Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Cycling

Specialized Deflect H2O Mountain Jacket Review

84

2017

Specialized Deflect H2O Mountain Jacket Review

The Specialized Deflect H2O Mountain Jacket is a wind and water resistant, packable mountain bike shell.

Gore Element GT Paclite Jacket Review

85

2017

Gore Element GT Paclite Jacket Review

The Gore Element GT Paclite Jacket is a light windbreaker, that provides exceptional protection against heavy rain and breathes reasonably well.

Louis Garneau Torrent RTR Review

87

2017

Louis Garneau Torrent RTR Review

The Louis Garneau Torrent RTR is a wind and water resistant, packable, light-weight mountain bike shell with many reflective hits.  

Pearl Izumi MTB WRX Review

88

2017

Pearl Izumi MTB WRX Review

The Pearl Izumi MTB WRX is a sleek, form-fitting wind and water resistant, packable mountain bike shell.

Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody Review

90

2017

Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody Review

The Arc’teryx Squamish Hoody is a versatile windbreaker that protects against diverse elements and breathes comfortably throughout the entire jacket.

Borealis Crestone Pro

89

2017

Borealis Crestone Pro

The Borealis Crestone Pro is a 26" carbon-fiber, full-rigid Fat bike with 4.8 inch tires on carbon rims.

OTSO Voytek

87

2017

OTSO Voytek

The OTSO Voytek is a 26" carbon-fiber hardtail Fat bike with 100mm of front suspension (also available with rigid fork), designed for all purpose use.

Norco ITHAQUA 6.2

85

2017

Norco ITHAQUA 6.2

The Norco ITHAQUA 6.2 is a budget-friendly, full-rigid carbon fat bike with 26" wheels, 4.5 inch tires and a mix of mid-level SRAM componentry.

Cannondale Fat CAAD 1

84

2017

Cannondale Fat CAAD 1

The Cannondale FAT CAAD 1 is a 26" aluminum-framed fat bike based on their iconic CAAD road bike frames with a Lefty Olaf front suspension fork, SRAM components, and 4.8" tires.

Specialized Fat Boy Trail Pro

83

2017

Specialized Fat Boy Trail Pro

The Specialized Fat Boy Trail Pro is an 26" aluminum-framed Fat bike with a RockShox Bluto front fork, a dropper post and a mix of Shimano XT and SRAM XO components.

Rocky Mountain Suzi-Q 50

83

2017

Rocky Mountain Suzi-Q 50

The Rocky Mountain Suzy-Q 50 is a 27.5” full-rigid Fat bike with an alloy frame, a carbon fork, and slightly narrower wheels/tires (3.8”) than the majority of bikes in this category.

Specialized Enduro Pro

88

2017

Specialized Enduro Pro

The Specialized Enduro Pro shorts are a downhill/enduro short built for durability and containing a ton of storage.

Club Ride Commander Shorts

86

2017

Club Ride Commander Shorts

The Club Ride Commander Short is a stylish, full function cross-country/enduro/downhill short.

Pearl Izumi Launch Short

83

2017

Pearl Izumi Launch Short

The Pearl Izumi Launch short is a relaxed fit mountain bike short for cross country, enduro and downhill riding.

Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike Shorts

82

2017

Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike Shorts

The Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike short is a cross-country/enduro style short built for warm weather.

Sweet Protection El Duderino

81

2017

Sweet Protection El Duderino

The Sweet El Duderino short is a well-made cross-country/enduro bike short.

Deuter Giga Bike

84

2017

Deuter Giga Bike

The Deuter Giga Bike is a twenty-eight liter urban daypack with outstanding organization that works well on bike commutes.

Osprey Radial

83

2017

Osprey Radial

The Osprey Radial is a twenty-six liter urban daypack with outstanding organization that works well on bike commutes.

Fjällräven Rucksack No. 21

78

2017

Fjällräven Rucksack No. 21

The Fjällräven Rucksack No. 21 is an attractive heritage-style twenty-liter urban daypack that works well on bike commutes and general travel.

Chrome Rostov

77

2017

Chrome Rostov

The Chrome Rostov is a twenty-three liter urban daypack with good organization that works well on bike commutes.

Lander Timp

76

2017

Lander Timp

The Lander Timp is a twenty-five liter urban daypack with minimalistic organization that works well on bike commutes and for general travel.

Timbuk2 Tuck

74

2017

Timbuk2 Tuck

The Timbuk2 Tuck is a twenty-liter urban daypack with good organization that works well on short bike commutes. 

Turner Flux 4.0

91

2017

Turner Flux 4.0

The Turner Flux 4.0 is a mid-top level Trail rig, with a ride quality that leans towards cross-country: quick in the corners and daring you to get out of the saddle, while remaining a fully capable trail bike. 

Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 770 MSL

90

2017

Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt 770 MSL

Rocky Mountain lists the Thunderbolt 770 MSL in its XC category, but it’s equally suited in this Trail category. It features a full Shimano XT build and FOX Float suspension front and rear with a full carbon frame featuring adjustable geometry.

Yeti SB5+ XT TURQ

89

2017

Yeti SB5+ XT TURQ

The Yeti SB5+ XT TURQ is a Trail bike with Yeti's premium TURQ full-carbon frame and mostly Shimano XT components. The SB5+ is a mid-top-level bike featuring 27.5" plus-size wheels and tires.

Specialized Camber Expert Carbon 650b

89

2017

Specialized Camber Expert Carbon 650b

The Specialized Expert Carbon Camber 650b is a mid-to-top of the line Trail bike with 27.5" wheels, a full-carbon frame and a mix of Shimano XT and SRAM components.

