Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Cycling

Specialized Ambush

84

2016

Specialized Ambush

The Specialized Ambush is a cycling helmet with an Aramid-Reinforced Skeleton for internal EPS support and Energy Optimized Multi-Density EPS construction to manage impact energy.

POC Trabec Race MIPs

76

2016

POC Trabec Race MIPs

The POC Trabec Race MIPS is a cycling helmet with a MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) liner to provide additional impact protection.

Smith Forefront

80

2016

Smith Forefront

The Smith Forefront is a lightweight cycling helmet with Koroyd technology to provide additional impact protection.

 Sweet Protection Bushwhacker MIPS

81

2016

Sweet Protection Bushwhacker MIPS

The Sweet Bushwhacker MIPS is a cycling helmet with a MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) liner to provide additional impact protection.

Troy Lee Designs A1 Reflex

82

2016

Troy Lee Designs A1 Reflex

The Troy Lee Designs A1 Reflex is a cycling helmet with a reinforced polycarbonate shell in-molded with an EPS liner.

Niner RKT 9 RDO

84

2016

Niner RKT 9 RDO

The Niner RKT 9 RDO is really fast. Niner used their original race design and made it a little more aggressive and responsive, while a bit less technical-trail-friendly, to create this pure speed machine. 

Fuji Rakan 1.1

83

2016

Fuji Rakan 1.1

The Fuji Rakan 1.1 is a mid-to-high end premium aluminum bike featuring Fuji’s M-Link suspension and sits somewhere between a Trail and true Cross-Country bike, as a great option for riders who tend to lean toward more aggressive trails and faster descending, and away from major climbs or racing. 

BMC Fourstroke 02

83

2016

BMC Fourstroke 02

BMC’s flagship, full-suspension, racing XC family, the Fourstroke, is a platform designed for raw speed and snappy handling: The Fourstroke 02 model certainly lives up to that, however the highly aggressive geometry is not the best option for more technical courses with large and/or steep-faced bumps. 

Bulls Wild Edge

85

2016

Bulls Wild Edge

The Bulls Wild Edge is a mid- to top-end XC racing-focused bike from this German brand which has a major presence in Europe but only recently came to the States.

Scott Solace Premium

93

2016

Scott Solace Premium

Scott’s top-of-the-line Endurance Road option is the Solace Premium with the Dura Ace Di2 Disc 11-speed group and a high-end Syncros carbon aero wheelset. The Solace adds highly shaped tubing and a slightly narrow seatpost to add compliance, and a beefy bottom bracket area and downtube for responsiveness. It also feature a full carbon build, including saddle rails, seatpost and bars.

Moots Vamoots DR, Build 2

91

2016

Moots Vamoots DR, Build 2

The Vamoots DR, Build 2features Moots' flagship Endurance Road Disc frame, handcrafted from Titanium, with Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed group and Ksyrium's Pro Disc alloy wheelset. There are also other build options in the line. Titanium frames, though slightly heavier and more flexible than carbon, also provide a far superior ride feel, and Moots knows how to build them as well as anyone, making this by far the smoothest ride in the group.

Trek Domane 6.9 Disc

92

2016

Trek Domane 6.9 Disc

The Trek Domane 6.9 Disc bike with Dura Ace’s Di2 Disc 11-speed group and Bontrager's Affinity Elite wheelset is Trek’s top-of-the-line Endurance Road offering. Trek adds compliance to the already Endurance-focused geometry by using a "decoupler" which in essence creates a bushing between the seatstays/top tube junction and the seatpost, while an adjustable carbon seat mast keeps it from being too bouncy. The full carbon build includes saddle rails, seat tube and bars.  

Eddie Merckx Mourenx 69 Black Anthracite Red

91

2016

Eddie Merckx Mourenx 69 Black Anthracite Red

Eddy Merckx's Mourenx69 Black Anthracite Red model is the top-of-the-line build, featuring Shimano's Ultegra Di2 11-speed electronic shifting, and the Fulcrum Race 5 wheelset. The distinctive squared-off tubing adds aero benefits while also combining compliance and torsional stiffness. While the frame is more compliant and slightly more upright than some of Merckx's more traditional race bikes, this is clearly the most race-oriented bike in this group.  

Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Red

90

2016

Cannondale Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Red

The Synapse Hi-Mod Disc Red isCannondale's top-of-the-line Endurance Road frame featuring SRAM's flagship Red Disc 11-speed group and Cannondale's house brand CZero carbon wheelset. The line is also available with multiple other build options. Highly manipulated tubing along with an ultra-thin seat tube are said to further improve the combination of vertical compliance and torsional stiffness, and it's the lightest full build in the group.

Sugoi Versa

85

2016

Sugoi Versa

The Sugoi Versa is a cycling jacket, vest and shrug/sleeves in one modular garment. 

Pearl Izumi ELITE Barrier Convertible

83

2016

Pearl Izumi ELITE Barrier Convertible

The Pearl Izumi ELITE Barrier Convertible is one of the lightest jackets in the test with a minimal degree of water- and weather-resistance and high degree of visibility. It has a sleek, trim fit and removing the sleeves is fast and simple.

Louis Garneau Spire Convertible

84

2016

Louis Garneau Spire Convertible

The Louis Garneau Spire Convertible is the warmest and most wind-proof cycling jacket in the test. It has a very high degree of breathability and visibility. However, reattaching the detached sleeves cannot be done while wearing the jacket.

Canari Optima

81

2016

Canari Optima

The Canari Optima is the lightest jacket in the test with a very high-degree of breathability. Magnetic snaps make interchangeability between jacket, vest and arm sleeves/shrug fast and precise. However, it offers very minimal wind- and water-resistance. 

Gore Element Windstopper Active Shell Zip-Off Lady

86

2016

Gore Element Windstopper Active Shell Zip-Off Lady

The Gore ELEMENT Windstopper Active Shell Zip-Off Lady is the lightest jacket in the test with the highest degree of wind resistance and breathability. It has a sleek, trim fit with enough stretch in the arms and shoulders to accommodate the cyclist in any position. 

Louis Garneau Granite

87

2015

Louis Garneau Granite

The first thing riders will notice about the Louis Garneau Granite is the surprisingly supple upper. The fit is glove like, hugging every curve of the foot, whether wide or narrow.

Pearl Izumi Men’s X-Project 2.0 MTB

95

2015

Pearl Izumi Men’s X-Project 2.0 MTB

The Pearl Izumi X-Project 2.0 MTB shoe is for serious riders who don’t want to sacrifice off-bike comfort and performance just to save some weight. Serious racers should consider this shoe as a day-to-day training shoe they can beat up without sacrificing performance.

Specialized Rime Expert

91

2015

Specialized Rime Expert

While the stiffness of the Specialized Rime Expert is certainly not sufficient for serious XC racing, or even hardcore enthusiasts, the shoe remains efficient enough for most riders, even while climbing, due to the majority of the flex occurring away from the foot/pedal interface.

Giro Code VR70

89

2015

Giro Code VR70

The Code is a high-performing, even race-ready, XC shoe that can also handle some more aggressive riding, with its tough, highly water-resistant upper and sticky Vibram lugs. 

Shimano M 163

88

2015

Shimano M 163

While the Shimano M 163 offers excellent comfort, and a secure fit all around, the outsole is too flexible even for the Enduro and Trail riding it’s intended for.

Specialized Audax

92

2015

Specialized Audax

Specialized is very clear in its positioning for the Audax—it’s specifically designed for the endurance or gravel-road crowd and not necessarily for racers or casual enthusiasts. 

Scott Road Team Boa

93

2015

Scott Road Team Boa

If cost is critical, the Scott Team Boa, the lowest priced shoe in our group, is an outstanding option.

Pearl Izumi Elite RD IV

93

2015

Pearl Izumi Elite RD IV

The Elite RD IV is among the best in it’s class for lightweight stiffness. As a racing-level shoe for powerful solo efforts and climbing efficiency it rivals many higher end shoes we’ve tested. 

Giro Trans #70

93

2015

Giro Trans #70

The softest, most supple feeling shoe in the group, the Trans is also a very solid performer, and by no means simply a comfort shoe.

Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100

96

2015

Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100

The Carbon LS-100 is a rare to find shoe that truly works as well for long, event type riding and shorter more intense racing. Even though it’s one of the less expensive shoes on our list, and the lightest, it outperforms most of the others for intense training and racing purposes, and is definitely the best value at its $200 price tag.

Suunto Ambit3 Sport (Bluetooth Smart)

91

2015

Suunto Ambit3 Sport (Bluetooth Smart)

The Suunto Ambit3 is an outstanding all-around GPS training watch with well-designed, if slightly limited, cycling functions.

Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch (Bluetooth Smart)

89

2015

Polar V800 GPS Sports Watch (Bluetooth Smart)

The Polar V800 is a very well-designed Bluetooth Smart multisport watch with wide functionality between many sports, and quick, reliable GPS.

Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire (Ant+)

93

2015

Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire (Ant+)

The Garmin Fenix 3 is the first fully functioning cycling and multisport computer that’s as fitting on a bike as it is at a dinner party.

Garmin Forerunner 920xt (Ant+)

96

2015

Garmin Forerunner 920xt (Ant+)

The Garmin Forerunner 920xt is a multi-sport GPS watch that tops the other tested watches in almost every function, but it really stood out in bike-specific use.

Race Face Atlas Pedals

96

2015

Race Face Atlas Pedals

The Atlas earned applause from a variety of riders, including bike-park downhillers and cross-country bikers who typically prefer flats for technical singletrack.

Mavic Crossmax SL Pedals

91

2015

Mavic Crossmax SL Pedals

Light and trim, the carbon Crossmax SL excels on long-mileage cross-country rides and wet-weather races.

Troy Lee Designs A1 Drone Helmet

94

2015

Troy Lee Designs A1 Drone Helmet

The A1’s great achievement is that it turns full-coverage head protection into something that’s light and breathable enough for hard-charging uphill efforts.

Specialized S-Works Prevail

93

2015

Specialized S-Works Prevail

The Specialized S-Works Prevail is the helmet for helmet-haters. Its trim profile and ultralight weight make it unobtrusive in all conditions, from hot summer hammerfests to high-speed descents.

Smith Forefront

90

2015

Smith Forefront

The Forefront is a light, breezy, and comfortable helmet that is ideal for riders who value weight savings and unobtrusiveness.

POC Trabec Race MIPS

88

2015

POC Trabec Race MIPS

The POC Trabec Race MIPS is a helmet for safety. Yes, the Trabec Race offers a reasonably comfy fit and surprisingly good ventilation, but protection is its primary emphasis: a lot of technology in the Trabec claims to cushion your head better than traditional polycarbonate/foam makeups.

Lazer Z1

89

2015

Lazer Z1

The Lazer Z1 is a comfortable and well-ventilated helmet that eliminates the pressure points that are sometimes created by tension adjustments placed at the nape of the neck.

Louis Garneau Course

90

2015

Louis Garneau Course

Louis Garneau’s Course helmet proves that comfort is king.

Pearl Izumi X-Project 2.0 MTB shoe

90

2014

Pearl Izumi X-Project 2.0 MTB shoe

The Pearl Izumi X-Project 2.0 is an outstanding MTB or Cyclocross shoe, especially for serious riders who don’t want to sacrifice off-bike comfort and performance just to save some weight. 

Rudy Project Proflow

88

2014

Rudy Project Proflow

Packed with performance-enhancing features, including defining optics, a lightweight carbon chassis, and full adjustability, the Rudy Project Proflow is the most performance-minded shade I tested. 

POC DO Flow

87

2014

POC DO Flow

Engineered with lightweight performance and pure style in mind, the POC DO Flow was a strong contender in this test. I liked that these shades are a simple multi-sport sunglass that works well for running, cycling, or hiking. 

Oakley Radarlock Path

86

2014

Oakley Radarlock Path

Oakley Radarlock Path offers excellent optics in a lightweight package. With an aggressive wrapped profile, interchangeable lens system, and a lightweight design, the multi-sport Radarlock Path was one of the most performance-minded shades in this test.

Costa del Mar Harpoon

85

2014

Costa del Mar Harpoon

The Costa del Mar Harpoon is a comfortable sunglass offers excellent optics in a lightweight performance package. 

Uvex FP 3

96

2014

Uvex FP 3

With the Uvex FP3, Uvex has produced a quality helmet with a compact form, simple styling and good ventilation. 

Lazer Helium

71

2014

Lazer Helium

Lazer's Helium helmet built on the success of their Genesis helmet. Unfortunately, Lazer's valiant attempts to innovate come up a bit short.

Mavic Plasma

85

2014

Mavic Plasma

The Mavic Plasma is a strong entry into the crowded helmet market. The Plasma’s only drawback is its weight.

Giro Aeon Helmet

98

2014

Giro Aeon Helmet

The Giro Aeon is an unassuming stalwart with some of the best fit, comfort and ventilation in the business. 

<<  1 [23  >>