As senior technical editor, Warren tests plenty of bikes, kit and components over a year, but here he’s selected just four of his favourites.
Best kit of the year
Spurcycle Multi Pouch
This one’s quite a simple thing; it’s a pocket pouch made from ultralight Dyneema Cuben fabric with a YKK storm sip.
Weighing just 14g it’s feathery light, but generously sized measuring 11.5cmx19cm. The clever bit about the pouch is the snap-together poppers, which means you can clip one or more together.
The Multi Pouch has been and essential bit of kit for all of my riding this year; I can store my phone, multi-tool, wallet or ID, along with energy bars or whatever I feel the need to carry, and they stay put and stay dry.
Sadly, Spurcycle has sold out of the Multi Pouch at the minute, but as soon as they come back into stock I’d recommend them wholeheartedly.
Specialized Prevail II with ANGi
My second choice is a bit more recent. For most of the year I’ve favoured the original Prevail II for its airy comfort, but just a couple of months ago Specialized sent through the newly updated Prevail
This latest helmet comes with Specialized’s very clever ANGi tracking and emergency warning widget. But that’s not all, MIPS has been added to the Prevail too, and it’s no ordinary MIPS system.
The slip-plane technology has been integrated into the pad fixings so it’s not an extra insert (which can affect both fit and airflow). This ANGi system works for me, because I’d say about 90 percent of my riding is testing bikes during the week, so I’m usually riding alone. It’s no small comfort that if the worst happened I can rely on my helmet (in combination with Specialized’s ride app) to send out an emergency message should I be unable to reach help myself.
- £200 / $250 / AU$375
Super Socks custom socks
Socks used to be just that, things to cover your feet and stop your feet getting too sweaty when riding hard. The sock game however has come on strong, with more and more out-there designs to stand out from the Lycra crowd.
I’ve got some choice designs from Defeet, Pacifico, Madison and Castelli, but it’s only when I came across Super Socks website that things got weird.
You simply upload any image, choose a colour, design, size and quantity and hit buy. I keep ordering them and I’m impressed by how quickly they ship — it’s been within a week every time I’ve bought them.
Whilst these aren’t the most ‘technical’ of sock they look great, are a good length and fit really well. I probably shouldn’t be spending quite so much on socks with stupid pictures of my cat on them though.
- £19 / $23
Specialized Body Geometry Power Pro Elaston
This year has been a bit of a revelation for me in the sitting down stakes. After plenty of recommendations from Ben Delaney, our ex-US editor-in-chief, I tried out a short saddle
I experimented and really liked models from Pro, ProLogo, and Selle Italia, but I’ve settled for the Specialized Power Pro with the Elaston. For me, the padding has been wonderfully comfortable on every bike I’ve tried it, the short nose means plenty of free movement and the shape suits me perfectly
It’s easy to dismiss the short-saddle trend as the ‘in’ thing, but I’m loving the Power Pro. It’s been the first saddle that’s made me shift away from the FiZik Aliante, a saddle design I’ve favoured for more than a decade.
- £190 / $275 / AU$320