Capable, killer-value tools to make saddling up a bit more affordable.
Evoc Race 3L Hip Pack ($95)
Think of the Race 3L as insanely comfortable storage that hugs the hips and has just enough space for a spare tube, a pump, and a snack while keeping your back sweat-free. There are pockets for two bottles, or use the included 1.5-liter bladder.
Mission Workshop Sector Quick-Dry Jersey ($60)
The Sector pairs the comfort of your favorite T-shirt with a lightweight, open-knit mesh to keep you cool, dry, and decidedly under the radar.
Northwave Outcross Shoes ($110)
With a super-grippy Michelin rubber outsole, the Outcross is a walkable shoe with loads of low-key performance chops and some surprising Italian style. Sizing is on the roomy side, so those with slim feet should go for the Plus, which replaces the top strap with a ratchet.
Lezyne Micro Floor Drive XL Pump ($60)
We used to advocate for the smallest pump possible, but with the advent of highvolume tires, we never leave home without the burly Micro Floor Drive XL. It’s a machinedaluminum bazooka that fills up big rubber fast.
Troy Lee Designs Skyline Ripstop Shorts ($75)
Not only is the Skyline Ripstop light, quick to dry, and tear-resistant, but it’s also chill enough to wear off the bike, with a classic, casual boardshorts look.
Giro Chronicle MIPS Helmet ($100)
The Chronicle MIPS is almost a carbon copy of the top-tier Montaro: it’s just a hair heavier and has slightly smaller vents.
Nalgene Draft Bottle ($11)
An innovative take on the old standby, the Draft has a high-flow valve and a 90-degree cap that twists open, keeping water from spraying out.
Velocio Ultralight Jersey and Signature Bibs ($140 and $220)
The airy Ultralight feels as close to going shirtless as is possible in a form-fitting top. The Signature bibs feature stretchy crisscrossed straps and a seamless pad that kept us pain-free for five hours.
Shimano RC7 Shoes ($200)
You could get the RC9, Shimano’s top-shelf road racer, but the RC7 has a near identical supple upper, stiff carbon sole, and grippy heel cup—for half the price. The main difference: one Boa closure instead of two. But we still found the fit to be plenty dialed in.
Fabric FL30 and FLR30 Lights ($40 each)
For visibility on the road, we depend on these two 30-lumen lights from Fabric. Each is about the size of a tube of lip balm and mounts pretty much anywhere on your helmet or bike. The taillight, with a built-in accelerometer, blinks faster or slower depending on your speed.
Lezyne Super GPS Computer ($150)
This is arguably the best deal going in a bar-mount computer. It’s a refined unit, with ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart connectivity, power compatibility, and accurate turn-by-turn navigation.
Bell Stratus MIPS Helmet ($150)
Thanks to a slightly different construction, the Stratus is 35 percent cheaper than Bell’s pro-level Zephyr. Yet it’s almost identical, right down to the low-profile MIPS protection.