TPC employees live and breathe cycling, so if you want gear recommendations, this is the place to ask. With 2022 drawing to a close, I decided to ask riders at TPC, “What is the best bike product you bought this year?” We got some fun and diverse answers from racers, adventurers, and weekend warriors just like you and me. From complete bikes to components to weird little bits and bobs, let’s find out what cycling products TPC riders have been loving.
Canyon Grizl gravel bike
Rider: Elizabeth Wilcox, Photographer/Videographer
“It is my first gravel bike and I have really enjoyed expanding my riding with it.” - Elizabeth
Want to experience “the spirit of gravel” without breaking the bank? Then aluminum is the way to go. The alloy Grizl is affordable, fun, and capable, which is exactly why Elizabeth picked it. In terms of geometry, it is longer than many gravel bikes, so it has extra stability to tackle the roughest gravel roads. This Grizl 6 build came with a Shimano GRX RX400 drivetrain and DT Swiss wheels, all for under $2,000. Smoking deals like this are why Canyon is the king of DTC bikes.
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Trek Roscoe mountain bike
Photo courtesy of Trek.
Rider: Carlos Buitron, Intake Technician
“No matter the climate or trail, with the big wheels, the Roscoe just shreds anything in its path. I have become way more confident riding more extreme bike trails.” - Carlos
Many riders are searching for the elusive quiver-killer, one bike that can accomplish almost everything. The answer for Carlos is a burly trail hardtail: the Trek Roscoe. For 2022, the Roscoe got revamped with 29” wheels and 2.6” tires to maximize traction and rollover. Paired with a 140mm fork and progressive trail geometry, and you have the recipe for a fun do-it-all shred sled.
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Cervelo R-Series road bike
Rider: Megan Schmidt, Sales Associate
“After a decade of stock, boring road bikes I was finally able to build up a dreamy steed on a new-to-me Cervelo! I am grateful to live in a perfect area for road cycling, and this bike gives me a really good reason to roll out the door and link up all of my favorite local backroads.” - Megan
Megan picked up a Certified Pre-Owned Cervélo R-Series frameset this spring and built it up with a slick SRAM AXS drivetrain. The R-series has the same DNA as the Tour de France-winning R5, but it has a slightly more relaxed and upright riding position. It's the perfect road weapon for long distance adventures.
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FOX DHX2 coil shock
Rider: Clint Hobbs, Inbound Operations Manager
“The DHX2 has a lockout and individual adjustments that actually work. It’s allowed me to ride lines that I never thought were possible.” - Clint
Clint likes to go full-send right out the gate, so he's the type who appreciates the extra traction, consistency, and suppleness of a coil shock. Switching to a FOX DHX2 coil on his Transition Patrol massively enhanced his bike’s downhill capabilities by keeping it glued to the trail.
FOX Float X2 air shock
Rider: Owen Halseth, SEO Strategist
“Switching to the Float X2 made a huge difference in how my bike felt. I like to be poppy and jump around and the coil just felt sluggish. While the traction isn't as crazy as it was with the coil shock, my bike feels a lot more maneuverable than before.” - Owen
Of course, the perfect shock is a matter of opinion. Clint’s MTB nemesis, Owen, has gone in the opposite direction and switched from a DHX2 coil to a FOX Float X2 air shock to make his Pivot Firebird more lively. It’s a perfect for riders who want to maximize downhill performance without the extra weight of a coil.
Zipp 303 S carbon wheels
Rider: Ethan Martin, Product Manager
“My pre-owned Zipps are a big upgrade from my bike's aluminum stock wheels. But more importantly, I now have my gravel tires on one wheelset, and my road tires on another. I can now easily swap wheelsets to suit the surfaces on which I'll be riding.” - Ethan
Nothing enhances a road or gravel bike like a good set of carbon wheels. They reduce weight, improve acceleration, and can be formed into speedy aero shapes. Mid-range models like the Zipp 303 S are a best choice for most riders, and provide nearly the same performance as high-end options. With its wide 23mm internal rim width and tubeless compatibility, the 303 S is great for both road and gravel applications.
Fox Speedframe Pro MTB helmet
Rider: Ian Smith, Senior Frontend Engineer
“The helmet is super comfortable and saved my head in a high-speed OTB crash. It definitely withstood some pretty intense forces, and the MIPS did its job well. I love this helmet and will probably wear it for as long as they're made.” - Ian
The Fox Speedframe is super light, well-ventilated, and packed with features. It also earned Virginia Tech’s 5-Star helmet safety rating, which Ian definitely appreciated.
