Shimano 105 vs Tiagra [2020]: Should You Upgrade?

Shimano 105 vs tiagra


Road riders are very particular about the function and feel of their drivetrain, braking, and shifting. The collection of components that are designed to be used together is called a group, groupset, or “gruppo” if the movie Breaking Away did not sully your your love of Italian cycling affectations.

Shimano has a reputation for building superb groups with technology that trickles down from one elite generation of Dura Ace components, down through Ultegra, 105 [one oh five], Tiagra, Sora, and the humble Claris line. There is some room for mixing components from various groups, but many of the components only work within their tier.

Let’s focus on the middle of that lineup, 105 and TiagraChoosing one of these options over the other might best serve the discerning and budget-conscious cyclist. The Tiagra line is considered one step below 105 because 105 is a tad lighter has smoother operation. But 105 has its limitations, and not everyone is counting grams and fractions of a second.

Is it worth the upgrade to 105 or does Tiagra fit the bill? Let’s take a closer look. 

Read moreShimano 105 vs Tiagra [2020]: Should You Upgrade?

Best Cycling Gloves for 2020: Protect Your Mitts!

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, whether it’s from hand fatigue or the elements.

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 moreBest Cycling Gloves for 2020: Protect Your Mitts!

8 Awesome Bike Helmets for Under $100

Whether you’re commuting to work, running errands, heading out for a long all-day ride with the crew, or just tooling around the park, you should wear a helmet.

There aren’t any laws in this country requiring cyclists to wear helmets (unless they are under a certain age) but statistics do show that the risk of serious head injury is reduced by 70% if the rider is wearing a helmet.

Read more8 Awesome Bike Helmets for Under $100

13 of the Best Shred-Worthy Mountain Bike Gloves 2019

best mountain bike gloves

Whether you’re a dirt-jumper or an 80km cross-country rider, your mountain bike gloves are likely to be dear to your heart. This humble piece of kit has to meet many needs: protecting your knuckles, letting your hands breathe, and helping avoid the dreaded numbness. Once you find your perfect pair, you’ll never want to let them go.

There are so many styles and makes of gloves out there that it can be hard to know where to start looking. And let’s face it – we’re all different. What works for me, may not be the best choice for you. So we’ve reviewed the most popular mountain bike gloves on the market to find the perfect glove to suit every rider and every budget.

Here are our personal picks for the best mountain bike gloves. Keep reading for our reviews and recommendations.

Read more13 of the Best Shred-Worthy Mountain Bike Gloves 2019

How to Choose the Best Bike Trainer: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2019

best bike trainer

Updated 2/18/18

If you want to turn cycling into a year-round activity, but don’t live in a warm locale, chances are you’ll need an indoor bike trainer. For years cyclists equated training indoors with a cycling death sentence, but then apps like TrainerRoad, The Sufferfest and Zwift transformed these mind numbing indoor miles into an opportunity to ride the world’s best courses and compete against our virtual and real-life cycling friends.

With so many apps and trainers flooding the market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. What trainers are compatible with which apps and do you need a smart trainer to use Zwift? And what exactly is a smart trainer? From magnetic to direct drive, here’s everything you need to know to get started with an indoor bike trainer.

Read moreHow to Choose the Best Bike Trainer: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2019

The Best Black Friday/Cyber Monday Bike Deals 2019


black friday bike deals

Nothing is sweeter than unwrapping some carbon swag for the holidays. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for your favorite cycling fanatic or upgrading your own gear by taking advantage of some massive price drops, we’ve compiled the best discounts and coupon codes into one handy guide. The best Black Friday Bike Deals have already started. Many are time-limited, so we’re monitoring them every hour. Keep checking back for the best cycling deals.

Read moreThe Best Black Friday/Cyber Monday Bike Deals 2019

In-Depth Stages Gen 3 Power Meter Review + Power Meter Buying Guide

Stages power meters are known for two things: bringing power meters into the budget range of the everyday cyclist, and gracing Team Sky’s Tour de France winning bikes.

But despite their endorsement from the pros, Stages haven’t totally dominated the power meter market. Issues with the reliability and accuracy of data, plus the waterproofing (or lack of) of the casing plagued earlier generations of meters, issues which Stages claim to have fixed with this year’s Gen 3 range.

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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

Comfort and Style: 9 Awesome Bib Shorts That Go the Distance

Comfort and Style - 9 Awesome Bib Shorts That Go the Distance

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time searching for the perfect pair of bib shorts and, honestly, I’m not sure I’ve found them yet. It’s the old Goldilocks syndrome: you know, this one is too this, this one is too that, but this one is just right. Only, the ‘just right’ one is ridiculously hard to come by.

During my brief amateur racing “career”, our team kits were made by Vomax, then Sommerville Sports and, in my third year, Hincape. Of those three, Hincape wins hands down (and is still one of my favorites). The Hincape bib shorts have the best, least stiff, and most comfortable chamois. The leg grippers don’t cut into my thighs and they have the option of a shorter inseam length (which I much prefer, especially in summer).

In contrast, the chamois in both the Vomax and Sommerville Sports versions, is very stiff so that, even after multiple wears, it still pokes out in the back just below the tailbone (not the most attractive silhouette!) Also, the Sommerville shorts have leg grips of death. My entire team had to insert rolled up towels into the legs to try and stretch them out before we could wear them without cutting off our blood circulation.

Unfortunately, Hincape doesn’t seem to offer their standard team kit bib short for sale to the general public – at least I haven’t been able to find it. In my quest to find the perfect bib shorts, I think I’ve slipped into every chamois out there. Here are some of my favorite bibs and what I’ve discovered along the way.

Read moreComfort and Style: 9 Awesome Bib Shorts That Go the Distance

The Best Aero Road Helmet? Longterm Rudy Boost 01 Review

Versatility isn’t a word commonly associated with triathlon gear. So we’re particularly excited to see a helmet that not only excels in aerobars but also offers roadies a real slipstream advantage. Rudy Project claims its Boost 01 aero road helmet reduces aerodynamic drag by 12% compared to traditional road helmets. 

While it took longer for the Italian company to enter the aero road market, they finally have a dog in the fight. Aerodynamically engineered by wind tunnel master John Cobb, the Boost 01 marries the ventilation and comfort of an aero road helmet with the aerodynamic time trial design that’s set Rudy Project apart as the most worn helmet at the IronMan World Championships.

Having tested other aero road helmets, we strapped on the Rudy Project and put it to the test.

Read moreThe Best Aero Road Helmet? Longterm Rudy Boost 01 Review