Gear Guide: Cycling Equipment

Tackle the roadways and the singletrack with some selections from this roundup of the season's best cycling gear.

Credit: Smith

Credit: Rocky Mountain

Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt

($2,050 and up;

An XC bike that’s comfortable to ride. A dual-suspension freeride bike that loves to climb. Both describe the Thunderbolt, a 27.5-inch wheel, aluminum-frame rocket that handled technical climbs and fast singletrack equally well. Climb on board and the fairly relaxed 68.5 front fork geometry suggests a fun bike for flying downhill and, indeed, the 120 mm of travel felt more plush than it is. But hit a hill and the bike climbs nimbly. 

Credit: Sugoi

Sugoi Icon Jacket


Built for mountain biking, the Icon has loads of mechanical stretch, so the streamlined fit doesn’t feel restrictive. The hood and a drop-tail provide extra protection when needed and stow out of the way when not in use. Several pockets store everything you need and two vents whip up a cooling breeze.

Credit: Smith

Smith Forefront


The two key variables in a helmet: weight and protection. To meet both, Smith created Aerocore construction — an EPS foam sandwich filled with thousands of polymer tubes welded together. Smith says the combo absorbs 30 per cent more impact than EPS alone. The tubes also channel a cooling breeze. 

Credit: Yakima

Yakima FullSwing


This Cadillac of bike racks will live on your car, not because it’s hard to mount — it’s not, locking into a hitch with a few twists of a handle — but because it gets out of the way when needed. Even carrying four bikes, the rack swings off to one side. There’s also a built-in cable-lock for securing the bikes to the rack. 

Credit: Specialized

Specialized Zee Cage II with Tool


Hidden in the bottom of this functional water bottle cage is a six-piece Allen-key tool set; leave your other one at home. Add the EMT Top Cap Chain Breaker, which replaces the top cap on your head tube with a chain breaker tool, and you’re set for most mechanical issues on the trail.