We found lots of great-looking new gear at Interbike, the bike industry's largest U.S. trade show. Here are six standouts, for mountain and road.
Chrome Warm Workshirt ($180)
This city-oriented cycling piece is destined to be our go-to piece this fall. The water-resistant nylon outer is stuffed with just enough poly-fill insulation to take the chill off but not so much to make you sweat. Sleeves are cut long for the drop position, and zippers and visibility zones are adorned with reflective piping. Styling is sharp and urban rather than super techy. Best of all, the jacket is reversible, with a quilted black on one side and a high-vis orange on the other for riding after dark.
Gore 2-in-1 Shorts Plus ($220)
For mountain bikers who like bibs but not the skin-tight, Spandex look, these shorts pair a high-quality bib and chamois with an integrated set of baggies. Unlike most shorts in this category, however, the two pieces are fully integrated, meaning you don’t get the extra bulk of a set of baggy shorts over a bib. The shorts include Gore’s excellent new race chamois, and they're cut from water- and abrasion-resistant fabrics.
Bell Super 2R ($200)
In this day of specialized gear for every niche (think: XC bike, trail bike, DH bike, single speed, the list goes on), we’re thrilled at the Super 2R’s versatility. It combines a modified Super helmet, which we already loved, with a detachable chin plate for added protection on burly terrain. Climb up with the chinstrap in your pack, then snap it into place for the big descent or tricky moves. The wrap-around chin bar snaps on and off in an instant by way of three beefy metal clips. Because of the vents in the helmet upper, the Super 2R isn’t rated to the same standards as a typical downhill lid, but the face guard is just as secure as that on a DH helmet.
Dainese ProPack ($200)
Many companies are making backpacks with built-in back armor. Dainese, the purveyor of some of the world's most trusted motorcycle protection gear, is coming at the problem from a different angle: It's built a spinal protector first and foremost that can also store gear. The dual-layer memory foam armor looks like a close-fitting tortoise shell and, with motorcycle-caliber ratings, may offer the best spinal protection in its class.
The 12-liter pack has room for day-riding essentials, including a water reservoir. While many riders might consider this back protection overkill, with the increased capabilities of mountain bikes allowing riders to go bigger and the rise in popularity of enduro racing, a pack like this may start to become as obligatory as a helmet.
Magellan Cyclo 505 ($430)
Though we’re fans of Garmin’s line of cycling computers, we’re also happy to see the arrival of some legitimate competition, which will hopefully help lower prices and boost innovation. Magellan’s 505 has pretty much all of the same features as the top-spec'd Garmin Edge 1000, including Bluetooth and WiFi compatibility, integration with Shimano Di2, and pre-loaded map sets, but it costs $170 less.
We prefer its smaller profile, and the color screen is bright and said to be even easier to read in full sunshine than its competitor. There are a number of added bonuses, including Android support, which Garmin surprisingly continues to overlook. The Cyclo 315, which sells for $350, is the same computer as the 505 minus the WiFi and Bluetooth functionality.
Yakima CargoPack ($200)
Cargo boxes are great for hauling lots of gear, but they’re also expensive and cumbersome to store when not in use. Enter the Yakima CargoPack, a soft-sided cargo bag that affixes directly to the roof of your car but can easily be removed for better gas mileage and rolled up quickly and stowed away.
Other companies have rolled out soft-sided cargo boxes before, but we like the CargoPack's size and ease of use. With 16 cubic feet of space, there’s plenty of room for boots, tents, and sleeping bags. The non-skid bathtub bottom ensures that you won’t scratch the car’s paint, making it a perfect option for a rental car if you’re traveling. It may not be as tough or as classy looking as a hard case, but it’s far more practical for occasional use. It also costs 60 percent less than the least expensive, comparable-size hard box from Yakima.