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The Big Beta on 2023’s Best Bikes and Gear

The season is on and here’s our beta on the bikes that wowed us, plus accessories to up your experience on the ride.

1. Ventum | GS1

Utah brand Ventum, which began making bikes for triathletes, tested this sleek machine in the high reaches of the Uinta Mountains. The key here is stability with tested geometry that keeps this ride stable at the speeds you want to hit racing or just feeling the freedom of cruising distant dirt. A variety of componentry builds mean you can match you goals to your budget. $3,999 and up;

2. Liv | Devote Advanced 2 Be Good Edition

Liv has been perfecting women’s fit in its bikes and the gravel-specific Devote series scores points for both comfort and handling on rugged terrain. For this particular edition, Liv teamed up with racer Rebecca Rusch and her Be Good Foundation, which uses bikes to promote empowerment and humanitarian service across the globe. $3,000;

3. Priority | 600X Adventure

We have been big fans of Priority’s belt-drive commuter bikes for years. This baby takes that break-down-proof technology and its powerful crank response and puts it into an efficient, fun bikepacking machine with an enclosed Pinion C1.12 gearbox. Don’t just believe us, local Boulder hero Ryan Van Duzer used this aluminum ride to tackle the Continental Divide trail from Mexico to Montana. $3,500;

4. Alchemy | Arktos 125

Golden-based Alchemy upped the ante in the latest version of its standby steed—adding 5mm of travel to the popular Arktos 120. We love the Flip-Chip in all the Arktos models that lets you switch the bike from cruising to eat-it-up modes. Looking for one mountain bike to do it all but not wanting to go too deep into debt? Look no further. $3,999 and up;

5. Reel | Steezl

Reeb was born out of Oskar Blues Brewery but it has evolved into one of the most innovative cycling manufacturers out there. The brand-new Steezl proves that point—this 155mm steel enduro bike that can handle everything big and nasty. The secret? The light, tough aluminum Horst-link rear end that features CNC’d rockers and a polygonal CRT rocker interface give this baby lots of guts without cutting down on flair. Plus, Reeb offers a wide range of build and customization options.

$6,695 and up;

6. Canyon | Neuron CF 8

You won’t find more bang for your buck when it comes to mountain bikes meant for lapping out singletrack than in this dependable, sleek stallion. The triple phase suspension gives it beef on the uphills and plenty of cushion on the downs and the Shimano componentry offers a lot of performance for the price. We see a lot of readers opting for this ride. $2,999;

7. Yeti | SB140

This is Colorado: We all dream about pulling up to the trailhead with a Yeti and then hammering our friends and any innocent bystanders. Here’s the bike to finally make it happen. With—no surprise—140 mm of travel, the sexy SB140 delivers smooth, strong pedaling when you climb and easy suspension when you flow. A range of build kits made to fit your aspirations mean you can be sure you get the perfect fantasy bike. $6,400 and up;

8. Canfield | Yelli Screamy

Oh, how we appreciate the joy and simplicity of a hardtail. Fruita-based brand Canfield crafted a champ in this bike that can take on small drops and loose rocks without all that suspension in the back. The truth is this short-travel 29er can run with more souped out (and expensive) rides just fine if a hardtail is your jam. It’s not, you say? Hop on. $3,600;

9. Econic One | Adventure

Made to conquer gritty miles, this e-gravel-bike scores big points for rides off into the great unknown. The 7.4-pound Bafang M410 mid-drive motor delivers 500W of peak power and 80Nm of torque, meaning it can power up big, ugly climbs with a battery that gives 60 miles of range when fully charged. Bonus: It handles like a much lighter bike on the downs. $3,099;

10. HOVSCO | HovAlpha

Looking for something to run errands and beat around the bike path? This fat ebike is just the ticket, with seven gears and up to 80 miles of range on a charge. The brushless gear hub motor gives you 750W and 85Nm of power, enough to get out and crush dirt roads and (legal) trails too. $1,999;

11. Wolff | Ursa Major

Cut down on all those silly, gas-guzzling car trips with this cool commuter ebike. Big tires and relaxed geometry equal lots of comfort on the bike path or the road and the throttle means you can just kick back when you need a rest. Whole Foods, here we come. $2,459;

12. Ride1up | Turris

Built with upright geometry and hydraulic brakes, this bike can take you far and wide. The 60 Lux front headlight keeps you running in the dark and beefy, anti-puncture tires help keep you from breaking down. Upgrade it with racks and baskets and you can keep your car in the garage for a long time. $1,295;


1. Gravel Adventure Field Guides

We love these beautiful pocket field guides—with destinations in Colorado including Trinidad/Las Animas County, Pueblo, and the San Luis Valley—set you up for exploration on dirt roads far from the maddening crowds. They include recommended rides with GPS coordinates and maps as well as personal stories and beta meant to make you feel welcome in the local cycling community. $7–$11;

2. Pearl Izumi | Women’s Summit Jersey

Breathable and quick-drying this airy mountain bike top will be your best friend on the singletrack (and even looks nice enough to wear out for a coffee or beer after). Bonus, the drop tail keeps out mud and means it won’t sneak up your butt mid-ride. $60;

3. Camelbak | M.U.L.E. 5

The fanny pack has gained prominence for mountain bikers, since it stays out of the way and carries all you need. Equipped with a 1.5-liter reservoir, this pack will keep you hydrated and carry tools, shell, and snack without a lot of overkill. $90;

4. Kitsbow | Tempest Merino Tight

Yes, every gear review ever tells you that merino wool regulates temperature, staying cool when you are hot and insulating when you cool down. That ability is just what you want in a bike tight for the varying temperatures of a Colorado day. Plus, the fit here is sleek and flattering. Men’s version is called the Rockstacker. $219;

5. PunchGunk | Pain Relief

It doesn’t matter how old you are, the aches and pains can bring you down. Using natural ingredients like aloe and kava and Menthol, this salve is something you will want to apply both before you get on the bike and when you are home watching the new season of Succession. $15;


6. Sweet Protection | Bushwacker 2Vi MIPS

MIPS technology and shock-absorbing EPS mitigate the chance of concussion and brain injury should you crash—but we hope you don’t and enjoy the airy, light feel of this helmet that, you know, could save your life. $250;

7. Ripton | Men’s Bike Pant

Denim, baby! But not the hot, nasty, un-stretchy stuff. These jeans were designed for riding bikes, with plenty of stretch and articulated knees (that can fit pads). It’s the ideal apparel for guys who want one pant for the trail and the brew pub (and maybe the job). $120;

8. Yakima | Hang Tight 4

This vertical hitch rack makes it simple to haul a whole family’s bikes without the hassle of a big, long back rack that sticks out in traffic and parking spots. It will carry fat bikes and kids’ rides and works well with smaller cars. $999;

9. MountainFlow | Bike Maintenance Kit

MountainFlow blew the minds of the Shark Tank judges with its eco-friendly ski wax. It did even better here with a full box of bike maintenance gear that’s both green and effective. The kit includes lube, polish, towels, and even a nifty bamboo bucket to hold it all. $130;

10. Smith | Attack Mag MTB

Plenty of coverage and Chroma Pop lenses that define your surroundings in bright sunlight while protecting your peepers make these light shades our go-to glasses whether we are on singletrack or eating up gravel. $269 and up;

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