Biking

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The TITLE 9 NO SWEAT STRING BIKINI has lightweight, wicking CoolMax Alta fabric to regulate temperature when the going gets hot. (800-342-4448, www.title9sports.com)…

This no-nonsense shoe is plenty stiff, has an aggressive tread, and sports a synthetic leather upper tough enough for the roughest trails. It performs as well as some cleats twice the price. bike.shimano.com…

Somehow, Bontrager managed to squeeze all the features of a high-end shoe—heat-moldable insoles, carbon-reinforced soles, removable toe spikes—into this extremely well-priced model. Fits narrow and medium-width feet best. bontrager.com…

Utility For Town or Country Need a tour-ready, highly walkable shoe that delivers stiffness and a grabby tread pattern—and is also pretty styling? Here you go. The tough leather upper took a beating and easily brushed clean, the roomy toe box was comfortable on long rides, and the reflective…

SMART SPEEDThe Diamondback’s straightforwardness is what makes it a standout. This stable, confidence-nurturing cross-country racer holds its line with minimal effort on climbs and descents, and pedals much lighter than its 25 pounds might suggest. A full Shimano XT parts set, including hydraulic disc brakes, makes the SL a…

PEDAL-FRIENDLY HEAVYWEIGHT Six-inch all-mountain bikes can be heavy and no fun to pedal, which is why they’re generally reserved for car shuttles and ski lifts. Not so El Guapo. With oversized aluminum tubing, stout links, and through-axle hub, it looks the part of a squishy all-mountain banger. But a Shimano…

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…

When things get mucky, throw on PEARL IZUMI‘s microfleece-backed neoprene BARRIER SHOE COVERS.

What Amazon did for books, Leopard is doing for bicycles. By sticking with Web-only distribution, this small Bay Area–based bike manufacturer is offering teched-out, full-carbon race bikes at unheard-of prices. The CL1 is constructed of uniquely ribbed carbon tubing and has radically shaped carbon seat- and chainstays, resulting in…

Keep your cool without losing your teeth. This comfortable full-face helmet is almost as airy as most XC buckets (21 vents) and delivers a superb fit with its highly adjustable retention system. specialized.com…

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…

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…

If the thought of spending more for a quality bike than a decent used car makes you want to take up jogging, the Dakar will keep you on two wheels. The aluminum frame is stiff and responsive, and can take a lot of abuse. (We crashed ours into both…

Why It’s CoolWith their straight-gauge tubes and bruiser metal forks, bargain-priced aluminum bikes deliver a harsh ride. But Schwinn’s aluminum pipes are butted and shaped to balance stiffness with compliance—the Fastback quietly hummed down ratty pavement. » Check the bump-damping carbon-fiber fork—yeah, on a triple-digit-price bike. » Pedaling this racy…

With help from the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, Specialized has overhauled this shoe with a newly contoured last, orthopedic footbeds, and a foot-hugging closure. “The most comfortable cleat I’ve ever worn,” raved one tester. specialized.com…

While not as stiff as a race shoe, the Springwater is an impressive blend of comfort and performance. A full-length TPU plate provides the power transfer, and the lugged rubber outsole makes for sure footing even on the sketchiest scree. keenfootwear.com…

Road Race-Ready The first iteration of this remarkably light and stiff shoe had just one Boa dial to adjust the fit. Now it has two. The result? One tester put on a pair out of the box and rode, blister-free, the long way from San Francisco to Las Vegas—over…

BEST FOR LONG HAULS Comfortable without being sluggish. Fast without being unstable. The Peloton Pro, Schwinn’s first full-carbon race frame, is just right. Testers found the frame, which incorporates two different weaves of the company’s house-brand Black Label carbon, the most forgiving (or vertically compliant) of the bikes we tested,…

FAST, NIMBLE TRAIL MACHINE Tomac Bicycles built a cult following in the late 1990s for producing some of the best early dual-suspension bikes, but it quietly folded in 2005. The company has reemerged this year with a line of bicycles that includes the beautifully executed Snyper 140. Using a single-pivot…

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…

Because the races are so short, warm up beforehand on a LEMOND FITNESS REVOLUTION BIKE TRAINER. It works with the rear wheel removed, so there’s no risk of shredding your off-road tread on a steel roller.

