We combed through hordes of gear to put together the best kit for road and mountain biking.
Giro Chrono Pro Shorts
A good chamois could be the single most important item in your gear closet. This is about the plushest we’ve found, with a wide waist, leg bands that stay in place, and silky Lycra.
Specialized S-Works Evade Helmet
The secret to speed isn’t shedding weight—it’s getting aero. The Evade will save you 46 seconds over 24 miles compared with a standard helmet, says Specialized. We couldn’t verify the claim, but we sure felt fast.
Garneau Stunner RTR Jersey
Upping your visibility at night is the best way to stay safer on the road. We like this reflective top from Garneau because it glows like a beacon when headlights hit it and doesn’t look like a traffic cone the rest of the time.
Velocio Recon Jacket
Spandex-clad roadies aren’t known for high style, so when a company designs a shell that can seamlessly transition from a half-century to an espresso stop in SoHo, we take note. The Polartec NeoShell fabric (the stuff ski jackets are made of) kept us dry in the rain, and the long hem in back didn’t ride up when we hit the drops.
Pearl Izumi Race Road IV Shoes
A good road shoe should hug your foot like a second skin and provide a rock-solid pedaling platform. This high-performance tool delivers on both counts, with a carbon sole and a dial to micro-adjust fit.
Specialized 2FO Cliplite Shoes
With a stiff sole and rigid heel cup, the Cliplite is an efficient pedaler, but it really shines on backcountry adventure rides. Aggressive rubber lugs and a Boa-Velcro combo inspire confidence on rough hike-a-bikes.
Qloom Black Beach Shorts
Baggies, meet boardshorts. We love the surf-inspired print, but what really won us over was the airy stretch fabric and trim cut. We wore these bottoms on rides, runs, swims, and hikes. The one downside: that breathable material tears easily.
Giro Montara MIPS Helmet
With deep coverage on the sides and back, this helmet is intended for rowdy, big-hit riding. But it’s no slouch on cross-country trails, and 16 vents kept us cool in temps up to 95 degrees.
Osprey Verve 3 Pack
The problem with most hydration packs: the weight and bulk throw us off-balance. When we can, we downsize to the Verve 3. Ideal for sub-two-hour rides, it holds a 2.5-liter bladder, a few snacks, a flat kit, and a light rain shell.
Sombrio Burst Jersey
Sombrio makes kick-ass kit with attitude. The Burst pairs loud colors with smart engineering, including flat seams that don’t chafe under a pack.