The Nines and Tens: best kit of 2010

We tested a serious amount of kit in Cycling Weekly magazine over the year. Here’s the best of the best from 2010; all the products that were rated as a nine or ten. Buy any of the following and be sure of a class-leader.

Reviewers were Mike Hawkins (MH) Stuart Bowers (SB) Simon Smythe (SM) Dan Duguid (DD) Hannah Reynolds (HR) Austin Mills (AM) Jamie Darlow (JD) Ian Cleverly (IC) Lynn Clay (LC)

TokenBB.jpgToken TK877BT External Bottom Bracket with Tiramic Bearings £59.99

Having really abused this bottom bracket over the cross season with repeated jet washing, the bearings remained smooth, not drying out or seizing. This is due to the smoother, harder ceramic bearings combined with super-hard titanium nitride-treated races that also offer less rolling resistance. Excellent performance and very reasonable price. DD
Contact:   10

dhb Merston tights without pad £35.99
Made from dhb’s Thermo-stretch fabric these tights provide excellent fit, while being flexible and warm. They lack foot loops but the leg length is generous so you wont get any gaps. Two layers of material protect the knees, and the fleece lining will add warmth to your lower back and kidneys. These tights are exceptional value and hard to beat. SB
Contact:   10

Time Ulteam RS £189.99
Out of the box these high-end shoes from Time are comfortable even without using their DIY thermoforming zones, that, when heated with Time-shoes.jpga hairdryer, mould them to your feet. A rounder toe box and reshaped heel cup has improved fit over previous models. On the downside stack height is increased over the pedal axle due to the cushioning Vibraser system. SS
Contact:   9


Giro Blaze gloves £29.99
For cooler spring days Giro’s Blaze glove is just the ticket. This lightweight glove has a Clarino leather palm with a small padded area on the heel allowing you to feel the bars. The soft material keeps you warm and comfortable, our only gripe was getting the finger length right as the larger-sized glove resulted in slightly baggy palms. SB
Contact:   9


Blackburn Mars clicker rear flasher £12.99
If you are looking for a rear light on a budget then the Mars clicker packs a good punch due to its two super-bright LEDs that offer 180° visibility. An easy mounting system, using stretchy rubber arms and its clever on-off switch (pressing the entire lens), plus a no-quibble lifetime warranty mean you can’t really go wrong. JD
Contact:   9

Altura Ergofit Comp bib-shorts £79.99
The Ergofit range is Altura’s attempt to raise its profile and these shorts are a big success. Ergonomically shaped panels provide a tailored fit, and improved construction using higher quality fabrics feels a noticeable step up from previous products. The Comp chamois, although appearing basic, is comfortable and flexible enough to allow for freedom 
of movement. SB
Contact:   9

Stan’s NoTubes cyclo-cross tubeless system £71.99
A standard set of road wheels can be converted to tubeless by a skilled mechanic using a Stan’s NoTubes kit. Everything is included – a pint of sealant, two rim strips with built-in Presta valves plus spoke tape. Tyres Stans-Tire-sealant.jpgwill be tighter to fit, but the benefits are lower rolling resistance, improved puncture protection and some potential extra grip and comfort from the ability to use lower pressures. MH
Contact:   9


Kryptonite Modulus System Cable Lock: Double Noose £34.99
This lock solves the age-old problem of securing both your frame and wheels simultaneously instead of the common either-or dilemma. The locking cylinder offers tool-free frame 
mounting. The two 10mm-thick braided steel cables are a little cumbersome to thread where you desire, but do offer some increased security. Ideal for car roof rack duties too. SB
Contact:   9

Endura Equipe Criterium bib-shorts £89.99
These Endura bib-shorts have a one-piece dual-density honeycomb chamois offering good padding and cooling. Multi-panel design offers a good fit, although the leg perforation over the buttocks could be a step too far and a little revealing. A good investment and a 
positive step forward for this British company. MH
Contact:   9


Fenwick’s HC-1 hand cleaner £4.99
No matter how careful you are, working on your bike or changing a tyre inevitably ends with dirty hands. Fenwick’s HC-1 hand cleaner can be used wet or dry and its polybeads make a remarkable job of getting hands clean without causing any irritation. With 500ml costing less than a fiver there’s absolutely nothing to complain about. MH
Contact:   10

Evoc bike bag £259.95
With its labelled padding and intuitive

packing compartment, the Evoc bag is very easy to pack. The forks simply slot home and the frame is secured using Velcro straps; solid foam

protects the rear of the bike although we still removed the rear mech.

