Whether for pleasure or transportation, approximately one in three Americans rides a bike. If you’re one of this sporting bunch, then you’re surely eager to spend time pedaling under the sun on two wheels soon.
From bike newbies to veteran road warriors, there’s plenty of new gear out there to help you get the most out of their riding season this year. I spent the past several weeks test-driving the latest and greatest that the cycling world has to offer. From this year’s newest rides to the latest cycling gear, snacks, and clothing, here’s what I recommend for you or your favorite cyclist.
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Alpine Aire Smoothie Mix ($4)
It’s important to stay hydrated while cycling, but water can be a little plain and boring. Alpine Aire smoothie mixes are a perfect way to add some flavor to your hydration game. You mix it just as you would any other blended drink powder — add to water and shake it up.
Buy now: Alpine Aire Smoothie Mix, $4, Amazon
Chamois Butt’r ($18)
This ubiquitous piece of cycling gear recently got a packaging makeover for 2017. By applying this Chamois Butt’r to the padding inside your cycling shorts, you help reduce skin irritation and ease saddle sores as you ride. It’s essential for long-distance touring, and also if you just have a sensitive tookus.
Buy now: Chamois Butt’r, $18, Amazon
Pearl Izumi jersey ($30)
Good clothing is the key to staying comfy on a long bike ride, and Pearl Izumi makes some of the best stuff around. It’s no problem to wear these jerseys for all day rides — they’ll absorb your sweat and protect your skin from the sun.
Buy now: Pearl Izumi jersey, $30, Amazon
Katadyn BeFree ($40)
Yes, this is a lot to pay for a water bottle — but this is no ordinary water bottle. The Katadyn BeFree’s mouthpiece functions as a heavy-duty filter that can purify a liter of water per minute. If (when) you run out of water on your ride, you can fill your bottle from a stream or other water source, then filter it through the lid in order to get a safe, refreshing drink. Its portable design makes it a solid piece of gear for your everyday bag, but it’s especially useful in the great outdoors.
Buy now: Katadyn BeFree, $40
Solo Everyday Max ($70)
Backpacks can help make it a snap to carry your stuff while you ride — and Solo’s models are as tough as they are beautiful. I especially like the Everyday Max for its bright yellow handles on all four edges. It’s a great, sturdy backpack that easily doubles as an airplane carry-on.
Buy now: Solo Everyday Max, $70, Amazon
Mountain bikers and distance riders alike will enjoy the RinseKit portable shower, which first appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank. The RinseKit connects to any faucet to take up to two gallons of water. Without any pumping or electricity required, this water is stored under pressure. You can then spray water from the nozzle with with the same force as a conventional garden hose. Bring the RinseKit with you on your next distance ride — you’ll probably use it to clean both yourself and the bike.
Buy now: RinseKit, $90, Amazon
Petzl Reactik+ ($110)
The Petzl Reactik headlight is the most elaborate headlamp I’ve ever used. It fills its purpose beautifully as an illumination device — your nighttime rides will be clearer and safer than ever before. It also pairs with a smartphone app to tell you how much power’s left, while a sensor on the front will adjust the beam for maximum effectiveness.
Buy now: Petzl Reactik, $100, Amazon
Ibex Trip Shirt ($145)
There is an entire class of cycling clothing designed to look like casual streetwear, like the Ibex Trip Shirt. Made completely out of breathable, woven wool, it’s lightweight and comfortable, even on hot days. Before you know it, you’ll be wearing it even on days when you’re not riding.
Buy now: Ibex Trip Shirt, $145, Amazon
Adidas Zonyk Aero ($165)
There’s nothing worse than having to squint into the sun as you ride. Any pair of sunglasses is better than none on a bike, but Adidas makes some excellent ones. I’m partial to the Zonyk Aero shades — when paired with a properly fitting bike helmet, you feel like you’re wearing military-grade flight gear. Polarized lenses keep the glare away, and the sunglasses pleasantly contour to your face and protect your eyes.
Buy now: Adidas Zonyk Aero, $165, Amazon
Edge 820 ($400)
Do you know how fast you’re going? How far you’ve ridden? What time it is? From your location to the weather, Garmin’s Edge 820 tells you everything you need to know about your ride.
Set this device up to display only the information you want to see at a given moment. If your bike is equipped with power meters, a heart rate monitor, or other high-tech gear, the Edge 820 can wirelessly display that data as well. But our favorite feature: GPS navigation means you can finally forget about putting a tacky, dangerous smartphone mount on your bike.
Buy now: Edge 820, $400, Amazon
Raleigh Stuntman ($2,299+)
Whether it’s a quick run to the grocery store or a time trial down a mountain, the Raleigh Stuntman will take you where you need to go with grace and aplomb. Its construction allows for significantly larger tires than a normal road frame can support, so you’ll transition effortlessly from pavement to grass to gravel, and back again. Its provocative name is entirely appropriate — it’s up for whatever you throw at it.
Buy now: Raleigh Stuntman, $2,299+, Amazon
Redux iE ($3,199)
The Redux iE is a bike that you can ride like a motorcycle. Topping out at 28 miles per hour, the Redux iE has a 36-volt battery in the bike’s frame that powers its 250-watt drivetrain. It’s also got hydraulic disc brakes for quick, safe stopping action. Your morning commute just got a lot less sweaty.
Brompton folding bike
City dwellers and urban commuters take note: your perfect bicycle has been manufactured and refined in London since the mid-1970s. Brompton’s two-wheeled transforming creations function as full-performance bicycles that fold down to a fraction of their size when not in use. This means they thrive in a city environment: ride from home to the office on two wheels, fold the bike down into hand-carried luggage, then stash it neatly under your desk during the day. It’s never been easier to ride anywhere you want to go.
Buy now: Price varies, Brompton.com
Riese & Muller Packster ($5,000+)
For many people, a bike can be your primary mode of transportation — right up until you need to move a child, a pet, or lots of groceries. But for every problem, a solution: cargo bikes can carry whatever you need to move, and this model even has an electric motor built in. There’s also an option to add seat belts in the cargo area for your little ones.