Gear Fit for a King

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Charlottesville pro cyclist Ben King shares his go-to gear.

Richmond native Ben King is a National Road Race Champion and competed in his first Tour de France in 2014. This year, King won a stage at the Amgen Tour of California, the premiere professional road race in the country, and that’s after recovering from a broken leg in January. And for King, success starts at home. “I do most of my big training days on the Parkway,” King says from his home in Charlottesville. “Our mountains will get you in shape for any race in the world. And there are so many roads here, you never get bored.”

Here are five pieces of gear King loves to use during his training rides in Virginia.

Road ID ($20 for the Slim)

This is all about safety and peace of mind, especially since I ride all over the world. My contacts are all on this ID if I get into a crash. Without that, if someone found me, they wouldn’t know who I am or whom they should contact.


Garmin VIRB, Action Camera ($299)

A lot of what we do as pro cyclists is lonely, particularly the training rides. Cameras like this, where you can post videos and pictures to Instagram immediately, allows us to interact with our supporters, and I’m always looking for ways to do that.


Bonk Breaker Bars ($30 / box)

I’ve eaten hundreds of them, and I’m not sick of them yet. They’re really effective for on-the-go nutrition and they actually taste good too. My favorite is salted caramel. It tastes like eating cookie dough on the ride.


Cannondale Scalpel 29 Carbon ($8,670)

Obviously, my road bike is critical, but I just got this mountain bike, and I love it. I hit the trails as often as I can for unstructured endurance rides. The important thing is to train a lot. Any time you’re on the bike is gonna benefit you. And if you can spend time in the saddle and have fun, all the better.


Garmin Vivoactive Watch ($249)

Basically, this watch pairs with my iPhone so I can take calls while I’m riding my bike. I can look at my watch and see who it is without fumbling for the phone. It’s fun.


Light & Motion Seca 2200 Enduro ($470)

Simply put, it’s the brightest and lightest LED on the market. Ultra durable, lightweight, and waterproof, it’s the light of choice for mountain bikers and endurance racers.


Bordo Centium bike lock ($70)

This revolutionary key lock features 5mm steel bars that fold compactly and mount easily. They’re a bit heavier than your average bike lock, but worth the weight in security.


Diamondback Catch 2 (from $4,000)

The new Catch 2 is an incredibly plush aluminum trail bike with 27.5+ wheels, 130mm of travel, a slack geometry, and the Level Link rear suspension, which works really well to keep your pedal power in the drive train. The wider tires offer bomber traction, allowing me to rail corners and bomb through Pisgah’s root and boulder gardens with confidence.

©Earl Harper

Performance Sport Liner Shorts ($60)

These affordable, durable biking shorts are designed to withstand long hours in the saddle.



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