Wheels are pocketed in armoured side compartments. The bag has proven

itself over 10 flights already. SB
Contact:   10


Pro Star Series Cavendish bar and stem £74.99, £149.99

The Cav bar is a mismatch of elements (oversized with internal splines and anatomic bend) that when blended together actually result in a bar that’s not only stiff for sprinters but also comfortable for all-day use and isn’t too heavy. The mega-stiff stem in three lengths is very broad around the steerer tube and the clamp is massively widened. MH
Contact:   9

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Schwalbe-Ultremo.jpgSchwalbe Ultremo DD £44.99
Cuts from shards of flint have ruined the carcass of many good tyres over the years, so its rare that I get the opportunity to completely wear a tyre out. Schwalbe’s Ultremo double defence (DD) tyres go a long way to remedy that. Its soft rubber offers good levels of grip in both wet and dry conditions and has proven highly durable and puncture resistant. MH
Contact:   9

Sugoi RS jersey (women’s) £58
With its slim cut and flat-lock stitching, this jersey is figure hugging whatever your 
riding position. The three rear pockets are placed quite high up and feel narrow due to the slim fit, although that does not detract from its performance. The lightweight material is breathable, making the Sugoi jersey ideal for hot days riding or racing. HR
Contact:   10


RSP Astrum Super Bright £25.99
This great-performing light from Raleigh Special Products (RSP) has a central button that allows you to scroll through its various modes and as with most lights you get the choice of 
flashing and constant. It has tool-free mounting and can also be clipped to astrum.jpgjersey pockets. It’s just a shame it rattles a bit on the bike. JD
Contact:   9

Santini Carbon Resistex
 bib-shorts £99.95
The Resistex

material that Santini uses for these shorts is perforated for excellent

cooling, yet is still UV resistant. Mesh shoulder straps aid cooling of

the upper body, allowing moisture to travel through layers, and the

Twist Gel chamois gave good moisture control and padding even after a

day in the saddle. At under £100 they offer very good value. SB
Contact:   9


Helly Hansen Dry Long Sleeve Crew £26.99
While not cycling-specific, back length is adequate on this base layer to securely tuck into bib-tights, keeping your lower back warm. Fit is good with low-bulk cuffs and neckline, while arm length is spot-on, leaving no gap at the wrists. Moisture wicking appears effective as after riding the inside is dry, while outside the material feels damp. HR
Contact:   9

Prendas Winter Thermolite socks £7.95
By using Thermolite Fibres Prendas has been able to make these socks warm without making them bulky or heavy. Thermolite is hollow and traps a warm layer of air next to your feet. The cut is left/right foot Prendas-socks.jpgspecific and long cuffs help keep ankles warm. Importantly, the low bulk means your shoes still fit without restricting blood flow. HR
Contact:   9


De Marchi Contour Evo bib-shorts £149.99
The Contour Evo bib-shorts use a mesh backing with a non-stretch panel to aid support to make them feel snug and comfortable. Pre-shaped curved panels don’t bunch and seams are placed where they won’t chafe. All this plus a sophisticated multi-layered chamois make them supremely comfortable. We would prefer a bit more length in the legs though. SB
Contact:   9




KMC X10SL chain £59.99
The X-bridge ramps on the outer plates really aid this chain’s smooth shifting qualities. KMC uses X-SP coating, hollow pins and slotted plates for a good-looking chain that weighs 240g. It’s compatible with Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM and a ‘missing link’ makes fitting easy. Price is the only snag. DD
Contact:   9




Altura Peloton overshoe £34.99

Designed as a close-fit overshoe the Peloton is made from multiple panels of stretchable Neoprene. Neoprene is well known for its thermal properties and it’s highly effective at keeping your feet warm. Heavy-duty zips give them a robust appearance and the Velcro adjustment helps achieve a snug fit. Cordura soles add durability. Zip baffles would tick that last box. DD
Contact:   9


Topeak Race Rocket MasterBlaster £24.99
At 18cm long and made with an aluminium barrel, the Race Rocket features a retractable hose that unscrews with an extension that fits both Presta and Schrader valves. The rubber grip makes it comfortable to use and 100psi can be achieved with relative ease. It can be mounted using its a bottle mount bracket or 
simply pocketed. DD
Contact:   9


Smart Lunar R1 £17.49
This traditional-style 
reflective mirror light uses one of its three LEDS to emit an extremely bright and focused beam. It offers good all round lighting with 180° visibility and flashing or fixed light modes, plus there’s a power-saving mode too, offering up to 100 hours of run time. Motorists 
should have no excuse for not seeing you 
with this light. JD
Contact:   10

The Nines and Tens: best of kit 2010 part 2

The Nines and Tens: best of kit 2010 part 3