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Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
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Two Wheels, Not Four

Gas prices, CO2 levels—it's all going up. Which is why more and more people are ditching gas-guzzlers for bikes. Here's some gear to help you make the switch. —Michael Frank

We've seen the rechargeable Urban 180 headlight from LIGHT AND MOTION last almost three hours on full blast. It runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and is bright enough to illuminate 100 yards of pitch-black trail. $99, bikelights.com

The water-resistant coating of RAPHA's Softshell trousers lets air in so you won't bake if rain gives way to sun. The lining is crazy comfortable, and the neoprene panel on the back reduces the misery of back-tire spray. Bonus: They actually look like normal pants. $140, rapha.cc

Most fenders look cheesy, but the lightweight, rustproof aluminum fenders from VELO ORANGE verge on stylish. Extra-strong stays and leather dampeners reduce rattling. $55 per pair, store.velo-orange.com

Someone at SWRVE has stood at a stoplight in the spitting rain on a cold morning commute, trying to warm frozen hands. Which explains the fleece-lined hand-warming pockets that are perfectly placed mid-chest on the Milwaukee ES jacket. An interior pocket swallows your wallet and phone, and the burly fabric laughs at wind and water. $150, swrve.us

CLUB RIDE's New West jersey is a stealth performer: It looks like a casual shirt but is made of stretchy, wicking nylon. There's a hidden front zipper beneath the buttons for venting, and side vents as well. $95, clubrideapparel.com

The supremely comfortable GIRO Reverb helmet has an auto-lock fit system that means less fiddling when you layer up with a beanie in the morning and then roll home that afternoon without it. $60, giro.com

PHILOSOPHY's panniers, made of cotton twill and water-based urethane, are waterproof and 87 percent petroleum-free. We mounted them easily on a range of racks. $259 each, philosophybags.com

The street-ready Pinner shoe by TEVA has a pedal-grabbing outsole and a soft footbed, both ideal for cafe cruising. The suede and synthetic-leather upper protects from the bite of a toe clip, but the flexy forefoot may be a hair too bendy for longer commutes. $90, teva.com

Thanks to HUCKLEBERRY BICYCLES (huckleberrybicycles.com) in San Francisco for its assistance and for loaning us Salsa's Casseroll bike ($1,200). Find your local bike shop at bicycleshops.us.


Belt-driven (rather than chain-driven) single-gear bikes are a hot commodity for commuters who want to keep their pants unmussed. The downside: Single-speeds destroy your quads on hills. SPECIALIZED's Source Eleven keeps the belt for cleanliness but adds 11 internal gears for easier climbs. It also has fat tires, upright seating, hub-powered lights, and hydraulic disc brakes. $2,750, specialized.com


With a 225-pound luggage capacity and a powerful 350-watt motor, TREK's Transport+ makes it easy to schlep a week's worth of groceries. Its rear-wheel drive feels more natural than the front-wheel drive of a converted e-bike, so the ride is steady even when the bike is laden. Upstairs dwellers, be forewarned: This beast is 18 inches longer than most road bikes and weighs about 40 pounds. $2,820, trekbikes.com


The RALEIGH Port Townsend is a classic tourer, right down to the old-school paint job, steel tubes, and front rack. It will also please serious commuters with its fat, pothole-absorbing tires, rise stem, and standard toe-clip pedals that allow you to roll in street-appropriate footwear. Best of all, this gorgeous bike looks like it cost twice the price; use the savings to invest in a good lock. $920, raleighusa.com


Top photo by Lori Eanes; special thanks to Ed McClendon


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