We've brought you the best bicycle upgrades and the best clothing, as reviewed on road.cc in 2014, and now it's time to turn our attention to the cycling accessories that have earned the best reviews, and therefore come with a full road.cc recommendation.
An inexpensive, compact, simple design that is easily swappable, the BTwin Comp 0.4L Seat Post Bike Bag does everything you want from a saddlebag. There’s enough space for the essentials you need on a ride, so a tube, tool, puncture kit and levers. The saddle clamp works easily and takes about one second to fit, so you can swap between different bikes easily. There are reflective patches on all sides and a light loop too. It even comes with a two-year guarantee.
Sometimes it’s the simple products that stand out, and that’s the case with the Free Parable Design Monkii Cage. Quite simply, it allows you to transport any size water bottle on your bike, so you’re not restricted to a typical cycling water bottle. You get a special cage with a Velcro strap to clamp around your bottle of choice, and it slides onto two plastic cleats. So you could, for example, transport a flask of hot coffee to the office, or for longer rides take a bottle of water up to 1.5l.
Lezyne Power Lever XL £4.99
The side of the road in the howling rain and approaching darkness isn’t the time to find your tyre is too stubborn to be easily removed from the wheel in the event of a puncture, or that your weedy tyre levers aren’t up to the task. These Lezyne Power Lever XLs provide extra oomph for even really tight tyres, being about 3cm longer than most regular tyre levers, yet they're light enough to carry around easily.
There are many methods for transporting luggage on a bicycle, and the Bridge Street is a simple and effective saddlebag that can fix to most bicycles. It came about via a successful Kickstarter campaign and is manufactured in Warwickshire, and it uses the off-the-shelf Klickfi mounting system. The mount is sturdy and secure, and the bag is capacious, with three sizes available depending on your requirements. It’s ideal for daily commuting as an alternative to a backpack, or for light touring and Audaxes.
Quad Lock Universal Bike Kit £23.56
With smartphones increasingly useful for tracking and navigating bicycle rides, there are now a plethora of mounts to fix your phone to the handlebars. The Quad Lock is light, strong and very secure. It’s available in versions for most phones, or a universal bike kit to suit most phones. Pop your phone in the case, and click it into the turn mount. That’s it!
Cateye Volt 300 front light £49.99
Providing ample light output for riding around town and even occasional rides into the dark lanes, the Cateye Volt 300 is a nicely priced front light with a solid build quality and sturdy clamp. There are four modes activated by the main clicky button, and a neat feature is that the light remembers the last used mode the next time you fire it up. Battery life is good at three hours on high and 60 hours on flash. It’s an ideal light for commuters but a worthy consideration for more adventurous rides.
Carbon Pro Ultrashine and Protectant £12.99
Spent a fortune on a new bicycle? You’ll want to keep it clean and shiny then, and this Carbon Pro Ultrashine and Protectant works a treat. The spray nozzle makes for easy dispensing. All you do is spray on the frame, then shine with a cloth. The finish you can achieve is impressive. It’s biodegradable and forms an invisible coat to prevent grime, dust and dirt sticking to the frame.
Zefal Profil Max FP50 track pump £39.99
The Zefal Profil Max FP50 track pump is a tough piece of kit with a steel barrel and base, so it’s not light, but it is very sturdy. A 110cm hose features a Z-Switch head on its end. It fits all types of valves and the huge gauge is easy to view and very accurate. It got a 700x23 tubular to 160psi in 50 strokes. Fast, effective, accurate and tough, it's highly recommended for workshop use,
If you want a small and compact cycle computer, the CatEye Strada Slim wireless computer ticks the boxes. It’s thinner than the previous model but with a bigger screen, which improves readability. That's handy when you’re hurtling along the road and need a quick glance down at the computer to see just how quickly you’re travelling. CatEye have cleverly done away with buttons. Instead, the whole computer is a button. You simply press down the face of the unit itself. Neat. You get a full roster of modes to track all the data you need.
