Sign up for our newsletter


Buyer’s guide: Upgrade your cycling kit for Spring

4 Apr 2017

From lids to lights, having better gear will help you squeeze every last drop of joy from your saddle time. In association with Evans Cycles

Gore Bike Wear One Active jacket

It looks like it’s made of heavy leather, but this tough-wearing wonder from Gore is wafer thin.

Using GORE-TEX’s most innovative material to date, its permanant beading surface means rain never gets in while maximum breathability means sweat never becomes an issue on the inside.

So it’ll keep you dry and cool, while that fashionable cut will help you look great, too.


Louis Garneau Héros RTR helmet

Canadian brand Louis Garneau’s proved a big hit with Cyclist staff recently, impressing us with its quality.

The Héros is no exception, and is currently available for half its RRP of £130, which represents great value.

If you want comfort as well as protection, this is the lid to go for as its deep fit has a clever cradling system that allows you to easily adjust its fittings even on the fly. Comes in three sizes and five colours. 


Louis Garneau Carbon LS-100 II road shoe

Good shoes can hugely improve your ride, adding comfort, aiding power transfer and minimising post-ride pain.

Like its helmet (above) these shoes from Louis Garneau offer top quality and value thanks to their super-stiff and light carbon soles.

The synthetic leather uppers, meanwhile, are supple and breathable. Available in three colourways. Go on, treat your feet!


Garmin Edge 1000 GPS

There was a time when the idea of strapping a computer to a bicycle seemed absurd.

These days it makes total sense and the Garmin Edge 1000 is the benchmark by which all other bike computers are measured.

Take a super-fast GPS, a veritable slew of training metrics and customisable options, cram them all into one smartphone-sized unit and it’s easy to see why!


FWE King of the Downs softshell jacket

This superb jacket is proof that you don’t need to be Mark Zuckerberg to afford a quality upgrade.

When we put this jacket from FWE up against products twice its price in our winter cycling jersey roundup last year, it outperformed just about all of them.

Windproof, water resistant, breathable, comfortable, good looking, practical (it boasts a subtle reflective trim plus four pockets including a zipped one) and affordable – what’s not to like? Also available in black.


Cateye Volt 400 front light

Lights are a vital part of a cyclist’s armour so aren't worth skimping on. That said, you don’t need to spend daft money making sure you’re protected.

Which is why we like this Cateye Volt 400, because for 60 quid you get a 400-lumen beam that’ll blast out light for three-hours (or 60 hours at a more modest 50 lumens), a USB port to recharge it by and a robust build that’ll last and last.


FWE Coldharbour jacket

If the cost of the Gore One was more than you were looking to splash out a rainjacket, then how about this one from FWE?

It’s impressed us with its ability to be both breathable and waterproof, while its well-thought-out design ensures rain can’t sneak in via cuffs or zips.

Bulkier than the Gore, yes, but at a much slimmer price. Comes in six sizes and either yellow or navy.


Louis Garneau Rafale RTR gloves

OK, this is the third product we’ve featured from Louis Garneau so before you accuse us of favourtism allow us to show our hand.

We rate its gear so highly because it’s built to withstand Canadian weather conditions (the firm’s based in Quebec).

So items like these thermo-laminated gloves – which can be used with touch-screen devices – are more than a match for chilly UK rides.


Castelli Squadra long vest

If you like to ride all year, not just when the sun is doing its thing, you’ll need a wardrobe that can cope with changing conditions.

A gilet’s the best soluton for early spring or autumn rides when rain showers or chilly descents threaten the fun.

This gilet from Castelli is the perfect antedote. A high-quality item that, for a modest price, will serve you long and well. Also available in a more subtle black colourway.


Oakley Jawbreaker Photochromatic glasses

Oakley is a brand that many in cycling’s sartorially obsessed world aspire to – and not just because the firm’s Jawbreakers look so damned cool.

It’s also the fact that they’re specifically built with riders in mind. From the ultra-grippy arms to the high-tech lenses – like these photochromatic ones – in our experience they optimise your vision on the road whatever the weather conditions.


Castelli Sorpasso bibshorts

One way to upgrade your kit on the cheap is to buy cycling gear out of season.

These superb Castelli bibtights, for example, have a RRP of £140 but can be found for a lot less online right now as the warmer months approach and demand drops.

Water resistant, and windproof they’ll keep the cold out as low as -4°C. A quality investment then that’ll pay dividends come winter.


S-Works Evade helmet

Going faster on a bike can be a drag – literally – if you don’t have the right gear.

So if you want your next helmet to offer marginal gains as well as safety for your skull, look no further than the Specialized Evade.

A recent Cyclist test to discover the most aero lid on the market put the Evade in pole position when it came to looks, comfort and going that little bit faster!


Topeak Mini 9 Pro Carbon mini tool

It’s tiny (just 75mm long)! It’s teeny (it weighs just 73g)! And, as it name suggests, it’s got nine tools! You’ll find a good spread of Allen keys, a Phillips screwdriver, a fold-out plastic tyre lever, and a metal one, too.

The perfect companion for bother-free cycling!


Gore Windstopper Softshell overshoes

Overshoes are another cold-weather essential you can pick up below the RRP at this time.

These particular ones are made by Gore and use their Windstopper fabric which is world-class when it comes to keeping the cold and wet out of a cyclist’s bones.

These are windproof, water resistant, breathable and right now, highly affordable.


FWE Mini Road pump

No respectable roadie leaves home without a mini pump in their pocket or a ached to their bike frame.

We rate this effort from FWE for its compact size (18cm/7in long) its thumb-lock lever which lets you attach it to your valve, reducing loss of pressure during roadside pumping, and the fact it’ll deliver 100psi without masses of effort.


Castelli Perfetto long sleeve jersey

Castelli’s been in business for 141 years. You don’t last that long without developing a reputation for quality and its Gabba jersey is considered one of the finest bits of cold-weather cycling clothing ever created.

The Perfetto is essentially the new name for what was previously the long-sleeve version of the Gabba. Available in five zingy colours, and a short-sleeve ‘light’ version for milder conditions.


Castelli Nano Flex+ arm/leg warmers

Layering up and having a versatile wardrobe are key to keeping on top of weather conditons when cycling in the UK.

Which is why a good set of leg and arm warmers are a no brainer. Relatively cheap and easily stowed in your jersey pockets when not in use they’ll get you out of many a scrape.

Again we’d plump for Castelli – its Nanoflex + range is simply the best we’ve ever tested, scoring a perfect 10/10 late last year.


Hiplok Gold All Black lock

How to keep your bike safe when you leave it outside the cafe at a coffee stop is always a dilemma.

Some locks look to weedy while others are so bulky they slow you down. Solution? This wearable beast from Hiplok.

It’s surprisingly comfortable to ride with and will thwart all but the most determined scoundrel. Cyclist tried to break it in a test with some bolt croppers and barely managed to dent it!


This buyer's guide was produced in association with Evans Cycles

Read more about: