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Spend smart on your road gear

No matter your budget, here’s how to spend wisely on your road bike gear.

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The Basics

Tubolito Tubo Road tube

Tubolito Tubo Road tube $35
It packs up small and weighs next to nothing, at just 38 grams. That means you can stow an extra CO2 in your seat pack rather than sacrificing to the bulk of a butyl tube. And Tubolito says its tube is twice as puncture-resistant as a standard tube.

WolfPack Race Cotton Tire

WolfPack Race Cotton Tire $90
From Wolfgang Arenz, one of the legendary designers who created some of the fastest tires on the market for brands like Continental and Specialized, comes a tire brand all his own. The cotton casing makes for a supple ride, and the tire is aerodynamically optimized for speed.

Lezyne Pocket Drive Pump

Lezyne Pocket Drive Pump $30
Sure, it’s nice to have a small pump. It’s better to have a small pump that actually works. The durable body is CNC machined aluminum, and the stowable hose connects easily to your valve. It will pump to 160psi and weighs just 79 grams.

Giro Agilis MIPS helmet

Giro Agilis MIPS $90
It’s super affordable and looks like a top-of-the-line lid. More importantly, it’s MIPS-equipped to help counter-rotational forces, should you crash. Thirty-two vents make this an ideal summer lid, and with Giro’s Roc Loc 5.5 fit system, it stays firmly in place, even on gravel.

The Upgrades

Fizik Vento Argo R1 Saddle

Fizik Vento Argo R1 Saddle $225
The short nose design keeps the rider planted in a power position and prevents excess body shifting. And the proprietary foam has a springy feel to it, meaning it’s comfy while maintaining support. A generous cutout keeps pressure off sensitive tissue. And it’s light, at just 179 grams (size 140 mm).

CeramicSpeed T47 SRAM DUB Bottom Bracket

CeramicSpeed T47 SRAM DUB Bottom Bracket $359 | $459 coated bearings
If you already know about T47 bottom brackets, then you’re ready to upgrade to CeramicSpeed’s version of this relatively new threaded system. (If you don’t know about it, read all about new T47 bottom brackets here.) Save precious watts with CeramicSpeed bearings and upgrade to coated bearings to get even longer life in the roughest riding conditions.

Shimano RC5 shoes

Shimano RC5 shoes $160
These sleek shoes weigh 500 grams (size 42) and wrap around your foot comfortably, thanks to a combination of the seamless midsole, Boa L6 fit system, and velcro strap over the forefoot. They’re ready for the race or the training ride, with a comfortable fit combined with exceptional power transfer.

The Splurges

Cane Creek eeWings Allroad Crankset

Cane Creek eeWings Allroad Crankset $1,000
These titanium beauties look burly but weigh just 395 grams, which is on par with leading carbon cranks. Cane Creek says they’re stiffer, too. And these flashy titanium cranks are sure to catch an eye or two on the group ride. More importantly, they’re rugged enough for your gravel bike, so feel free to go get dirty!

Reynolds AR80X DB wheels

Reynolds AR 80 X DB wheels $1,549
Go deep-section without going deep into your wallet. These 80 mm-deep wheels are designed for aero advantage, but they’re also tubeless-ready and feature a 19 mm inner rim width to take full advantage of your tire’s grip and lower pressures for improved rolling resistance. Despite appearances, the AR 80 X wheels are quite stable in light crosswinds too.


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