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There are countless watches, bracelets, headbands, and foot pods on the market promising to record every little thing you do. But can any of it make you a better athlete? The author wades through the muck and the mire to data-mine his best self.

The new wearable will blow fitness tech wide open by not focusing on it

Beginners, we have a secret for you. You don't need high-end gear or a fancy training plan to get better at skiing, running, or climbing. All you have to do is embrace the embarrassment and the pain—and don't forget to laugh. Trust us: It'll be good for your brain.

In an Outside Online exclusive, the company reveals new technology that could be a "reset button" for gear-makers everywhere

A Canadian company wants you to believe that their nutrient-fortified, low-booze brew makes an awesome post-workout beverage. Should you buy in?

Beyond the bling, the Limited is one serious shoe. The stiff carbon-fiber outsole wraps the heel to stabilize the foot, and a complete pair weighs about as much as the magazine in your hands. scottusa.com…

Though built for aggressive trail riding, this bike dished up so much speed, we had to double-check its specs. The aluminum Trailfox definitely uses all 5.5 inches of its travel, but the general consensus was that it often pedaled as well as a short-travel racer. “One of the fastest rides…

SCOTT CX TEAM BIKE features a Shimano Ultegra build and ‘cross touches like wide tire clearance and a shaped top tube for easy shouldering. Tread is key, too.

Lance Armstrong’s preferred eyewear during his return to racing, the new Jawbone uses a hinged frame for easy lens changes. Small bumpers inside the tops of the frame secure the smudge-free, hydrophobic lenses without distorting them. oakley.com…

The Slinger isn’t as breathable as more ventilated, higher-priced lids. But the one-handed dial adjuster in the back gives the helmet a secure, confident fit, making it without a doubt the most comfortable $100 helmet we’ve worn. e-rudy.com…

Good for Backcountry In-bounds or out-of-bounds, the Skinnard has your back. With a ski-pass window, detachable powder skirt, and headphone port, it’s ready for a full day on the lifts (it’s cut to fit over bulky midlayers). And while the Skinnard has neither pit zips nor vented…

HIGH-PERFORMANCE HYBRID Cannondale, which built its reputation on top-end aluminum bikes, debuted its first all-carbon frame just three years ago. Fortunately, the company hasn’t forgotten its roots. By marrying a carbon front triangle (the top tube, head tube, and down tube) to an aerospace-grade-aluminum rear triangle (everything else), Cannondale delivers…

This green-minded company’s solvents, lubes, and polishes are all biodegradable, and the reusable bucket comes with a paper-based cellulose sponge and horsehair brushes. And, yes, all of it works as well as—if not better than—the traditional stuff. pedros.com…

Road Comfortable Crossover In many ways, the Sterling is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Prolight. There’s a removable (and padded) bug-net lining, a Boa-like knob that dials in the perfect fit with a few clicks, and a visor for mountain biking. All that, and it’s…

Most people’s feet tilt down and out when they dangle. As with all Specialized Body Geometry shoes, the carbon-soled S-Works are designed around this natural cant, to reduce knee and foot strain. specialized.com…

Like the Epic, the brand-new, full-carbon Blur XC is scary light—one tester pulled it right off the ground while navigating a short, punchy climb. And while its rear shock doesn't boast the same techy approach the Epic's does, the Blur flat-out rips on fast singletrack. Credit Santa Cruz's proven Virtual…

Strike a balance between cold weather and the heat you’ll be generating with RAPHA‘s CROSS 3/4 BIB SHORTS—long enough for cool temps but made of a thin, tough fabric.

We expected the Epic to be fast—it's the same full-carbon bike that Swiss Christoph Sauser rode to the 2008 XC world championship—but not this fast. The Shimano XTR components and carbon cranks certainly help, but really it's all about the gray matter. The front and rear shocks feature Specialized's Brain…

Deep channels and 22 vents keep the air flowing, but the three-way-adjustable retention system sold us on Bell’s top-of-the-line road helmet. Bonus: The included visor means the Volt can double as your mountain-biking lid. bellbikehelmets.com…

Plush Hardtail For years, carbon fiber and full suspension have been the driving forces in mountain-bike innovation. But the industry’s recent embrace of big-wheeled rigs has breathed new life into aluminum frames and hardtail designs. “This bike reminded me that aluminum hardtails are incredible climbers,” wrote one tester. “Extremely comfy…

LIGHT AND STIFF “The 595 is less yielding than Dick Cheney on Meet the Press,” quipped one tester. It’s true: The naked-carbon tubes might appear a bit thin, but the integrated seat-tube/seatpost system takes out lateral flex under the saddle. And where stiffness counts—at the bottom bracket, in the head…

Expensive? Yes. But this easy-to-use torque wrench is cheaper than the high-end components you’ll destroy if you tighten them past the recommended torque—or your hospital bills if those components fail while you’re riding. syntace.com…

Road Fastest and Lightest The Prolight is back—and it’s nothing like the 1985 original. The lightest helmet on the market has a streamlined design and ultrathin, minimalist webbing that make other helmets look comically overbuilt. The only downside is that it’s not as easy to tweak the fit. 5.9 oz;…

A great entry-level race shoe for high-volume feet, the MX170 has a heel-mounted Boa lacing system that cinches the shoe around the ankle to prevent heel lift. lakecycling.com…

Kudos to Diamondback for producing an affordable five-inch trail bike. “One of the better balanced rides of the day,” said one tester. “It corners smoothly, it's a nimble climber, and it descends like a free-ride bike.” Granted, you have to lock out the rear shock to hang with lighter bikes…

GIRO‘s BLAZE GLOVES have just enough insulation to keep your fingers warm without impairing dexterity.

