There are certain things that make any ride more comfortable, like the right bibs, a good water bottle, and shoes that fit. But when it comes to long rides — when you’re spending all day in the saddle — the right accessories can really make or break the experience.
SHOP ROAD ACCESSORIES | SHOP ROAD BIKES
How we decided
We took into account the things that make our epic road rides a little bit easier. The things that make us feel safe, strong, and ready for all the miles. So if you’re ramping up for a century ride, or training to take on a huge mountain pass, check out our picks for the things that will help you get there.
1. The best helmet: Mavic Ksyrium Pro MIPS
Comfort plays a huge role in speed and endurance. This helmet is made with advanced fit technologies, protection, and ventilation to help you ride farther and faster with comfort. This helmet employs MIPS technology to allow the helmet to slide relative to the head in the case of a crash or impact, reducing the rotational energy and forces that are transferred to the brain. There’s even a mosquito mesh on the inside of the frontal vents to shield you from bugs. So even when the riding conditions heat up, you stay cool and comfortable from start to finish.
2. The best sunglasses: POC Do Half Blade
Comfort and protection are critical for your eyes too. That's why we pick POC. The Do Half Blade sunglasses feature POC's Clarity lens that enhances your vision in a range of light conditions and offers complete UV protection. The Half Blade design means no frame at the bottom of the lens. That way, your peripheral vision is unobscured.
4. The best GPS: Hammerhead Karoo 2
When it comes to big bike adventures, mapping and route creation is key. After all, it didn’t happen if it’s not on Strava, right? Plus, one of the best parts about long rides is finding roads with little to no traffic and seeing if you can connect a big loop. The Hammerhead Karoo 2 makes mapping and route creation easy. The responsive touchscreen and large, glove-friendly buttons work seamlessly for easy operation and clear visualization of navigation and training data. Connect to your devices and services like Strava via Bluetooth, ANT+, Wifi, GPS, and even cellular data by adding a SIM card. When your adventures take you far from civilization, the Karoo 2 has your back with 14 hours of battery life, IP67 waterproofing and 32GB of storage to download maps for anywhere in the world.
3. The best multitool: Lezyne RAP II 24 Multitool
Hopefully your epic ride is nothing but smooth sailing, but it’s best to be prepared for unexpected mishaps. The Lezyne RAP II includes: a Quick Link Holder, Hex 2/2.5/3/4/5/6/8mm, Torx T10/T25/T30, Phillips, Flathead, Chain Breaker, 8/10mm Wrench, 4 Spoke Wrenches, Disc Brake Wedge, Rotor Truing Tool. This all-in-one tool should be able to get you through almost any glitch you encounter.
5. The best water bottle cage: Arundel Mandible Carbon Bottle Cage
Feeling pro? Might as well save as many grams as possible when you’re logging big miles. The Mandible is the top Arundel model; its grip is the strongest of all Arundel cages. It’s great in extreme situations. Mandible cages have weathered the grand tours, the spring classics, worlds, all of it. Durable and elegant.
6. The best padded shorts for men: Mavic Cosmic Bib Shorts
When you’ve got a long day on tap, your kit can make all the difference in the world. These bibs are a great choice for everyday riding and all-day training. The Cosmic short is a fast, lightweight piece of apparel that’s built for comfort on any type of ride. It features the Ergo Elite 3D insert made with three different densities and six different thicknesses of memory foam. The result is progressive cushioning and excellent vibration damping for long-lasting comfort and support. The Lycra used provides muscle stabilization to reduce fatigue and help with recovery. And the single fabric, raw cut construction on the legs with silicon grippers offers a comfortable grip on the thighs while maintaining breathability and a lightweight feel.
7. The best padded shorts for women: Mavic Women’s Sequence Pro Bib Shorts
Big training days, races, or gran fondos put greater demands on your apparel, especially your shorts. To stay strong and focused on pushing your limits, you need to be comfortable in the saddle. This is Mavic’s premium performance road short for women, featuring pro-level performance, support and comfort along with some smart features to help you make the most of your ride. They feature the Ergo 3D Women’s chamois, made with progressive cushioning with three different foam densities. The inner layer is soft, comfortable and breathable, while the outer is firmer for optimal saddle support. The legs have a silicon grip to hold them in place without the “sausage effect” caused by many shorts that use elastic in the legs. And last but not least, the Sequence Pro bib short features an integrated rear zip that makes bathroom breaks easy.
8. The best handlebar bag: Arundel Czar Handlebar Bag
With long rides comes the need for more snacks! (Plus an additional layer, tools, a wallet, phone, and gloves). Instead of stuffing everything in your jersey, let a bar bag do the hauling. The Handlebar Czar is a great storage bag for your adventurous side. The Czar features water-resistant, welded seam construction, streamlined form, and unmatched function for long days in the saddle.
9. The best ride nutrition: Skratch Labs
Try making it a couple hours into a long ride without proper hydration and fuel. All the Gucci bike parts in the world won't save you from a bonk! That's why Skratch Labs bars, chews, and hydration mix are a critical item on the list of accessories for long road rides. Fill up and chow down.
10. The best bike light: Light & Motion VIS Pro 1000
Have you ever wanted to start an epic ride before sunrise? Or are you planning on logging big miles after sunset? The Light & Motion VIS Pro 1000 illuminates your ride so well that riding before the sun comes up, or after it sets, will no longer be intimidating. The Vis Pro 1000 blends impressive power with the ability to run all day on portable power. City riders will appreciate the exclusive SafePulse beam, scientifically designed to provide the highest level of rider awareness without the risks associated with flashing lights. Easily mount on standard or oversize handlebars with a mount that provides enhanced grip and features quick-release technology to remove in seconds.
An epic ride can take you through all kinds of ups and downs, but hopefully that will just be because of the hills you’re riding. The right kit can help you avoid blisters, the right bag can help you avoid under-fueling, and the right tools can keep you moving even in the event of a mechanical issue. There are all kinds of accessories that make epic road riding even better. With the right gear, as soon as you finish one ride you’ll be planning the next.