Nothing makes a ride like a sweet pair of shorts.

shorts
(Courtesy POC)

POC Raceday Enduro Shorts ($130)

These are meant for going fast downhill, but the Raceday has become our go-to on big-mountain outings. The massive side-zip front pocket is a handy place to stash a phone, bar, and tool, and the stitched-in elastic-Velcro belt makes fit a cinch. Over-the-knee scalloped tailoring adds a touch more protection.

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shorts
(Courtesy Gore)

Gore C7 Pro 2in1 Bib Shorts ($200)

The C7 Pro’s materials and economy of fit won us over. The design is genius, combining well-made bibs with built-in baggies so you don’t have to, and eliminating spandex creep below the hem of your shorts. The pad is also a highlight—better quality than you typically find at this price.

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shorts
(Courtesy Assos)

Assos T.équipe Evo Bibs ($220)

Assos bibs are the plushest on the market, but the price tag can be prohibitive. Enter the T.équipe, which is affordable and also comfier and higher-performing than most brands’ premium offerings. It retains the Swiss company’s expert tailoring and proprietary materials while adding a slick ventilated pad that won’t chafe.

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shorts
(Courtesy 7mesh)

7mesh WK2 Shorts ($130)

Our testers prefer bibs. Or they did until they pulled on the WK2. A massive waistband that puts yoga tights to shame, combined with a women-specific cut and chamois, makes these our favorite bottoms. What’s more, shorts are cooler and more conducive to nature’s call. Consider us converts.

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shorts
(Courtesy Wild Rye)

Wild Rye Freel Shorts ($109)

Even after a summer spent mashing through piñon and juniper, these women’s shorts have yet to tear or fray. Not only are they durable, but they’re insanely comfortable, with stretchy nylon fabric and a wide waistband. The Freel is best on cool days—all that durability sacrifices breathability—when you want to get after it. Plus, cactus.

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shorts
(Courtesy Rapha)

Rapha Brevet Cargo Bibs ($270)

Cargo bibs aren’t new, but the Brevet resets the bar, with two full mesh pockets in the rear and another on each quad that are nearly big enough to fit an iPad. We were able to carry everything we needed without dragging around a heavy, sweaty hydration pack. Oh, and Rapha’s thick pad takes the sting out of washboard.

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Fitness

The Best Road Bikes of 2018

A drop in price, but you still drop the pack. (Courtesy Canyon) Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 ($2,800 as tested) Improvements in road bikes can seem incremental, but most of the 2018 models are profoundly different from what was on the market just five years ago. The all-road craze, with frames that have clearance for fatter tires, has influenced almost every pavement machine: Larger 28c has replaced 23c as the norm. Geometries are becoming slacker and taller as manufacturers craft bikes to fit average riders, not just racers. Disc brakes have made rim models

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Fitness

The Best Bike Jerseys of 2018

Performance tops with tons of character. (Courtesy Pearl Izumi) Pearl Izumi Versa ($70) We love the Versa’s casual polo style and contrasting front pocket. So much so that we wear it not only when we ride, but also to the beach, on the boat, and to the bar on warm evenings. The lightweight polyester is buttery against your skin and wicks away moisture. It also tends to absorb odors, so we suggest keeping it to a single wear between washes. Buy Now (Courtesy Café du Cycliste) Café du Cycliste Zahira

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Fitness

The Best Mountain Bikes of 2018

Trail steeds get lighter but punch above their weight. (Courtesy Evil) Evil The Following MB ($6,900 as tested) Pretty much every mountain bike we tested this year was tight and close to the ground for better descending, had wide bars and a short stem for improved handling, and came with big, tough rubber for added traction. The plus-size craze spurred many of these improvements, but performance has improved without weight gain for a ride that’s more versatile and forgiving than ever. That’s certainly the case with Evil’s The Following MB, though this 120-millimeter 29er managed

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Fitness

The Best Bike Accessories of 2018

Elevate your saddle time. (Courtesy Wolf Tooth) Wolf Tooth Pack Pliers ($30) Fixing a busted chain with your bare hands is a nonstarter. These pliers open and close the master link, store a handful of replacement links, and have a tire lever and valve-core remover built in. Buy Now (Courtesy Lizard Skins) Lizard Skins DSP 3.2 mm Bar Tape ($46) A must for anyone prone to numb hands, this tape is cushy, stays tacky when wet, and comes in a variety of colors. Buy Now

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