With gas prices skyrocketing ($3.81 at press time!) and local governments investing in bike paths throughout the country, there's no better time to hop on a bike. Whether you're a cruiser or a racer, we scoured the market to find everything you need to ride to your full potential as safely as possible. Here are six new items to add to your cycling wish list.
Get this: Camelbak Magic, $75, camelbak.com
As a general rule, experts recommend that cyclists drink about 16-ounces (or more in hot weather or super intense rides) of H20 per hour of cycling. Camelbak's Magic holds 70 ounces of water and has a low profile so it's comfortable to wear on a multi-hour mountain bike ride. The pack also has compartments for keys, cash and a spare tube and has reflective piping for increased visibility on the trail or road.
Protect your melon
Get this: Giro Atmos, $180, giro.com
Whether you're a triathlete, road enthusiast or urban commuter, a helmet is the single most important piece of cycling equipment you own. We love the Atmos because it has 26 wind tunnel vents (hello, air conditioning!) and weighs only 0.6 pounds -- your head practically feels naked. Turn a knob on the back of the helmet to customize the fit to your cranium.
Relive the ride
Get this: GoPro HD Hero 960, $179, gopro.com
This wearable 5-megapixel HD camera -- designed for "athletic super geeks" -- attaches to your helmet (or head, body or other piece of gear) so you can capture high-quality, professional-style videos of your two-wheeled action. Waterproof and bombproof (literally!), the camera is also primed for surfing, skiing, snowboarding and even base jumping.
Up your security
Get this: Kryptonite Evolution Mini, $50, kryptonitelock.com
Approximately 250,000 bikes are stolen each year. Don't let yours become a statistic. Weighing in at just two pounds, the Evolution Mini is more portable than other heavy-duty locks (it can easily be stashed in a backpack), but no less secure. With its single-bolt mechanism and 13-mm shackle that resists bolt cutters, it's the No. 1 choice among bike messengers worldwide -- and their livelihood relies on their wheels.
See and be seen
Get this: Princeton Tec Push Light, $49, princetontec.com
With high, low and "don't stare at it too long" flash modes, the 100-lumen handlebar-mounted Push Light guarantees that others will see you (even that fool driving while talking on his mobile, Tsk!), whether you're cruising downtown or on a rolling country rode. It has windows on its sides, so light doesn't only shine out in front of you, but also to the right and left, giving you 260 degrees of visibility.
And if you're in the market for a bike, may we suggest ...
The Specialized Vita Step Thru, $470, specialized.com
With thin wheels, an upright position, the quickness and efficiency of a road bike and a step-through frame of an easy on-and-off, the Vita is as comfortable on an easy weekend ride or morning commute as it is rocking a triathlon. The straight-blade steel fork helps you confidently -- and comfortably -- manage potholes and rough patches. The gel grips eliminate hand pain and tingling fingers. More of a mountain biking gal? Check out the Specialized Myka HT Elite 29er ($1,050).