There’s no better time than the present to turn to the trusty two-wheeled machine for exercise and peace. Whether you’re assembling your first road-cycling kit or simply upgrading a piece of it, find what you need here. We’ve gathered everything you need to make the most of the road biking that exists right outside your door.
Shimano focused on creating a superior-fitting road shoe with the RC3. With an integrated midsole and upper that is essentially one piece, it’s a slipper-like fit for roadies. The breathable, synthetic upper wraps around your foot while the Boa lacing system makes on-the-fly tightening easy. The shoes are just as efficient as they are comfortable, thanks to the glass-fiber-reinforced sole, which has a slim stack height. The women’s version has a female-specific that dials in the fit. $125
There’s nothing overtly fancy about the Core bib shorts. But Rapha’s attention to detail creates next-level comfort. The base material, a mix of polyamide and elastane, creates a super stretchy layer that comfortably fits different body types. Grippy seams around the legs keep the bib in place while strategically placed flatlock seams reduce chafing. The dense black fabric isn’t transparent like some bike shorts, so you don’t have to worry about showing too much. But the star of the show is Rapha’s patented chamois, which is specifically designed to reduce pressure on the sit bones during long days in the saddle. $115
Your shorts can make or break a road ride, which is why the Interval is a smart choice for most men. The 7-panel chamois is highly breathable and virtually seam-free for ultimate comfort, and the fabric is given BioViz reflective elements for extra visibility. The best part? The Interval uses more lycra than any other short on the market, which means they’ll stretch like a yogi. $130
Terry Touring Bike Shorts (Women’s S-XL & Women’s 1X-3X)
The Touring bike shorts are built for long summer rides. Stave off heat and humidity with a nylon/poly/spandex outer that moves moisture and dries fast and Flex Air Tour chamois that’s perforated to promote ventilation where you need it most. The waistband is extra wide and elastic-free at the front for a more flattering cut that also helps prevent pinching when you’re in the saddle. A phone, cash and cards stash conveniently in the zippered side pocket. The Touring shorts range in size from S to XL; a similar version is available from XL to 3XL. From $114.95
The Rapha Core Lightweight Jersey is two jerseys in one: The front panel is made from a lightweight mesh material to help boost airflow; the shoulders and back are made from a denser material that’s rated UPF 40 for ultimate sun protection. The dual construction means you get the protection from the elements you need and the breathability you want. A full-zip front allows you to add “air-conditioning” on hot climbs, and three back pockets offer plenty of storage for tools and goodies. $70
Get bang for your buck with the Showers Pass Syncline CC, a rain jacket that’s as suited to road rides as day hikes. The lightweight shell features reflective trim, a drop-tail hem and a hood that easily fits under a helmet without bunching, but it’s durable enough for the trail (and doesn’t scream cyclist). There are lighter options out there, but none as versatile as this—or at this price. $135
Gloves are easy to overlook, but the connection point between your hand and your bars is key, especially on long rides where fatigue can set in. The Elite is built to maximize comfort and feel with an Ax Suede synthetic leather palm that stretches and breathes. A series of 3D-shaped gel pads helps reduce pressure points, while mesh backing and a fingerless design promotes airflow on hot days. $38
Keep your phone handy for Strava, maps or conference calls with the Nite Ize Wraptor, which holds standard smartphones (with or without cases). The doodad attaches to most handlebar sizes, providing you with full access to the screen. It even rotates so you can have a vertical or landscape view. $22.50
Lights are an essential part of bike safety because they help drivers see you better. Knog’s Plug is an affordable twin pack of lights consisting of a front torch with 250 lumens (bright enough to get you home at the tail end of long rides) and a rear 10-lumen red light. The lights are easy to attach, thanks to the multiple silicone band options included in the kit. And they’re micro-USB rechargeable so you can plug them in at home or the office for a quick charge. $49.95
Don’t get caught unprepared. This kit from Topeak has everything you need to fix a flat, loose handlebar or other common roadside issues inside a small pouch that easily attaches to the rear of your seat. $49.95
The Hexband isn’t a foolproof lock (give a determined thief enough time and they’ll bypass anything), but it should do the trick if you’re looking for protection during short stops. The stainless-steel band from OTTO DesignWorks is light (just 250 grams) and mounts easily to your seat post, so you can keep it on your bike and always be prepared for impromptu grocery runs or grabbing takeout. For added security, OTTO recommends using the Hexband with a redundant U-lock. $75
Interested in more staff picks and kits? Find more collections here.