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Default Gallery: High-End Cycling Gear Juices Your Ride

</img>: Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.com The dog days of summer are upon us and if you're anything like the crew here at Wired.com, you still haven't logged as many miles as you had hoped.
Well, there's no better motivator than new gear to get you back on track. After all, isn't that why you're a cyclist, not some sad-sack runner pounding the pavement in a pair of worn Adidas? You need something shiny and new to put you in the mood for a few late summer spins.
Look no further: We tested out a handful of trick toys to help you crank your way into fall.

Capoforma Signature Series Diavolo Jersey Grunting up Kings Mountain Road in Woodside under the hot California sun, the top-end Capoforma Signature Series Diavolo jersey from Upland Sports Group kept me comfortable and dry. Pity it didn't do anything for my climbing. Costing a cool $150, you'd think it should.
The Capoforma is a snazzy piece of sport kit made from Capoforma Carbon, which, according to the company, is a dual-knit microfiber with a thread of carbon woven through it. Upland says the microfiber is quick drying, while the carbon thread makes it static resistant -- unlike many polyester jerseys.
The Capoforma fits well, with three roomy pockets in back. And the wicking worked, keeping me mostly dry even on the longest, hottest rides.
Best of all, it looks the bomb. The Caporforma makes you feel like Mario Cipollini -- even if you look more like a fat sausage. The first day I wore it, a hottie commented on what a nifty jersey it was -- and at my age, that's worth $150 right there.
-- Leander Kahney
</img>: Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.comChris King ISO Singlespeed Wheels The first thing you notice about Chris King ISO Singlespeed disk wheels are how unbelievably beautiful they are. The workmanship is flawless. Available in a vast range of colors, the metalwork is stunning, even in punky pink and black.
While other wheelsmiths keep trotting out new improvements like aero spokes and ceramic bearings, this cult company keeps things functional, not faddish. This $800 wheelset retains tradition wheel design, with regular rims, regular spokes.
Once they're mounted on your bike, you'll notice their noise: The hub has 72 teeth on the drive ring instead of the standard 24, making the rear wheel sound like a swarm of angry bees. There's nothing like riding up behind an unsuspecting biking partner and unleashing the bees -- it makes them nearly jump out of their shorts.
Being a big man, I also appreciated these wheels' bomb-proof construction. I'm confident these babies are not going to buckle under my 230-pound bulk, while making everyone around me jealous of my tricked-out ride. -- Jim Merithew
</img>: Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.comSidi Dragon 2 SRS Shoes Who knew I needed a Heel Security System on my mountain bike shoes? For that matter, what is a Heel Security System?
Turns out it's an adjustable cinch that locks your heel firmly into the shoe. Result: no more floppy heel.
Trouble is, this is an expensive breakthrough in shoe-cinching technology. The Sidi Dragons that sport this feature cost $500, and who's going to pay such a premium to keep their heels snug?
After riding these -- that would be me. Heel security is a feature I never knew I needed. I had no idea that my heels were flopping around so much until they weren't flopping around any longer. Now, I don't know how I'll live without it.
I've always been crazy for Sidi's Euro aesthetic and vibe. I think Sidi consistently makes some of the hottest kicks on the market. The Dragon is no exception. My feet were as happy at the end of the ride as they were at the start.
And that $500 is actually a long-term investment: Almost every part on the shoe that can wear out is replaceable, from the stiff carbon inserts to the rubbery treads and optional toe spikes.
The only niggle is with the newly designed buckle, which is tougher to tighten while riding than my other mountain-bike shoes -- a pair of Sidi Dominators. -- Jim Merithew
</img>: Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.comCrank Bros. Acid 2 Pedals If you're ready to break free from the big S's grip on your bicycle components, Crank Bros.' Acid 2 pedals are a good place to start.
Crank Bros. calls them enduro/gravity pedals, but since my days of "lift up, rocket down" are over, I just took them out for a couple of laps around Camp Tamarancho, in Marin, California.
