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BikeRadar

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information

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Helly Hansen Vinter Jacket

£220.00

3.5

There's a lot to be said for a general purpose do-it-all winter jacket. One that can be worn down the pub, on the bike and even on the winter ski slopes. The Helly Hansen Vinter Jacket fits that all-round nature with a very distinct style.

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4.5

The big news for the Anthem this year is the carbon composite frame of the Advanced bike,which sheds 200g over the already superlight alloy frame.Production versions of the superbike weren't ready in time for the test,leaving us with the Anthem Zero

Jonathan Gawler    Marin Wolf Ridge

£1,975.00

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 and there's some smart kit choices as well.

Scott Reflex 20 Disc

£579.00

4.5

Finding a bike that weighs under 30lb in this price range is incredibly hard, as is finding one that has a part specification as impressive as the Reflex.

Scott Spark 10

£3,799.00

4.5

The Spark, the latest in a long line of lightweight carbon fibre bikes from Scott, sets a new benchmark for feathery light full suspension rigs. They haven't skimped on travel or features either...

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£80.00

4

Squarely aimed at the 'keep it light and simple' school of thought, the Crosslite takes on the lightweight packable jackets - like the Alp-X from Gore and Pace's 3x3 - but does it at a fraction of the price.

These Avid brakes give great feel

£89.99

4.5

This is a basic hydraulic disc brake available in three sizes of disc: 160, 185 and 203mm. With a split clamp on the lever, fitting couldn't be easier, and changing brake pads is as simple as pulling the old ones out and popping new ones in.

The DH fork has been built to withstand anything you throw at it

£899.00

4.5

Conspiracy's triple-clamp fork packs 203mm (8in) of travel into an upside down package. 40mm stanchions with CNC'd crowns keep things stiff.

The V brakes work well with other brakes  too

£29.99

4

These are essentially normal-pull levers that have been re-engineered to make them compatible with V-brakes. Prior to fitting the cables it is essential to strip back the plastic from the outer cable casing so that the wound metal part of the cable fits snugly into the back of the lever housing.

These brakes are perfect for older style bikes

£9.99

4.5

These dual pivot brakes are essentially a black painted version of the Alhonga, or Tektro 521AG, and the range of drop is 51mm and 69mm, making them perfect for older style bikes.

The Dia Compe brakes have a built in cable quick release

£17.50

3.5

Single pivot brakes such as these have been largely replaced by the more powerful dual pivot designs but their weight saving - around 130g per pair - will attract the lighter rider who will place less emphasis on sheer stopping power.

Shorter arms don amp apos t address lack of feel

£11.99

3

V-brakes provide greater stopping power than cantilever brakes but if used with normal-pull STI or Ergopower, their requirement for a greater pull of cable results in a sensation at the lever akin to grasping a sponge.

When the Exposure light is switched to Turbo  it amp apos s great for speed riding

£325.00

4

This is the daddy of all the Exposure lights, featuring the brightest output and the longest run time. With two 5 watt LEDs up front in a spot and spread set-up, this self contained system is powered by a compact 7.4-volt 4.3-amp/hour lithium-ion battery.

The PM82s enable you to switch between clipped and clipless rides

£26.99

4

There are numerous reasons why you might want a pedal that combines a single-sided SPD mechanism on one side with a flat body on the other.

These blocks are designed to improve performance in wet weather

£4.99

4.5

North Wales based Fibrax produce these salmon-coloured brake blocks with an X-pattern to help move debris and improve performance in wet weather.

The SLK callipers come equipped with a quick release lever

£204.95

3.5

FSA is better known as a manufacturer of finishing kit components such as handlebars and headsets, but already has a front mech to its credit and a complete groupset is expected.

They amp apos re lightweight  but these callipers lack quick release levers

£39.00

4

These dual pivot callipers are produced in Taiwan for Super Cycles, who distribute the Guess brand of bikes and components in the UK.

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£299.00

4

Purveyors of fine hydraulic disc brakes, the Lancashire based Hope lads have been adding to their product range over the past few years with unquestionable success. Aside from wonderful brakes, they also produce fantastic headsets.

The fork can accommodate a full mudguard

£129.00

4.5

Kinesis has developed this fork as a companion for its highly rated training frame of the same name. There's a full carbon steerer on an alloy crown, with the legs finished in an attractive wide weave pattern.

The Lumicycle has a fantastic battery life

£240.00

4.5

Buying lights from Lumicycle is like gathering all the best bits of Lego together to make the Deathstar instead of R2D2. Pick a battery, pick some lights, add a safety ring or two and you're good to go.

The black anodised arms will look cool on any bike

£129.99

3.5

Twenty years ago Mavic had an entire SSC groupset to its name, and while the brakes were made by Modolo back then, the current model is produced in-house.

The Mavics represent great value for money

£7.00

4.5

You can pay £24.95 for a pair of Shimano Dura-Ace cartridge brake blocks or £13.99 for a full set of Campagnolo Chorus/Record ones, or you can pay £7 and get slightly better performance with these Mavic replacements.

The Windfronts have a waistband that amp apos s perfectly suited to riding

£64.99

4.5

The Nikes feature a superb, articulated shape that perfectly suits a biking position. Unlike most tights that revert to a straight waistband, these dip down lower in the front to get out of the way, while the back comes up enough to keep you covered.