Not everyone wants to race, so why are so many bikes constructed with aggressive angles and knee-wrecking gears? Schwinn felt your pain and responded with the Fastback Comp, a roadie with concessions to comfort that hardly sacrifice performance. The proprietary aluminum is rigid enough for effective power transfer, while…

Afraid of screwing up your 'do by wearing a helmet, but don't want to crush your skull in a bicycle crash? Two Swedish industrial design students have the solution to your dilemma: an airbag collar. The Hvvding (English translation: the Chieftain) “springs into action within 0.1 seconds, covering the…

I recently picked up a Masi Speciale Commuter and love it for short rides, but after reading this month's issue, I've decided that I will try to give up my car for a month. This means a commute of around 30 miles. Since I'm going to be going to work and to campus, I'd like something that looks casual. Any suggestions? Charles Arlington, TX

By Stephen Regenold An available trailer hitch and two minutes of installation time is all you need to set up a bomber behind-the-car bike-toting system with the Kuat Alpha or the Thule 971xt rack. These similarly-designed systems affix to either the common…

By Stephen Regenold The Forerunner series of athletic-minded watches from Garmin Ltd. have gained a devotion with some athletes and exercisers that may only be described as cultish. But it is with good reason: Forerunner watches are top-shelf performers and they offer functions…

By Stephen Regenold The Forerunner series of athletic-minded watches from Garmin Ltd. have gained a devotion with some athletes and exercisers that may only be described as cultish. But it is with good reason: Forerunner watches are top-shelf performers and they offer functions…

I just dropped a bunch of bucks outfitting a used road bike I traded my mountain bike for. Rack, fenders, computer, lights, new helmet, bags. Whew! Now I need to know what to wear for my 18-mile commute in Seattle. I have a light rain jacket and padded bike shorts to get me started, but I want to buy a jacket, bike shorts, underwear (yikes, they’re $20 a pop), some kind of wool knickers for pants, and a couple of undershirts. Is that the right stuff? Lukas Seattle, WA

Some inventive British cycling enthusiasts created a bike with an ejector seat and flame throwers, the Adventure Blog reports. Named the BOND Bike (Built of Notorious Deterrents), the two-wheeled tank also boasts a caterpillar track…

By Stephen Regenold The annual Interbike Expo trade show, held last week, Sept. 22 to 24, in Las Vegas, is a gathering of cycling brands, dealers, designers, media and bike enthusiasts from around the globe. I traveled to Sin City for…

By Stephen Regenold Four days, a few miles of desert trail ridden, press meetings, casinos, a major cyclocross event, and a dozen bikes tested. . . the Gear Junkie crew is back from Las Vegas and the Interbike Expo, an annual…

Photo courtesy of Flickr. Hungary designers have created a bike that operates without a chain, dubbed the StringBike, Treehugger.com reports. The StringBike uses a symmetrical pulley system of polyethylene…

I have a very strong affinity for places lush and wet. I lived in Santa Fe for six years and, except for the snowy days, was always unsuccessfully fending off a sort of low-grade existential funk. Give me a dense green forest in the rain any day; my mood goes…

Used to be that if you wanted to buy Shimano’s best cross-country race components, you’d just look for the XTR label. Not anymore—not exactly, anyway. For 2011, Shimano has expanded the XTR name to cover a family of top-end components that allow buyers to choose between ubber-light Race components…

If you're looking for a little more flash or bling in your next ride, don't miss the 24-karat gold plated folding Brompton S2L, which was listed on eBay yesterday. The bike also sports a pool-ball stickshift, stop-cock hinge clamps, skateboard wheels for rollers (when…

Giro is entering the cycling-shoe market in 2011 with a shoe line that, at the top end, compares favorably in both fit and performance to any high-end shoes on the market. The company invited a few journalists to Livigno, Italy, last weekend, just before the start of the annual Eurobike…

Ryan Rzepecki's Social Bicycles System might be the most affordable way for cities to implement bike sharing networks, Shareable reports. The Social Bicycles System, or SoBi, allows commuters to “use their smartphones to locate,…

Why is it so hard to find cycling apparel that doesn't make me look like a boy? The Editors Santa Fe, NM

There has been a surge in anatomically-named fitness products lately. Cyclist Dave Zabriskie released his anti-chaffing cream, DZ Nuts (pronounced dees nuts) in 2008. Anti-Monkey Butt Powder, developed in 2003, became the anti-chaffing product of…

Craptastic weather is well on the way. Are you and your bike engaged in a farewell fling in anxious anticipation of the fall day that you'll dismiss her to the garage or basement? I sure hope not. It's so much fun to ride year round. Once you're out there…

Tomorrow, the Copenhagen Wheel, a simple wheel attachment for your bicycle that gathers power as you brake, will compete against an international field of inventions for a shot at the 2010 James Dyson Award, reports Discovery News.

