The cycling world saw several exciting gear releases and innovations in 2023. As the year comes to an end, cycling publications and experts have highlighted some of the most notable products across different cycling disciplines.
Editors Pick Standout Road Cycling Gear
Road cycling gear saw incremental but important improvements that aim to make rides faster, more comfortable and more enjoyable.
Shoddy Dave from Velo News picked his favorite road cycling gear of 2023 including the Poc Ventral Air Spin helmet, which he says is “cool, ventilated, safe and something he would ‘happily wear’ for hours on end.” He also highlighted wheelsets like Hunt’s 54 Limitless Aero Wide Road Wheelset, which offers a “medium depth rim to reduce frontal area, wide profile for better aerodynamics and lower weights.”
Stefan Abrams from Cycling Weekly focused on aero bikes and components and said he would actually buy the BMC Timemachine as his choice for an aero bike. He highlighted the fact that it has clearance for 32mm tires, which he feels “might sound big for an ‘aero bike’ but this just shows how priorities have changed.” Disc brakes were also a feature he looked for in selecting gear highlights.
Road Cycling Gear Improves Aerodynamics and Comfort
The editors emphasize how road cycling gear continues to improve rolling resistance, aerodynamics and integration while balancing weight, compliance and comfort. Priority areas seem to be wheels, helmets and aero frames with an emphasis on real world speed improvements.
|Why it’s notable
|Aero Road Bike
|Aero, disc brakes, 32mm tire clearance
|POC Ventral Air SPIN
|Cool, ventilated, safe, comfortable
|Hunt 54 Limitless Aero Wide
|Aero, lower weight
Mountain Biking Continues to Progress
The mountain biking world saw exciting new products, from ebikes to components to protective gear in 2023. Value continues to be an area of focus alongside innovation.
Pinkbike highlighted over 180 products across 8 categories for their 2023 Product of the Year Awards. The Value Product of the Year award went to the Marzocchi Z2 fork, which brings high performance to a reachable price point. They also gave out awards for best innovation and components like drivetrains.
Bike Rumor Editors highlighted practical, durable products from across disciplines but focused especially on mountain biking. Jeremy highlighted the OneUp EDC Lite Tool which packs useful tools into a stealth dropper post remote lever. He also called out the EVOC Stage 6Lite protector backpack which provides spine protection and space for tools.
Riders Focus on Capability, Value, Reliability
Trusted publications look continue to evaluate the expanding range of mountain biking products on criteria like capability, reliability, value and weight. Riders demand robust products that can stand up to hardcore shredding while balancing weight and price.
|Why it’s notable
|High performance value
|OneUp EDC Lite Tool
|Useful tools in dropper remote
|EVOC Stage 6Lite
|Spine protection with space for tools
Gravel Gear Advances Versatility and Performance
Gravel riding continues to surge in popularity across North America. Gear saw key advancements in versatility, aerodynamics and compliance for both racing and all-road riding.
Liam Cahill from BikeRadar was excited by gravel bikes like the Lauf True Grit. He said it “offers loads of versatility with space for two bottle cages and large tyre clearance.” He also highlighted wheelsets like Hunt’s 35carbon Adventure Sport Disc, which uses a lightweight 584g rim with a 30mm internal width. Tyres saw more focus on balancing speed, capability, weight and durability to meet the needs of gravel enthusiasts. Ty Rutherford from Off-Road CC called out the Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H 700x35c as the Goldilocks tyre that gets the balance just right while still being tubeless ready.
Both editors highlighted the trend of more integration and aerodynamic focus in the gravel segment while still retaining off road capability on 650b wheels. Hunt in particular was noted for bringing aerodynamic design philosophy from the road segment with their Hunt 35 Aerodynamicist wheelset.
Versatility is Paramount in Evolving Gravel Segment
Publications highlight how manufacturers are working hard to optimize gravel gear for both speed and off-road capability. The needs of gravel racers and bikepackers aren’t always perfectly aligned, leading to exciting innovations in optimizing gear for different sub-disciplines.
|Why it’s notable
|Lauf True Grit
|Versatile, lots of mounts
|Hunt 35 Aerodynamicist
|Aero, tubeless ready
|Pirelli Cinturato Gravel H
|Fast, durable, tubeless
Apparel and Accessories Enhance Experience
Technical apparel and smart accessories also saw exciting releases in 2023 aimed at making rides more enjoyable. Gear Junkie highlighted apparel like Gore’s C7 Shake Dry Stretch Jacket, which packs extreme waterproof capabilities into a stretchy, breathable shaken that meets the needs of active cyclists. They also featured accessories like Garmin’s new Venu 2 Plus smartwatch with onboard cycling maps and extended battery life.
Meanwhile Triathlete picked the COROS Vertix 2 as one of their favorite products for 2023. They highlighted its ultra long battery life, light weight and triathlon activity modes as making it an “unrivaled multi-sport watch” perfect for data hungry cyclists.
Apparel and Accessories Enhance Comfort, Connectivity
Technical fabrics, eco consciousness along with smart features were themes amongst apparel and accessory choices for 2023. Products aimed to either help athletes push harder or relax more comfortably after grueling training sessions and races.
|Why it’s notable
|Gore C7 Stretch ShakeDry
|Extremely waterproof yet stretchy and breathable
|COROS Vertix 2
|Ultra long better life, perfect for multi-sport
|Garmin Venu 2 Plus
|Onboard maps and music
What Does the Future Hold?
As 2023 wraps up, cycling continues to grow globally across disciplines like gravel, bikepacking and eMTBs. Publications predict gear will continue advancing incrementally while some disruptive trends shake things up.
Aerodynamics will continue making its way into road and gravel bikes but with a continued focus on balancing capability – wider tires and more tire clearance even on the fastest bikes.
Ebikes and specifically eMTBs will continue growing in capability and reputation while relying on improved motors, geometry and integration. Value focused brands also aim to make this tech more accessible.
Apparel and gear is likely to focus on versatility, packability and sustainability – doing more activities while leaving less trace. Smart glasses and wearable cameras will look to integrate with smart watches pushing athletes connect deeper with data.
Ultimately 2023 proved cycling gear continues to balance innovation, value and reliability. Both hardcore athletes and casual riders find improvements across disciplines that aim to make rides more efficient, enjoyable or simply possible at all.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.