Recession, what recession...

Adding these little numbers to your Christmas list?

Dunno about you, but I'm broke. The children will be getting toys made out of cardboard and Sellotape this Christmas. But they won't be able to play with them for long because I'll have to throw them on the fire to keep warm. (The toys, the toys...) And as for my wife's new handbag – hope she likes the Sainsburys logo...

Oh alright it's not that bad. In fact, I'm thinking of treating myself to a couple of cycling treats this Chrimbo. First up the Rapha Essentials Case and next the Beru F1 Factor 001. These tasty little numbers will set me back a tidy £22,035. Yep, the Rapha Essentials Case is £21,995...oh hold on...that's the Factor 001.

Now, let me walk you through Rapha's Essential Case. It's leather. It's got Bon Courage written inside. It's £40. I like Rapha gear, but I'm just not sure about this one. It looks like a purse. For men. Our resident heteropolitan Warren is currently using the case. He seems to like it. It's perfect, he says, for keeping his iPhone – see, I told you he was heteropolitan – nice and cosy. He also keeps his credit card (platinum), cash (£50 notes only) and eyeliner (Chanel) in it. I'm less metrosexual and use a ziplock bag...

As for the Beru F1 Factor 001...well you could have, say, 22 very good Boardman Team Carbons for this kind of money. But admit it, there's something kind of saucy about it isn't there? On-board measuring systems give data on around 100 parameters, including crank force, incline, lean angle, body temperature, chest expansion, speed and riding position. Chest expansion? Body temperature? It does make one wonder where you plug it in...Hopefully we'll be getting hold of a Factor 001 in the New Year, although I'm not sure whether we'll also get a security guard to accompany us on test rides as well. Sadly, though I won't be opening my wallet – or Rapha Essentials Case – and handing my 22 grand to Beru F1. That (imaginary) money is already spent ...

Cycling Plus - the perfect christmas gift!

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Rob Spedding

Editor-in-Chief, Cycling Plus, Cycling Plus Magazine
Editor-in-chief Rob has been pedalling Cycling Plus since 2007. His first proper road bikes were a Raleigh Sprint in the early 1980s and then a Trek 1000 in 1999. A former competitive runner, Rob has repeatedly threatened to become a competitive cyclist in every discipline from time-trailling to hill climbing to bike polo. We're still waiting.
  • Discipline: Road. Mainly commuting but with the occasional mountainous sportive that he'll complain about/fail to complete. Enjoys cake stops. Will never, ever do another triathlon after a bad experience in open water.
  • Preferred Terrain: Gently undulated roads – he's more of a rouleur. Likes gravel.
  • Current Bikes: BMC Alpenchallenge, Viner Perfecta, BMC Granfondo GF0, anything shiny that Warren Rossiter will allow him to ride
  • Dream Bike: Bianchi Specialissima, Raleigh Banana
  • Beer of Choice: Innis and Gunn Original
  • Location: Bath, UK
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