Guy Kesteven

Author: Guy Kesteven

Guy Kesteven has been testing bikes to their limits for 17 years. In the process of testing literally thousands of bikes and components, he’s marathon raced supermarket bikes, podium placed in Enduro downhills, frozen to the marrow on cyclocross sportives and mangled himself at the Mega Avalanche. Whether it's aggro trail bikes, aero time trial weapons or any bike in between, the experience and expertise of Guy and his northern UK test team lets him put every pedal stroke and bar twitch totally in context with a bike’s competitors, its development history and a cerebellum crushing amount of hard earned long term data.

Most Recent
Jonathan Gawler    Santa Cruz Blur 4X

Santa Cruz Blur 4X
£1099 4

You might guess from the 4X name that this burly Blur is designed for 4X and Dual Slalom race domination. It's also a great choice for hardcore riders who want strength and stability without excess weight and travel.

Specialized s mid level hardtail gets the full race ready treatment for a hard kicking maximum speed

Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc
£949 4

Specialized's Rockhopper range takes you from 'all you need' stalwart to this impressively specced speed machine. Does getting the top model of the tree makes sense though?

The Prophesy Paclite Jacket offers good top half protection

The North Face Prophesy Paclite Jacket
£150 4

This outdoor jacket (not riding specific but great for riding) is made from Paclite, Gore-Tex's lightest waterproof fabric, with impressive breathability characteristics.Wide-mouth, velcro-closure sleeves provide good ventilation for your arms.

Handily  the bite point of the pads is adjustable

Avid Juicy Ultimate Brake
£195 4

Avid's Ultimate brake has always been exactly what it says on the tin - the ultimate in materials and performance. Avid have only ever put the Ultimate tag on a V-brake before, so the Juicy Ultimate hydraulic disc brake has been on our most wanted list for a long time.

The Ozone has a very good run time

BLT Ozone 21ne
£64.95 3.5

Torch-style like the Electron, but with a more powerful LED. The beam is far too focused for off-road handlebar use on its own because the illuminated pool is tiny.

Marin Wolf Ridge

Marin Wolf Ridge
£1975 4

Looking at the 'new' TARA Rage bikes you'd easily be forgiven for thinking not much had changed on Marin's long travel all rounders. Detailed suspension and geometry changes for 07 make a massive difference, however,

The L amp amp M gives out a far reaching spot

L&M ARC NiMH
£375 4

Only Light & Motion wrap their own reflector around a Welch Allyn HID bulb, rather than using the complete head unit. The result is a far-reaching central spot and a wide but dim halo which L&M say reduces contrast and eye fatigue.

Both lights run off the big Endurance bottle battery

Lumicycle Halide 2006 Plus
£499.99 4

Lumicycle's twin HID range-topper offers a 12-degree flood beam and a 6-degree spot, giving masses of breadth and depth in typically blue white, high definition halide colour.

The Edison comes bundled with a head mount  connector grease and car charger

Lupine Edison 5
£550 4.5

Our reigning über light, the Edison's performance is boosted even further for 2007. The neat, cool-running unit uses a standard 10W Welch Allyn head with smart circuitry boosting output to a whopping 65W halogen equivalent.

Ultra compact  minimalist but longrunning light with loads of options

Dinotte Lithium Ultra 3W
£185 4.5

The smallest light on test, the Lithium Ultra still pumps out just enough power for proper off-roading. Dinotte gives plenty of light options: 3W and 5W singles, doubles (triples due soon) plus a choice of Li-Ion or AA battery packs.

This is not a slimline choice  by any means

Blackburn X6
£199.99 3

If there was a prize for indulgent design Blackburn would win by a finned, fancy plastic mile. The twin 5W LED system comes with a spot and flood head to give a reasonable depth and breadth of illumination with both LEDs running, and a long reach for road or a short spread for slow singletrack.

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Cateye Triple Shot Pro
£299.99 4

Another three-lamp header, this is as good as LED units get. The beam is fairly focused but has enough spread to weave through trees, outshining the Solidlight.

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