The Top Bike Gear Brands of 2021

Which cycling gear brands and what products were our best sellers in 2021? There were some dominant wins, and a few surprising upsets.

Top cycling bike gear brands 2021

Written by
Bruce Lin

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I want to close out this year on a high note, but what should I do? I could listen to the top songs from my Spotify Wrapped — again. Maybe I could relive my 2021 highlights with my Instagram Year In Review. No, no, no. You know what would be a really great way to finish things off? Buy some new parts for my bike! But what to get? Thankfully, we have The Pro’s Closet’s recap of the top selling gear brands of 2021 to guide us.

I already dug through our data to uncover TPC’s best-selling bikes of 2021. Now it’s time for parts and accessories. Let’s find out what brands and products are hot, and get some great upgrade ideas for next year. 

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Best-selling bike wheels

Carbon road bike wheelsGot a need for speed? Get some wheels. 

Road and gravel wheels

70.4%

MTB wheels 

29.6%

What’s the most important part of a bike? Wheels of course! When it comes to improving performance, wheels are the top upgrade. Apparently, drop-bar riders agree because over 70% of wheels sold in 2021 were classified as road and gravel wheels. Overall, roadies are our biggest buyers of aftermarket wheels. 

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Best-selling road and gravel wheels 

1. Mavic

27.6%

2. Zipp

14.4%

3. Reynolds

12.6%

Mavic was unbeatable this year with its huge selection of affordable aluminum and high-end carbon wheels. Zipp with its high-end carbon wheels, took second spot. Zipp’s longtime rival, ENVE just barely missed out, getting pipped by Reynolds, another carbon specialist. 

[product-block handle="mavic-aksium-elite-aluminum-clincher-700c-wheelset-1"/]

The Mavic Aksium Elite was far and away the best-selling wheel, making up over 30% of all Mavic wheel sales. I own two sets myself that are over 10 years old and still arrow-straight. I use them as training and bad weather wheels, but they are also a great upgrade if your bike still has generic entry-level wheels. The Aksium is followed closely by Mavic’s Ksyrium Elite, a slightly higher-end model. 

The Reynolds AR 41 wheels were the best-selling carbon wheels, just beating out the Vision Metron 55 TLR. Both models are fairly affordable for carbon, and riders were definitely excited this year to jump on tubeless-ready carbon wheels. 

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Best-selling MTB wheels

1. Mavic

26.8%

2. Box Components

10.7%

3. ENVE

8.9%

Again, Mavic is on top. But in a surprise upset, Box Components managed to beat out ENVE, the O.G. masters of carbon MTB wheels. Box also managed to crush established favorites like DT Swiss, Industry Nine, and Stan’s NoTubes

[product-block handle="box-one-tr36-carbon-tubeless-27-5-wheelset-1"/]

The Box One TR36 Carbon was our best-selling MTB wheel by a large margin, selling nearly 20% more units than the second best wheel, the Mavic XA35 Aluminum. The slightly wider Box One TR41 was our third best-selling wheel, followed by the carbon Mavic XA Elite and CrossMax Pro models. ENVE AM30 came in 6th — I’ve been riding these wheels all year and loving it

I’m actually shocked that carbon was so popular with mountain bikers this year. Maybe they are finally coming around to the advantages of carbon, or they trust their CushCores to protect them. 

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Best-selling bike tires

1. Maxxis

31.6%

2. Vittoria

24.9%

3. ENVE

20.8%

Mountain bikers love Maxxis and roadies love Vittoria, so it comes as no surprise that Maxxis and Vittoria were our top two brands. This time, ENVE was a dark horse, beating out long-time favorites Continental and Panaracer with its new, tubeless-ready SES Road tires.

[product-block handle="enve-ses-road-tire-700x25c-tubeless-tan"/]

The 25mm tanwall version was our overall second best-selling tire after the classic Maxxis Ardent.

The best-selling gravel tire model was Vittoria’s fast rolling Terreno Dry gravel tire, which managed to unseat Panaracer’s popular GravelKing SK. This might convince me to try a gravel race tire next season. 

Best-selling bike computers

1. Garmin

63.8%

2. Hammerhead

26.7%

3. Stages

2.0%

Despite Garmin leading the way in bike computer sales, the single best-selling head unit was the Hammerhead Karoo 2. Tons of riders at The Pro’s Closet are using it (including me) and loving the high-resolution touchscreen, easy navigation, and great features

[product-block handle="hammerhead-karoo-2-gps-cycling-computer"/]

After the Karoo 2, Garmin takes over, filling the next three spots with its benchmark-setting head units, the Edge 530, Edge 830, and Edge 1030 Plus. These computers are closely followed by Garmin’s smartwatches, which are perfect for runners, triathletes, and mountain bikers like Spencer who hate riding with head units. After the Garmin smartwatches, the Stages Dash managed to just barely edge out the Wahoo Roam and put Stages into our top three computer brands. 

