Beat the Traffic (cont.)

Cruising for Glory

Sep 1, 2001
Outside Magazine

Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra l $1,625

Think of the Bad Boy as a jeep shod with racing slicks. While an oil-damped front shock lets you hop curbs and feel only a gentle nudge to your back and arms instead of a neck-wrenching whack, its smooth-rolling road-bike hoops and racy Continental 700x23 rubber make for stability and grace at road-racing speeds. The Magura hydraulic disc brakes bring you to a tire-scrubbing stop with a gentle two-finger tug to the levers. Even nicer, the disc setup lets you convert the bike to trail duty in a flash if you buy a spare set of off-road wheels (a viable option, given that the aluminum CAAD4 frame is the same as that used in Cannondale's line of front-suspension mountain bikes). Casual riders will love the Bad Boy's flat handlebars, which put you in a comfortable, upright position. Ditto for the 18-speed drivetrain with a 29x34 low gear that suits even San Franciscans. And we'd be amiss not to mention the stealth motif: Right down to the spokes, the bike is flat black, for the full understated urban-chic ninja look.

Dressing up your wheels: In nasty weather, reach for SmartWool's long-sleeve crew top ($60), an itch-free wool base layer that won't stink when it's left hanging in your office.  • The Bernoulli cycling jacket from MEC ($149) uses Gore-Tex for waterproof breathability, but in case it's not breathing fast enough, zippered flaps keep you ventilated.  •  MEC's Venturi tights ($52) put water-resistant front panels on traditional spandex tights.  • With 24 vents, the Eclipse helmet from Giro ($100) keeps your noggin cool, though your hair will get wet in the rain.  •  Smith's Toaster Sliders ($99) sunglasses are street stylish and feature interchangeable lenses.  • Thanks to their three-quarter height, Shimano's SH-M058 shoes ($100) are perfect for quick hikes or supermarket strolls.

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