Beautiful scenery, cooler temps and plenty of events on the cycling calendar make fall the perfect time of year to be on the bike. Whether you’re looking to tackle some new roads or sign up for a gran fondo, check out this list of new cycling gear worthy of an investment.
With brash, retro styling, 100% has made some serious waves in pro cycling with the launch of its new lineup of shades. One of our favorites is the S2, which looks like a full-framed pair of sunglasses but utilizes laser-etching on the bottom half of the lens. The coverage on the bike is excellent, and the inclusion of the spare clear lens for low-light conditions is a welcome option for fall cycling. The S2 also comes with several different nose pieces to fine-tune fit, and the HiPER lens technology offers amazing clarity on brighter days.
Yes, smart helmets are now a thing. The R1 from Sena is a fully integrated Bluetooth communication system that links to your smartphone so you can hear GPS directions, listen to music, take phone calls and get live audio updates of your fitness metrics. The helmet is also capable of syncing to three other riders via an intercom so you can communicate with each other over a 1/2-mile distance. The microphone provides surprisingly clear audio that’s free of outside noise like wind or traffic and comes with a two-year warranty.
SMITH ATTACK MAX
There are a lot of cycling sunglasses that allow you to swap lenses depending on the conditions. What makes the Attack different from the others is how quickly and easily it is to complete the task thanks to Smith’s new MAG technology. The ChromaPop lens also provides some style on the bike thanks to the wide variety of colors, but it’s the superb clarity and wrap-around fit that has us reaching for these on nearly every ride. The Attack Max is best suited for medium-to-large faces while the Attack is ideal for smaller face shapes.
Because of its versatility across seasons, this long-sleeve jersey is a must-have for any cyclist’s closet. For fall, the four rear pockets and zippered front pocket come in handy when when you’re carrying extra clothing and supplies. The stripes across the front add visibility for morning and evening riding, while the merino wool regulates temperature extremely well, dries quickly and won’t hold onto odors. When temperatures start to dip, you can easily pair this with a vest for added warmth that packs down easily when it’s not needed.
$30 (12 count)
If you’re looking for nutrition options for your longer rides or races, Bonk Breakers is a GMO-free bar that tastes good and is easy to digest while you’re riding. Each bar is about 200 calories, contains 7 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of protein to top off your energy stores when you need it. The new banana cream flavor is an instant favorite, with caramel macchiato coming in a very close second.
Created for spring and fall cycling, this 3/4-knicker is comfort-focused and made with a heavy RX water repellent fabric ideal for riding in all conditions. The thermal insulation is also significantly warmer than opting for bibshorts and leg warmers, while being a better choice when you can do without the extra bulk of a full-length tight. And, like Assos’ bibshort lineup, the S7 insert is free-floating to reduce friction is in a league of its own in terms of comfort.
Layering is the key to conquering tricky transitional seasons like fall when the conditions can change quickly. Your first layer of defense should also be a baselayer, and this one made from seamless, moisture-wicking yarn is luxuriously comfortable and lasts for years. When you start to sweat, the fabric also has a cooling effect that seems to keep you at the right temperature to avoid overheating. If you want to go even lighter, there’s also a short-sleeve version available.
Keeping your hands warm and comfortable can make a big difference in how enjoyable your ride is. Lizard Skin’s DSP 3.2 bar tape is, without a doubt, some of the thickest, most durable, and best at dampening vibration from the road that we’ve tried. It’s also easy to keep clean, and the variety of colors makes it a good way to give an old bike a fresh new look. For even more comfort and a bit of warmth on fall rides, pair this bar tape with the new Monitor glove, which has gel padding in the palms and provides enough coverage to keep the chill out on cooler mornings.
Women looking for a fall racing kit for the local gran fondo or century ride need look no further than this option from Pearl Izumi. The Pursuit jersey is made of BLACK Speed Mesh that fits close to the body to eliminate wrinkles in the fabric and improve airflow for aerodynamic advantages. The to-the-elbow sleeves and three rear pockets, which a lot of aero jerseys don’t have, are other features that make this ideal for fall racing.
The new Escape 1:1 chamois also adds cushion without increasing bulk and is highly breathable to keep you dry during harder efforts. Our favorite new feature, though, is the v-strap drop tail, which makes a nature break a bit easier for women to accomplish compared to previous bibshort designs.
Performance road shoes can often feel stiff and uncomfortable, while entry-level options can be heavy and bulky. The Torch 2.0 is somewhere in the middle, being comfortable enough to wear all day and fast enough not hold you back at your local race. A roomy toe box, medium stiffness carbon sole and a BOA dial for micro-adjustments are a few of the highlights you’ll appreciate.
UA RUN WINDSTOPPER
These leggings from Under Armour are a good choice on windy days when you want to take the chill out of your ride or run. They fit easily over your bibshorts and have a second-skin feel without the squeezing effect. A wide waistband provides plenty of comfort and no bunching in the cycling position, and the front Speedpocket is a handy, waterproof option to store your smartphone. WINDSTOPPER technology also provides windproofness while still being extremely breathable, keeping you from getting too hot while you’re out on your ride.