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Robyn Davidson's Gear of the Year 2021: Tether bike light, Rapha, Thinx, Rainbow socks and light-up wheels

From the Rapha Insulated Gilet to heating shorts, Robyn Davidson talks us through her Gear of the Year while reliving her childhood...

Robyn Davidson
28 Dec 2021

Hello all and welcome to our latest instalment of Gear of the Year! This time coming from me, editorial assistant Robyn Davidson.

After moving to Manchester and promptly being locked down and switched about in tiers, I bought my newest bike in August this year.

My style on the bike has changed over the years – from cycling around an RAF base as a child with coloured spokes and streamers, to now wishing I still had those on my Specialized.

Here’s the gear that has improved my year. Let’s dive in.

Tether Bike Light

Close passes are horrible to experience. Just a fact. That’s why the concept of the Tether bike light is really brilliant to me.

The device attaches onto your handlebar and projects a safe zone around your bike using multiple lights.

It's designed to share close pass data with other cyclists using Tether through a companion app in real-time, allowing them to see what roads see the most close passes and to change their route if they desire.

In November, Tether designer Omar Bakhshi’s Kickstarter campaign successfully raised over £20,000 to move the project from beta to the next stage, so expect to see more from this within the next few months.

Rapha Brevet Insulated Gilet

As someone with no set plan, probably ever, the fact this gilet works as an insulating layer for a more leisurely ride while being thin enough to manage harder efforts has been sensational.

I’m also a sucker for a good colour scheme, so the white and pink stripes are highly appealing to me.

It’s one of the most lightweight pieces of clothing I own too, so great to roll up in another pocket or pack in a bar bag.

I can’t wait for the spring months again so I can casually ride with a long sleeve top under the gilet. It has a high collar to keep the wind out, so I prefer using it as a lighter outer layer.

Thinx Heating Cycle Shorts

I covered these in both my In the Drops and my guide to cycling on your period, so it’s only natural I take this final opportunity to include them in my Gear of the Year article too.

Before I found Thinx’s shorts I wasn't aware of the existence of heated shorts – so please let me know if there are other good options, because I’ve become obsessed with them in the winter months – they have an amazing dual use.

They're good for cycling through the colder months due to the heating pad pocket space, and also for helping alleviate symptoms during periods.

You need to buy the heating pad yourself and, if you bloat during the menstrual cycle, it’s better to size up. They don’t come with padding, so wear them for more leisurely rides on the bike or under larger padded shorts if you wish.

ALL IN Racing + Rapha Rainbow socks

I’m very passionate about increasing diversity and championing inclusivity within cycling. It’s been a goal of mine for years, since way back when I competed on the track myself.

ALL IN racing, a new initiative within competitive cycling, is set to formally launch in Spring 2022. Its aim is to make the sport more inclusive and welcoming for LGBTQ+ people.

The initiative will work with brands, clubs and teams, and it collaborated with Rapha this month to produce its first run of Rainbow Socks.

These Rainbow Socks are intended to make it easier for those within the cycling community to show support for LGBTQ+ inclusion, and so I jumped at the chance to buy them.

They’re actually very comfy so have quickly become my go-to cycling socks. When they next go on sale I might just buy a larger pair to wear over leggings when I’m off the bike.

Stylish and supportive, what’s not to love?

  • Register your interest for the next batch of socks at ALL IN Racing

Addendum:

I previously mentioned wanting to go back to a time of colourful bike spokes and streamers.

While it’s not exactly the same, as I was strolling through the Sainsbury’s aisles for mulled wine and camembert to melt, my attention was drawn to these:

There, on a shelf of Christmas stocking fillers lay boxes of valve-mounted LED lights. I’m yet to try these out but I wanted you all to see them.

And hey, they're only £6.99 on Amazon (Schrader valves only – sorry!)

So go forth my friends. Tell everyone you know about the latest light-up wheel accessory. Re-live your childhood. Have a great New Year.