Elite Fly Water BottlesStarting at $7.99 1 of 11
The Elite Fly water bottles just might be the lightest water bottles we've ever used. At just 53g, the Elite Fly 550ml bottle features a large opening to accommodate ice cubes or sports drink serving scoops, a no-clog nozzle and are easy to squeeze thanks to the thin and soft plastic. Plus, they're available in 10 different colors, ensuring you find one that matches your gear.
Pearl Izumi Women's P.R.O. Pursuit Bib Short$180 2 of 11
Pearl Izumi's women's line just keeps getting better with every iteration, and the latest in their Pursuit collection is no exception. High compression fabric that feels like silk paired with carefully tuned raw-edge leg openings that sleekly hug your thighs without creating the dreaded sausage effect combine to create our current favorite pair of bib shorts. The center bib clip makes perfect sense and allows you to customize the front strap position, and what feels like a total lack of seams makes for the most comfortable piece of cycling apparel we own.
Elite Ciussi Inox Bottle Cage$15.99 3 of 11
Why do pros use metal bottle cages that look straight out of the 1984 Tour de France? Because they work well. The 75g Elite Ciussi Inox bottle cages held our bottles in place through a bouncy, mixed-surface road and gravel race. The Elite Ciussi cages have a no-slip button on each side to hold bottles in place, and their design allows them to be bent ever so slightly to enhance bottle retention.
Shimano Ultegra R8000 SeriesStarting at $1093 4 of 11
Shimano's latest in the Ultegra series, the R8000, benefits greatly from some of the advancements made in last year's Dura-Ace groupset. The technology trickledown means us weekend warriors get to ride with pro-proven components at a great price point, and in return the R8000 delivers on its promise of smooth, stress-free operation. Notable changes include the medium cage derailleur's ability to accommodate an 11-34 cassette and brake calipers that will accept 28mm tires, meaning you can easily employ this groupset on mixed terrain and won't run out of gears in the mountains. Plus, you'll be able to descend those same mountains with confidence, as the stopping power on the hydraulic disc brakes we tested was powerful and controlled. The rear derailleur utilizes Shimano's Shadow design, incorporating the same slant angle as the Dura-Ace rear mech and allowing for super slick, smooth shifting. The R8000 is perfect for a broad spectrum of performance-oriented cyclists and works as well off-road as it does on.
Timbuk2 Launch Pack$125 5 of 11
The Timbuk2 Launch Pack is the perfect backpack for a fast commute to work. The pack is extremely lightweight, waterproof—the seals around the zippers actually work—and the straps are plenty comfortable. The 18 liter capacity is big enough to hold a 13 inch laptop, a change of clothes and shoes, two 750ml water bottles and various odds and ends in two exterior pockets.
Specialized S-Works 7$400 6 of 11
Full disclosure: We were already a big fan of Specialized's S-Works road shoe after testing the S-Works 6 last year (it quickly became our everyday road shoe). If we had one complaint, it was that the toe box was a bit narrow, and the heel cuff was a little stiff.
The biggest changes in the latest model? You guessed it: a wider toe box and a softer heel cuff. The more forgiving fit is immediately noticeable, and the shoe itself is approximately 100 times easier to slip on than the 6. The shoe is still crazy light and hyper-stiff, and you get the same locked-on feel without the rigidness that created discomfort in the previous iteration. Extensive pressure mapping by Specialized's technical team resulted in ply-by-ply carbon engineering of the new Powerline outsole, and the Body Geometry footbeds lift and separate the bones of the forefoot to prevent hot spots. Plus, the BOA dials are now metal, which serves the dual purpose of adding panache while allowing you to adjust your fit on the fly.
That's a long way of saying, these shoes are truly the perfect combination of power transfer, comfort and style. What more could you ask for?
Rapha Brevet KitBaselayer $80; Bib Shorts $270; Tech T-Shirt $75; Socks $30 7 of 11
While we love Rapha's style, what we really obsess over is the comfort. Although Rapha touts the new Brevet collection as great for gravel adventures, one of our testers found it to be sublime commuter wear as well. The Rapha Brevet Baselayer helped wick perspiration, even on the muggiest of days. The Rapha Cargo Bib Shorts feature external pockets, which provided easy access to in-ride necessities like cycling nutrition and a phone for snapping mid-ride 'grams. The Rapha Tech T-Shirt is plain, simple and elegant and great for off-the-bike coffee-stops. The Rapha Brevet Socks, with their so-smooth terry interior, were the logical, most "matchy" option. All Rapha gear, except the baselayer, has reflective detailing (shown) that provided an additional sense of security during our twilight cycling trips.
Bontrager Aeolus XXX WheelsFront $1,149; Rear $1,249 8 of 11
New for the 2018 racing season, the Bontrager Aeolus XXX wheels come in 28mm, 47mm and 60mm depths, tubular and clincher rim profiles and disc- and rim brake options. The wide profile offers an aerodynamic advantage and should be durable enough for gravel and cyclocross racing, as well as road riding.
Shimano 105 R7000 SeriesStarting at $703 9 of 11
Want to upgrade your bike's component package without going broke? Check out the new Shimano 105 R7000 groupset. The new ultimate-value group from Shimano features disc and rim brake variants, a brake lever designed to accommodate smaller hands, crank arm lengths from 160mm to 175mm and pro-tested mechanical shifting technology. This new 105 component group just might be the best value in cycling component upgrades, and it is available in silver or black finish.
Fits Light Performance Trail Socks$17.99 10 of 11
Don't let the name deceive you. According to our very enthusiastic tester, the Fits Light Performance Trail Socks are "the most comfortable cycling socks I've ever worn, and I want to wear them all day." The quarter-crew height is all cycling style, while the odor-resistant merino blend construction is all cycling tech. Fits socks are available in a variety of heights and color options to fit your preferences and needs.