September is ideal for cycle touring—temperatures are lower, crowds are fewer. Hit the open road with these six essentials:
(from $2,600; norco.com)
Treading the line between road bike speed and the comfort of a touring bike, the Search is a new breed, designed for exploring. Oversized tubing and mountain bike-style axels transfer power from rider to bike. Careful use of geometry and materials ensure a comfortable riding position and reduce body-fatiguing vibration. Add wide tires and the bike pops with every pedal stroke, rails around corners and feels smooth even on washboard gravel.
Jetboil MiniMo Cooking System
Until now, cooking systems that turn pot and stove into one fuel-efficient unit have done a great job of boiling water. Period. Forget simmering. Even eating out of the tall, narrow pots—one of their big selling points, along with being lightweight and compact—often ended with scalded knuckles. The MiniMo answers these issues. It retains the boiling performance and compact size, but a new valve design allows it to simmer and the stocky pot is easier to eat from.
Porcelain Rocket MCA Handlebar System
Panniers are heavy and affect handling. A better option for light and fast tours are bike bags like these. This duo-bag system Velcros onto the front handlebars and sits just out of the way of shifters and brakes. The smaller, zip-access bag is ideal for those essentials you need regularly. The bigger bag fits a ton of stuff, perfect for storing extra layers. Both are tough enough to stand up to thousands of kilometres of off-road abuse.
Sugoi Canada Icon Jersey
Not only does this three-pocket bike jersey look patriotic, it will keep you comfortable in a range of weather conditions. During the hot, humid days for which southern Quebec is famous, there is the moisture wicking and highly breathable fabric. Built in sun-proofing keeps damaging rays at bay. And when wind whips off the St. Lawrence, the semi-fitted design won’t feel like a sail.
Cannondale Airspeed CO2 Micro-Fill Kit
Flats happen. Get fast changing them with practice—or with this slick kit. Inside the soft, stretchy bag is everything you’ll need: patches, tire levers and CO2 cartridges. Either patch the tube or pull out a spare, get the tire in place and then use the cartridges to fill it up in a flash, no pumping required. It’s compact enough to fit in most seat bags or a jersey pocket.
7Mesh Revelation Jacket
With a few ex-Arc’teryx people at the helm, this new company out of Squamish, BC, promises innovative, functional and beautiful gear. This, their first piece, walks the talk. Built from Gore-Tex’s premium Pro Shell fabric, it’s a bomber rain shell optimized for riding. The cut feels tight across the chest until you hunch over a handlebar and then it feels perfect. Sleeves and back hang long, the fit is trim and the removable hood slides under a helmet to maintain peripheral vision. Even the vents are done right—two small ones on the forearms and two big side zips—kicking up a cooling cross-breeze without catching wind.