Lake Cycling CX238 road shoes
Photo: Lake Cycling
Rider: Anna Rischitelli, Product Manager
“I was having such bad foot pain, so I treated myself to one of Lake’s nice, all-leather road race shoes. O.M.G. Life changing! My foot pain is completely gone and the shoe provides incredible support and a great platform to drop some serious watts while chasing those sprint QOMs!” - Anna
Lake Cycling has the best shoe sizing in the business, with plentiful half sizes and the most wide and extra-wide options. The CX238 uses a light and stiff carbon sole for maximum energy transfer and a full-grain leather upper that protects the shoe from premature wear. (P.S. I wear Lakes too, and can attest that they last forever.)
Five Ten Freerider Pro / Trailcross LT
Riders: Kyle Goodmaster, Reactive Purchasing Supervisor / Carl Sechrist, Master Technician
“The Freerider Pro is grippy, light, breathable, can handle bike park days, and still pedals well.” - Kyle
“The Trailcross finds a good balance between being stiff and grippy enough for long steep downhills while being comfortable enough for hiking off the bike.” - Carl
Kyle and Carl found themselves on the same side of the old clipless vs. flat pedals debate this year with Five Ten shoes and flat pedals. Five Ten is the benchmark for flat pedal shoes. Despite a slew of competitors, there isn't anything that beats the grip of their Stealth rubber. Both Kyle and Carl also said that to get the most out of their new shoes they needed to be paired with good flat pedals.
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Teravail Kessel tires - Ultra Durable casing
Photo: Kyle Klain / The Radavist
Rider: Steve Gardner, Warehouse Manager
“This tire is essentially an imitation of the Maxxis Minion tread pattern. But these are available at a better price point than Maxxis tires, and I have been really impressed by the performance and durability. I rode over 1,500 miles of trail on these tires this year and had ZERO punctures!” - Steve
Tires are the best bang-for-the-buck mountain bike upgrade because they have a big impact on your traction, comfort, speed, and confidence. Steve has put in more hours shredding in the Colorado backcountry than anyone I know, and this year he switched to Teravail’s burly Kessel tires. Based on all his crazy rides and Strava PRs, they’ve been working out pretty well for him.
DOOM Titanium handlebars
Photo: John Watson
Rider: John Watson, Director, Content and Special Projects
“These bars have a beautiful back sweep and offer the right amount of flex when the descents get going fast!” - John
John loves titanium handlebars. They are tough, light, and corrosion-resistant. Thanks to the extra flex that can be built in, they’re also comfy as heck. That’s why he spec’d ultra-wide (880mm!) 22.2mm DOOM titanium bars on our special edition Radavist x Mosaic GT-2X gravel bikes. These one-of-a-kind handlebars are made in America, look rad, and keep your hands happy on the roughest trails.
Sram GX AXS upgrade kit
Rider: Graham McNeely, CRM Manager
“Precise, fast shifts, and a clean cockpit.” - Graham
Electronic drivetrains truly are the future of cycling. Shifts are always consistent and effortless, and electronic drivetrains actually work better in harsh weather conditions than mechanical drivetrains. If you have SRAM Eagle, it’s easy to switch over with an AXS upgrade kit. It provides the derailleur, shifter, battery, and charger, and installing it only takes a few minutes.
CushCore Gravel.CX tire inserts
Rider: Andy Heuser, Customer Experience Representative
“I love the added flat insurance the CushCores provide on the gravel bike. The lower tire pressures I can run lead to way more traction, meaning I can run a faster tread without risking a crash.” - Andy
We're seeing more tire inserts on gravel bikes because they do such a good job of preventing pinch flats and protecting rims from impacts. They also allow you to run lower pressures for traction and comfort and they provide extra damping in rough terrain. While there are lighter options on the market, nothing else matches the amount of protection CushCore provides.
Read our CushCore Gravel.CX review to learn more.
If you want the ultimate setup, Andy pairs his CushCores with Fillmore tubeless valves, patented high-flow valves that make tubeless setup easier and eliminate sealant clogs. These were his second pick for 2022's top product.
Salsa Anything cargo cage
Rider: Maggie John, Senior Manager - CX
“With the cargo cage I can now carry just over 1.5 gallons without taking up space in my hip pack or bags. That came in handy for desert weekends without water sources!” - Maggie
Carrying water on your back can be a drag if you have to haul it hundreds of miles over a multi-day bikepacking trip. Salsa’s Anything cage gave Maggie an easy way to haul the biggest water bottle on the planet inside her Santa Cruz Highball frame. Paired with a couple of stem-mounted cages and she has enough hydration on her bike to cross the Sahara.
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Swift Industries Kestrel handlebar bag
Rider: Duncan Benning, Customer Experience Representative
“The Kestrel is perfect for longer day rides. The shape (think shoe box but smaller) means the bag hangs on the bars better than traditional burrito bags AND it is much easier to get into. I also love that it has lash points for the Swift Sidekick and Rando pockets, making it expandable as the need/season dictates.” - Duncan
We love Swift Industries bags at TPC because they’re all designed, tested, and refined by real, dedicated cyclists. Best of all, Swift constructs its bags using recycled polyester made from plastic bottles rescued from polluted rivers.
