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BEST IN BIKES Top Picks for Two-Wheeled Adventure

Felt Edict Felt is breaking into the cross-country race market with their all new 2011 Edict, a carbon fiber, full suspension, sleek machine that weighs only 21.1 pounds built out. The bike is designed to be light, stiff, and have one of the most efficient pedal strokes on the market. This is the bike for you if you’re looking for podium finishes, but not if you need a healthy amount of cushion between your legs. The Edict LTD loaded with the SRAM XX drive train and Mavic Crossmax SLR wheels will run you $8,999. Step down the components to Shimano XT and you can get the bike for $5,499. feltbicycles.com Cannondale Flash 29 Mountain bikers have gone gaga over 29ers in the last few years for one main reason: they go very fast. But the frames for 29ers are typically a little heavier, simply because you’re dealing with a bigger bike. Cannondale has produced a 29er version of its popular Flash Carbon for 2011 and in the process, created the lightest 29er on the market. The frame is built with continuous carbon fibers running throughout the bike, eliminating the need for carbon welding, which can add a bit of weight after all is said and done. Built out with Sram X0 components and a newly redesigned Lefty fork, the new Flash Carbon 29er has a lean fighting weight of 21 pounds and costs $4800. For folks not looking to drop 5-G’s on a hard tail, check out the alloy version for $2,249; cannondale.com

Specialized Roubaix The Roubaix is completely redesigned for 2011 with one main goal in mind: smooth road chatter for pro cyclists tired of suffering on the cobblestones on the Paris-Roubaix Spring Classic course. If you watched the 2010 Tour de France, you know that the cobblestones wreaked havoc in Stage 3. The bike is stiffer overall than previous models, but the stays were redesigned to have up to 6 millimeters of vertical flex, which helps smooth any imperfections in the road. The flex is a welcome advancement for those of us riding less than stellar Southern Appalachian roads.  $9,400 for the S-Works Roubaix SL3 Di2; $2,600 for the Roubaix Comp. specialized.com

Camelbak’s Antidote Bladder The completely redesigned line of bladders now has the widest opening on the market, a locking cap that only takes a quarter turn (no more over-tightening), and integrated dryer arms. Engage the dryer arms after a ride and the reservoir opens up, allowing air to reach all corners of the bladder, which means no more mold. The bladder also detaches from the hose for easy filling. Pair it with the Camelbak M.U.L.E. NV pack, which comes equipped with a sweet ventilated back panel system, helmet pouch, zipper hip pockets, and a sunglass pouch. $35 solo bladder; $115 with M.U.L.E; camelbak.com

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