Spring is when many companies debut their latest gear. From bike lights to helmets, we’ve got the inside look at 10 cool new products that combine function and style to get you amped for the road cycling season ahead.
KNOGG BLINDER MINI CHIPPY
Really bright lights are usually big, heavy and take up a lot of space on the handlebars. While the Mini Chippy won’t flood the road with light, it’s extremely bright and will help you be seen by others. It’s small and light at just 18 grams, and can be used as either a headlight, taillight or an extra light on your helmet or backpack. An integrated reflector and mount designed to fit nearly any handlebar or seatpost adds to this light’s overall value.
Stealing technology from Mavic’s high-end Cosmic Ultimate helmet, the Cosmic Pro is a more affordable option that’s lightweight (230 grams) and ready for a weekend Gran Fondo or century ride. The Ergo Hold SL Retention System is easy to adjust on the fly, stays secure without feeling too tight and fits a variety of head shapes. For hot-weather riding, it also breathes well and uses a special 37.5 padding that absorbs heat from your head to keep you cool.
GARMIN EDGE 820
As far as GPS devices go, the Garmin Edge lineup is as good as you’re going to find. The new 820 is a more compact version of the Edge 1000, keeping all of the same features but lowering weight and reducing screen size for those who don’t want something the size of a smartphone on their handlebars. Some of the key new features you won’t find on many other cycling computers include:
- Turn-by-turn navigation.
- A group-track feature, which lets you monitor your riding buddies if you get separated.
- VO2max data and recovery advisor.
- Incident detection, which will alert others of an accident.
- A high-resolution touchscreen.
The lens on Bolle’s new Aeromax sunglasses are not only among the absolute best in terms of overall clarity, they’re also among the lightest and most shatter resistant — thanks in part to the Trivex material, which is much stronger and lighter than polycarbonate. Bolle has also increased vertical height and width for additional coverage without feeling bulky or obtrusive. If you ride in a variety of conditions, the lens may also be switched out for a different tint.
Whether you’re looking for a bit of retro style or extra protection from the elements, cycling caps are a useful addition to any cyclist’s closet. This cap is cool, unique and will provide just the right amount of swag for your weekend group ride. For spring riding, it’ll be handier than you might think, keeping water away from your eyes during the occasional shower or shielding your face on those bright, sunny rides.
Available in men’s and women’s options, the new Fondo Gradient jerseys from POC are stylish and made with a new polyester blend to improve comfort and breathability. The lightweight version of this jersey dries fast and wicks away moisture to keep you cool in the extreme temps you’ll face during the hot summer months. The streamlined fit won’t flap around in the wind but is just relaxed enough to be comfortable on all-day training rides. If you’re looking to spruce up your race day kit, pair this jersey with the POC Contour bib short, which is one of the most comfortable we’ve tried this year.
Pearl Izumi’s new Elite Escape jersey/bib combo is designed for warm-weather riding, providing good ventilation and cooling via Direct-Vent panels in the mesh and In-R-Cool fabric. The jersey is semi-form fitting and ideal for longer training rides or the occasional weekend distance race. The Elite Escape bibs feature some of the same moisture-wicking properties as the jersey to keep you cool and dry as the temperatures rise. The new-for-2017 Escape chamois insert features a floating top sheet which does an excellent job at reducing friction to ensure comfort after hours in the saddle.
DEFEET iSCREAM SOCKS
A new pair of socks can be a good way to spice up your look on the bike. This fun option from Defeet is designed to breathe well, using a vent mesh weave and a Coolmax Ecomade fabric. The reinforced plated heel and toe areas also ensure durability, which should keep you looking good on the bike for more than one season.
Racing shoes can often be so stripped down to lower weight that comfort is sacrificed. The new Cosmic Pro from Mavic strikes a good balance, having a stiff carbon sole, a relatively low weight, excellent cushioning and a secure, comfortable fit thanks to Mavic’s Ergo Dial QR and Ergo Fit 3D. This versatility makes it just as good an option for training as it is for racing, and the durable synthetic materials on the upper will stand up to plenty of abuse no matter what kind of riding you have planned.
While all helmets are required to meet minimum safety standards to protect your head in an accident, the RaceMaster helmet from Rudy Project pushes the envelope. The new Hexocrush technology inside the helmet utilizes hexagonal pyramids instead of more traditional cone shapes — providing varying foam densities that spread impact horizontally as well as radially. It also fits well, keeps the head cool in hot weather, and has one of the most comfortable and secure retention systems we’ve tried. The bad news? All this technology doesn’t come cheap. The RaceMaster is without a doubt one of the best, but also most expensive, road helmets on the market.