One time I had coffee with Willie Nelson. Experience has proven the waters of Golden, Colo., produce the finest domestic beers. Creating clean content for Competitive Cyclist stems from many hours spent outside pedaling my bicycles.
When it comes to brakes for my XC rig, I want predictable, comfortable stopping power that I don't have to worry about. I don't have much patience for finicky components, and the Guides are dialed right out of the box. The modulation is great due to the new Swinglink cam, and that single-finger-operation is all I've ever needed to quickly dump speed, without any lock-up. The RSC model does provide the most adjustability of the three new brakesets, which is a must if you require specific pad contact and lever reach adjustments.
These have been my go-to trail shorts this year, as the lack of pockets and excess clutter is perfect for a streamlined feel in the saddle. I've been pairing them with Giro's undershorts for long rides, and the combo has been ideal. These work great for casual spins and commuting, too.
This polo has been my shirt of choice for the office, days off, and beers-in-the-bottle-cage rides. It's super soft and flexible, while still being classy enough for more formal settings. I dig the generous button closure, and it's cut plenty long to cover my lower back while riding the bike. I also find that the zippered back pocket is more handy than I thought it would be.
Low weight and a comfortable strap design are top priorities for me when it comes time to select a new lid, which is why the Octal seemed to be the perfect choice. I went with the loud orange color, and I've been wearing it for about four months. Its protective qualities have yet to be tested (thankfully), but the fit is perfect, and it works well with a cycling cap. I've been pairing it with both Specialized sunglasses and POC's Do Blades and haven't had any of the fit issues others have experienced. The vents are big and provide a healthy dose of cooling airflow, which is always nice for those scorcher summer rides. If you are looking for maximum visibility, solid protection, and something slightly different, I think the Octal is a nice choice.
By having two independent cables to control tension, the Vortex Pros have been great for dialing in exact pressure across my feet. The lightweight uppers and stiff soles are positive features, too, but the real highlight for me has been the ability to run lower tension over the forefoot zone to help maintain positive circulation. The Suprell-Tech has also proven to be very durable, and it wipes clean without any issue. Overall, these shoes fit well, have proven very durable after roughly six months of riding, and they look sharp. Good work, Diadora.
Most softshell jackets do a great job of keeping the core warm, but breathability usually suffers. Castelli nailed it with Elemento; it keeps my core warm in cold, dry conditions, and it also breathes better than any other softshell I've tried. This continues to be my go-to for late fall and winter riding.
Paired with knee and leg warmers, these bib shorts have proven to be a perfect addition to my fall and winter riding kit. The smooth fleece on the interior provides just the right amount of insulation, and the chamois is super supportive. Great product, Capo.
I wore this jersey for the majority of my road rides this fall. The interior has a light layer of soft fleece, which made it ideal from both a comfort and insulation standpoint. The tall collar kept out the drafts and the longer-than-average sleeves held my warmers in place without an issue. Great jersey on its own, or as a layer underneath a shell. Nice work, Capo.