I'm looking for a new multi-use bag for graduate school. I'd like a bag I can use during the week for biking to school (I have a 17 inch laptop), and on the weekends for long day hikes with my dog. It'd also be nice if it was waterproof, and it doesn't need to be specifically for holding laptops since I have a sleeve. Liz Harvey Denver, Colorado

Technology giant, Apple, may be going after the cycling market next. The US Patent and Trademark office released Apple's plans to build a “Smart Bicycle System” on Friday, the Huffington Post reports.  The bike would integrate iPhone and iPod technology, measuring speed,…

For 2011, Trek has gone back over virtually its entire mountain-bike line and, rather than introduce new models, has refined existing platforms. Weights are lighter, handling is stiffer, and suspension is more precisely tuned. In July, the company offered a peak of its 2011 offerings in the ski-resort town of…

By now, you’ve hit the trail a handful of times and you’ve noticed your mountain bike’s shifting seems tired, or is ghost shifting on you. Time to replace your drivetrain. Your timing is good because component manufacturer SRAM just revolutionized mountain-bike gearing with its new 2×10 system–two gears up…

THE ALL-NEW ROUBAIX As expected, the mystery bike Fabian Cancellara rode to victory over the brutal cobbles of Paris-Roubaix in April was a teaser for Specialized’s all-new S-Works Roubaix SL3. The company unveiled the bike—along with several other new models and accessories—for about international 100 journalists two weeks ago…

By Stephen Regenold It was more than 20 years ago when an enterprising endurance athlete stuffed a medical IV bag into a tube sock and sewed it onto his cycling jersey. CamelBak, the self-proclaimed inventor of the “hands-free hydration…

Trek gathered about 30 international cycling journalists in Rotterdam on Friday to introduce the 2011 Madone line of road bikes. Speaking in a meeting hall just off the route of Saturday’s Tour de France Prologue, Trek road product manager Tyler Pilger unveiled a Madone line that involves…

By Stephen Regenold A big backpack is an option. Many people bet on rack-mounted panniers. But to really haul a lot of cargo while on two wheels, bike trailers rule. Burley Design of Eugene, Oregon, (burley.com) debuted a smart new offering in the…

PRESS CAMP PART 2 Now in its second year, Press Camp is a four-day gathering of journalists and companies from the bike industry. Mornings are filled with one-on-one informational meetings, while the afternoons are reserved for product testing. This year Press Camp was…

PRESS CAMP PART 1Now in its second year, Press Camp is a four-day gathering of journalists and companies from the bike industry. Mornings are filled with one-on-one informational meetings, while the afternoons are reserved for product testing. This year Press Camp was…

By Stephen Regenold The Gear Junkie is also a bit of a bike junkie. As of this moment, my one-car city garage is crammed with six bikes, two pull-behind kid trailers, a tag-along attachment, and various child bike seats. Our van is parked on the street.

The One-Bike Quiver This is quite a bike. The 2011 Jekyll—a name that Cannondale has returned to its lineup after a seven-year hiatus—is a six-inch all-mountain bike with a rear shock that is literally two shocks in one. A handlebar-mounted remote toggles…

By Stephen Regenold Last July, when Greg Martin rolled across the finish line to win the 2009 Singlespeed World Championships bike race in Canmore, Alberta, one thing was missing from the rig he'd pedaled for 24 hours straight: a bike chain. Martin…

Your old Gary Fisher mountain bike might become even more of a collector's item. The legendary Fisher bike brand is simultaneously going away and expanding. That’s the word from Trek, which has owned the Fisher brand since 1996. Trek…

I sweat a lot when I mountain bike, and when I wear sunglasses they usually fog up, or the lens gets covered in dripping sweat. I've tried to wear a headband, but that doesn't work. Do you have a recommendation for sunglasses with lenses that won't fog up or get covered with beads of sweat?Todd Jenkintown, PA

Electra’s spirited exploration of the city/cruiser/commuter category continues with its new Ticino line of retro-styled city bikes. I spent the winter and spring commuting around Boulder, Colorado, on the top-of the line Ticino 20D and had a hard time giving it back. Though not always the…

