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What We’re Loving This Week: Sunglasses, Budget Smartwatches, and Old Cycling Booties

Here's what our editors and staff are using and loving right now—old, new, and random.

Every week our editors spend a lot of time swimming, biking, and running—and testing new (and old) gear. Here’s what they’re using and loving in their regular lives right now.

Roka x Machines For Freedom GP-1 Sunglasses

I’ll admit, when it comes to sunglasses for cycling I’ve always been a bit of a snob—I know what I like and like what I know. When these new Roka x Machines For Freedom sunglasses landed on my desk recently, they piqued my interest, largely because Machines For Freedom is an inclusive women’s cycling apparel brand which has done some cool shizz. These glasses are part of a larger collection from Roka and Machines For Freedom that aims to encourage more women to challenge the status quo and blaze their own path. Like it, like it a lot. And I’ve been loving these glasses a lot. They’re super lightweight and you barely notice they’re there when you’re riding (the hallmark of any great cycling eyewear, IMO). The frameless upper looks badass and helps deliver an unrestricted forward field of view. The mirrored gold lenses and rose gold inset logos also really make these glasses stand out too. As they’re so lightweight (only 25 grams), I’ve also worn them while running and continue to be impressed by their versatility.

– Emma-Kate Lidbury, managing editor

Coros Pace 2

I get to try a lot of smartwatches. Like probably too many. My iPhone is littered with smartwatch apps, beta tester apps, and all sorts of other weird programs that I can’t even remember what they do but are somehow related to one of the dozens of smartwatches I’ve tested in just the last few years. But lately, I’ve been really focusing on that “sweet spot” smartwatch that doesn’t give me a “function headache,” does what it says it will consistently and without issues, and is a watch I can suggest to family and friends without having to preface the recommendation with “OK, it might seem like a lot of money for a watch, buuuuuut…”

The new Coros Pace 2 is an embarrassment of riches: basics like smartphone notifications, a strong Bluetooth connection (that re-connects better than most), and open-water swim, advanced bike, run, and tri/multisport functions, but also a super crisp screen, a simple user interface with a handy scrolling dial, and built-in running power. All for $200. Aside from the lack of music (which I don’t use anyway), this watch topples $400+ devices, and is literally the smallest and lightest smartwatch I’ve tested so far. One of my favorite things about this watch is knowing that Coros actually puts out really big firmware updates that could make this watch look even better in a few months from now with added functions.

– Chris Foster, senior editor

Performance Bicycle Neoprene Booties

Let me tell you a tale about the most amazing pair of cycling booties I have ever owned. If you remember Performance Bikes before it closed its retail stores, it was where so many of us (especially on the West Coast) bought our first cycling gear, where we found cheap but durable clothes and components and nutrition—before we even knew you called them “components” and not just “bike parts.” A long time ago, faced with my first Northern California winter of riding—which somehow always ends up being 40s and raining whenever you plan to head out—I got these Performance house brand neoprene cycling booties. They’re thick, made of solid neoprene, and zip up the back (which, IMO, is far superior to the velcro models). The bottom is a few millimeters of rubber and the only hole for water to get in is whatever you cut out of the rubber with a box cutter for your cleat to pop through. They seem less sleek than the fancier versions, but have turned out to be a lifesaver more than once. They’re warm, as water-resistant as you can get on a cover over your shoes, and they’ve lasted so long I’ve replaced the zipper with a twist tie and they still work. When I re-found them in a box this week it was the most excited I’ve been about morning riding since it snowed last month. The only downside, sorry!, is they don’t seem to be available anywhere online anymore—not even on clearance on Amazon. This pair seems to be the closest version. It appears the trend has moved away from the full rubber bottom and the thick neoprene—it is thick and can be bulky—but if you plan to winter ride, then find yourself a pair of solid neoprene booties.

– Kelly O’Mara, editor-in-chief