Fall Gear Guide for Road Cyclists
POC Splash Jacket$170 1 of 12
The new POC Splash is a durable rain jacket that features a slim cut and can pack down small enough to fit in a jersey pocket. What separates it from others, though, is its breathability, largely due to the four-way stretch fabric and the laser-cut holes in the arms, which release excess heat.
The reflective logo on the rear pocket and left arm also increase visibility from the rear and when making hand signals. The large rear pocket can fit just about everything you might need on a wet-weather ride, plus keep your gear dry, too.
Bontrager Velocis$219 2 of 12
If you're looking for a race-quality road shoe that doesn't cost $400, the Bontrager Velocis is loaded with performance features at a bargain price. The fiberglass sole strikes a perfect balance between stiffness (10 out of 15 on the stiffness index scale) and comfort, making them ideal for long road rides like a century or a Gran Fondo. The toe box is generous and the insole is on the flat side, which should appeal to most foot shapes.
The Boa IP1 closure for the upper makes dialing the fit fairly easy, and the shoe slips on and off the foot as painlessly as possible. The electric salmon color is perfect for anyone looking to add a little pop and visibility to their footwear, with understated black and white options also available.
GoPro Hero Session$199 3 of 12
If you're looking to film your rides or races, the new GoPro Hero Session is one of the lightest and easiest to use action cameras on the market. Measuring at just 35mm x 35mm, it's 50 percent smaller and 40 percent lighter (at just 74 grams) than other GoPro options, which is a big plus for weight weenies who don't want to add a lot of unnecessary weight to a race bike.
It's also waterproof, has a two-hour run time and a one-button operation that is as simple as it gets. And while the Pro handlebar/seatpost mount is an excellent option for either front or rear video, the Pro Seat Rail mount was our favorite for rear-facing shots because of its stability and out-of-sight profile.
Louis Garneau Blink RTR Vest$69 4 of 12
Part of the Reclaim the Road collection from Louis Garneau, the Blink RTR vest is made with a highly-visible reflective dot pattern that's perfect for early morning and evening fall rides when daylight is limited. Mesh sections along the sides and rear release heat, while the Hex 02 RF material used along the chest takes the chill out of the air. Two large rear pockets provide plenty of storage room for extra gear and clothing.
Portland Design Works Sodapop Fenders$25 5 of 12
For just $25, these fenders pack a punch. They're easy to mount, and they look so good that they won't ruin your bike's aesthetic when you decide take it out for a spin in a fall downpour. And like all Portland Design Works products, they're durable and built to withstand the rigors of the daily commute.
And for the environmentally conscious, Sodapop fenders are made entirely from recycled beverage bottles, hence the name.
Search and State Merino L/S$180 6 of 12
What makes Merino wool the perfect natural fabric for fall cycling is its ability to regulate body temperature by insulating in cool conditions and wicking away moisture when the temperature is warm. Made in Manhattan's Garment District, the quality and construction is on par with the best you'll find in any jersey and is durable enough to handle plenty of washes without coming apart at the seams.
The fit is slim and comfortable, and like all Search and State products, the styling is simple and understated so you won't be mistaken for a billboard on wheels.
Bontrager Classique Jersey$174.99 7 of 12
Made with an eye toward retro styling and high-quality fabric, the Classique from Bontrager is one of our favorite short-sleeve jerseys for fall. The zipper and stitching is built to last and should age well thanks to the off-white color scheme. The full-zip merino wool has a luxurious feel that is thick enough for cool weather cycling, yet won't be too hot should you feel inclined to throw down a few interval efforts.
While it is expensive, this is a special piece sure to impress your friends on the weekend group ride.
Portland Design Works Lars Rover 810$85 8 of 12
If you're looking for a light that's tough enough to withstand foul weather and the daily commute, look no further than the Lars Rover 810. The alloy body construction is simple and functional, with a weatherproof casing and an easy-to-access button should you want to switch to one of the five different light modes mid-ride. Total run time is 10 hours, and the 800-lumen light takes about five hours to charge via USB.
Pearl Izumi Cyclone Gel Gloves$40 9 of 12
Keeping your hands warm and dry in fall and winter weather is a must. The Cyclone glove from Pearl Izumi is ideal for temperatures in the 45 to 60-degree range and is made with a synthetic softshell fabric that is both wind and waterproof. The gel padding used in the palm offers plenty of support and comfort, and the slim design maximizes finger dexterity. Leather is also included on the thumb and index fingers, which means you can use your smartphone without having to expose your fingers to the cold.
Specialized S-Works Sub6$325 10 of 12
While it might seem like just another cycling shoe with shoe laces, the Sub6 from Specialized is far different from any other shoe-string shoe we've tried. While you'll still get the light weight (194 grams) and stiff carbon sole that's made the Giro Empire and others like it so popular, the Sub6 has taken things a bit further with the inclusion of the Warp Sleeve, which slides over the laces to make the shoe as aerodynamic as possible.
The Sub 6 will no doubt be attractive to serious racers for its efficiency and minimalist design, but it's also suitable for a wide range of cyclists. Our favorite feature is the PadLock molded heel cup, which is one of the most aggressive we've tried in any cycling shoe and provides a snug, secure feel.
Pearl Izumi Pro Pursuit Aero Jacket$150 11 of 12
Designed with a slim, aerodynamic cut, this lightweight jacket from Pearl Izumi is a good option for riding in temperatures in the 50's and 60's. The mesh fabric used across the back is lightweight and releases excess heat well. The stretchy softshell-lite fabric used on the chest and arms is extremely comfortable and provides a good barrier against the wind and rain.
The new green color scheme for 2016 also increases visibility when you're forced to ride in the early morning or evening hours and looks pretty cool, too. Our lone complaint is the absence of rear pockets, which is the only detail missing from this otherwise high-quality performance jacket.