BikeRadar: Gear of the year - Colin Levitch's 2016 roadie picks
Where has this year gone? It’s hard to believe another year is coming to an end, and with it, a heap of miles ridden, new roads and trails explored and plenty of gear tested.
There isn’t a lot of genuinely bad gear nowadays, but with everything at a high level, it’s becoming harder for products to go off the front so to speak. Some things, however, even once the review is written I'll continue to use even sometimes when I should have moved onto the next product.
My top picks may not be the shiniest, newest, most-expensive or exciting bits of kit. Instead, they’re the one’s I keep coming back to, have purchased myself and would advise BikeRadar readers to spend their money on.
Fuji’s SL 1.5 isn’t particularly aero, nor does it have disc brakes, fancy mechanical pivots or built-in suspension. Despite this, it was one of the most fun bikes I rode all year!
Not only is it lightweight at 6.4kg, it’s stiff, playful and takes off like a rocket when you hit the gas. Even better, considering the quality of the frame and components, it won’t empty your bank account the way other bikes of this calibre will.
It’s no secret I’m partial to shoes with laces, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see the S-Works Sub6 show up here. While shoes with velcro straps, ratchets and BOA Dials offer two or three points of adjustability, there are six on these laced kicks.
Having more than my fair share of kneecap tracking problems, the arch support built into the sole and varus wedge under the cleat have done wonders for my comfort on the bike. On top of that, the Sub6 sees the same uber-stiff FACT Powerline carbon plate as the S-Works 6 shoes and a well vented supple upper, and heel security unmatched by any shoe I’ve previously worn.
Cycliq has taken the concept of combining a camera a light and created two awesome products that keep finding their way onto my bikes. They’re not the lightest or the brightest on the market but do a great job of attracting the attention of motorists.
While they may not stop you from being hit out on the road, the growing awareness of these products seems to have some motorists thinking twice before they take a chance with a sketchy manoeuvre. I also like knowing that if I do get hit there'll be an account of exactly what's happened. And, of course, they're also great for catching your buddies doing silly things during rides.