Here’s a special look at some of the latest and greatest to keep you comfortable and performing your best on Fall road rides.
Smith Overtake Helmet ( $250)
While Smith has been the helmet leader in snowsports since 2006, they just entered the bike helmet category last year with the Forefront mountain bike helmet, and now this year with the Overtake road bike helmet. It combines light weight (250 grams) with proprietary AeroCore construction and its Koroyd polymer for ventilation and impact absorption. Additional features include 21 vents for balanced aerodynamics, Smith’s VaporFit dial-operated 360-degree adjustable fit system, and sunglass integration.
Bolle Sunglasses ($179.99 to $199.99)
When you think of road sunnies in the 1980’s, you think Bollé, worn by the likes of Miguel Indurain, Pedro Delgado, Alex Zülle and Laurent Jalabert. The company is trying to regain that position this season with two new technologically-advanced sunglasses for competitive road riders — the 6th Sense and the Breakaway. Both are fitted with Bollé’s Trivex B-Clear lenses for optimal visual clarity, impact resistance and light weight. They have a wide field of vision, good airflow and anti-fog coating for condensation management, and a wraparound fit in modern roadie style.
POC Essential Jersey ($170)
For something new, don’t overlook this smashing apparel from Swedish design innovator POC Sports. The short sleeve Essential Jersey lightweight for warm Blue Ridge riding, with 4-way stretch fabric and ergonomic fit adding aerodynamics and streamlined fit. POC has a relentless focus on safety and you are sure to be seen in this jersey as well. A combination of technical fabrics reduces drag while efficiently wicking moisture away, keeping you cool and dry. The full length zipper and under-arm mesh allow for flexibility and breathability. Three rear pockets plus internal zip pocket help complete this highly technical essential.
Featuring Pearl’s new seamless chamois technology, a great anatomic fit and new, highly technical, faster drying fabrics, the P.R.O. In-R-Cool road shorts are worth the money, assuming you are putting in the miles. You really can’t go wrong with this Boulder, Colo.-based brand, whose roots go back 50 years to Japan but has been an American licensee since 1989. You’ll be thanking yourself for investing in a pair of pro-quality shorts every time you ride.
Assos Gloves ($59.00)
This Swiss cycling apparel brand does everything to 11. If you can afford it, you should buy a whole kit. But if you have to choose one item, they are now introducing a full-fingered glove for fall and spring riding. Designed to shield your hands as the temperatures start to drop, they’re ideal for off-season conditions in the Blue Ridge. The glove features a new elastic wrist cuff that is designed to work seamlessly with arm warmers and long sleeve jerseys or jackets. The liner is a lightly brushed to provide comfort without overheating.
Swiftwick Sustain Socks ($12-$17 depending on height)
Swiftwick is a Tennessee-based brand (also manufactured in the U.S.) and the maker of the only cycling sock created from Repreve post-industrial recycled nylon. The Sustain sock line showcases Swiftwick’s commitment to responsible manufacturing, both for the environment and the end user — no chemicals are used to wick away moisture. They also provide compression and of course, top-end roadie good looks.
If you’re looking for a shoe to boost your performance, the S-Works is the shoe that many of the pros wear, and you’ll soon discover the difference a high-performance boot can make. The Body Geometry upper is plush and comfortable, and the Boa lacing just makes life easier, lighter, and faster. There’s three interchangeable footbed options and the heel tread is also replaceable. The key to success, however, is the full-length carbon sole, driving power directly from your leg through your foot to your pedals.
Mavic Helium Jacket ($129.95)
There’s really nothing that’s not awesome about the Helium Jacket, from one of the oldest names in cycling, and it’s ideally suited for wind and light rain. The Helium H2O is the more stormproof cousin, but for Blue Ridge riding, the Helium is wonderfully light and packable for variable weather conditions. The anatomical fit on Mavic apparel is second to none, with many impressive finishing details, and a distinctive asymmetrical full-front zip with reflective hits is a standout. A jacket like this is a must-have for any true road cycling enthusiast.