Ride strong all winter long with the best bikes, accessories, and apparel.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELEMENT 50: An XC Speedster The Element wants to go fast. The simple frame design and finely tuned four-inch suspension system are designed specifically for racing. You’re going to feel some bumps beneath you and probably get a little saddle sore—the rear suspension only really kicks in if you hit something big. It’s a trade-off in comfort that results in one of the most responsive cross country bikes on the market. You pedal, and the power is immediately transferred to the bike, resulting in lightning fast acceleration and no wasted energy. The Element 50 comes with a great suite of components for the price tag, including the Fox Float rear shock and Fox 32 front shock and a Race Face crank. $2,500; bikes.com
FISHER ROSCOE: The All Mountain Beast The Roscoe is big and burly, from the tubing to the massive 2.41 sized tires to the 6 inches of travel on the front and back. It’s meant to go big and take hits. The Roscoe can actually climb really well, but it comes alive on downhills, soaking up waterbar drops and rock gardens like a sponge, thanks in part to the Roscoe’s suspension system. The All Mountain Roscoe debuted in 2009 as the first Fisher bike to employ Trek’s ABP rear suspension, which keeps the rear suspension active while braking, giving you more control when you need it most. A few design tweaks like flattened tubing, a tapered head tube, and oversized axle improve the bike’s lateral stiffness and give it precision handling you don’t normally find on beefy bikes. $2,729; fisherbikes.com
CLOTHING + COMPONENTS 1. SRAM XX A double chainring and 10 speed cassette—two in the front, ten in the back—makes for a highly efficient 20 speed mountain bike (compared to the standard 27 speed). The new system increases shifting efficiency while decreasing weight. Lance rode the SRAM XX to a victory at Leadville this year. Be prepared to pay for this revolutionary technology: $430 crank set, $330 cassette, $265 rear derailleur, $119 front derailleur; sram.com
2. Lezyne Smart Wallet Loaded It’s small enough to fit into a cycling jersey or seat pack, but has dedicated pockets to keep all essential tools organized. Plus there’s a pocket for your cash and credit cards. Our tester liked the waterproof pocket that’s big enough for most cell phones. $39.99; lezyne.com