The arrival of winter shouldn't stop you getting some quality road miles or trail time in – you just need to be clever with your kit choices. Today's round-up contains several new products that could help keep you in the saddle as the nights draw in.
Bookman are an urban accessories company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Their new Bookman Lights are about as minimalist as they come and are clearly aimed at the style crowd rather than technophiles. That being said, the single LED on the white front light is surprisingly bright, although we'd still recommend using it as a supplementary or emergency light rather than your main one.
The lights have three modes – constant/flash bursts/flashing – and are each powered by two CR2032 batteries. The simple but effective elasticated attachment fits even the fattest handlebars. Available in six colours (red/white/black/green/yellow/blue), twinpacks containing both front (white LED) and rear (red LED) lights cost £18.99 in the UK and $25 in the US.
If you're after something more powerful, Cateye's NANO Shot front light pumps out a claimed 250 lumens from its single LED, with a wide beam pattern. It has three modes: high (1.5hr run time), low (3hr) and flashing (12hr). It's rechargeable via a USB port, with a 3.5hr full charge time. It's available via Zyro in the UK for £99.99.
Cateye NANO Shot front light
Last on the lights front is Knog's Boomer Wearable rear light. This can be attached to your jacket or saddle back using the clip on the black or the integrated magnet. The 43g, 20-lumen light is powered by two AAA batteries and has a claimed run time of 12hrs (steady) and 36hrs (flashing), with four distinctive modes. It features a super-bright central red LED with two less powerful peripheral LEDs. RRP is £20.49/$24.95 and it comes in six colour options (black/blue/pink/white/red/green). For more information, visit Knog.
Given their name, it's hardly surprising that British company Proviz base their products around hi-vis materials and LEDs. The Hi-Visibility Cycling Rucksack (£42.99) combines the two, with a rear-facing LED triangle powered by two AA batteries. Why buy a rucksack and a hi-vis cover when you can incorporate the two? It's made from water resistant fabric, with added reflective details. A bonus feature is the water bladder compartment, although you have to supply the reservoir yourself.
iPhones are expensive bits of kit, making many people reluctant to use them as GPS devices on the bike. Memory Map's Mobile Adventure Kit addresses that by providing a fully waterproof case along with an iTunes app and credits to download your choice of Ordnance Survey Landranger or Explorer maps. There's no handlebar mount but as a device to get you out of a sticky spot off-road it looks like just the thing. RRP is £30. Visit their website for more information.
"Clean your chain in 20 seconds" – that's the claim from White Lightning for their new chain cleaning system, Clean Streak. Each pack contains a 12oz (360ml) can of Clean Streak degreaser – which is said to last 30 uses – with a chain cleaner attached to it. You connect a straw from the can's nozzle to the cleaner, insert the chain, pull the trigger and spray away. If all has gone smoothly you should have a degreased chain, ready for a thorough lubricating. It's available now for £19.99 from UK distributors Madison.
Shimano's SH-MT91s are tough, no-nonsense SPD hiking boots for mountain bike touring. They sport a custom-built Vibram sole and a Gore-Tex lining to keep your feet dry. They look like just the thing for winter rides which involve a bit of hike-a-bike, trail building and bike photography – our videographer Paul is putting them through their paces. RRP £149.99.
These Sennhesier Adidas MX680 headphones (£34.99) are water and sweat resistant, making them ideal for use on the turbo trainer. They have a remote volume control and a rubber "Ear Fin" mounting system, which is supposed to keep them in place during strenuous exercise. We weren't convinced by its effectiveness though; while it looks the part, the support it offers is fairly flimsy. The all-important sound quality is excellent – certainly good enough for workouts. For more information, visit their distributors' website, Assist Creative Resources.
Finally, one for the kids. Or adults – we won't judge! Turbospoke (£19.95) is a toy exhaust that gives your bike the look and sound of a motorbike. It runs without batteries, so the noises it makes are generated by a combination of your pedal stroke and plastic cards that stick between on the spokes. The noise travels up the 'exhaust', amplifying the sound. Visit their website for more info.