A Very Random Kit List

Updated: Sep 28

A curation of our writers best pieces of equipment, apparel or downright miscellaneous thingy-ma-jigs.

Nathan Curry

'My favourite bit of kit is this battered, old pump that was abandoned in a shop I used to work in. The seals are wearing out, the foot bed is twisted, the barrel has a few dents on it but it keeps on trooping on. It's a bit bulky to pack but that plays in its favour when it's needed, it inflates really quickly and has got me out of more sticky scenarios than I could mention.'

Lisa Konnix

'The second is an early Christmas present from my flatmate Audrey. She designed a long sleeved bike jersey and made it with the help of some of her friends, and then printed my favourite rides of the year on to the back! It was a really thoughtful, personalised present which I wasn't expecting it and I'm excited to wear it through the winter months.'

Will Jones

'My favorite piece of kit from the last 12 months has to be the Teravail Rampart tyres. Having had them on for review over the summer on my cross bike they have yet to be replaced. Sadly they are staying on the bike along with everything else as it is getting sold, but they remain the most fun tyres I've ever ridden. Hugely grippy, especially on the broken tarmac the UK has in abundance.

They were so good I genuinely considered whether I really needed a road bike after all.'

Despite being sold with the bike they will likely be replaced with another, slightly wider pair of the same on my next bike, and they'll likely stay on there until they are forcibly replaced, either by a new test set or once I've ridden all the rubber off them.

Lindsey Bonner

'My favourite bit of kit is my Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow saddle. I came across this gem thanks to a recommendation and fitting from the awesome Debby at Freedom Cycles in Lichfield, who completely understood the pain and discomfort I was experiencing, as is so common with women riders. An open saddle has been an absolute game changer for me being able to enjoy longer rides and made the big challenges I've got stuck into this year not just possible, but enjoyable!'

Immy Sykes

'My favourite bit of kit (for almost most of the year) has to be my thermals I bought years ago. They aren’t branded, and I am pretty sure I got them from from a market stall in town for about £5. Having them just means I don’t have to spend a fortune on expensive technical base, mid and top layers - and I can wear them for all my other sports too.

I know it is pretty basic, but I feel the cold quite badly, and I am keen to show that you don’t need to spend tonnes of money on fancy kit to cycle. Also, with how damaging the clothing industry can be, it’s really important to find items that work for you and your life, not the other way around.'

Izzy Wild

'Tina the Tandem was bought for the price of cycling shorts, Tina came into my life around 5 years ago. The reason why I love Tina is I can plonk any friend on the back and we are guaranteed for a good time and for my pal to share in my love of cycling. Versatile uses include for commuting, cycling to swim spots, on/off road thanks to her 26" mtb rims and tyres, pub trips, cafe rides, bikepacking, dirt jumps (sadly bottoming out as she's a long girl!) and 'just for fun' time trials. Cycling shorts are over-rated anyway.'

Lyra Olivia

“This could have been quite a few of my every day carry tools, accessories or kit. I’m quite attached to my old style Oakley M-frames (which I’ve replaced a couple of times due to loss); it could have been my Crank Bros multi tool (one of those things you carry in the hope that you don’t need to use it) or the Ergon bar end/grips that I have on my Brompton.

But the almost forgotten bike part that sees the most use is the Brooks Swallow saddle. On every ride (ok, I don’t have one on my mountain bike) this is the absolute best bum contact point I have found.

The first one I bought was second hand from eBay. This was the second Brooks saddle I’d tried; the first being something wider (maybe a Professional?? also from eBay) which didn’t suit me at all. Then when I realised that this was THE saddle for me (and I had access to trade prices!) I splashed out on the organic leather version. The next one was a limited edition copper railed and riveted version (it was for my Concours de Machines competition bike, so it needed to be shiny ) When I later picked up my first Brompton (also eBay ) I didn’t hesitate to track down another, nearly new used one.

So four bikes, four Brooks Swallow saddles, in various states of worn-in-ness, each with their own patina and scuffs. The Brompton and my lugged winter bike have seen the most use over the past year as I try to gently relearn bikes (this is a story for another day)'

Nick Archer

This was really simple and cheap, if not controversial, purchase back in early 2021.

After sampling the delights of drop bars on a gravel bike I used a few times, I realised that although I was not in a place to buy my own, I wanted that change of hand and wrist position. In the months following, when I wasn't on my road bike and on chewier terrain over longer distances, this has made my rides that little bit more comfortable.

Varun Jyothykumar

My favourite bit of kit is technically not a singular, but a pair: my Red Cycling Products pannier bags. When I first started cycling to commute, these were my gateway to carrying actual luggage around on a bike; since then, they have carried everything from a week’s shopping to Year 11 marking. I’ve modified them with some robust Carradice bag clips, so they will probably last me years.

Charlotte Hartwell

We've all be there: a relatively fresh faced cyclist, not sure whether we will do anything more than commute on the bike, not ready to spend our month's recently acquired pay on a fancy jacket or some of these shoes that make us waddle (dear reader, I did), wandering the aisles of Lidl or Aldi when they have one of their 'cycling specials' week.

It was in this state that I discovered what has since become one of my favourite things to wear on the bike. It is a disgusting shade of yellowy green but I love it. I bought this jacket over 5 years ago and still wear it now. Its technically a men's small but fits my frame perfectly, keeps the wind out and is pretty shower proof. The mud and grime of the roads wash out without issue. I have worn it 26 weeks pregnant with a growing bump as well as on the school run for the small human being that had previously inhabited that bump. I have lent it to friends who has begrudingly agreed it is actually a very nice jacket despite the colour.

I have owned many jackets since buying this one, lighter or more waterproof or less of a vile colour, yet I still find myself coming back to this reliable, cheap and well made item.


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