and the 1200 lumens put this LED light on par with the kind of lighting technology used in most new vehicles--making you visible from up to a third of a mile away. Run time is 20 hours on the low setting.
Gu Energy GelsPrice Varies 8 of 13
Fans of chocolate and caramel will have plenty of options from GU's new spring energy gel flavors. Already some of the best tasting and easy to get down gels on the market, GU's new caramel macchiato, chocolate outrage and chocolate peanut butter are some of our current favorites for a mid-ride boost. Each packet is 100 calories and contains electrolytes, amino acids and carbohydrates that maximize absorption and limit GI distress.
Rapha Pro Team Socks$25 9 of 13
Like most good cycling socks, the Rapha Pro Team are comfortable, wick away moisture well and are thin enough to wear in extreme temps. But what sets these apart from other socks is the durability of the fabric and the overall construction. While other options can feel old and worn after a few rounds through the wash, the Pro Team will still feel and fit you the same way they did right out of the package for a year or more. They're also available in short, regular and long cuff lengths.
Pearl Izumi Elite Gel Glove$35 10 of 13
Gloves are one gear item that should probably be replaced every year. For a lightweight spring and summer option, the Elite Gel Glove from Pearl Izumi breathes well and is easy to get into for anyone with wide hands. The thin gel inserts on the palm help dampen road vibration and will provide plenty of protection in a spill without feeling bulky when your hands are on the bars. The synthetic leather palm also works well in wet weather when you need a little extra grip.
Smith Route Road Helmet with MIPS$150 11 of 13
Smith's new Route road helmet borrows popular design elements from the Overtake at a budget-friendly price point. The distinct honeycomb look of the brand's patented Koroyd material makes the helmet extremely breathable, and two front air pockets allow tons of air to come through without compromising speed. The lower profile on the toggle in the back gives a nice snug fit around the entire head, and the $150 price point—which includes MIPS—makes this helmet an exceptional value.
Garmin Varia UT800$149.99 12 of 13
Sure, there's plenty of solid bike lights out there. But few—actually, none—come close to Garmin's Varia system, which debuted last year to rave reviews from visibility-conscious cyclists everywhere. The just-announced UT800 builds on that success, boasting a steady 800 lumens for 1.5 hours. The real kicker? When paired with compatible Garmin Edge cycling computers, the UT800 automatically adjusts beam intensity to changing light conditions, speed and the ride profile in order to extend battery life. The light can also be manually controlled with a simple touch of the Edge or the included remote.
With two versions for urban and trail use and five different light modes—high, medium, low, night flash and day flash—it is visible in daylight from more than one mile away when at full strength. Now that's one heck of a bike light.