Though they haven't won the Tour de France in 28 years, the French still know a thing or two about attire. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the country that brought you Chanel and Christian Dior also lays claim to some of the peloton's best cycling apparel. Long known for its high-end wheel sets, Annecy-based Mavic recently expanded into the Lycra market with fitted, breathable kits. Its tailored jerseys and rain slickers are both elegant and functional, but for our money, nothing tops Mavic's Helium bib shorts. Light, comfortable, and subtly stylish, these black bibs (seriously, no grown man should shrink-wrap his ass in any other color) actually made us want to extend long days in the saddle thanks to its Ergo 3D Insert, a moisture-wicking chammy that provides six layers of padding. [$180; mavic.com]
Gear of the Year
The best tools, tech, and toys of 2013.
Plus: Lance Armstrong's Downfall
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