Editor’s Note: This article is courtesy of the team at Art’s Cyclery. The original post can be found here.
With road disc brakes, eTap, and at least one new standard arriving next year (will it be bottom bracket, axle width, handlebar clamp diameter?), it’s time to close the books on 2015. So let’s take a look at some of the products that made riding more enjoyable these past 12 months. While we may constantly look to the future and dream about what the Next Great Thing to hang on our bikes or our bodies will be, let’s be thankful for the fun we had last year. Plus, who knows, you may have missed out on something and your friends have been making fun of you this whole time.
Garmin Edge 20 GPS Computer
It’s not that we are anti-computer. More like anti-complexity. Who wants to waste time during rides scrolling through screens displaying metrics you didn’t even know existed? Nor do we need to know which five degrees of my pedal stroke is the strongest. Sure we enjoy knowing how fast we went down a favorite descent, and whether or not eating that extra plate of pasta and getting eight hours of sleep the night before resulted in a faster completion of the after-work loop. Basic info — that’s what we’re after. Enough data to stay motivated, but not overkill. And basic info is just what the Garmin Edge 20 provides. It’s easy to use, compact, and as accurate as it gets thanks to GPS and GLONASS satellite coordination. The Edge 20 lets you take your eyes off your screen and keep them on the road. Strava compatibility and the option to add cadence data is available with the ever-so-slightly more advanced Edge 25.
Blackburn Local Cooler Pannier
Anything is a bottle opener. And with a bottle opener attached, anything becomes cool. A cooler with a bottle opener? Specifically made for your bike? It doesn’t get much is better than that. Blackburn’s Local Cooler Pannier is equipped with a bottle opener, is a cooler, and goes on your bike. Insulated and waterproof, these panniers are ready to haul whatever it is you need to stay chilled: milk, potato salad, or beer. When used with the Blackburn Interlock rack system, this bag can be conveniently locked to your bike with the simple turn of a key, offering security and peace of mind.
Kask Protone Helmet
The typical road helmet of several years ago had a jagged rear profile, hard angles, and teetering placement high atop our heads. It was horrible to look at. Cyclists have never been well known for their sense of style, but those things were an insult to anyone who cared about aesthetics even a little bit. In 2013, Giro released the Air Attack, creating a helmet category now filled with offerings from every manufacturer. Not surprisingly, at the top of the list for style, comfort, and efficiency sits the Kask Protone Helmet. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, we appreciate the simple, rounded lines of the typical aero road helmet shape, which the Protone epitomizes. The Italian-made Protone is functional as well as beautiful. Viewed from the front, Kask’s Protone looks like a standard, well-vented road helmet. Its top and back, however, share the smooth surfaces and rounded profiles of the latest crop of hybrid aero/road helmets. Kask’s padding is the most comfortable in the game, and like all their helmets, the fit is impeccable.