The Best MTB Hydration Packs 2018: The Definitive Guide

best hydration pack for mountain biking

Mountain biking is thirsty work and it’s important to stay hydrated. Hydration packs have a number of advantages over water bottles for mountain biking:

  • Hands-free drinking means you can sip water as you go along
  • You can carry more water for long rides
  • No need to worry about drinking from dirty water bottles
  • Some packs offer protection for your back in case of a fall

In this article we cover what you need to know when buying a hydration pack, plus our pick of the best packs for different riders.

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The Best Cycling Base Layer for Every Season: The Ultimate Guide

Best Cycling Base Layer

A good base layer will keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. It adds comfort, especially under bib-shorts, and can help you regulate your body temperature by wicking away sweat. Plus, it provides an extra layer of protection from road rash if you take a spill.

In this buyer’s guide we cover:

  • What to consider when buying a base layer
  • How to care for your base layer
  • Our favorite base layers for all seasons

Read moreThe Best Cycling Base Layer for Every Season: The Ultimate Guide

The Definitive Guide to the Best Electric Bikes 2018 + 11Top Bikes

The Definitive Guide to the Best Electric Bikes 2018 + 11Top Bikes

Electric bikes have become more common over the past few years, particularly in Europe. In Holland, arguably the cycling capital of the world, more people ride electric bikes than non-electric bikes.

But the US is catching up and with more models coming out every year, there’s never been more choices in the electric bike market. Buying an electric bike can be a bit more complicated than getting a regular bike and it’s worth doing your research before you go shopping.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the pros and cons of electric bikes and everything you need to know to inform your buying decision, including the legal aspects of e-bike use in different states.

Read moreThe Definitive Guide to the Best Electric Bikes 2018 + 11Top Bikes

Protect Your Mitts: 10 Top Cycling Gloves for 2018

Best Cycling Gloves

Your cycling gloves may be the smallest item in your cycling wardrobe, but they have a vital role to play in helping you cycle in comfort for longer.

In winter, you’re unlikely to consider leaving the house for a ride without pulling on a pair of warm gloves. Your hands can quickly get cold and trying to shift gears and operate brake levers with numb fingers isn’t anyone’s idea of fun.

But in summer, when temperatures are balmy or even hot, you may be tempted to leave your gloves at home. Rookie error… You see, gloves aren’t just designed to keep your hands warm. They wick away sweat and improve your grip on the bars, as well as cushioning your palms to help prevent chafing. And if you do take an unexpected tumble, they’ll protect your hands from grit rash.

Cycling gloves are a personal choice. What fits one person may not suit another. But with that in mind, we’ve rounded up ten of the best cycling gloves on the market.

Read moreProtect Your Mitts: 10 Top Cycling Gloves for 2018

The Best Road Cycling Shoes: The Definitive Guide for 2018

The Best Road Cycling Shoes: The Definitive Guide for 2018

In 2018, looks are vying with functionality on the cycling shoe catwalk. Bling is back, with shiny metallic uppers, funky colors and ‘oil-slick’ (i.e. bright and shiny) soles. Taking the Bling Beauty Queen title is the Gaerne G. Stardust, a shoe which arguably looks more at home at a 70s disco than pedaling up a mountain pass.

While we’re waiting for some of these shoes to hit the market, we’ve been looking at some of our favorite tried-and-tested models. (And yes, many are pretty as well as functional.) While we may not balk at spending thousands of dollars on our bikes and associated components, when it comes to shoes, our wallets often win the battle with our hearts (or feet).

But cycling shoes aren’t just something to keep your feet cool and dry. They can directly impact your performance, both by transferring power efficiently from your legs through to the pedals and by being comfortable enough to allow you to keep that power transfer up hour after hour. An ill-fitting pair of shoes will make cycling a misery and you may be surprised at just how much faster you can go with a stiff, well-designed shoe.

Your perfect shoe will depend on a number of factors including the shape of your foot, the type of cycling you’re doing and the level of performance you’re aiming for. In this article, we’ll be looking at shoes that are designed for clipless pedals. If you’re used to flat pedals and are looking to upgrade, check out this article for tips on getting started with clipless pedals.

