But instead, I’ve looked back at the things I’ve used daily that have made my rides better through the year.
- See all of the BikeRadar team’s Gear of the Year for 2020
Trigo Garmin mount
- Price: £15
My GT Grade build with GRX Di2 and all of its accessories (bar-top brake levers and remote Di2 switches) means I have very little room for mounting a Garmin.
There are a few (pretty pricey) out-front mounts that mount into the stem bolts available, but I found this one on eBay for £14.99 as a ‘Buy it now’ option including free postage. It’s worked perfectly well and even came with a GoPro/action camera/light mount too.
Since I bought it, Zipp launched its rather cool-looking out-front mount, which has tempted me (as I have an old Zipp SL stem in my spare parts locker), but as the Trigo mount has proved itself I think I’ll leave the Grade as is.
Sidi Sixty Limited edition
- Price: £330 / AU$540
This one’s a little indulgent, but these limited-edition Sidi Sixtys absolutely personify what’s great about this legendary Italian shoemaker.
With the advent of impressive tech advancements from the likes of Giant with the radical Surge Pro with its spined-sole or Fizik’s new Vento Stabilita, not to mention Specialized and Giro’s experiments in ultra-light footwear, you’d be forgiven for thinking Sidi may be left behind when it comes to road shoes.
However, I’d suggest simply trying out a pair of Sidi Sixtys and you’ll find one of the most comfortable performance shoes around.
The shape is superb, the materials used throughout are top notch, and don’t forget that pretty much every part of a Sidi shoe that may wear out has spares available – so while these might set you back a pretty penny, you’ll be using them for years to come. Aside from all that, who doesn’t love a bit of snakeskin now and again…
La Passione Minimal bibs
- Price: £120 / US$155
La Passione are like the Canyon of bike wear – by cutting out distribution costs and retail mark-ups it is able to price its kit at really competitive prices.
The Minimal bibs were my go-to shorts for the hottest days of the year. They weigh just 188g and the material is both supportive and breathable, wicking sweat fast.
The Elastic Interface pad is brilliant and kept me comfortable on a few 7-hour-plus rides. The raw-edges of the legs stay put thanks to grippy silicon dots, and the use of flatlocked or bonded seams throughout are the kind of detail usually found on shorts twice the price (Pearl Izumi’s Pro Air shorts and Q36.5 Unique’s come to mind).
Lightweight broad braces and a mesh back all add up to a really well-thought-out and well-priced pair of shorts.
Topeak Burrito pack
- Price: £28 / US$40 / €30
This seat-pack folds out to 32cm wide and has pockets that take a CO2 cartridge and spare canister, a tube, tyre levers, multi-tool, patch kit, and tubeless plugs. It then wraps up securely with elasticated straps to fit onto your seat rails via a 2in-wide Velcro strap.
While it got a bit bulky when I took a big 650b tube rather than a skinny 700 road tube, it stays secure and I haven’t lost anything from its wrapped design.
It’s been my constant companion all year and has got soaked, mud-caked and generally abused and it’s still going strong. I couldn’t wish for much more than that.
Torq Explore flapjacks
- Price: £1.65 each
Test-riding bikes so often means I end up getting through a lot of energy bars, gels etc, and for the most part they’re all pretty blah. And while they’re not exactly something I crave, they’re just something to get down to get a boost of energy.
Torq’s Vegan friendly Explore flapjacks, however, are something else, and are as nice-tasting as any flapjack I’ve had before. Plus they have a real home-cooked texture.
While they’re more of a snack than energy food, they still deliver a decent chunk of fuel – 450kcals, with 5g of protein, 4g of fibre and a very low 1.5g in saturated fats too.
There are also some great flavours – carrot cake and ginger cake being particular favourites – though my current go-to flavour is banana, which has the fine taste of freshly baked banana bread.