You’re going to get there somehow, so it might as well be looking good. The stealth black lines of this belt-driven commuter are classy, the fenders keep you clean, and comfortable geometry lets you show up at the coffee bar without looking like you fell in the mud. But the Eight isn’t just a pretty face: durable components like disc brakes, a practically maintenance-free drive belt, and puncture-resistant tires make this bad boy perfect for someone who’d rather ride his bike than wrench on it.
Bonus: At $800, it costs about half as much as comparable bikes.
Bummer: Drive belts are as stealthy as a Prius, so be ready to use those disc brakes or risk laying out a pedestrian or two.
Protecting that dome shouldn’t be on the back burner when weaving through traffic. The Maze makes protection look professional, and with the MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) mtech under the shell, you can bet it’s going to perform well when it matters. Matte black, and self-adjusting so you can strap it on and focus on the traffic instead of your gear.
Bonus: When you have a helmet this awesome, there’s no need to plaster graphics on it, but they have a few classy options of you wanna go that route.
Bummer: Modern lines don’t leave much room for venting.
Keep your feet dry during those summer showers: supple DWR (Durable Water Repellent) -coated sheepskin means these shoes will hold up to daily abuse and look good doing it. The metal-reinforced nylon shank in the sole can mash flat pedals hard without losing any power, and if you’re gutsy, screw in some clip-less cleats to really dominate your ride.
Bonus: Sheepskin leather = definite style points.
Bummer: A lack of venting had our feet overheating on hot rides.
Get it for the daily grind, but plan on using it everywhere else. Packed with fleece-lined pockets, every piece of gear stays right where you left it no matter how much it’s tossed around. Built with waterproof materials, that tablet will be drier than you after a morning thunderstorm, and plenty of organization means you’ll never lose your charging cord.
Bonus: Tall fit holds on tight bombing those hills.
Bummer: Strap padding is thin for heavy loads.
Featured Image Courtesy of Flickr user arturtula