Breezer Supercell LTD

85

2017

Breezer Supercell LTD

The Breezer Supercell LTD is a 29” mid-to-top level Trail bike with an aluminum frame, 120mm of travel, and primarily outfitted with SRAM XO components. 

Diamondback Catch 2

84

2017

Diamondback Catch 2

The Diamondback Catch 2 is a full-suspension 27.5" middle-level Trail bike with an aluminum frame and outfitted with a SRAM drivetrain.

RockyMounts SplitRail

89

2017

RockyMounts SplitRail

The RockyMounts SplitRail is an expandable two- to four-bike, wheel hook, tow hitch mounted tray rack and is the easiest rack to use in this test.

Kuat Transfer 2

83

2017

Kuat Transfer 2

The Kuat Transfer is a two- or three- bike, wheel hook, tow hitch mounted tray rack that uses a unique spring-loaded kick plate lever to adjust the tip of the rack.

Rhino Rack Dual Trekker

82

2017

Rhino Rack Dual Trekker

The Rhino Rack Dual Trekker is a two-bike, wheel hook, tow hitch mounted tray rack that is the most solid of the racks tested.

Thule T2 Classic 9044

81

2017

Thule T2 Classic 9044

The Thule T2 Classic 9044 (2” hitch) is an expandable two- to four-bike, wheel hook, tow hitch mounted tray rack and has adjustable lateral width for optimal bike spacing.

Yakima FourTimer

77

2017

Yakima FourTimer

The Yakima FourTimer is a convertible four- to two-bike, frame hook, tow hitch mounted tray rack with a number of adjustable points for various bike types.

Cervelo R5

93

2016

Cervelo R5

The Cervelo R5 is an extremely light weight top-of-the-line Road Race machine with a do-it-all geometry and frame, excellent components, and all-purpose wheels. 

Specialized S-Works Tarmac

94

2016

Specialized S-Works Tarmac

Specialized’s top-of-the-line Road Race bike, the S-Works Tarmac, is a purpose-built speed machine that is extremely stiff and responsive, super light and offers a surprisingly compliant ride and premium components top to bottom. It’s best for open road and/or criterium races and sprinting.

Diamondback Podium Equipe

90

2016

Diamondback Podium Equipe

Diamondback’s top-of-the-line Road Race bike, the band new Podium Equipe is a pure road racing machine with some aero features built in, perfect for breakaways, sprinting and pretty much any fast day in the saddle. 

Fuji SL 1.3

89

2016

Fuji SL 1.3

SL stands for Super Light, and the Fuji SL 1.3 is indeed an extremely lightweight Road Race bike with electronic shifting. It features a fairly traditional (for modern carbon bikes), geometry, high-end carbon post and bars, and an all-purpose, ultralight wheelset. It’s a pure climbing machine and also good for long, sustained efforts.

Merckx San Remo 76

88

2016

Merckx San Remo 76

The Merckx San Remo 76 is a pure Road Race bike with disc brakes and some aerodynamic features, including tubing, wheels, seatpost, etc.. It is built for powerful attacks, holding high speeds over long, flatter roads, and of course sprinting. It features a top-of-the-line components, a full-carbon frame, and alloy, semi-aero wheels. 

Kestrel Legend SL

85

2016

Kestrel Legend SL

The Kestrel Legend SL is a Road Race bike with a comfort level similar to an Endurance frame, but it remains fairly quick and agile like it’s Race brethren. The bike features a top-end drivetrain, a high-modulus full-carbon frame and fork, and an ultralight all-purpose wheelset. 

Timbuk2 Lux Pannier

79

2016

Timbuk2 Lux Pannier

The Timbuk2 Lux pannier is a 22-liter roll-top cycling pannier with excellent organizational features. 

Thule Pack n’ Pedal Shield Pannier

81

2016

Thule Pack n’ Pedal Shield Pannier

The Thule Pack n’ Pedal Shield Pannier Large set is a pair of highly reflective 24 liter roll-top cycling panniers.

Ortlieb Vario QL2.1

85

2016

Ortlieb Vario QL2.1

The Ortlieb Vario QL2.1 is a 20 liter cycling pannier that can convert from bike pannier to backpack. 

Green Guru 36L High Roller Backpack Pannier

81

2016

Green Guru 36L High Roller Backpack Pannier

The Green Guru High Roller 36L Backpack pannier is a 36 liter cycling pannier that can convert from bike pannier to backpack. 

Brooks England Suffolk

82

2016

Brooks England Suffolk

The Brooks England Suffolk pannier is a waterproof 22 liter roll-top cycling pannier that is made in Europe. 

North St. Morrison Backpack Pannier

87

2016

North St. Morrison Backpack Pannier

The North St. Morrison is an 18 liter cycling pannier that converts from bike pannier to backpack.

Arkel Signature V Urban Pannier

83

2016

Arkel Signature V Urban Pannier

The Arkel Signature V Urban pannier is a 28 liter roll-top cycling pannier that is hand-made in Canada. 

Garmin Edge 1000

96

2016

Garmin Edge 1000

The Garmin Edge 1000 is an advanced GPS cycling computer with a huge array of functions, bright full-color touchscreen, and full-service turn-by-turn navigation.

Magellan Cyclo 505

93

2016

Magellan Cyclo 505

The Magellan Cyclo 505 is a feature-packed GPS cycling computer with an outstanding color touchscreen and among the best navigation available.

Wahoo Elemnt

92

2016

Wahoo Elemnt

The Wahoo Elemnt is a full-featured and highly user friendly GPS cycling computer, with turn-by-turn directions, LED notifications and excellent connectivity. 

Polar V650

89

2016

Polar V650

The Polar V650 is a GPS cycling computer, compatible exclusively with Bluetooth sensors, with decent functionality, excellent online support and a full-color touchscreen.

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