Gear of the year: Joe Norledge’s picks for 2017

Lightweight shoes, one seriously lightweight bike and a cafétière

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I’ve had a busy year of riding and racing in 2017, which means it’s time to take a closer look a what has served me well throughout the season.

Scott MTB Pro shoes

For the money, these shoes are hard to beat
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Being a keen racer on both road and MTB fronts I’m often attracted to the lightest/fastest/most premium products on the market, and while that’s great for me as a tester, it’s not always so great for prospective buyers’ wallets. So when a more value-focused product comes along and punches well above its weight, I’m super keen to sing its praises.

A case in point are Scott’s MTB Pro shoes, which feel great with a fit reminiscent of shoes three times the price. The composite sole is relatively stiff, which combined with a low stack height makes for brilliant pedalling manners when putting the power down.

The sole is plenty stiff for a composite
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The only thing that stopped these shoes from getting a perfect score was the bulky ratchet strap, but at this price I can’t recommend them enough.

Fuji SL 1.5

My Fuji sl in its orignal spec
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When reviewing bikes I always ask myself the classic question: ‘If I was spending my own money, would I buy this?’ I’m a fussy so and so, meaning up until now I’ve always said no, however that all changed with the arrival of my long term Fuji SL 1.5.

For just over €3,000 it’s light, fast and unfussy, making for a prefect everyday/race bike that doesn’t completely break the bank. It’s also one of the few bikes on the market that comes stock with SRAM’s Force groupset, which is once again nice and light for the price.