Some bicycles can get you from A to B, then there are road bikes, which are nothing short of a class of their own. Due to a tremendous following of enthusiasts the world over, road cycling is considered a completely different kettle of fish over your bog-standard commuter or hybrid bikes, especially when it comes to ensuring you have the right gear before heading out for a spin. Thanks to its growing popularity and interest in it as a sport, the innovations in road cycling are coming on leaps and bounds, with technology, accessories, gear, and tech becoming more streamlined, more affordable, and much smarter. From tiny bike-mounted GPS computers to super lightweight gear that will keep you warm and dry in all conditions, here are the very best cycling innovations this year that’ll make your ride better than ever.
The Garmin Edge 1030 is the perfect cycling companion, especially when making longer cycling journeys, such as sports or challenges. It’s the firm’s most advanced Edge computer to date. Thanks to built-in GPS, it doesn’t rely on your phone to tell you where you are or which way to go: a sat nav for bikes. You can also upload pre-recorded routes to follow, and it will guide you the right way. Its feature list is never-ending, and it even can record where you’ve traveled. I used the Edge 1030 to measure everything I needed as it tracked my cycle adventure during a sportive in the New Forest last year, from the speed I was going as I bombed down the country lanes to the miles I’d covered when I got back home. If you’re serious about cycling and want to keep dedicated track of your rides, the Garmin Edge 1030 is an ideal companion.
Founded by Welsh former professional racing cyclist Yanto Barker, Le Col is one of the top names in innovative cycling gear. Over the past decade, Barker has dedicated his time to building a kit – obsessing and poring over every detail – so the finished product is something he’s proud to stand behind. “I meticulously specify every technical feature, running through how the cut should feel and what materials will be optimal,” he tells Cyclist magazine. And you can really tell. I tried out the latest collection while cycling around northern Mallorca earlier this month. Named the Hors Categorie Jersey, the fresh kit has been engineered to offer a snug fit and a luxury feel, but with comfort at the forefront.
Using advanced four-way stretch fabrics that offer high breathability, this jersey really outperforms all others I’ve tried, especially when it comes to long-distance, high-tempo rides. And it’s super strong, too. I took a little fall during a rain shower, and while my knee and elbow were cut up, the jersey survived completely unscathed. Now, if that’s not innovative fabric, I don’t know what it is! In terms of technical detail, the fabric is designed specifically for the wide-ranging temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere, chosen for both its naturally high wicking and cooling properties in hot weather while also providing insulation against the cold. The final jersey design features flat-locked seams, laser-cut shoulder grippers, a lock-down zip puller for ease of use at high speeds with a chin guard, a small 4th waterproof pocket, and a silicone hem around the waist. Cycling safely with a backing track: Sony Duo Ear headset