The Best Long Sleeve Jersey: Giro Chrono LS Thermal Jersey1 of 19
We loved Giro's Chrono LS Thermal Jersey. The fabric is designed to move with you, so you're not constricted while you ride, and there are a number of "Expandable Storage Pockets" perfect for holding everything from your phone to snacks. Plus, it comes in classic charcoal and a nice bright red as well.
The Best Bib Shorts: Pearl Izumi Women's Pursuit Thermal Cycling Bib Tight2 of 19
We loved Pearl Izumi's women's Pursuit Thermal Cycling Bib Tight, which have an innovative drop tail design that makes it easier to go on the go (especially when you're wearing several different layers). They also feature Pearl Izumi's new water resistant PI Dry technology and a 7-inch lower leg zipper that makes stripping down a breeze.
The Best Cycling Shoes: Shimano XC5003 of 19
Shimano's XC500 is perfect for mixed terrain riding in the winter; the synthetic leather upper features perforated venting but retains enough warmth for cold days in the saddle. The full-rubber Michelin outsole is extremely high traction and works equally well on gravel, singletrack and even muddy cyclocross courses. Added bonus: The lace-up design isn't just on-trend—it provides a highly secure fit with a mini power strap that allows for max adjustments.
The Best Nutrition: Picky Bars4 of 19
With 200 calories per 2-inch square, Picky Bars pack a lot of nutrition in a small, easy-to-chew format. A variety of creative and fun—both sweet and savory—deliver a satisfying, stomach-filling, solid-food feel. We are quite partial to the Blueberry Boomdizzle and the Chai and Catch me.
The Best Hydration: Skratch Hydration5 of 19
With plenty of cramp-preventing electrolytes, Skratch Hydration offers a mild, not-overly-sweet drink option. Our testers noted a slight "zingy" hint of spiciness in the orange flavor while the strawberry reminded us of Jolly Rancher hard candies. The single-serving packages were easy to stash in a jersey pocket and use during rides when water refills were available.
The Best Water Bottle: Fly Elite Water Bottles6 of 19
The Elite Fly water bottles just might be the lightest water bottles we've ever used. At just 53 grams, the Elite Fly 550 milliliter bottle features a large opening to accommodate ice cubes or sports drink serving scoops, a no-clog nozzle and an easy-to-squeeze body thanks to the thin and soft plastic. Plus, they're available in 10 different colors, ensuring you find one that matches your gear.
The Best Wheel: Bontrager Aeolus XXX Wheels7 of 19
New for the 2018 racing season, the Bontrager Aelus XXX wheels come in 28-millimeter, 47-millimeter and 60-millimeter 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.
The Best Tech: SOLOS Smart Glasses8 of 19
Tired of looking down at your cycling computer when you're deep into a hard effort? The team over at SOLOS created a pair of cycling glasses with an integrated heads-up display that projects your performance metrics in real time. Simply pair the sunglasses to your phone (for GPS), your ANT+ and BLE sensors, and you're off. Just like a cycling computer, the display is completely customizable. Our favorite feature? The Vista pupil display features razor sharp graphics that are impressive for a screen of that size. We were pleasantly surprised how sharp and clear the display was across all light levels.
The Best Sunglasses: ROKA A.P.EX SR-19 of 19
The multisport brand ROKA has been on an absolute tear as of late, so it's not surprising that its newest line of performance sunglasses follows suit. The SR-1 is impressively light, includes lenses coated by Carl Zeiss Vision and features earpieces built with a titanium core that are stable yet allow the user to dial in for the perfect fit. The patented GEKO rubber in the nose piece and temple tips are comfortable, durable and keep the sunglasses in place—no matter how sweaty and damp our skin was. Our favorite feature? You can add your own personality to the SR-1 through ROKA's Custom program. The frame, lenses, temple grips and nose pad can all be customized with your favorite colors (or, let's be honest, to match your bike).
The Best Affordable Bike: Fuji 1.3 Finest Disc10 of 19
The women's Fuji 1.3 Finest boasts all the latest technologies—Shimano 105 and Oval Concepts components, thru-axles, hydraulic disc brakes—in an affordable package. Fuji's carbon fork and endurance geometry means the Finest Disc is engineered to be a smooth-riding bike, ready for any road riding request you make of it.