1. Want race-proven? Trek’s all-new Madone is available in three levels of carbon (White, Black, and Red). Because the top-tier Red frames weren’t done in time, Alberto Contador won last year’s Tour de France on a mid-level Black frame, exactly like the one shown here. 2. Stiffer bottom…

We loved the safety-goggle-like protection and peripheral vision of the Rx-compatible Semi Full. With the clear lenses in place, we felt more confident bombing down our favorite heavily forested local singletrack. Swapping lenses is a bit awkward, though. giro.com…

Let’s go ahead and call 2010 the year of the 29er. Though bikes built around 29-inch wheels, instead of the 26-inch standard, have been around for more than a decade, they’ve been largely a fringe category. No longer. Walk into any bike shop and you’ll see that 29ers—valued for…

A RACE-READY BARGAIN Raleigh reclaims some of its Tour de France-winning heritage with its new line of full-carbon, race-specific frames. The Supercourse is the most wallet-friendly of the bunch, but the cost savings come from the components. The frame is the same one Raleigh’s sponsored riders race, and you can…

This 63-piece collection has all the basics (hex wrenches, chain cleaner, cable cutter), plus enough advanced equipment (derailleur-alignment gauge, threadless saw guide, bearing-cup press) to open your own bike shop.

Mountain Happy Trails The comfiest mountain-bike helmet in the test? You’re looking at it. The thumbwheel up top lets you snug a headband around your noggin via a cable for a pressure-point-free fit that every tester raved about. Bonus: enough vents for the hottest days. 9.8 oz;…

By bolting a stiff carbon insert to a nylon frame, the microfiber-and-mesh SRS’s provide just enough toe flex to keep the blood flowing, without sacrificing efficient energy transfer. sidiusa.com…

With a more relaxed geometry and longer travel (4 inches vs. 3.5), Giant's all-new Anthem X line is a slightly more trail-tuned version of its race-specific Anthem line. Theoretically, those changes should make it slower, and maybe they do, but we couldn't tell. “Feels like a full-on race bike,” said…

CHALLENGE‘s handmade and all-conditions GRIFO OPEN TUBULAR TIRES offer tubular-like suppleness but mount like a clincher.

STEALTH RACERScott checks in with one of the lightest competition frames on the planet—a blend of custom tubes and carbon welding that weighs a feathery one pound 15 ounces. For a frame this light, it’s surprisingly solid. When it was decked with Campagnolo’s midrange Centaur group, our test bike came…

Though the mechanical buckle on Mavic’s top racing shoe resists big fingers and super-tight ratcheting—we loved the secure fit of the carbon heel cup and the nearly seamless comfort of the bonded upper. mavic.com…

Versatile and Burly We gave GT top honors in our 2005 Buyer’s Guide, and the company’s underrated proprietary “Independent Drivetrain” suspension continues to impress. The design has been refined over the years; it’s lighter and more efficient. But the main benefit—isolating all suspension movement from pedaling forces—remains, as evidenced by…

1. Twenty-one years after introducing the world’s first all-carbon production frame, Kestrel continues to put a premium on stiffness and aerodynamics. But unlike true aero bikes, the RT700 loves to climb and descend; plus it’s comfy enough for long-haul speed. And, damn, doesn’t it look good on the rack?…

We double-checked the weight of every bike—and a lot of the other gear—on these pages with this user-friendly scale. Hang it from a work stand or roof beam, and see if those new wheels are as light as the manufacturer claims. (They probably aren’t.) feedbacksports.com…

We’ve entered the golden age of bicycle components. Though carbon-fiber frame designs are still improving, the advances now come in increments, rather than the leaps and bounds of recent years. (For road frames, there are now viable carbon-and-aluminum bikes and even full-carbon options in the one-to-two-grand range.) But when…

A forgiving fit, four pockets, and an internal headphone port with cable guides make the Potenza perfect for long solo training rides. And the wicking fabric kept us impressively comfy during a humid 70-miler in Austin, Texas. hincapie.com…

The CoilAir had the longest travel—7.4 inches—of any bike we tested this year, except when it didn't. Chain tension keeps the suspension at a pedal-friendly six inches for smooth flats and long climbs. On descents, technical sections, or big drops, a radical suspension design called Magic Link uses a secondary…

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