Cycling Products I Love
In this instalment of the cycling products we love, Semi-Pro Cycling Founder, Damian Ruse, shares his picks. This is our way of showcasing and sharing our insights and endorsements. Our hope is that you enjoy it all — and perhaps discover something new you’ll love too.
This is the gear I use when out on my bike; the stuff that I love for personal reasons, and in most cases have used for years.
Tires – Take Continental tires, for example, I have used a lot of tire brands and types over my 25+ years of cycling. I always come back to Continental road tires. Nothing says hard working training tire than the brown sidewall – or black in some cases. The one tire I use for training and racing is the Continental Grand Prix 4000s. Following the trend of bigger road tires, I recommend the biggest you can squeeze into your frame. For example, 700 x 28C.
Bottle Cage – Another staple that can stand the test of time is the bottle cage. They are not expensive but they can make or break your ride (too hard to get the bottle in and out). Or break your style (if they don’t look good). I used to use and recommend a Cateye bottle cage, while functional was a little outdated in style. That’s when I upgraded to Elite bottle cages and haven’t looked back. The Elite Custom Race Plus Water Bottle Cage is sexier and works great for not much more cash.
Headphones – Wearing headphones is a contentious issue that I’m not going to touch. The choice whether you wear them riding is all yours. If you use headphones they might not last very long. Sweat (and tears) has a tendency to render them useless, sometimes with only weeks of use. When I went hunting for headphones they had to be cheap and snug fitting to block out the wind noise. I am a one ear headphone kinda guy and the original Skullcandy Ink’d headphones came up on the top of my list. And they’ve been a constant addition to my rides for years now.
Rear Light – There are a lot of rear bike lights on the market. There is also a lot of new technology but I always come back to my old favourite, the Fibre Flare. It’s been around for years and worked for me since 2010. I love this light because of its flexibility. It can bend around any bike frame. It also has these cool horizontal clips that let you strap it to your bag for riding with a bag. It goes with me everywhere and it will continue working to protect me for years to come.
Front Light – Speaking of lights, when I bought my first set of proper lights it was Cateye with two huge lamps and an even bigger battery pack. Then I moved onto a more powerful off-road capable set-up. Great but again a huge battery that weighed my jersey down. Then along comes the Bontrager Ion 800 R Bicycle Light. A light that outshines both these other lights, and does it in a small, self-contained package. It’s been unbreakable so far and the extra bonus is that there is a daytime function. This is a new trend in cycling lights and it can’t hurt to leave your light on all the time right? Especially considering you don’t have to lug a heavy battery around.
Bike Storage – One of the first things I did after buying our apartment was start hunting for bike storage options. Being a 2-bedroom place, the only space was in the corner of the living room. This ruled out clunky and oversize hooks or stands. I was losing hope on finding a storage solution until I came across the Clug. What it lacks in size it makes up for in clean lines and simple ingenuity. I love it even if it has one flaw, you have to keep your tires pumped up to stay secure in the holder. No biggie if you’re riding your bikes a lot, but if this isn’t for your everyday ride, give it a miss.
Sunglasses – When you start cycling you will notice the dominance of one brand, Oakley. Now I wouldn’t say I’m a super Oakley fanboy and I’ve used other brands but something always draws me back. I have owned 4 pairs over the years it could be their marketing pulling me back in. But really it’s because they make a great product. My current pair is the Oakley Prizm Road Radar EV Path sunglasses. I’m not sure I believe all the hype but they are the best sunglasses I’ve ever used. Even when the lens started to peal I used their generous 2-year warranty to get a new lens.
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