Given how much gear we get through on BikeRadar, it’s a proud endorsement of any product if it gets used by our writing team on a regular basis. Here’s the gear and kit favoured by women’s editor Aoife Glass.
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Our writers are lucky enough to have access to a bewildering array of kit, but even we have our favourites. So, we thought it would be interesting to have a quick look at what kit and gear the BikeRadar team rely on day in, day out, while out testing bikes.
Our women’s editor Aoife Glass tests both road and mountain bikes, plus a raft of other kit for BikeRadar.
Giro Montara MIPS women’s helmet
I got the Giro Montara MIPS helmet in to test and review about two years ago, and as you can probably tell from the state it’s in, it’s become my go-to helmet. I’ve taken it to launches around the world and ridden down volcanoes in Iceland in it
It’s not the lightest MTB helmet out there, but, for me, a little extra weight is a small price to pay for how comfortable I find this helmet. It seems to fit just right, it’s cool enough in the summer for me, offers great low coverage at the back and the visor height is adjustable for those times I’m feeling full enduro and want to wear goggles rather than glasses.
Aesthetics play a part in my decision too. I love the bright turquoise colour and the green chin strap, and generally how the helmet looks on me.
One little niggle is the visor bolts, which tend to work themselves loose over time, particularly if you are travelling with the helmet strapped to your rucksack. I lost one in the middle of a trip in Iceland and had to improvise with duct tape, hence the scummy marks on the helmet. Happily, you can purchase replacement bolts and liner pads, which is handy for when it starts to get a bit whiffy over time.
- Price: £149.99 / $150 / AU$252.42
Hope Technology F20 pedals
The F20 from Hope have become my go-to pedals because of their virtually indestructible nature. I’ve had these going on three and a half years, and they are still going strong despite having been repeatedly swapped between bikes and bashed on rocks.
While the pins were initially very fiddly to put in, they do the job excellently, providing plenty of grip without being so sharp that I shred my lower legs when crashing. The concave platform gives a nice secure feeling when descending and I’ve not had any issue losing my footing with these little beasts.
They even come in a range of colours, so should you want to you can probably find a colour to coordinate with your bike… though I opted for the purple ones, natch.
- Price: £120 / $TBC / AU$TBC
Specialized SL Pro bib shorts and jersey
I’ve got a couple of colourways of this kit, and when I’m not riding in my BikeRadar kit it’s what I’ll tend to wear when I’m riding for myself at weekends or just for fun.
I’ve found that the SL Pro fits really well, with quality Lycra that’s supportive without being constrictive, holds it shape but has enough give to account for the fact my weight has fluctuated over the last year. This is the most comfortable cycling kit I own for general road riding.
The ‘Hook-Up’ magnetic catch at the back is probably my favourite solution to the ‘pee problem’ women face with bib shorts. It’s a simple clasp that allows you to detach the rear bib strap and pull the shorts down without taking your jersey off.
I’ve happily worn these shorts in the height of summer and the Lycra has remained pleasantly cool and breathable, and the fabric also offers a sun protection factor of 50, which as a pasty skinned red-head is a definite bonus.
They’ve survived extensive riding and washing, with the fit and colours remaining intact and bright.
- Price: Jersey £100 / $150 and shorts £140 / $TBC
Osprey Escapist 32
I have to come clean with this one… I don’t actually own it, even though I use it all the time. It’s on a kind of ongoing loan from my partner who bought it last year. I’ve been using it ever since because it’s just so versatile.
The Escapist has, as the name suggests, a whopping 32-litre capacity which is ideal for big days off-road in the mountains when you have to carry plenty of spares, gear and food. The chest and waist strap keep it securely in place when riding and I’ve found it doesn’t move around excessively even when descending rugged terrain fully loaded.
In addition to the main compartment, there’s storage everywhere on this bag which means it feels like you can load way more than 32 litres of kit in it. Zipped pockets on the hip straps plus one on the chest are good for storing snacks and phones for easy access while riding without taking it off. The wide mesh pocket on the front can take a waterproof and there’s a separate pocket for the water reservoir.
It’s also, as it turns out, absolutely brilliant for day-to-day use and travelling. The water reservoir pocket is the perfect size to fit my laptop and is cushioned. The lower half of the bag can be separated with an internal flap and has it’s own access point, making it perfect for stowing smelly kit post-ride or post-gym.
The mesh side pockets mean I can load it up with water bottles or snacks, and the small easy-access compartment at the top is just right for my wallet, keys and phone. Plus, the helmet hook is handy for carrying your lid around between rides or launches.
My partner is not getting this bag back any time soon.
- Price: £110