Crud Roadracer Mk2 mudguards £29.99
A perennial favourite, the Crud Roadracer Mk2 mudguards can be easily fitted to just about any regular road bike (and, with a bit of modifying, will fit more awkward bikes too). They’re well priced and very light - lighter than traditional mudguards certainly - and the MK2 ‘guards are long to wrap more of the front and rear wheel to provide greater protection from road spray. The sculpted section on the rear mudguard provides protection for the front mech, but can be tricky to fit to some bikes with tight clearances. Excellent easy-fit mudguards to winterise your road bike.
Supernova E3 Tail Light 2 dynamo rear light £39.5
The Supernova E3 Tail Light 2 dynamo rear light weighs just 15g with three LEDs and is designed to be used in conjunction with the front-facing E3 Pro 2 light and dynamo hub. There are two versions, one that attaches to a rack and a seatpost-mountable one using a rubber O-ring. It’s a fit-and-forget joy, with no batteries to worry about, and it’s as bright as a battery-powered LED.
Abus Granit X-Plus D-lock £99.99
The Abus Granit X-Plus has long been among the best D locks on the market. It has a Sold Secure Gold rating and it's not hard to see why. It features 13mm square section hardened steel, and is available in two lengths, with a super stiff shackle, and it's not even that heavy for the amount of protection it provides. Unless you live in a real crime hotspot, it should give you all the protection you need.
Lezyne Port-a-Shop Toolkit £99.99
For the budding home mechanic or as an easy way of transporting some essential tools if you’re travelling to an event or going on a cycle holiday, the Lezyne Port-a-Shop Toolkit packs just about all the tools you really need in a padded Cordura case. The tool list is impressive for such a compact kit, and the tools are good enough to become the first tools you reach for when working on your bike at home.
Asgard Annexe bike shed £525
Keeping bicycles safe at home is a growing concern these days, and the Asgard Annexe bike shed is a purpose built steel shed for keeping up to three bicycles safe and secure. It’s as solid as it looks, and weighs 103kg in total, so it’s not going anywhere fast. It can be bolted to the ground for further peace of mind. Not cheap, but a really secure way to look after your pride and joy.
Lezyne Zecto Drive front light £29.99
The Lezyne Zecto Drive front light is a smart, compact front light, designed to alert other road users to your presence. Three LEDs are contained in the slim design, it fits easily to the handlebars with a big rubber band, and the six lighting modes offer good runtime: up to 5 hours in 20 lumen constant mode. There’s also a brighter 80 lumen flashing daytime mode.
Loksak aLoksak waterproof gadget protector £8.99
Yes you could use a sandwich bag to keep your phone in when cycling, but the excellent Loksak aLoksak waterproof gadget protector is purpose designed to be waterproof, dustproof and humidity proof. It’s available in a choice of sizes, and you get three bags for the price. The bonus over a sandwich bag is that you don't get any condensation inside when it's sitting between a wet outer layer and your warm body. Plus, you can use the touchscreen while the phone is in the bag.
BioLogic FixKit multi tool £29.99
A well-designed multi-tool packing 20 tools including less common options (15mm spanner and chain tool) makes the BioLogic FixKit a top multi-tool. It lives in a neoprene case to stop it scratching other items in your pocket, and in use it’s easy to handle with good leverage. High quality, compact roadside fixer.
Pragmasis Shed Shackle security anchor £49.99
The Shed Shackle is a reinforcing kit that turns your shed wall into a secure locking point. Two hardened, powder coated steel shackles and long plates plus a short one provide a solid ground anchor for your shed or garage. There's also a version for steel sheds if you want to beef up the security of a metal bike shelter.
Lifeline USB LED Single Beam front & rear light £19.99
£20 isn't much for a pair of lights and the Lifeline USB LED Single Beam front & rear offer decent quality and enough brightness to ensure you can be seen by other road users. The front emits 40 lumens, the rear 15. They’re turned on by pressing the lenses, and they clip onto the bike with a simple rubber band, so they’re quickly removed if you’re locking your bike outside.
Datatag UV Stealth Pro £26.99
Bike theft is a hot topic and the Datatag UV Stealth Pro kit uses UV stencilling, DataDots and deterrent labels to discourage theft and, if that fails, to reunite you with your pride and joy if it is recovered by the authorities. DataTag supply police forces with free scanning equipment and training so if your bike gets retrieved there is a pretty good chance you are going to get it back.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.