Road Runner Sleeper saddle bag
Photo courtesy of Road Runner.
Rider: Ellie Horn, Marketing Coordinator and Creative Project Manager
“This saddle bag literally changed my bikepacking life. Once you mount it, it’s not going anywhere. Countless saddle bags I’ve tried need to be duct-taped to the seat when they get weighed down, but this bag stays up to even on the chunkiest routes.” - Ellie
Road Runner is another brand making their bags here in the USA. Its 2L Sleeper saddle bag is big and secure, so it is perfect for the most ambitious bikepacking routes. It uses “Mega Grip” fabric where the bag touches the seat post to keep it in place.
Rock Geist Mountain 52Hz Waterproof Framebag
Photo courtesy of Rock Geist.
Rider: Mark Moser, Sales Associate
“Roll top, no zippers to break, completely waterproof, and designed specifically for my Tumbleweed Prospector.” - Mark
This is the third American bag-maker on the list! Rock Geist specializes in waterproof bags that use welded seams and no zippers. They are perfect for adventures where moisture is an ever-present threat. Rock Geist also makes custom-fit framebags for specific bikes, like Mark’s Tumbleweed Prospector.
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K9 Sport Sack
Rider: Joe Cecil, Certified Trainer
“I can bring our pup, Maggie, wherever we want to ride. She loves to feel the breeze on descents down Flagstaff (a legendary local climb).” - Joe
Hate leaving your pup at home every time you go riding? Then you might need a K9 Sport Sack, a backpack-style carrier that lets your dog ride along with you. Adorable.
Mac Ride child bike seat
Rider: Nick Martin, Founder
“It gets you out on the trail with your little ones safely and allows you to share the trail riding experience with them at a young age.” - Nick
Sometimes the best bike products slow you down. With the Mac Ride child seat, that’s actually a good thing, because it gives you more quality time with your kiddo! I use a Shotgun seat myself and can attest that being able to share the joy of riding with your toddler makes these seats worth every penny.
Photo courtesy of oNX.
Rider: Travis Erwin, Head of Purchasing
“Now, the planning becomes part of the adventure — I'm able to seek out new and interesting spots that become a true escape from civilization.” - Travis
This one is a bit out of my wheelhouse so I decided it’s better to just let Travis explain it:
“It's not a cycling product per se, but rather a mapping service. oNX Offroad is a subscription-based mapping service that identifies land ownership (BLM, National Forest, Private, etc). It's helped me pinpoint potential off-grid camping locations throughout Colorado and Utah to legally camp for free, and usually in isolation.
“I've always loathed camping at public campgrounds as the noise and close proximity to others defeats the purpose, let alone the stress of trying to get to a designated spot before the campground is full. Now, the planning becomes part of the adventure — I'm able to seek out new and interesting spots that become a true escape from civilization. Pairing these secret spots with riding destinations is what (for me) a vacation is all about: singletrack and solitude!”
Wild Rye Elorie Technical Overalls
Photo courtesy of Wild Rye.
Rider: Mary Metcalf, CRM Manager
“They're fun and keep my ride vibe fun and approachable!” - Mary
Wild Rye’s overalls technically aren’t meant for riding, but that doesn’t stop Mary from rocking them when she’s shredding trails up in Big Bear. They are made with technical fabrics so they’re quick-drying, stretchy, breathable, and durable. The look is finished off with branded antique brass buttons and super-functional pockets. Bad-ass.
Photo courtesy of Specialized.
Rider: Andrew Austin, Purchasing Product Specialist
“Honestly, for many rides there is no better feeling than some flat pedals and a pair of crocs to let some air hit those little piggies. I'm serious. If you're going for a light gravel cruise, you don't need to be clipped in with the release tension cranked up to 11. I know it sounds crazy, but give it a try. You might just like what you find.” - Andrew
Okay, this is weird and silly, but I don't think Andrew is a crazy. A few years ago I forgot my riding shoes on a trip to Fruita, so I rode the entire week in my Crocs and even set some Strava PRs. The Crocs Croslite material isn't Five Ten Stealth, but it's still surprisingly good. Would I do it again? No. Does it work? Sure.
SMARTTOP Eyeglass Ear Grips
Rider: Bruce Lin, Senior Writer
These $7 SMARTTOP Ear Grips from Amazon are dirt cheap. Because of my weird face, my sunglasses never want to stay up. I’m constantly pushing them back up which gets really annoying while riding. On rough trails, it can become downright dangerous. I’ve tried a a lot of different solutions, but these simple silicone ear grips work better than anything else. A single pack has 14 pairs, so I can set up all my sunglasses and have spares if any break.
A few of these bike products have definitely made it onto my own wish list. A few are a bit too kooky, even for me. Have you used any of our product picks? Do you have any of your own? Let me know about them in the comments!