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 staff writer Colin Levitch never leaves the house without.
Speedplay Walkable Cleats
I've been a long-time Speedplay rider, not only for the lollipop pedals' dual-sided entry, but also the adjustability of the cleats.
Following years of competitive skiing, my body is quite a wreck and having had more broken bones than I can count, as well as plenty of bruised, strained, sprained and torn ligaments, I’ve got some pretty nasty kneecap alignment issues.
With Speedplay’s cleat system, I can isolate each axis to ensure everything thing is in exactly the right place. And with this control, I can make sure my knees are tracking correctly.
The problem with standard Speedplay cleats, however, is the bottom plate is metal. Whether it be on tile, wood, polished concrete or even regular concrete, they can be like ice skates and for years I carried cleat covers every time I rode.
Now, with Speedplay's Aero Walkable cleat the brand has covered the entire cleat with a built-in rubberised cover that all but eliminates the need for cleat covers. While you won't be off speed-walking anytime soon with these cleats, they will prevent you from making a fool of yourself while walking to the bar for a post-ride brew.
Cycliq Duo Mount
There seem to be about a billion computer mounts on the market these days, all made in a variety of materials in whatever anodised flavour you choose, and they're getting lighter with each release.
But, while Cycliq’s Duo Mount isn't particularly lightweight or anodised into oblivion, its utility has surprised me.
First and foremost, I am big on the GoPro-style mount on the underside, as it allows you to ride with your light or action camera while still keeping your bars and stem clutter free.
The other aspect that makes the Cycliq mount stand out is the swappable faceplates for mounting different computers. While many other similar products see replaceable inserts should you crash and rip your computer out of the mount, they aren't designed to be chopped and changed.
The Duo Mount, on the other hand, comes with faceplates for Garmin, Wahoo, Polar, Cateye and Mio/Magellan computers. Given how often I've been testing different brands of head units the past year the capability has been refreshing.
- £55 / $64 / AU$89
Scott Centric Plus helmet
For a long time I wasn’t particularly keen on ‘aero helmets’ and venting took priority. But that all changed when I found the Scott Centric Plus.
I can’t speak as to how aero the Centric Plus is beyond what Scott tells us, but I can speak about the venting. With large intake vents at the front and big exhaust ports too, the airflow certainly rivals that of other helmets.
It also has a perforated MIPS liner to help heat escape and provide some peace of mind (literally), and weighing just 279g (AU version) it’s decently light. The straps are made with flexible lightweight webbing that are fairly quiet in the wind and the ear splitters are fixed, both things I look for in a lid.
Most of all, it fits my head well, and I like the way it looks too.
Continental GP 4000 S II tyres
Conti’s GP 4000 S II's have long been considered to be the gold standard when it comes to road tyres. And for good reason, they roll fast, provide fantastic grip and don’t burn up too quickly either.
However, they aren’t cheap but you absolutely get what you pay for. I have a bit of a stockpile of these tyres in 25c as they’re my go-to for my personal road bikes and review wheelset.
- £59.95 / $74.95 / AU$99.99
- Buy now from Competitive Cyclist
- Buy now from ProBikeKit.com
Supacaz Super Sticky Kush bar tape
Bar tape is a pretty personal thing, as everybody has their own feel as to what they like to wrap their mitts around. And, for me, it’s Supacaz Super Sticky Kush.
At 2.5mm thick it does well to dampen vibration coming through the bars and the tacky finish provides good grip, even for sweaty sunscreen-coated hands.
I have a well-documented dislike for wrapping bar tape, luckily the Supacaz is quite stretchy and, out of those I've tried, is one of the easiest to wrap. It's quite hard wearing too so I can prolong replacement intervals.
It comes in plenty of colours, and the expanding aluminium end-plugs are also a much better option than the plastic ones that most rolls of bar tape come with.
This might be one of my most controversial gear choices, but I never leave the house without a zip-seal sandwich bag.
I’ve tried plenty of the fancy riding wallets and rolls made from leather, neoprene, cordura, nylon, etc, but every time I end up going back to my trusty sandwich bag.
It’s waterproof, surprisingly durable and can handle a spare tyre kit, cash and even my phone.
- 20 pack £2 / $2.99 / AU$5