Collectively, we’ll all be glad to see January 2021 on the calendar. Everything will be fresh and new. Hope is on the way. This year, in particular, represented the resiliency of brands and their ability to bring new products to market — all amidst the most chaotic supply chain of modern times. With that, we have a few items that stood out and brought us joy in 2020. Here goes.
Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 Wheelset
Though Bontrager understandably delayed the launch of these by a few months, they were well worth the wait. Aiming to deliver the perfect blend of aerodynamics, stability and speed, the Aeolus Pro 37 wheelset also comes in at a super-approachable $1300 price point. We’ve recommended these wheels to locals on several occasions and they have all praised them. Oh, and tubeless setup on these is an absolute breeze.
Read More: Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37 Review
ENVE SES Tubeless Tires
2020 will be the year that ENVE made things out of rubber and aluminum. On the rubber side, the fresh SES 29c Road Tires impressed. They come in as some of the lightest tubeless tires for their size and have proven to be wicked-fast, comfortable and grippy. They are a little more difficult to seat, but if you’re going tubeless, you know the drill. If light and fast is your game and your hoops are ready for road tubeless, ENVE has some rubber for you.
Read More: ENVE SES 29c Road Tires Review
BMC URS 01 One
We didn’t think the BMC URS would end up as our top gravel bike for 2020, but here we are. The URS possesses all the best qualities 2020 demanded in a gravel bike: comfort, capability and fun. In fact, the URS reminded us just how much fun gravel bikes are. Admittedly, the model tested is the 2021 URS One 01, but it’s available now and will put a smile on your face no matter what year you ride it in.
Read More: BMC URS 01 One Review
Ergon GA3 Grips
As mountain bikers age (or refuse to age), a little extra help is always welcomed. This year, we had the Trek Supercaliber as our “Corona Escape Vehicle” and the wrist-friendly Ergon GA3 grips were a natural addition. That little mini wing offers wrist relief without getting in the way of bike handling. Ergon grips are always tops on our list and these just earned a spot for 2020.
Read More: Ergon GA3 Grips Review
Tifosi Sledge Sunglasses
Big. Flashy. Obnoxious. Yes, yes and yes. The enormous Tifosi Sledge sunglasses are exactly what everyone is looking for in a great pair of cycling glasses. The field-of-vision is superb, lens changes are a breeze, they fit great and won’t break the bank. The Sledge is by far our favorite pair of Tifosi’s ever tested.
Read More: Tifosi Sledge Sunglasses Review
Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover
While the full High Endurance Kit is very specialized, the Airshed Pro Pullover can be added to your existing kit and you’ll love every minute of it. It’s a lightweight, form-fitting, breathable hooded pullover that moves with you. I found myself going for a trail run and then comfortably keeping it on for the rest of the day.
Read More: Patagonia Airshed Pro Pullover Review
Shimano GRX RX810 1x
Mechanical drivetrains are dead, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. Shimano’s 1x GRX RX810 gravel groupset is an absolute delight with rapid shifts and powerful, ergonomic braking. At the height of 2020 lockdown hysteria and after dealing with the aftermath of a serious earthquake, simple mechanical drivetrains were so, so welcomed. No power or apps are needed to get the GRX groupset rocking and rolling. We really had a blast aboard the Argon 18 Dark Matter donned with the Shimano GRX RX180 groupset. It’s affordable and bombproof — just what every gravel rider likes to hear.
Read More: Shimano GRX RX810 Review
RockShox SID SL Ultimate
The lightest XC fork on the planet didn’t disappoint. Nope. Adding the RockShox SID SL Ultimate to the Trek Supercaliber tipped that bike further into XC dream machine territory. Not only is the SID SL Ultimate feathery-light, it’s plush beyond its travel grade and stiff beyond stiff for a responsive, fast and smooth.
Read More: RockShox SID SL Ultimate Review
Trek Supercaliber 9.8
The Supercaliber is a truly unique entry into the XC race market. With a mere 60mm rear travel via the IsoStrut suspension system, you’d think it would ride like a softail of yesteryear. However, the Supercaliber delights on every level and excels at typical up/down race tracks. The kicker is just how fast this bike ascends up both long grinders and short, steep sections. Needless to say, the new PR’s set on the Supercaliber might last awhile.
Read More: Trek Supercaliber 9.8 Review
Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 GTX
Trail running and inclement weather often go hand-in-hand. This is particularly true during shoulder seasons when temperatures drop and snow or rain is common. The Gore-Tex waterproof bootie keeps wind, cold, rain and snow from slowing you down and the Vibram outsole delivers superb traction. Don’t forget the ultra-comfortable ride these squishy-yet-responsive trail runners deliver.
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Wahoo ELMNT ROAM
Reliable, readable and rock-solid — the three R’s of bike computers (dontchaknow). The Wahoo ELMNT ROAM has all three in spades. That crystal-clear display does wonders for data junkies capturing all the deets of their ride and Wahoo’s slick companion app is bonkers-easy to use.
Read More: Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM Review