From cycling accessories, nutrition and apparel, we rigorously tested, reviewed and found our favorites.
Wahoo Elemnt ROAM
The all new Wahoo Elemnt ROAM has so many updated features, it would be impossible to list them all here. Out of the box, the ROAM easily paired with an iPhone, and the free mobile app made configuring features and functions a snap. Finding and pairing sensors, like heart rate monitors and power meters, was so easy. The ROAM is compatible with Strava and other social riding apps, and you'll never miss a call or a text; incoming messages are displayed on screen but were easily dismissed with a button press.
The ROAM weighs a scant 94g and houses a massive, high-contrast, easy-to-read display, which made viewing ride metrics and maps so easy. The zoom feature, accessed with rocker buttons on the side of the unit, allows you to select how many data fields to display and further enhances screen readability. LED indicators across the top and up the left side of the device provide navigation cues and relative effort—power, heart rate or speed—respectively.
But the real strength of the Elemnt ROAM is navigation. We could upload a route and get turn-by-turn cues from the ROAM when riding it—made easy by the LEDs above the screen. Two features we're excited to explore more are the "Back On Track" function—an on-device routing aid that helps get you back to your pre-selected route or to a specific map location when activated—and the "Take Me To" function—a feature that allows you to set a destination point directly on the ROAM, or through the companion app, and get turn-by-turn navigation cues to arrive at your selected location just like you would on your car's navigation system.
We didn't realize how much we appreciated Cycle Glide after testing it for a few weeks until we forgot to apply it before one 60K ride. The cycling-specific formula was a hit with both men and women in our testing crew, and one reviewer noted how easily it went on, even compared with the traditional Body Glide. The plant-based wax formula applies smoothly—it's not sticky, wet or greasy—and one application was good enough for hours in the saddle. Cleanup? Shower as usual.
Rudy Project Spectrum Helmet
The Rudy Project Spectrum, with its massive cooling vents, offered such excellent ventilation that it quickly became our go-to helmet for warm-weather road rides. This light (289g/size M), cool and comfortable helmet fit our heads better than any Rudy Project road cycling helmet we tested previously. The retention system, straps and pads allowed us to get the perfect fit. We really appreciated the aesthetics and design, which kept wind noise at a minimum, so we could hear traffic approaching from behind and our riding buddies talking to us without having to shout. The Rudy Project Spectrum is available in three sizes and five colorways. Keep an eye out for one of the many ongoing promotions and score this new helmet at a deep discount.
Bontrager Pro Quick Cleat Medium Seat Pack
We were totally prepared for the worst—three spare tubes, three CO2 cartridges, an inflator head and tire levers—and had a little space to spare in the Bontrager Pro Quick Cleat Medium Seat Pack. An ingenious quick release retention system allows this saddle pack to be quickly removed and replaced without hassle. The attachment fits most carbon and aluminum saddle rails and weatherproofing surrounding the zipper ensured the compartment stayed clean and dry.
Fizik Vento Microtex Tacky Bar Tape
Wanna get-and keep—a grip on your riding with the least amount of effort? Keep your hands on your bars, even in sweaty or rainy conditions with the Fizik Vento Microtex Tacky bar tape. Its minimalistic, providing no padding and has a very light adhesive back to keep it in place. But this tape did its job so well; it gave us complete, worry-free precision control of our bike, even on the sweatiest rides. This Fizik bar tape comes in eight different colors, so you can even coordinate with the color of your saddle.
Blackburn Grid Side Beacon Light Set
Bike commuting already has so many challenges, and visibility shouldn't be one of them. With Blackburn Grid Side Beacon lights, we were confident we'd be more visible to cross traffic in any lighting conditions. We mounted one 1.5-inch by 0.5-inch light on each fork leg with the included thick and durable elastic bands. Both solid and strobe modes have low and high settings, and we routinely experienced over two and a half hours of runtime in high strobe mode between charges. Even after a few rides in unexpected downpours, the Blackburn Grid Side Beacon Light ran strong.
Osmo Acute Recovery
After rest, proper nutrition and hydration are some of the most effective means of recovery from a training or racing session. Each 90-calorie serving (when mixed with water) of Osmo Acute Recovery has six grams of carbs, and 15 grams of a fast-acting whey protein, plus a long-lasting casein protein, which together are claimed to enhance recovery. Osmo puts just a bit of caffeine in this solution to help speed glycogen replacement. After challenging rides, we opted for two scoops with the specified amount of water, and we made sure to give our bottle a thorough shake so the Acute Recovery was completely dissolved. We never noticed any clumping, and the vanilla taste was mild and mixed well with water or almond milk.
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