A 1:40,000 necktie, sir?
Keep your route close to your chest with SplashMaps neckties that unfurl to tell you where to go next.
Washable, wearable, snottable-into, weather-resistant, and won't run out of battery - these maps are available for £18.99 and current designs feature the Peak District, Snowdonia, Western South Downs and the New Forest.
Printed onto a fabric, and inspired by the escape and evasion silk maps used in the second world war, a SplashMap is a uniquely designed map, based upon open data sources, scaled at 1:40000 as the optimum size for readability.
And it won't turn to mush in the rain.
For more info see SplashMaps.
Pro Missile Evo Handlebars: New multi-fit system for comfort
Pro's Missile Evo Handlebars now come equipped with a highly flexible multi-fit system for the perfect position on the bike.
Working with professional triathletes, Pro found that the most requested mod to the bars was a raised armrest, so in response produced a riser kit to raise the forearms by up to 10cm. There's a nod to increased stability too with a stability bridge system too.
The multi-fit system comes individually packaged, allowing you to adjust the bars as you need, and avoiding unnecessary expense.
Find your most aero position with the various options including pad placement, extension bend options and bar height and width.
For more info see PRO.
Take a break... without getting off the bike
Next time you're a bit puffed at the traffic lights, why not think about lobbying your local council for some of these nifty bike rest bollards.
Swedish designer Marcus Abrahamsson has devised this bollard with a foot rest and handle, helping tired cyclists keep their balance at traffic lights.
It's a steel tube with a posh domed top, and a grab handle at waist height to steady yourself on. A second loop with a grippy mesh panel at ankle height provides extra balance, and the perfect push-off when the light finally goes to green.
"I wanted it to blend in with the existing crowd; the steel tubes and extruded metal mesh, they are all familiar materials in the urban landscape," says Abrahamsson.
For more info see Marcus Abrahamsson.
Updated Wattbikes for a customised experience
Wattbike have updated their Pro and Trainer models to include a brand new user interface, increased responsiveness and additional customisation options for the perfect indoor training ride.
The detailed feedback a Wattbike provides can analyse every part of a pedal revolution in real-time, allowing you to hone your every stroke for maximum efficiency and power output. There's also live heart rate, power and cadence, allowing total focus on the body - especially useful when you're pushed for training time.
What's more, you can see how you're progressing through the season using tests, ranging from short Peak Power efforts through to a British Cycling approved ramp test, allowing you to set your benchmarks - and then beat them.
A newly redesigned handlebar features an improved drop section and enhanced tri-bar extension, to ensure the position you're training in is the position you'll be using on the road.
Communications Manager Alex Skelton said: “The new Wattbike brings significant enhancements to a product that enables cyclists of all abilities to improve on their performance. Every rider can now train using the same scientifically accurate methods as Olympic and World Champions with a Wattbike, right in their own home.
“Training using a combination of power and heart rate is simply the most effective and efficient way to train and with a Wattbike you can be confident that you are maximising your performance gains with every turn of the pedal.”
The new Wattbikes cost £2,250. 0% Finance is available to UK customers.
For more info, see Wattbike.
Stylish rags from Route
You can never have too many t-shirts, and here we have a couple of new offerings from from Glasgow-based Route, founded last year by David McNeil.
“We strive to create expertly styled garments that look and feel great, whether you’re on or off your bike,” says David. “We believe in quality and making products that last.
"All our garments are printed a short bike ride from our studio, adhere to Fair Wear Foundation standards, and use Turkish, Indian and Egyptian cotton.”
First up, we have the Crash T-shirt. It’s 100% combed cotton, comes in three different sizes, and it’s a slim fit. It’s available in indigo as well as black, priced at £26.
Second, we have the Wheel T-shirt. This one is a 70% bamboo fabric with the remainder organic cotton. It’s designed to be odour-resistant so you can wear it for several days without washing. It’s a fairly slim fit too. Ours is in eggplant colour although you can go for black if you prefer. These are £30 each.
For more info see Route.
Rapha: It's a Classic; now in more colours
Rapha have introduced two new colours of their Classic Jersey for the new season, and they're touting it as a design perennial that's had a bright new twist.
Now available in blue and red, here's some of the Rapha heritage for those of you who like that sort of thing.
Rapha founder Simon Mottram says: "We first started to develop the jersey in early 2004.
"We wanted it to do so much more than all the rubbish that was on offer at the time. It had to be the equivalent of a beautiful, modern race bike; functional, refined, durable and classic. From hours on the road, rethinking all aspects of the way a jersey had to work, we came up with some features that were pioneering at the time and which have now been picked up by many other brands. The zip and chin guard for comfort, for example, or an O-ring puller on the rear pocket for ease of use. The angled pockets made it more ergonomic in terms of getting hands in and cargo out, while the ‘bite grip’ protects the fabric when grabbing the zip.
"Every feature was designed to improve your ride. That included a water-resistant valuables pocket and loops on the inside to keep headphone cables tidy. We tried to be as logical as possible, right down to the eyelet in the side pocket that lets you connect the cable to a phone or MP3 player. It’s the innovative details that set the jersey apart, not just from other cycling jerseys but from many other sports garments."
Now, every cycling label and its dog is using Sportwool, a polyester and merino combo that's warm, wicking and non-stinky, but at the time it was a bit of a revelation. Not to mention every jersey coming with a set of matching armwarmers for year-round use.
It only came in black back then, which although stylish and slimming, wasn't really that practical for the mean streets, so perk up your wardrobe with a red or blue model.
Simon says: "They look good with black bibs, various bike paint schemes and different skin tones. And, as the cycling writer Paul Fournel puts it, “to look good is to already go fast”."
If you've worn your new jersey for 30 days or less, and you're not happy with it, you can return it for a full refund. And if you've been so busy showing off last year's model on the bike that you've pedalled yourself skinny, make sure you get a discount on the replacement with Rapha’s Jersey Downsize offer.
For more info see Rapha.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.