South Carolina native and pro cyclist George Hincapie continues to do good with Hincapie Sportswear, a full line of cycling apparel and accessories. The Perfetto is a simple jersey that wicks moisture with the best of them and won’t have you looking like a circus clown at your Wednesday night ride. $89.
DAKINE DEFENDER TRAIL GLOVE
A full-fingered battle-ax of a glove equipped with armored knuckles and a palm skid pad. You want this glove if you continually find yourself at odds with the environment around you (read: frequent endos). $40.
BLACKBURN DELPHI 5.0
The Delphi is a wireless computer with the added bonus of a heart rate monitor and a wired cadence transmitter. All of the Delphi’s features can be integrated into a seamless display of info that would impress any tech junkie. But what’s truly great about the Delphi is that you don’t have to be a techie to figure out how to use it. Start pushing buttons and you can have the thing working in just a few minutes without even reading the directions. $99.
TOPEAK TWO TIMER
CO2 is nice, but you don’t always have fresh cartridges on you. The Two Timer combines a CO2 pump with a standard hand pump so you’re never left in the woods holding a limp tube. $29.
DEUTER RACE AIR LITE
The Air Lite only has 350 inches of cubic space, but there’s plenty of room for energy bars, a jacket, multi-tool, and some tubes. And Deuter’s Air-Comfort system actually works to keep your back dry on long rides. Bonus: the zippers lock together so you don’t have to worry about losing your keys in the middle of the woods. $79.
ROLLING YOUR OWN
Mountain bikes have about as long of a shelf life as computers. Every year, there’s some “revolutionary” development that makes last year’s model obsolete. The industry moves fast, the hype is tremendous, and don’t get us started on the price tags. Imagine what your grandfather would say if he saw you drop five large on a bike. These harsh realities have sparked a mini-revolution of homemade bike building.
To some, building your own bike sounds about as foreign as building your own car. But to people like Gabe Houlguin and Thad Johnson of Asheville, N.C., homemade bikes are simply the next step in biking’s evolution. Houlguin and Johnson started building their own frames three years ago, slowly establishing a reputation for solid steel frames and singlespeed and fixed gear rigs tailored for Pisgah singletrack. Eventually they formed Smoke Bikes, a small company operating out of Houlguin’s garage that offers custom made mountain bikes tailored for Pisgah singletrack for a fraction of the cost of an industry bike.