Trail Tools: Bike Gear 2003



Most full-suspension mountain bikes shine on the downhills but struggle on the ups. Not the Marin East Peak ($1,300). Its suspension system adjusts automatically, absorbing shock while still giving you oomph for climbs.

2 With its Italian roots, Briko knows cycling. Want evidence? Try the women’s Luna ($90) or the men’s Endure ($80) biking shorts. Each features a featherbed-soft chamois, an adjustable waistband, strategic pockets and stretch panels in all the right places.

3 The Kelty Neptune ($70) has everything you’d expect in a hydration daypack: two roomy cargo pockets, a key-stash pocket, comfortable shoulder and waist straps. Plus, a coating inside the 2-liter bladder ensures its contents won’t taste like plastic.

4 The Cannondale Cycling Clog ($90) gives you cycling-geek performance without the accompanying image. It’s rockered for walking, making for a smooth transition from the bike to your favorite post-ride watering hole.

5 If you like to ride hard, consider the Giro Xen helmet ($160). Its extended rear profile protects your head, while 17 vents keep it cool. Inside, the Xen adjusts horizontally and vertically to keep your helmet (and your mind) uncannily calm-no matter how rocky the trail.

6 You can’t dodge what you can’t see. Bollé’s lemon lens offers crisp vision, even on shady forest trails. The downdraft frame ($90) fits snugly, keeping wind at bay.