Coming from Shimano's SPDs, there's a bit of a learning curve to use the cinching mechanism. The snap-in, snap-out is not as obvious as with SPDs. I found myself squirming around trying to determine whether I was firmly snapped into place or not. But the more miles I put in, the more confident I became with the ins and outs of this platform.
Also, despite being made of carbon fiber, these pedals are still a bit too heavy for the weight-obsessed, and their white-plastic trim is completely out of place on a mountain bike pedal.
The other problem is that, at $240, these pedals are total overkill for the type of riding I do (slow and labored), but the hipster factor cannot be overlooked. They are cooooool.
-- Jim Merithew
</img>: Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.com Ergon GX1 Grips Keeping your hands happy is key to keeping your steed under control. With aging mitts like mine, it'd seem that keeping them happy would mean more padding. But beware: As is often the case with super-padded saddles, more padding sometimes means more chafing.
Ergon's GX1s are ergonomic grips designed for mountain-bike racing, and though there's little padding, these grips stay comfortable all day. The grips have a distinctive wing that is designed to relieve stress on your wrists. Though some people don't like the design of ergonomic grips, they certainly work for me.
Costing about $40, the Ergon GX1s are simple to install and clamp securely onto your bars, which is where they are staying on my bike.
And they look pretty sweet, too. -- Jim Merithew
</img>: Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.comFizik Tundra Saddle Your bike can have all the high-end tech wares you can afford, but if the ol' tuckus isn't happy your cycling experience is going to rub you the wrong way.
Though my racing days are far behind me, I recently laid my hands -- er, buttocks -- on the new race-ready Fizik Tundra in bright white.
While I didn't love the Tundra, it's a pretty sharp design. It has a nice long nose with just enough padding to make hammering out a cross-country race a little more pleasant. Plus, it's light enough to make a weight weenie grin.
If you're looking to crush the competition at your next XC race and you want to look trick doing it, give the Tundra a go. But if you're looking to beat up on your buddies during your weekly run to the woods and keep your hiney happy doing it, you might want something a little less racy. -- Jim Merithew
</img>: Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.comMirrycle Woodpecker Mountain bikers get a bad rap by almost everyone on multiuse trails. Flying down the trails, big smiles on our faces, we can be a pretty discourteous bunch. We often scare the crap out of hikers, horseback riders and just about everyone we come in contact with, including other mountain bikers.
The addition of a little noisemaker to your rig can go a long way to making friends on the trail. Just give a little tinkle when you come up behind -- or as you fly into a blind single-track corner.
My new personal favorite is the $18 Mirrycle Woodpecker (top left in this photo). Made from a bell-shaped piece of wood, the Woodpecker makes a pleasant clunk, clunk sound instead of the harsh ring-a-ding-ding of most bells. -- Jim Merithew
</img>: Photo: Jon Snyder/Wired.comPolar CS600 HR with Power Output Pro bike racers know that the biggest mistake made by newbie riders is that they're never going hard enough when they think they're going full-out -- and that they're going too hard when they should be taking it easy.
One of the easiest ways to fix this is to become more in tune with your body via a heart-rate monitor. A good HRM will tell you when you need to go harder, and when to slow it down.
For years, veteran HRM-maker Polar has been helping athletes tune their bodies. The $420 Polar CS600 is their current top-of-the-line model.
For those who aren't fluent in their own body language, this little fella will translate. The CS600 gives you the usual bike computer functions -- speed, distance and time -- but also throws in dozens of functions, from an altimeter, barometer and compass to your BMI index, training programs, and enough heart data to give you palpitations.
Throw in the optional Power Output Sensor (for another $290), and the CS600 will measure the power output of your legs -- and it is sensitive enough to tell you which leg is doing most of the work.
I found the CS600 to be too much computer for me. Turns out I wasn't all that interested in defining my training zones. But if you're a gadget fiend who wants to track every conceivable data point of a workout regime, this computer will do it for you. -- Jim Merithew


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