Beyond the Bikes: The Gear and Lingo You Need to Become a True Road Cyclist

Want to conquer the roads like our main man Michael Woods? A new bike isn’t the only thing you’ll need to up your cycling game.

1. Kinetic Rock and Roll Smart Fluid Trainer


There are days — when it’s raining, say, or during the interminable winter — when you won’t be able to go for a bike ride. This stationary resistance trainer works with your favourite steed, mimicking the side-to-side motion of real road racing, so you can work on your core, your balance, and your power, keeping you road-ready all year long. $570

2. Endura FS260-Pro SL Shorts


These shorts come in a range of leg lengths and chamois pad widths, and are made from space-age “Coldblack” fabric that’s breathable and highly compressive, while staying cool in the sun. And unlike a lot of other high-performance bike gear, they’re not covered in embarrassing neon logos and racing stripes. You won’t look cool, exactly, but you’ll look cooler. $175

3. Garmin Edge 1000

For many cyclists, the unquantified life just isn’t worth living, and the Garmin Edge 1000 is the ultimate quantifier. In addition to the standard turn-by-turn route mapping and tracking, the Edge 1000 can plug into power meters to gauge your cadence, balance, and performance in real-time. $730

4. Outlier New OGs

New York–based Outlier is one of a handful of companies marrying cutting-edge technical materials with styles that, you know, actually look good. The OGs have enough four-way stretch, toughness, and water resistance to weather your commute, and a tapered cut that won’t look out of place with an oxford and a pair of brogues. $255

5. Strava

It’s not hard to find out who scored the fastest time on, say, the iconic Alpe d’Huez (Marco Pantani, 37:35, in 1997). But what about your local lakeshore trail? Enter Strava, the  popular app that chops the world’s roads up into segments, and tracks your performance on each, with the help of your phone or GPS watch. Free

6. GoPro Hero4 Silver

It’s hard to beat the GoPro HERO4 Silver for video and sound quality, durability, and accessories. But watch out later this year for new camera systems from Nikon and GoPro that marry action camera ruggedness with 360-degree lenses, allowing a rider to fully capture the thrills and perils of chewing up pavement in the middle of a pack. $560


Talk the Talk


First you learn the names for all the parts of your bike. Then you learn the complicated technical terms related to racing. And then? Then there’s a whole world of road bike slang to master. Here’s a sampling:


Sudden dizziness or a total energy crash brought on by ultra-low blood sugar when you haven’t loaded up with sufficient carbs before your ride. Basically your worst nightmare.

I bonked so bad last week I didn’t think I’d make it home.


1. A goofy cyclist with tube socks, khaki shorts, blinking lights, and a mirror firmly attached to his helmet.

Jeez, this ride is full of Freds. What are we doing here?

2. A beginner cyclist who drops thousands on his first bike but doesn’t really know how to ride it.

Oh man, I saw the saddest Fred last week. Had a sweet S5 but didn’t even know how to clip in. (Yes, these two definitions are totally contradictory.)


A nervous rider who you can’t trust to keep a straight line.

I rode like a total squirrel last week, but I was on the verge of bonking.


Someone who’s excessively concerned with shaving precious grams off his bike, even if it probably makes no difference in his riding.

Call me a weight-weenie, but I couldn’t imagine using steel beaded tires anymore.


A rider who drafts behind you without taking their damn turn up front. A.k.a. a leech.

Man, I was towing that wheel sucker for 10 miles before I slammed on my brakes. Got what he deserved.