Every year Bicycling’s test team puts together our list of the best Bicycling's Gear of the Year. This product has been ridden and raced by our editors and contributors on trails and roads all over the country, and sometimes all over the world. From commuting on busy city streets, to grinding out miles on gravel roads, to descending miles of singletrack, the items we selected for Bicycling's Gear of the Year represent the best things we rode and used on our bikes over the past 12-months. No matter the type of riding you do, there is gear for you on this list.
Over the past year, the Bicycling test team rode and tested dozens of bikes. Many were good, some were great, a couple were exceptional, but only one bike can be Bicycling's Bike of the Year.
[image id='28c958b1-b88c-4418-89fc-940b5686c710' mediaId='81c4f026-da19-41fd-8ec9-54063cf726b0' align='center' size='large' share='false' caption='Bicycling reader Laura Fay’s Aethos Comp Rival eTap AXS.' expand='' crop='original'][/image]
Specialized Aethos Comp Rival ETap AXS / $5,000
When the Specialized Aethos Comp Rival launched, I said, “I think we have an early favorite in the race for 2021’s road bike of the year.” In this case, my prediction was accurate. But before I tell you why this bike won, some backstory on the Aethos is necessary. —Matt Phillips
At Bicycling we continue to broaden the selection of bikes and gear we review and feature to better represent and meet the needs of everyone who loves bikes. Products that better represent how you see yourselves as cyclists. Products that perform the way you do. Products used and tested in the ways and places you ride.
For this year’s Bicycling's Gear of the Year selections, we invited seven influential cyclists from communities around the country to contribute. They chose a range of products that enhance their experience on the bike. After all, we know you’re not all amateur racers who want slim-fitting aero jerseys and super-stiff carbon soles. You need stuff that works for the unique ways you enjoy bikes.
Over the course of a year, Bicycling's test team and contributors ride A LOT of stuff. These are our picks for bicycle components and accessories that stand out from the crowd in performance, quality, innovation, or just because they made us happier on rides.[gallery id='80850fae-cdba-4bff-9d7d-9a0d349f0471' mediaId='0b92368f-896c-47f9-bf8a-9b4ec9b98646' display='list' align='center' size='medium' share='true' expand='' captions='true' suppress-title='true'][/gallery]
Cycling is often an extension of our lives. These are our picks for great products that help make your cycling life better on, or off, the bike.[gallery id='117164d7-a64d-4fb3-bfa2-a3448509c3f1' mediaId='fb7a4e97-0eb5-4ec3-a772-5734c03bca4c' display='list' align='center' size='medium' share='true' expand='' captions='true' suppress-title='true'][/gallery]
Sometimes bikes break. Sometimes you need to make adjustments or perform preventative maintenance on your bike. Sometimes you need to install fancy new parts on your bike. These are our choices for the best products for cleaning, maintaining, or getting your bike to the trailhead.[gallery id='b2b0fac5-8333-494e-94ca-5a6f7f6f9e28' mediaId='a77cb7aa-a9fe-4848-bab4-3f8397685747' display='list' align='center' size='medium' share='true' expand='' captions='true' suppress-title='true'][/gallery]
We know that often the kit, shoes, or clothes you wear can make or break a ride. Over the past year, our product testers spent countless hours on the road and trails riding and racing bikes under blazing sun, in downpours, and even through blizzard conditions in their mission to find the best of what to wear in any riding conditions.[gallery id='8ae3e6d0-2538-48ff-8855-c6d8240f3601' mediaId='371dbf2c-2e40-4057-b075-a9a6ae8af766' display='list' align='center' size='medium' share='true' expand='' captions='true' suppress-title='true'][/gallery]
Technology is an ever present facet of our modern life, heck it's how you are reading these words right now. And just like in our daily lives, tech can be used to make our time on the bike a little more enjoyable, increase our efficiency, or show off the fun we're having to our friends and family.[gallery id='76229dfc-a13c-4660-b274-f8292e61979b' mediaId='28ce5d41-1680-43fe-aa8e-faab2f24a2eb' display='list' align='center' size='medium' share='true' expand='' captions='true' suppress-title='true'][/gallery]