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Welcome to the VeloNews Buyer’s Guide as you’ve never seen it before. This year, we not only renamed this special issue as the Gear Issue, but we also reimagined our annual gear-centric magazine.
Instead of a barrage of bike reviews and equipment photos, we curated about 100 products that we really loved throughout our extensive testing for this issue. As well as these reviews, we compiled some detailed, thoroughly reported stories to help educate you, the average cyclist who wants to get the most out your money and your equipment.
First, we compiled four Spend Smart guides for road, gravel, mountain bike, and your garage. If you have a $100 budget, we present a few great gear ideas. Feeling a little flush with $500 to spend? There are other ways to make your bike better. And for the high-roller, each Spend Smart guide has a $1,000 category. From handlebar tape to tires to suspension forks and power meters, there are lots of ideas in each category.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and buy an entirely new bike in 2019, this issue has three head-to-head shootouts comparing bikes that are similar, but still very different. In the road category, we compare an all-around aero bike in the Specialized Venge Pro and an aero all-around bike in the Allied Alfa Disc, plus we have Giant’s Defy Advanced Pro 0 Compact compared with Scott’s Addict RC Premium Disc. For gravel riders, we compare two bikes at vastly different price points: the titanium Moots Routt RSL and Salsa’s aluminum Journeyman. And in the mountain bike category, the long-travel Pivot Firebird 29 is compared with Canyon’s Neuron CF 9.0 SL.
Maybe you aren’t ready to buy anything yet. If you’re still doing your homework before you spend, we have three in-depth trend pieces to help you understand which direction the industry is headed. Chris Case explains the increasingly fragmented gravel segment. Dan Cavallari looks to the future to imagine what road bikes will look like in 10 years. Spencer Powlison explains why rear shock technology isn’t quite as important as it used to be, and Fred Dreier has a shocking take on e-bikes vs. acoustic two-wheelers.
In the lab, Lennard Zinn explores the difference between single-chainring and double-chainring drivetrains. Do these innovative 1x drivetrains produce more or less friction than traditional ones? We find out.
Plus, this issue includes how-to columns and in-depth profiles of two American handbuilt bike companies.
Gravel bikes and gravel riding have revolutionized Moots Cycles. Dreier tells the story of how the Colorado-based builder reinvented itself. We also sit down with Adam Sklar, who launched his hand-built bicycle company after blending his passion for cycling with his engineering degree.