We’re already through two months of the year. The cold temps and early nights are nearly behind us and spring is just a few weeks away. From nutrition and kits to bike parts and accessories, here’s some of our favorite gear right now.
Photo Courtesy of Mission Workshop
Mission Workshop Rhake VX Backpack, $455
When selecting a pack for bike commuting, we think comfort and functionality are the two most important factors to keep in mind. The Mission Workshop Rhake VX backpack fits like a bespoke piece of apparel and has more pockets than we can count. The pack is constructed of reflective VX-21—a waterproof, low-stretch, rip-proof, ultra-durable, lightweight nylon. All external zippers are sealed for full waterproofing while the massive hook-and-loop closures keep the roll top closed, even when the pack is fully-stuffed.
On longer commutes, the ample lumbar padding and well-designed straps make this pack way comfortable, even when the cavernous, 22-liter main pocket is full. Plus, its multiple compartments are great for keeping soiled gear separate from clean. This pack is so versatile, it’s also become our go-to pack for general-use overnight trips.
Photo Courtesy of Rudy Project
Rudy Project Defender Sunglasses $174
With the Rudy Project Defender, this Italian sunglass manufacturer has improved upon its standard-setting photochromic technology. The lens changes from dark to light to dark again, as quickly as we can ride under a bridge span. The adjustable nose piece makes for a set-it-and-forget-it fit. Did we also mention we love the neo-retro shield styling? The Defender is available in 10 stock color configurations, but you can choose frame/lens/touchpoint color options for additional personalization.
Pro Tip: Keep an eye out on USA Cycling or USA Triathlon web sites and email newsletters for amazing deals on Rudy Project glasses.
Pearl Izumi Women’s Elite Pursuit AMFIB Jacket, $150
The Pearl Izumi Women’s Elite Pursuit AMFIB Jacket has become our go-to outerwear when riding in temperatures above freezing. This cool-weather cycling jacket with wind-blocking front panels and breathable back panels helped keep us at just the right temperature, from the start of our ride to the end. Our tall tester found the sleeves to be the perfect length, and noted that the slimming, flattering fit was enhanced by the no-tug grip at the bottom of the body panels. The three rear pockets are also easily accessible and keep your phone and keys stowed safely when grabbing mid-ride snacks.
This Pearl Izumi jacket is available in three different color combinations and four sizes.
Photo Courtesy of Pearl Izumi
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Am-Fib Super Gloves, $120
After our very first ride in these gloves, we wondered why we hadn’t gone with a lobster glove earlier in life—warm fingers make us so much happier! The Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Am-Fib Super Gloves prove to be the best option for cycling in the cold, for everything from short commutes to hours-long sessions in the saddle. Plus, these Pearl Izumi winter gloves did an awesome job of keeping our hands dry in some really nasty surprise sleet.
Photo Courtesy of Gore Wear
Gore Windstopper Baselayer Thermo Longsleeve $89
Living up to its name, the Gore Windstopper Thermo Longsleeve Baselayer does an amazing job of keeping out the cold. With only a winter cycling jacket and tights in temperatures nearly 10°F below freezing, this is essential piece of cold weather cycling apparel does an amazing job of insulation and body heat regulation. Another bonus: The form-hugging fit makes it easy to slip on under outerwear with no tugging or binding.
Continental GP5000 Tire, $79
Tires are the only thing keeping you connected to the ground with two contact patches each no larger than your thumb, so we feel that high quality tires are well worth the spend. Continental Grand Prix 5000 tires are noticeably grippier and suppler than previous versions; adjusting tire inflation by just 5psi, we noticed a difference in ride quality.
Our test Conti’s have worn well over 100s of kilometers on roads treated for winter weather with virtually no visible wear. We can’t wait to race on them come spring.
Picky Performance Granola—PB&J All Day, $8.99
As a pre-ride breakfast option, we can’t get enough of Picky Performance PB&J All Day Performance granola. The peanuty goodness comes through from the first bite to the last, and the hints of berry complemented this tasty, familiar flavor combo. We appreciated the gluten-, dairy- and soy-free ingredients that keep our guts happy, even when we ride our bikes immediately after eating.
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