Given how much gear we test at BikeRadar, it’s always a good endorsement if our testers use a product on a regular basis. Here’s a look at the six items senior tech editor Warren Rossiter likes to keep close.
Madison 77 kit
- Price: Various
Madison is the UK’s biggest distributor of bike bits (as well as being UK’s Shimano reps too). Originally its clothing was a budget affair — good and simple, but a bit unstylish.
However, over recent years, thanks to some clever product people jumping on board (as well as feedback from its pro team Madison-Genesis), its range has much improved. The latest 77 kit (which celebrates the company’s 40th anniversary) is based on the top-of-the-line Premio kit, but with a far cooler look.
I really get on with the fit. The shorts pad is brilliant and it’s proved to be very hard wearing. I always reach for this kit first (apart from the mitts as they’re a bit patchy), and it’s easily up there with kit I’ve worn from premium brands such as Rapha, Castelli, and Assos, only it’s a fraction of the price.
Rudy Project Tralyx sunglasses with Multilaser Orange lens
- Price: £134.99
Everytime I ride I reach for these. It’s a combination of the openness of the frame and the lack of fogging from the lenses, as well as the clarity of the multilaser that makes these my favourite everyday riding shades.
At 28g, I barely notice when I’m wearing them, and despite more than 18 months of daily use, the metal thread and bolted hinges haven’t loosened yet. They’re well worth their premium price.
Syncros Tool can
- Price: £7.99
Using a bottle as a tool/tube holder isn’t anything new or original, but when you’re constantly switching between bikes, having something easy to just drop into a cage is a bonus.
The Syncros has a decent threaded top, and inside I can fit a CO2 pump, inner tube and a compact multi-tool, as well as a couple of tyre levers. Perfect.
What I also like about the Syncros Can is the neoprene drawstring bag inside, so there are no rattles or shakes either.
PRO Toolbox XL
- Price: £299.99
Having the right tool for the job is one thing, but having them all in the right place is another.
Before I had the XL, I had all the tools I needed, but they were a mash-up of three or four previous kits in no particular order — thus every job took twice as long, as I’d spend more time just finding the right Torx key.
The Pro XL comes with 38 of the most-used maintenance tools, and each one has a place. All I do now is just put them back in the slot they came from and everything’s rosy again in my home workshop (apart from the skinned knuckles and filth under my fingernails that is).
CamelBak Podium bottle
- Price: £10.99 / $15 / AU$19
Bottles are something I end up with a lot of — I get them from bike launches, presentations, shows and rides, as they’re one of the most common giveaways. I literally have cupboards full of them.
I pass a lot on to friends and family, but I always covet the CamelBak ones. The bite valve means they don’t leak, they don’t have a weird taste and they’re easy to clean. You couldn’t ask for much else.
Bontrager Flare RT rear light
- Price: £59.99 / $80.99 / AU$104
A decent rear light is a real lifesaver, and the Flare is so bright and so visible, that that’s reason enough to use it all the time. But, on top of that, I love that it’s ANT+ and pairs with my Garmin.
This means whenever I get into my garage and turn on my Garmin, the Flare gives me a handy blink to tell me where it is (and to remind me to use a rear light, even for daytime running).
I like that I can control it from my Garmin and get info on its battery level on-screen, too. When used well the Flare is clever connectivity.