The Best Kit: Machines for Freedom Women's Cycling Kit11 of 19
The sheer, lightweight Machines for Freedom Avant Women's Cycling Jersey has a cut that eliminates any unsightly and uncomfortable bunching in the front of the jersey while riding in the drops. The extra-long back panel with minimal but effective grippers kept this top in place, even when riding hard out of the saddle. The premier, matching Machines for Freedom Endurance Bib shorts were most notable for a high-rise, mesh-fabric waist that offered additional support while also creating a most-flattering fit. Even more important, these bibs had our tester feeling like she just slipped on these shorts—even after 50 miles of riding.
The Best Bike Computer: Garmin Edge 520 Plus12 of 19
The Garmin Edge 520 Plus improves on the previous model cycling head unit with real-time mapping and turn-by-turn navigation, a group track ("find our friends") mode and a back to start mode that we found helpful when riding on unfamiliar roads. Of course, the go-to features—like customizable display, easy pairing with Bluetooth and ANT+ accessories (power meters, heart rate monitors and speed sensors) and a robust enclosure—are the reasons why we like Garmin electronics. We were able to get more than 13 hours between charges when using the Garmin 520 Plus with a power meter, heart rate monitor, speed sensor and GPS all enabled
The Best Power Meter: Stages L Power Meter13 of 19
The Stages single-sided power meter, now in its third generation, provided us with actionable data, sent from the left crank arm to our Garmin 520 Plus head unit. It's the same power meter that Team Sky has been using to win the Tour de France since 2014. Our testers noted that power measurements were nearly identical to those provide by other power meters. The Stages single-sided power meter is an excellent value as well: We got nearly the same data provided by dual-sided power meters but at a fraction of the cost. And the improvements from previous generations of Stages power meters made this latest version easy to use, accurate and reliable—no data signal dropouts, plenty of clearance at the chainstay and a LED indicator to help with diagnostics. We never exhausted the coin cell battery—our testers swap bikes a lot—but claimed life is in excess of 175 hours.
The Best Bike Light: Specialized Flux 1200 Headlamp14 of 19
The dual beam Specialized Flux 1200, with seven different operating modes, gave us plenty of confidence to see and be seen on our dawn patrol rides. The variety of mounting options (GoPro mount shown) provided for placement on our bike helmet or direct attachment to any of our test bikes. One LED has a broad illumination pattern while the other has a brighter, focused beam pattern. We frequently used both light sources simultaneously to provide the best illumination possible in low-light conditions. On the brightest setting, we experienced over 65 minutes of runtime, and while in the lowest strobe setting, we went about 12 hours between charges. Plus, we never had to activate the emergency reserve power mode (yes, this Specialized headlight has that feature!).
The Best Virtual Training Program: Zwift15 of 19
Get through those inside rides during the cold or rainy days and have more fun than you ever thought possible on the trainer. Zwift "gamifies" your ride, so you'll be excited to get on the trainer session after session.
The Best Socks: Castelli Vertice Sock16 of 19
Swaddle your toes with the Castelli Vertice Sock. This not-too-tall sock offers a mid-foot support band to help your feet stay comfortable. The breathable, proprietary material also keeps smell down and feet cool.
The Best Cold-Weather Gear: Buff DryFlx Neckwarmer17 of 19
This cold-weather accessory's 360-degree reflectivity for nighttime visibility and thermally efficient fabric make it the ideal garment for chilly rides. It also has UPF 50+ sun protection and is quick-drying so you don't have to worry about sweat. Plus, you're bound to find a design you love with the variety of colors to choose from.
The Best Bike: Cannondale CAAD12 10518 of 19
Ringing in well under the $2,000 mark, the Cannondale CAAD12 has the "raceability" of a carbon bike at a fraction of the price. The Shimano 105 drivetrain and brakes are reliable, inheriting some of the trickle-down cycling technology from the Dura-Ace and Ultegra component groups. Plus, of all the bikes we've seen recently, the Cannondale CAAD12 offers the greatest range of sizes: 44cm-63cm. Some of its other highlights include Cannondale Si crankset and Mavic Aksium WTS wheelset.