Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt
($2,050 and up; bikes.com)
An XC bike that's comfortable to ride. A dual-suspension freeride bike that loves to climb. Both describe the Thunderbolt, a 27.5-inch wheel, aluminum-frame rocket that handled technical climbs and fast singletrack equally well. Climb on board and the fairly relaxed 68.5 front fork geometry suggests a fun bike for flying downhill and, indeed, the 120 mm of travel felt more plush than it is. But hit a hill and the bike climbs nimbly.
Sugoi Icon Jacket
Built for mountain biking, the Icon has loads of mechanical stretch, so the streamlined fit doesn't feel restrictive. The hood and a drop-tail provide extra protection when needed and stow out of the way when not in use. Several pockets store everything you need and two vents whip up a cooling breeze.
The two key variables in a helmet: weight and protection. To meet both, Smith created Aerocore construction — an EPS foam sandwich filled with thousands of polymer tubes welded together. Smith says the combo absorbs 30 per cent more impact than EPS alone. The tubes also channel a cooling breeze.
This Cadillac of bike racks will live on your car, not because it's hard to mount — it's not, locking into a hitch with a few twists of a handle — but because it gets out of the way when needed. Even carrying four bikes, the rack swings off to one side. There's also a built-in cable-lock for securing the bikes to the rack.
Specialized Zee Cage II with Tool
Hidden in the bottom of this functional water bottle cage is a six-piece Allen-key tool set; leave your other one at home. Add the EMT Top Cap Chain Breaker, which replaces the top cap on your head tube with a chain breaker tool, and you're set for most mechanical issues on the trail.