On the surface, cycling appears to be a simple sport. All you need is a bike, right? But as you look to improve your speed and comfort, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options, so we’ve found a few must-haves. By Rebecca Swanner
Retro Cycling Jerseys
$70 to $80 • RetroImageApparel.com
There are countless ridiculous-looking cycling jerseys out there. Project a cooler persona with a classic jersey from Retro Image. They’re made from moisture-wicking Euro Mesh fabric and have three rear pockets to hold your stuff. The Coney Island Lager and Black Cat Fireworks designs will remind you of more carefree days, while the Horton Collection features images pulled from memorable cycling posters of yesteryear that will make you look like more of an elite rider than you really are.
Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit and New York Legend Locks
$97; $170 • KryptoniteLock.com
If someone really wants your bike, they’ll get it, no matter how long it takes. To deter the most tenacious thief, try the New York Legend, a hefty, six-sided chain and disc lock. It’s made of manganese steel and weighs a whopping 16 pounds—something to keep in mind since you’ll need to haul it around somehow while you’re riding. Kryptonite also offers extreme protection with the Fahgettaboudit U-Lock. It has a hardened steel sleeve over the crossbar for extra security. Both locks are high quality and come with three keys—one with a light—and antitheft warranties, so you can rest easy.
P.R.O. Lobster Wind Mitts
$45 • Pearllzumi.com
Riding in a rainy morning chill can be difficult. Whether your priority is manual dexterity or merely not freezing your fingers off, these gloves offer comfort and protection without bulk. The blend of ventilated nylon, polyurethane, spandex, and polyester will keep your hands warm, and when the mercury really drops, you can slide the windproof lobster-mitt covers over your fingers.
Lazer Helmets Urbanize N’Light
$100 • LazerHelmets.com
If you want to keep what’s inside your head where it belongs, a good helmet is a must. This adjustable design gives you the look of Luke Skywalker zipping through the trees on his speeder, but without the whiny attitude. It’s equipped with front and back lights, so cars can spot you easily, leaving you to ride another day.
$295 to $404 per wheel • Aerospoke.com
If you want to stand out in a crowd, these spokeless wheels will help. They not only look cool, but they’re built to withstand thousands of miles of hard riding. Though heavier than your average wheels, the American-made aluminum hubs are extremely durable, so they’ll be able to handle your cycling style, whether you ride fixed, road, mountain, or recumbent.
Hed Corsair Aerobar
$950 • HedCycling.com
When you’re going for speed, aerodynamics is important. You need to bend over your handlebars so you’ll glide through the air and smoke other riders. If you maintain this position for any length of time, though, you’ll be sore. Aerobar has three types of extensions, allows you to place your hands in front of your chest, and adjusts to suit any rider so you’ll stay comfortable. But maybe you prefer to be hunched over your bike. Guess it depends on who’s giving you a massage at the end of the day.