2017 has been a fun year of riding bikes and playing with tech — so here’s a list of things that have impressed me the most.
GoPro HERO6 Black
It hasn’t long been out and sadly I didn’t get a huge amount of time to play with it, but from the time I did have, I was completely and thoroughly impressed with the picture quality of the HERO6 Black.
Given the similarities to the HERO5 Black, a camera which I personally own, there was no learning curve with the 6. The camera felt as comfortable as its predecessor except for adding in those extra frame rates, the 240fps at 1080p being the most exciting new option.
It’s still expensive — though I think we’re used to saying that with every new GoPro that comes out — but they’re still the top of the tree when it comes to the action camera market.
- £500 / $500
- Buy GoPro Hero6
Several weeks ago I wrote about my go-to gear and included the MCFK 35s in that list. Since I’ve struggled to find a reason not to include them in this list, I just decided to go ahead and double up my choice.
Weighing in at 1,330g and costing not much over £1,500, you’d be hard pressed to find disc wheels that match this cost to weight ratio.
Over the course of last winter, and well into this year, I’ve run put several thousand miles on them on all kinds of terrain and weathers and they’ve never given me any issues. In short, these are the most well-rounded wheels I’ve ever used and I thoroughly recommend them.
The Kask Protone has been my #1 helmet for several years now and I honestly can’t see myself replacing it for anything else. It’s been with me through some of the hottest, coldest and most exciting rides of my riding 'career'.
While the helmet does have its flaws (the foam padding on the retention system fell off I don’t know when), it’s a helmet that just feels so comfortable that even the padless parts don’t bother me.
The vents comfortably hold my glasses without fear of them shaking loose (though I do have to slot them in upside down for this confidence to kick in).
- Buy Kask Protone
Moots Routt RSL
Several weeks ago was the last time I rode the Routt RSL, which has now gone on to begin its new life as a demo bike at a Moots dealer in London.
It’s safe to say that I will miss this bike. It’s been my 'everything bike' this year having carried me through the gravel roads of Italy, early season hill-climb training and the smooth mountain roads of Mallorca as the most versatile bike I’ve ever ridden.
With Ti having a buttery smooth ride and being tough to boot, the Routt RSL feels very confident — especially when things point downwards on rougher roads. That’s in part aided by the massive clearance that allowed for up to 38mm tyres in 700c (though for 2018 that’s been upped to 40mm) and 42mm with 650b wheels, giving huge amounts of extra grip and comfort.
Specialized Power Pro saddle
I first ran with the Power Pro last year, about a week before my LEJOG ride. Foolish? Probably, but six days and 1,018 miles later, it turned out to be one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.
So good in fact that it’s the only saddle I now run. I’ve bought two to date, including the road and MTB SWAT systems that neatly mount underneath.
I’d ridden around 23,000 miles in total before I tried the Power Pro and with my total now running close to 33,000 miles, you can bet that a huge chunk of that difference was ridden on the Power.
- £175 / $200 / €170 / AU$250
- Buy Specialized Power Pro saddle