A good choice for serious riders

£54.95

4

If the results in the wind tunnel are to be believed, placing blunt objects behind smooth ones reduces drag. This A700 mounts into the back of the fork crown that is normally occupied by the 5mm allen fitting bolt.

The short lever blades will probably reduce drag a little

£54.95

3.5

The Oval brake levers have a strong-looking binding mechanism that is compatible with all low pro and integrated handlebars and are available with either carbon or red painted carbon lever blades.

The stiff sole aids power transfer

£49.99

4

Most entry-level off-road shoes are 'recreational' - that is, they have a sole with a bit a flex in it and tread that suits walking more than running through mud. Like Decathlon's similarly specced Rockrider 8, Polaris' MR 3000 is different.

The shape isn amp apos t perfect for long journeys

£12.99

3

These Lee Chi manufactured brake levers and synthetic rubber hoods are very similar in profile to the Modolo Speedy levers of the mid 1980s and could prove adequate on a road fixer or cyclo-cross bike.

Improve stopping on cantilevers such as these by fitting better brake blocks

£9.99

4

Cantilever brakes have largely become outmoded by disc brakes on mountain bikes but they are still fitted to the greater proportion of touring and cyclo-cross bikes.

Rocky Mountain Ladies Vertex

£1,295.00

4

The pale blue Vertex is one of Canadian Rocky Mountain's triplet of ladies specific MTBs. Like the original Vertex, it's a hardtail made for hardhitting XC trails.

The Deore affords great stopping power

£29.95

3.5

These are available with either an international standard (IS) six-bolt disc or with the Shimano compatible C/Lock splined interface for use with a Shimano splined interface hub.

The Dura Ace brakes now have lighter callipers

£139.00

3.5

The legendary Dura-Ace brakes were for a long time the standard against which others were judged, but anyone in the know would tell you that it was more to do with the choice of brake pad compound.

The Evo Endurance is simple and durable

£149.95

3.5

A system using 6 volt halogen bulbs powered by 6 volt batteries? Have we gone back in time four years or does Sigma have good reason for using difficult-to-source bulbs and two separate 6 volt battery packs?

The Magnetika features magnets to add suspension

£35.99

3

It's clear that the Sportourer range is aiming for a smooth, sleek look but with plenty of comfort built in. The relatively new range is marketed primarily on comfort, although there are some models rated as 'performance'.

The block compound should give power and control

£149.99

3.5

These brakes have cold forged arms and a titanium centre bolt for low weight. SRAM took a lot of time perfecting the brake block compound to provide a balance of power and control in all weather conditions but they can squeal a bit.

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£59.99

4

It may not look like it from the picture, but this is one incredibly bright jacket. The reflective accents of the Night Vision will have you lit up like a Christmas tree when you're hit by car headlights.

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£89.95

3.5

Starting at the edges, we have a pair of pinned rims with a fairly pronounced joint and slightly uneven braking surfaces. The front is laced up radially with 24 spokes onto a smallish hub with small, slightly rough cartridge bearings.

Blackburn System X3

£150.00

3.5

Blackburn claims a run time of five hours in the manual for the System X3, and the outside of the box has a graphic showing a run time of four hours. But ours fell 49 minutes (or 1hr 49mins) short after conditioning the battery.

Bontrager Race X Lite Switchblade

£149.99

4

The Race X Lite features carbon-wrapped aluminium legs together with an aluminium crown and dropouts. Like most fixed-blade forks these days, it's designed to plug into frames built with a mid-travel suspension fork in mind.

Carrera Vulcan

£200.00

4

The Vulcan is the entry-level hardtail in Halfords' premium own-brand Carrera range. When we requested it for test it was £250. Now it's £50 cheaper. Underneath the topcoat, the frame is superficially identical to the top-of- the-range Carrera Fury.

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£600.00

3

The British-designed and built Olympus is the latest in a line of good-looking, mid-range hardtails from Claud Butler.

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£28.00

3.5

A whole new family in the Conti line up, the Edge, Slash and Digga are all based around a modern take on the classic paddle tread. The transverse bars certainly come into their own in 'Slurry Alley' as they paddle out of anything.

Decathlon Rockrider 5 2

£209.00

4.5

French sports superstore giant Decathlon have form when it comes to bargain bikes, and this offering is an excellent beginner's choice with only minor niggles.

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£70.00

4

The Phoenix is a well-priced all rounder and a good choice for the regular day-to-day commute and weekend mountain ride.

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£70.00

4

The women's Phoenix has similar features to the men's jacket, but in a scaled-down fit. Most noticeable is the high quality look of the construction and hard-wearing feel to the fabric.

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£100.00

4

The Trooper is a big jacket for big rides on big bikes. The highly durable, waterproof fabric is weighty but manages to pack into a manageable size. It's definitely one for the cold days, and you'll need the zipped vents on the longer climbs.

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£24.95

4

Looking for serious speed for wet races or mixing it with the cyclo cross race boys this winter? Using a mixed paddle and square stud tread on a very narrow carcass, the Barro Mud cleared very quickly even through the stickiest parts of 'Slurry Alley'.

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£1,499.00

4.5

GT's i-Drive floating suspension is one of the longest serving systems still in use. Add some crackling kit for the cash and you've got a very capable and enjoyable technical trail bike that'll handle most of what you throw at it.

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