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 / Sports

Velonews Buyer's Guide 2016

Velonews brings you inside the sport of bike racing, with exclusive features, analysis, expert training advice, unbiased gear reviews and the absolute best cycling photography.

United States
Pocket Outdoor Media, LLC
Read More
9 Issues


2 min.
depth of field

DREAM MACHINE TAYLOR PHINNEY? Wasn’t he just on the April cover? Yep. And out of that arose an opportunity to have Phinney paint a BMC Teammachine SLR01 frame (see our review of the SLR02 on page 47), which we’re giving away to raise money for the Davis Phinney Foundation. Taylor plus a custom-painted frame plus helping out the DPF—that’s too cool of an opportunity to pass up. If you’ve been following Taylor’s story over the past couple of years—or if you read our April feature—you know that he took up art during his long injury layoff. And he took to it in a big way. Guy’s got chops. A bike frame has to be one of the most difficult canvases around, but Taylor still managed to do something pretty amazing here. He worked…

2 min.
knowing is half the battle

THE LEG-BUSTING CLIMB OUT of the driveway of the rental house at our Buyer’s Guide testing event in Murrieta, California, topped out at 23.5 percent and was a frequent, painful reminder that knowledge takes a lot of effort. We climbed that foul hill repeatedly over 10 days in late January, testing nearly 80 bikes on a series of short but intense loops. Almost the entire VeloNews staff, plus around 30 Murrieta-area racers and riders who came out to help, spent that week and a half hammering bikes and taking detailed notes. Those notes became this Buyer’s Guide. It would have been easy to look up the specs of each bike online, write a quick summary, and move on our merry way. But you deserve better, and we’re capable of delivering better, which is…

2 min.

1 POC OCTAL RACEDAY $240 200 grams (size medium) You’ll get close to that wind-in-your-hair feeling with the light, airy, enormously vented Octal. The aesthetics are minimalist, but the coverage isn’t, with extended protection over the temples and back of the head. 2 CATLIKE WHISPER $189 300 grams (size medium) We like the Whisper’s looks. We love its 39 vents and exceptional fit, the latter due to tons of adjustability in the harness. It’s no featherweight, but it does extend low over the back of the head for extended coverage. 3 GIRO SYNTHE MIPS $270 270 grams (size medium) The incomparable Roc Loc Air fit system is only part of a grander equation that makes the Synthe a perennial favorite. Sleek aesthetics, 26 vents, and well-placed sunglass ports are some of the other parts. The addition of MIPS only solidifies this…

2 min.
men's shoes

1 NORTHWAVE EXTREME $375 501 grams (size 42) The Extremes are among the lightest shoes available, which is especially impressive considering the robust SLW2 closure system, which features two dials and a Velcro strap for an even, hotspot-free fit. A well-ventilated carbon sole and thin, perforated uppers keep feet cool and happy. But if you’ve got a wide foot, look elsewhere; Northwaves tend to run narrow. 2 GIRO EMPIRE ACC REFLECTIVE $275 488 grams (size 43.5) One of the best looking shoes takes an aesthetic step forward with its new hi-viz finish, which glows in direct sunlight or in the beam of headlights. Everything we’ve always loved about the Empire—the infinitely adjustable laces, the stiff sole, and the slipper-like upper—remains, now in a super visible and surprisingly durable package. 3 GARNEAU COURSE AIR LITE $380 452 grams (size 42) Testers raved…

2 min.
men's jerseys

1 PANACHE NEW SCHOOL PLAID SHORT SLEEVE JERSEY $130 This jersey is clearly made for people who ride so much they have Chris Froome-like arms. The cut, while not uncomfortably tight, is snug; there’s no flapping at speed. And we love how the grippy cuffs secure the sleeves to the spots where our biceps would be if we had biceps. The well-designed pockets are big enough for long rides but open low enough on the back for easy access. 2 RAPHA SUPER LIGHTWEIGHT JERSEY $140 This update to Rapha’s summer top sees more secure pockets—the previous ones sagged a bit—added to one of the most breathable jerseys we’ve ever worn. It’s not the tightest cut around, but the airy fit seems to help with cooling and drying. For staying comfortable on a hot July ride,…

2 min.
men's bibs

1 GARNEAU COURSE SUPERLEGGERA CYCLING BIB $200 Garneau uses various styles of mesh to create a comfortable fit at the waist and adds a treatment to reflect UV rays. The 5 Motion chamois fits well but is less supportive than other race shorts. We like the laser-cut leg openings, but we'd prefer leg grippers to finish them off. 2 ENDURA FS260-PRO SL $190 If you’re picky about fit, Endura’s bibs are a great option. The Scottish company offers three widths for its 700-series chamois, as well as an option for longer legs. These bibs feature a mix of materials, including a 3D mesh upper and Italian Lycra for a wraparound fit and, according to Endura, added muscle support. 3 ASSOS T.EQUIPE.S7 $250 Assos has streamlined everything about these shorts. They’re tailored for riders who favor an aggressive position…