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Best-selling MTB suspension forks

1. Fox

67.7%

2. RockShox

28.8%

3. Everyone else

<1%

With mountain bike forks, it’s really just a contest between Fox and RockShox. The two brands have been duking it out for years, and they take turns occupying the top spot. 

This year, Fox took the win thanks to high demand for its next generation Fox 36, Fox 38, and Fox 34 Step-Cast forks, our top three best-sellers. They were followed by the older, but still awesome, RockShox Pike

[product-block handle="2021-fox-factory-36-float-29-fork-150mm-grip2"/]

The vast majority of Fox and RockShox forks sold are air-sprung. Then comes a very small percentage of sales from less common fork brands. In a surprise twist though, sales of Lauf’s leaf spring Trail Racer and Grit forks were comparable to air forks from Ohlins, Marzocchi, Manitou, and DVO. Maybe Lauf is on to something? 

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Best-selling pedals

1. Shimano

49.5%

2. Look

16.6%

3. Race Face

12.0%

It doesn’t matter if it’s flats vs. clipless, Crank Brothers vs. Shimano, or Look vs. Shimano — Shimano wins, by a lot. We sold more Shimano pedals than Crank Brothers, Look, Speedplay, and Time combined. Riders seem to trust the Japanese brand to do pedals right. 

The Shimano SPD PD-M520 dual-sided clipless pedal was our number one seller. It’s affordable, tough, and perfect for MTB, gravel, cyclocross, and commuting.

[product-block handle="nc_race-face-chester-pedal-platform-turquoise-1"/]

The next most popular pedal is the Race Face Chester flat pedal. Again it’s affordable and tough, plus it comes in a huge range of colors. The Shimano 105 PD-R7000 clipless road pedal was our number three seller, followed closely by the Look Keo 2 Max.

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Best-selling bike helmets

1. Mavic

38.6%

2. POC

28.3%

3. Fox Racing

19.3%

Mavic again! This year its Aksium helmet was our top-selling helmet and helped boost Mavic to the number one spot. The Aksium looks good and cost less than $50, so riders scooped them up.

[product-block handle="mavic-aksium-elite-bike-helmet-white-black"/]

The Swedish protection experts at POC took second overall thanks to great sales of the Ventral and Tectal, our second and third best-selling helmets. The Speedframe MTB helmet helped Fox Racing take the final place among our top three helmet brands. 

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Best-selling cycling sunglasses

1. POC

41.9%

2. Rudy Project

26.7%

3. Tifosi Optics

19.0%

Though I love Oakley, it seems most shoppers prefer POC. The favorites this year were the DO Blade and DO Half Blade, which look modern and provide a lot of coverage.

[product-block handle="poc-do-blade-sunglasses-uranium-black"/]

Second placed Rudy Project likely appealed to riders seeking a more conservative look with the Rydon. Interestingly, we actually sold more golf-specific Rydons than any other version, so there must be some decent crossover between cyclists and golfers.

Then there’s Tifosi. Budget-conscious riders love Tifosi thanks to affordable but sleek glasses like the Edge.   

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Best-selling bike trainers

1. Tacx

59.8%

2. Saris

35.2%

3. Wahoo

4.9%

Winter is coming here! Riders have been snatching up trainers all year in preparation for the indoor riding season, and Tacx has been the big winner. Most riders have been choosing the Tacx Boost Trainer Bundle. It provides an affordable and easy way to set up your bike to ride Zwift without a smart trainer.

[product-block handle="tacx-boost-trainer-bundle"/]

The Boost is followed by Tacx’s Flux S direct drive smart trainer and then it’s the top-of-the-line Saris H3, which is my trainer of choice. Wahoo made a bit of an impact with the Kickr, but not enough to compete with Tacx and Saris trainers. With so many trainers going out the door this year, it looks like I’ll be running into a lot of new riders on Zwift next year!

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So what have we learned from this year-end recap? Well Mavic absolutely crushed it this year, though they were certainly helped by some attractive wheel and apparel sales. It’s hard to compete against a massive brand with 130 years of history. The biggest surprise for me was the success of the Box Components carbon mountain bike wheels. They weren’t really on my radar before, but they certainly are now. Hopefully, this means we’ll get more Box products to try out next year. 

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