Back in 1992, BUFF created a single product that, today, remains a much-loved essential for outdoorsy types. The ‘BUFF’ is an innovative piece of fabric that serves as a scarf, bandanna, headband, facemask, beanie or wristband. It’s popular with outdoor enthusiasts thanks to its versatility in all seasons. It’s one of the best cycling investments you can make for the colder months but it’s surprisingly handy come summer too.
The CoolNet UV+ BUFF (£22.50) gives sun protection and keeps bugs at bay thanks to its nifty insect shield that’s treated with repellent. It’s light, stretchy and wicks sweat away. It also comes in plenty of colours and is small enough to pop in your jersey pocket between rides.
Sundried’s cycling range was founded by triathlete, Daniel Puddick, and he involved other athletes in its development and testing too. That’s not the only reason you’ll love the brand. They regularly sponsor team GB athletes and are big on environmental impact and giving back to charity. Sundried’s capsule all-season collection includes race-ready jerseys and bib shorts that offer pro-quality without setting you back hundreds of pounds.
If you’re considering crossing over into competitive cycling or want a racier look on the road with materials made with aerodynamics in mind, this brand definitely ticks those boxes. The silky-soft Rouleur Women’s Training Bib Shorts (£50) sport less padding than your average bib, yet are unbelievably comfy. Something that stood out when we tested them on a long weekend in the saddle. The tighter fit makes them ideal for occasions where you might want to challenge your pace. They’re also highly sweat-wicking and stay dry after an hour or two on the road.
Founder, Daniel Puddick’s says: “As a triathlon-focused brand, I wanted Sundried’s first full cycle collection to make a statement and really capture the attention of cyclists and triathletes alike. As a cyclist and triathlete myself, I know what I want and expect from quality cycle clothing and so used that as a starting point for this collection. It’s a pro kit designed for professionals but is affordable enough for the everyday athlete, something we’re proud to offer across the board with our products. I’m really proud of what we’re able to offer with this collection and we’ve had some fantastic feedback so far from professional triathletes, age groupers, and recreational cyclists.”
US-based Smith has been around since 1965 and made its name creating eyewear for the winter sports market. Today, they produce top-end helmets and goggles that look and perform like something from the future. One of their best inventions is the unisex Trace MIPS road helmet (£199). It’s packed with forward-thinking safety tech to protect you in the event of a tumble.
It features universal MIPS (Multidirectional Impact Protection System) giving you extra protection by reducing rotational forces in an accident. Smith’s Trace also offers Koroyd crash protection – tiny tubes that squish together to protect your skull if there’s an impact. Style-wise, the Trace sports contemporary looks and comes in a range of on-trend matte colours. The helmet’s also light, comfortable and well ventilated.