A century is a century, even if it consists of 1,200 feet of total elevation loss, 65-degree sunny skies, and winds that rarely breach 10 mph. On a fall day in New Zealand, those were the conditions we enjoyed as we rode from Lake Ohau to Oamaru. Weather cooperated, the roads were decently paved and there was a wide shoulder. There were a few unprotected spots where the sun baked the asphalt and, toward the end of the ride, an onshore wind picked up, but in all, it was the best century one could ask for. Still, as any rider knows, long hours in the saddle wear on the body, and there are better and worse ways to endure the ride, even in a beautiful Middle Earth landscape.
So, although we couldn’t improve on bucolic sweeping vistas of snowcapped mountains leading down to electric-blue glacier-fed lakes, we did ensure our gear was top of the line. For bibs we used the summer lightweight line from Assos, who have the reputation of being the best in the business — you’ll often hear rumors that pro riders take out the chamois of their team kit and sew in one from Assos. The Swiss company is hardcore on R&D, and the materials and product care that comes out of the efforts reflect an acute attention to riders’ needs. Giro’s Empire shoes hug the foot with a fine-tuned fit, and have carbon fiber soles that lend lightweight strength to pedal strokes; the Giro Synth helmet sports an aero focus while its big vents release heat and allow air transfer, and it all remains light on the dome. See the list below for the rest of the kit that made our idyllic ride that much more enjoyable.
Kit: Giro Empire Shoes ($275) | Giro HRc Team Socks ($20) | Giro Synthe Helmet ($250) | Assos T.équipe_s7 Bibs ($250) | Assos SS.milleJersey_evo7 Jersey ($160) | Assos iJ.intermediate_s7 Jacket ($230) | Giro Bravo Gloves ($26) | Oakley Radar Path Sunglasses ($160)