Road Bikes

Hip: Redline 925
The 925 balances all the ironic cool of a hipster-approved track bike with commuter sensibility. The flip flop hub makes it one versatile cycle-and one hell of a ride. Set it up as a fixie and bomb down the bike path or flip it around to run in freewheel mode when you’re playing in traffic. This bike has become our favorite for quick escapes to the coffee shops and restaurants around the office and for laugh-inducing night rides on the bike path. Plus, considering the quality of the componentry, it’s a steal at $499; redlinebicycles.com

 

Giant TCR Alliance 0

Recession-Proof: Giant TCR Alliance 0
If you’re feeling pinched by the economy but still want a new road machine, you couldn’t spend what’s left of your savings any better than on the TCR Alliance 0. Melding a carbon front frame with an aluminum rear, the bike handles with the alacrity of full-carbon bikes that cost at least twice as much. Weighing in at a respectable, 18.6 pounds built, it’s spec’d out with an Ultegra rear derailleur and features race geometry that we fully enjoyed both climbing up and bombing down Lefthand Canyon. $2,150; giant-bicycles.com

Otherworldly: Orbea Orca
Ever since it made a breakaway into the limelight when Samuel Sanchez rode it to victory at the Beijing Olympics last summer, the Orca has been at the top of our covet list. We’re not alone. The Toray M40J carbon frame is buttery supple yet also aggressively stiff. And while it’s not a custom fit, Orbea’s Size Specific Nerve (SSN) technology, takes into account the fit of different-sized riders with specific design characteristics for each frame size. Orbea offers a wide variety of build options-we recommend the SRAM Red. $3,149 frame only; $4,799-$9,184 built; orbea-usa.com

Mountain Bikes

Simplicity: Niner One 9
Meet the bike that will convert you to rigid-29er-single-speed fanaticism. The light (3.4-pound), stiff scandium frame offers incredible response-it digs in to climb like a beast and floats shockingly well for a rigid bike. Niner also simplified the already streamlined One 9 by implementing a two-piece bottom bracket as opposed to the former five-piece-a change that has been much lauded by Niner’s pro riders. We added Ergon grips for just a touch of buffering. $849 frame only; ninerbikes.com

Ellsworth Epiphany

Class: Ellsworth Epiphany
The Epiphany has been creating converts for a few years now and we are still convinced it provides the best combination of uphill muscle and downhill guts of any cross country bike we have tested at this price range. That performance stems from a masterful frame that offers 5.25-inches of travel at 6 pounds. The Instant Center Tracking (ICT) suspension technology maximizes pedal energy-meaning it climbs with the stiffness of a hardtail despite all that travel. Yes, it’s pricier than similar brands, but you pay for the proud facts that it is American-made and Ellsworth is a carbon neutral company. We think that’s money well spent. $2,395 frame only; ellsworthbikes.com

Gutsy: Kona CoilAir Supreme

Honestly, we don’t know how to classify this ride. We’re stunned. Kona’s Magic Link suspension, which adds a fifth bar to the brand’s cushy four-bar system, allows it to go from 6-inches of travel to a plush 7.4 while still climbing like a goat, meaning the CoilAir’s got the cojones (and travel) to hang in the downhill park, but handles climbs well considering all that travel. Add in specs that include Shimano XTR/XT drive train and a Mavic Crossmaz ST wheelset and you have one smooth beast. It’s the perfect ride for bombing down technical Front Range descents or for a Moab weekend. $5,515; konaworld.com

Accessories

 

Deuter Compact XP 8

Deuter Compact XP 8
This is the perfect pack for long Front Range rides. Light and airy thanks to mesh shoulder straps, it’s 650 cubic inches will hold everything you’ll want to carry on long halls and packs down nice and tight when you go minimal. $90; deuter.com

 

SmartWool Rambition

SmartWool Rambiton
Wool’s natural qualities means it actually breathes cool when temps are warm and still remains cozy when they drop. With a 75/25 merino/polyester blend, it was built for road riders who expect a range of conditions. $100; smartwool.com

Yakima Fork Lift

Yakima Fork Lift
The user friendly, Fork Lift will install directly (no tools required) to any round or square rack bars-making for quick and easy swaps between vehicles, a welcome innovation-and still locks secure. $139; yakima.com