Luxury gear needn’t break the bank. Decathlon-owned B’twin produce all sorts of cycle clothes and accessories at a fraction of the price of the more premium brands. Their gear performs just as well over commutes and is a smart option if you’re just getting started. After all, it shouldn’t have to cost you a small fortune to get into cycling. You can mix and match your £200 Rapha bib (see below) with B’twin’s accessories and still look decent and perform well on the road.
B’twin’s 500 Road Cycling Shoes (£49.99) is a good option if you’re making the transition from flat to clipless pedals. Choosing a pair like these will make a huge difference to your pedalling efficiency. They’re sturdy and support the footwell, with breathable vents in the sole to help with foot swelling over longer rides. Pair them with B’twin socks and some wrap-around sunglasses and that’s your cycling accessories sorted.
The sporty-looking Van Rysel Road 900 Adult Cycling Glasses (£34.99) is a worthwhile pair of shades to invest in. They’re grippy, have a wide field of vision and that all-important 100% UV protection.
A lot of cyclists would argue that Rapha’s apparel is in a class of its own. And so is its hefty price tag. Rapha’s premium cycling clothing is certainly an investment – but one you’re not likely to regret. Their gear is innovative, stylish and features racing-inspired technology, with collections for whatever type of cycling you’re into. Rapha has supplied competitive cycling teams all over the world – including Team Sky – and rumour has it they were the first British brand to design cycling apparel that placed importance on looks, as well as functionality.
Their iconic Pro Team Bib Shorts II (£195) are popular with all levels of cyclist. First launched in 2011, they’ve been improved upon year by year and offer a snug, compression fit with one of the best thigh grippers on the market. The padding guarantees comfort during afternoons in the saddle and they’re streamlined and lightweight enough to be worn for racing, as well as commuting.
You’ve probably heard of Garmin – especially if you’re into running. But did you know they’ve got a whole range of smart technology for cyclists too? Many cyclists agree Garmin leads the way when it comes to tracking accuracy and ease of use. The Garmin Edge (from £259.99) GPS cycling computer gives fitness insights to help you train like a pro, much-needed navigation with instructions as you ride, and high-tech incident detection with location sharing to emergency contacts.
Lights are essential if you’re travelling in the evening and especially going into winter. The Garmin Varia (£169.99) tail light takes safety one step further with audio and visual alerts if a vehicle gets too close, helping you to steer clear of potential hazards.
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