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Climb Every Mountain

Where the escalator ends, the fun begins. Outfit yourself accordingly.

(Chris McPherson)
2004 Buyer's Guide: The Essential Mountain Biker

HEADS AND THREADS » Protect your digits with the Kevlar-reinforced palms and carbon-fiber knuckle plates of the (1) OAKLEY FACTORY PILOT gloves ($70). The Big O also has your eyeballs shielded with the huge lenses of the RACING JACKET PRO sunglasses ($165). (2) PEARL IZUMI's EKG JERSEY ($80) delivers air venting where you need it, and a tight knit everywhere else. With their anatomically dialed chamois, the (3) ZOIC NOBLE CANYON HYBRID SHORTS ($75) do triple duty as hikers, café sitters, and all-day bikers. Women needn't settle for smaller versions of manly gear. To wit: (4) SPECIALIZED's COMP MOUNTAIN WOMEN'S SHOES ($100), while burly enough for the gnarliest trails, are designed for a narrower foot, and (5) BRIKO's GOTHAM glasses ($109) offer big coverage without the bug-eye effect. The (6) SPECIALIZED AIRFORCE HELMET ($35) doesn't scrimp on vents or protection. Pair the smart lines of (7) IBEX's WASABE JERSEY ($85) with the knockabout versatility of (8) TERRY PRECISION CYCLING's PEDAL PUSHER by PRANA ($90). The jersey is made from lightweight merino wool; the pedal pushers offer a women's cycling short inside a comfy pair of capri pants. GEAROTICA » The sleek (9) DEUTER HYDRO 3M ($69) stashes a 100-ounce bladder, plus shell and snacks. With the (10) CANDY Sl ($120), CRANK BROTHERS added a durable fiber-composite platform to its mud-shedding Egg Beater pedal, giving riders more real estate to mash into. Tackling one of mountain-bikedom's 24-hour races/parties? Outfit your rig with (11) LIGHT & MOTION's ARC LI-ION LIGHTING SYSTEM ($499). The 13.5-watt headlamp will turn dark into daylight for three hours at full power.

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