Read moreThe Best Road Cycling Shoes: The Definitive Guide for 2018

Best Backpacks for Bike Commuting: 5 Stealth Packs to Survive any Commute

Best Backpacks for Bike Commuting - 5 Stealth Packs to Survive any Commute

If you use your bike for commuting, you’ve got two options when it comes to lugging your kit to and from work: panniers or a backpack. While panniers are your best bet for heavier loads, many people prefer the simplicity and convenience of a backpack. And if your bike isn’t set up to carry panniers, then a backpack’s your only option!

There are plenty of backpacks to choose from, including models specifically designed for bike commuting and packs with multiple uses. Some backpacks are functional, but quite frankly, pretty ugly, while others are equally at home in the office as on the street. In this article, we cover some of the key features to look out for when shopping for a new backpack and give our recommendations for the best backpacks for different commuters.

Read moreBest Backpacks for Bike Commuting: 5 Stealth Packs to Survive any Commute

Definitive Bike Rack Buying Guide: 16 Reliable Racks for Cars, Trucks & SUVs

Definitive Bike Rack Buying Guide

Unless you have an endless supply of perfect roads and trails on your doorstep, at some point you’re going to want to carry your bike on your car. If you don’t have a huge trunk and a love of taking your bike apart and putting it back together again, this means you’ll need to buy a bike rack.

With hundreds of different styles and models of bike rack available, choosing the right one can be harder than picking your perfect bike. (And let’s face it, not nearly as exciting.) While you can ask your mates for recommendations, their needs are likely to be different to yours. The right bike rack for you will depend on your vehicle type, the number and style of bikes you need to transport and a whole host of other factors.

The good news? We’ve gone through the bike rack market to pick out the best racks across the five most common types: hitch, roof, trunk, truck bed and spare tire. Plus, we’ve summarised the pros and cons of each rack type to help you figure out which style will work best for you.

Read moreDefinitive Bike Rack Buying Guide: 16 Reliable Racks for Cars, Trucks & SUVs

16 Best Bike Computers of 2018: Definitive Buying Guide For Every Budget

best bike computer

Jumping into the world of bike computers is a bit like getting your first smartphone. You can’t see what all the fuss is about, then you get one and never look back. But with a huge number of makes and models on offer, finding the one that suits you best can be tough.

Thankfully, we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve reviewed sixteen of the most popular and reliable bike computers across a range of categories. Whether you’re buying your first bike computer or looking to upgrade, here’s our buyer’s guide and round-up of the best bike computers for 2017.

If you just want to compare the statistics, then jump straight to our comparison table below.

Read more16 Best Bike Computers of 2018: Definitive Buying Guide For Every Budget

Speedplay vs Look: The Ultimate Pedal Shootout!

speedplay vs look

Is that the clip-clop of a pony trotting up the road towards you? No, it’s just a road cyclist eager for their morning coffee. Unlike mountain bike clipless pedals, road cycling pedals have an exposed cleat system that’s designed for one thing – to transmit power from your legs through to the bike.

If you’re new to clipless pedals, I’d recommend reading our complete guide to clipless pedals. In this guide, we compare two of the most popular manufacturers, Speedplay and Look, to figure out which pedals are best for you.

Read moreSpeedplay vs Look: The Ultimate Pedal Shootout!

Speedplay vs Shimano: Which Pedal Is Right for You?

 

speedplay vs shimano

Pedals equal power. (At least in part.) And when it comes to road cycling, power is what it’s all about. With the right pair of pedals, you’ll be sailing up those hills faster than Sagan in a sprint.*

If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming you’re after a pair of road pedals. So, when we’re talking about Shimano pedals we’re comparing the SPD-SL range rather than the mountain biking SPDs.

If you’re new to clipless pedals, you may find our complete guide to clipless pedals useful, and if you’re interested in Look pedals, check out our comparison of Speedplays and Looks.

Right, let’s get started. Here’s a recap of what we’re looking for when comparing road cycling pedals.

*Cycling Hacks cannot guarantee this.

Read moreSpeedplay vs Shimano: Which Pedal Is Right for You?