As the snow melts (finally!), our thoughts turn to heading into the great outdoors – and all the great new stuff we’ll need to enjoy it. There's tons of gear coming out in the next few months and we’ve already run in, hiked with, rode on, drove in, listened to and played with most of it. In fact, our team of nearly two-dozen testers has been using (and abusing) all the new offerings to come up with this list of the very best stuff.
Contributors: Matt Berical, John Brandon, Berne Broudy, Ezra Dyer, Greg Emmanuel, Michael Frank, Tobey Grumet, Jason Heaton, James Martin, Dan Nelson, Seth Porges, Carl Rose, Doug Schnitzspahn, Josh Sens, Jeremy Spencer, Ryan Stuart, Erik Sofge, Basem Wasef
Specialized Allez Expert
This is the most affordable race-ready rig of 2014. Its geometry is taken from Specialized's top-end TARMAC, but an aluminum frame and Shimano's revamped Ultegra components keep costs down. A carbon front fork softens the ride, making it the ideal machine for jumping into competition. Specialized hydroforms the bike’s tubes together rather than weld them at the joints, resulting in a stiffer frame. [$2,400; specialized.com]