Trek has announced a huge push into the exploding triathlon market with its new Speed Concept frame, which it calls “the fastest bike in the world.” Part of what makes the Speed Concept so fast, Trek CEO John Burke told a gathering of journalists and…

By Stephen Regenold A part of the mission of Cyclelogical, a small bike-products company based in Ogden, Utah, is to keep “the world we live in safe for bicycle commuting everywhere.” The company's Chopspokes cost just $7 and…

Today, a guest post from Outside senior executive editor Michael Roberts. During a recent trip to Santa Fe, I got a chance to test a Jackal MC-1, a hardtail carbon-fiber mountain bike…

By Stephen Regenold “Climb efficiently, and descend like a champ.” That was the line from a Giant Bicycle sales rep when describing the theme of the company's Anthem line of mountain bikes.  For the past few months, including three competitive events and hundreds of…

Stylish sport coat or performance cycling apparel? Actually, it’s both. I first rode around town in Rapha’s Tailored Jacket on a roasting summer day—and, believe it or not, was comfortable, unconstrained, and even cool. Rapha joined forces with famed London tailor Timothy Everest (no relation to that other one) for…

The new canvas for artistic expression? Bike racks. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia, among other cities, have instituted design competitions for their sidewalk bike racks. And in New York this spring, workers will begin replacing 225 outdated parking meters with winning rack designs—which, presumably, will not look like parking…

City: Giant Twist Express; $1,625.

Pro: Trek Madone 6 Series Project 1 Di2; $10,700.

All Mountain: Diamondback Mission 3; $3,800.

Wired's Gadget Lab has a collection of six helmet cam videos, titled “Headfirst…

It's a great week for the cycling community. Trifuel.com has reported that the League of American Bicyclists recently awarded TriSports.com with a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Business (BGB) award. The League,which was created to promote more bike friendly businesses, is paving the…

What are your top choices for a commuter urban/city bike for NYC under $1,000? Also, the bike needs to handle long afternoon rides (50+ miles) through the city. I've looked at Cannondale, Swobo, Specialized, Marin, and others, need some help. Thanks!—JosephAstoria, NY

When spring showers make a mess of your favorite streets and trails, fight back.

We're entering the midway point of the Outside bike-test week in Tucson, Arizona, and we've had a pretty special toy to play with during the first part of the week. The photos are below. It's not part of our test, but it probably offers a hint of what life will…

Sanyo has introduced the Eneloop hybrid bike to the U.S. market. It costs $2,300, weighs about 50 pounds, and has a lithium-ion battery and 250-watt motor activated by a button on the left handlebar, according to…

I'm convinced there's no objective info out there about bike wheels anymore. I want a set of lightweight aero road-bike wheels for racing, but do real people actually pay $2,000 bucks for carbon deep-dish wheels? In other words, are carbon wheels disposable, are budget carbon wheels worth a look, and would an aluminum clincher wheel really be just as good for crits and road races? What's an aspiring racer on a budget to do? John Lexington, KY

Nobody likes the numb, tingly feeling you sometimes get in your man-parts after a long bike ride. That is why I was really excited to try the Scratch Pro saddle ($150) from Prologo. And, hey, if 2008 Tour de…

The 2010 Vuelta a Espana route has been announced, Velo News reports. The race will begin with an evening stage in Seville on August 28. Riders will then cover over 3,300 km in the 21-stage race.    This year's Vuelta includes only one time trial made…

Researchers are MIT have designed a bike wheel that saves the kinetic energy generated by braking and stores it for later use, when the rider needs a boost, The New York Times reports. The energy goes into a battery inside the wheel's hub, a sleek…

TheYakima Holdup bike carrier has a built-in bottle opener. Yeah, I know, sodo flip-flops these days, but still. Butfirst, why the hitch-mounted tray-style bike carrier? Hitch-mounted racks maketransporting bicycles easier because you don’t have to be Yao Ming or…

Lance Armstrong sold 7 of his old bikes at a Sotheby's auction on Sunday, raising about $1.3 million for his his foundation, LIVESTRONG, according to the examiner. Here's a list of the bikes and their auction sale price: Hirst Bike (ridden by Armstrong at…

Interesting story from CNN today about the booming market for electric bikes. There were 200,000 of them sold in the U.S. alone last year. We still haven't caught up to Europe, where e-bikes are reportedly the fastest selling category in bike shops, or China, where there are…