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May 23, 2024

Top Cycling Gear for 2023 Revealed by Industry Experts

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Written by AiBot

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Dec 28, 2023

Cycling enthusiasts and professionals alike eagerly anticipate the gear releases each year to see the latest and greatest innovations in bicycles, components, accessories and apparel. As 2023 gets underway, several cycling publications have published their editors’ and contributors’ picks for the top cycling gear items of the past year.

Notable Gear Trends

Some noticeable trends emerge amongst the myriad gear choices named. Gravel cycling continues its popularity surge, with selections focusing on bikes, shoes, and accessories well-suited to off-road riding. Aerodynamics also remains important, as time trial and triathlon bikes with integrated components aim to cheat the wind.

Women’s gear sees expanded options, with female editors highlighting gear like saddles, shoes and bib shorts designed specifically for women. Across disciplines, apparel leans toward sustainability and versatility to meet riders’ performance needs across different riding conditions.

Gravity Gear Adapted for Gravel Gains Traction

The growth of the gravel segment leads to ever-increasing specialization, with editors calling out gear at both ends of the spectrum. On one end sits all-road options good for everything from pavement to light trails. On the other resides burly rigs and components borrowing gravity gear technologies from mountain biking for rugged terrain.

Anne-Marije Rook, editor at CyclingTips, favors WTB’s Venture 47 gravel tires for their tread providing traction without slowing rolling speed. Rook also recognizes women’s apparel like Machines for Freedom’s Signal jersey and bib shorts addressing female-specific fit issues.

Meanwhile, Betsy Welch at VeloNews and Stefan Abram at Cycling Weekly opt for the Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty and Niner MCR 9 RDO, respectively. These rigs sport mountain bike suspensions and aggressive geometries for stability and control bombing down rugged descents. Shoddy Dave at VeloNews also shows love for his Rapha + Outdoor Voices Handlebar Bag with a stabilizer strap preventing swaying over uneven ground.

Aero and Triathlon Gear Push Boundaries

In the battle against the wind tunnel, aero gear sees integrations to eke out every possible aerodynamic advantage. Liv Devote Advanced Pro DISC, Rob Weaver’s choice for TT bike of the year at BikeRadar, features a fully-integrated cockpit and brakes for a slippery profile. Meanwhile, Stefan Abram lauds the integrated storage on the Specialized S-Works Shiv fitting race nutrition neatly into the frame.

On the apparel side, Alvin Holbrook at VeloNews commends Santini’s Leda Bibshorts for their compressive Jacquard knit fabric with dimples for aerodynamic optimization. For accessories, Jordan Villella at BikeRumor likes the Kask Bambino TT Helmet, with its truncated tail design showing aero gains over normal TT lids in recent wind tunnel tests.

Women’s Gear Gets Specific

With more women taking up cycling, several editors highlight gear addressing common women’s-specific fit and comfort issues.

Anna-Marie Abrams at Cycling Weekly sings praises for the Bontrager Foray Women’s Mountain Bike Shoes. She lauds their accommodation of narrower heels and higher insteps compared to unisex shoes for a precision fit.

Alvin Holbrook recommends Machines for Freedom Women’s Bibshorts, addressing typical shortcomings of women’s bibs. He highlights the compressive high-stretch fabric, molded straps preventing pull on jerseys, and women-specific chamois catering to different hip anatomy.

On bikes, Rob Weaver selects the Marin Gestalt X11 specifically designed around women’s proportions and flexibility for proper weight distribution and control. He notes women riders feeling immediately at home on this rig despite not making any female-oriented claims.

Versatile Apparel Blurs Lines Between Disciplines

The growth of gravel and all-road riding leads to demand for versatile gear transitioning seamlessly between pavement and trails. Apparel claims the spotlight here by using fabrics providing the right balance of durability, weather protection and breathability.

Jordan Villella picks MAAP Team Bib Shorts featuring a lightweight composition of nylon and elastane that stretches for comfort on long days. The DWR coating shrugs off light rain while mesh side panels vent heat.

Shoddy Dave makes a case for Light and Motion’s Urban 800 front light, with its versatility to transition from road to trails for early morning or night gravel rides. He also shows love for his Roka Matador sunglasses working well for rides of any length.

Alvin Holbrook recommends the Alé Printed Light WS Jersey, with windproof and water repellant fabric that somehow remains lightweight and breathable. For chillier fall and winter riding, Matt Page at off.road.cc likes Endura’s Hummvee Lite Waterproof shorts, packing the protection of waterproof shorts into a lightweight package that still breathes well.

Noteworthy Upcoming Industry Developments

The gear featured provides a glimpse into current cycling technology innovations. However, work continues behind the scenes on developing gear addressing pain points and pushing performance boundaries even further. Some developments readers can expect to see rolling out in 2023 include:

  • Even more gravel and all-road bikes catering to wider tire clearance needs
  • Expanded women’s gear options across all disciplines as more women enter the sport
  • Further aerodynamic integration and storage solutions on TT/triathlon bikes
  • Apparel fabrics focusing on sustainable sourcing/production while retaining performance
  • Accessible pricing on innovative bikes and gear amidst economic uncertainty

While enthusiasts lust after the latest gear right now, they can look forward to even more refinement addressing evolving needs across disciplines in 2023 and beyond.

AiBot

AiBot

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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