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 six items videographer Reuben Bakker-Dyos never leaves the house without.
- Price: From $10
I’ve had two pairs of Swiftwick Sustain Seven socks (which according to their website have been discontinued — R.I.P) for nearly three years now. They’re incredibly comfortable and even in the hottest of weather, my feet never felt clammy or too hot and they’re thick enough to wear during colder (but probably not sub-zero) weather.
They’re the first socks I look for when packing to go away and they’re the first ones I wear after the big weekly clothes wash.
In fact, I love my original pair of Swiftwick so much that when I was in the States last year I picked up two pairs of Aspire Sevens and another couple of Performance Sevens so I could avoid that dreaded customs fee…
In three years of owning Swiftwick socks only one pair has a (small) hole in them, so they’re tough as well as being the best socks I’ve ever worn. My favourites are decently long at a 7” cuff (for that pro look) but come in all manner of lengths, from a no-show variant to a whopping 12” knee high version.
Yanco Handlebar Bag
- Price: $100
People that know me know I’m a bag fiend, and given how popular gravel and adventure riding has become, it’s given me the perfect excuse to spy out some cool bags to come with me on those long dirty rides.
My absolute favourite bike-related bag is this Yanco handlebar bag. I’ve even gone so far as to sew a couple of ride patches on it to customise the look.
It feels like it used to be a bit faux-pas having a bag swinging from your handlebars but they just make so much sense. They fit everything that’s in your jersey pockets freeing up pressure/weight on your lower back, thus aiding comfort on long rides. They also make a really convenient surface to zip-tie your race number to as well.
Yanco’s minimalist website doesn’t give much away other than a long list of collaborations and past custom designs including a completely rad toll roll for a collapsable trail tool.
If you want your own custom Yanco, just hit him up on his Instagram.
- Price: £1,573 / $2,069
It's been pushing over a year since I first rode the MCFK 35s, and I still haven’t found another wheelset that I want to keep switching over to other bikes I’m riding.
I guess these wheels have aligned perfectly with my cycling ethos this year. I’ve had one bike (Moots Routt RSL) that can just about do everything and these feel like they can do just about everything.
I’ve taken them off-road for gravel rides, carried them over cyclocross barriers and even strapped some thin performance rubber for some fast road rides.
I’ve not been gentle with them and nothing has gone wrong. They’ve remained true and hub maintenance is easy. The Tune hubs have removable axles that make switching from the slightly older 15mm front thru-axle to the now apparently standard 12mm width.
In addition to their jack-of-all-trades characteristics, there aren’t many tubeless compatible disc wheelsets that weigh a smidge over 1300g for around £1600/$2000. That’s a very reasonable price for a very premium feeling wheelset.
Mission Workshop The Rambler
- Price £224.69 / $295 / AU$385
As I’ve said previously, I am a bag fiend and my favourite types of bags are backpacks. I have several bags on standby for regular use and have many more kicking around in storage at home, but The Rambler is the one bag I use everyday for commuting.
In day-to-day life it’s shown itself to be every bit as versatile as it promised on paper. The 22L storage is enough to carry my clothes, shoes, lunch and everyday extras, but on those days where I have more to carry, it expands to a whopping 44L.
Fully loaded, including a laptop in the back, it's a very comfortable bag to ride in — in part because of the 3-inch-wide padded shoulder straps. Though a bit mucky, this bag has zero signs of wear and tear.
Although I haven’t indulged in it yet, The Rambler features Mission Workshop’s own Arkiv system on the straps allowing for even more modular adaptability.
VOID Wind Vest
- Price: $110
When it comes to my most worn piece of kit, the VOID wind vest trumps everything else in my wardrobe. Much like my shoal of Swiftwick socks, this gilet is one of the first thing that gets packed when heading away from home.
It can fend off light drizzle and certainly helps on those cooler morning rides to keep your core at bay from a chilly wind. I wore this gilet everyday during my LEJOG ride last year when — as each day was ticked off, it got colder by a couple of degrees as we rode north.
Even during the summer I was rarely without it as it’s light enough to stow away in a pocket or bag without a noticeable bulge. I will almost certainly wear and repair this until the day sewing no longer has any effect.
Though this particular all-black version is no longer available, updated digi-camo versions are selling in 'Black Shield' and 'Orange Spray'.
Kitsbow Adjustable Shorts
- Price: $265
When these Kitsbow Adjustable A/M shorts first arrived in the office I asked other BikeRadar staff members how much they thought they cost. No one got it right as everyone guessed under. I still find it hard to say the price…
However, I’m without doubt happy to say that these really are my go-to mountain biking shorts. Other than a pair of Endura MT500 baggies, these are the only mountain biking shorts I own because I don’t really want to own another pair.
There are a lot of small details that show Kitsbow have mixed style with function including invisible zippers, magnetic snap enclosures on pockets
These aren’t even just my go-to riding shorts, they’re also one of my go-to everyday shorts for the sheer comfort. They’re pretty tough in the fact that I’ve crashed in them and they haven’t torn — although part of the thread did snag on one of my keyrings (which annoys me to this day).
Although I’m in the fortuitous position of not having to pay for these this time round, if they were to ever kick the bucket, I’d be tempted to splash out for a replacement pair much to the chagrin of my bank account.