The ExperiencePlus! team knows firsthand that a few pieces of good gear can make or break a ride. Our passion for cycling doesn’t end with our work day, more often than not when we’re leaving the office we’re off to hit the trails or take road ride and we’re sharing a few items we don’t leave home without.
Nadine: Cannondale Slate Ultegra gravel bike
I can’t help but say that my favorite riding accessory is my new Cannondale Slate Ultegra gravel bike! Her name is Lou and she is my bike of choice if I want the flexibility to go for road and possibly a dirt ride in one outing! I love the front Lefty shock and the drop handlebars, and the disk brakes give me a super-secure feeling on any riding surface. Road, or gravel, this bike can be depended on for a smooth, nimble ride. Most importantly, the Slate Ultegra is always good for some serious two-wheeled fun. I can’t wait to hit some gravel with her on a bike packing trip.
Jessie: POC Tectal Helmet
Is there something on my head, because I can’t even tell. POC’s Tectal helmet is an impressively light weight and well ventilated helmet. It is marketed as a mountain biking/enduro helmet. However I wear it no matter the style of riding I’m doing because it’s just so darn comfortable. One small but key feature for me is the easy-to-use adjustment system in the back of the helmet. Not too loose, not too tight, but juuuust right – this allows me to find a comfortably snug fit in all seasons (i.e. when I’ve got earwarmers on during cooler rides). When I purchased the helmet (over a year ago) I was a bit skeptical about the visor but I have actually found myself grateful for it on many occasions such as getting caught in an afternoon rainstorm or while riding under direct sun. When I don’t need it it’s just as easy to tilt the visor up so I can’t even tell it’s there. It’s comfy, protects my noggin, and is pretty styling as far as helmets are concerned. What more could a girl ask for?
Andrea: Pearl Izumi Bike Liner Shorts
For a more causal ride my Pearl Izumi Bike Liner Shorts are perfect for comfort and style. I can slip these on under any active wear and they allow me to ride without a sore bottom, or worse (in my opinion), the “diaper butt” look. I enjoy being able to wear all my regular active wear, rather than committing myself to strictly bike shorts. However, if you have a sensitive bottom and plan on a lengthy ride these might not be the right choice. I find them great for day rides with multiple stops along the way. So, in case you visit at a café or brewery, no one will notice your padded bottom.
Seth: Empty zip lock bag
My quintessential piece of cycling gear is an empty zip lock bag. I carry it road biking, mountain biking, and definitely while bicycle touring. Because many of my afternoon rides in Colorado start sunny and end in thunderstorms, the zip lock is the perfect way to keep my cellphone, keys, and cash dry. And even if it doesn’t rain, the bag almost always finds a use holding a last minute snack bought along the road or for capturing some trash.
Bruce: HammerGel and Hammer Perpetuum
HammerGel and Hammer Perpetuum (for longer rides) keep me fueled when I’m riding. I follow their guidelines of what/when to eat, before and during rides which has opened up a world of much longer rides. A reliable riding partner is certainly worth a mention as well!
Maria Elena: Osprey Raven 14
My Raven 14 it is just the right size for a day hike or mountain biking. It is a bit big for quick afternoon ride, but for a half or full-day ride it’s the perfect size to carry enough water, food, layers and tools and still not feel like I have a big pack on. I wanted this size because it had the side pockets where I can keep my snacks (or my phone for a quick photo) easily accessible but if it isn’t full it doesn’t feel too bulky and it still fits comfortably against my back. If I hadn’t wanted the mesh side pockets I would have probably gotten the Raven 10 which is slightly smaller but those pockets are very handy. One of my favorite features about Osprey packs is the magnet on the water bladder tube – it clips into the chest strap and really makes it easy to get a drink and snap the water tube back in.
Julie: Club Ride’s Jewel Innerwear
Three years ago I wrote my review for Club Ride’s Jewel Innerwear (lightly padded underwear for cycling) and I remain a huge fan. The Jewel gives me the amount of padding that I prefer and are super comfortable so much so that I don’t mind wearing them all day at work in anticipation of an afternoon ride. If you are bicycle touring you will find them easy to wash out in the sink, and more importantly, they dry quickly.