Now we turn our attention to the best cycling accessories we’ve reviewed, and we’re talking here about lights, tools, turbo trainers and lots of other useful products that can enhance your cycling enjoyment. All the sorts of products that contribute in their own small way to your cycling, whether it's helping to to service your pride and joy, or lighting the way on the commute home.
As with the best clothing, to be even considered for this list a product had to review 9 or above. Yes, we set our standards pretty high. Then it was the challenging job of picking 15 products that really stand out above the rest. We haven't ranked these products, as individually they have all ranked highly in their own categories.
We've linked to retailers - just click the heading to buy the product - but we've used RRP prices. It's worth shopping around as many of these products are available for a bit less
Like many bike tools, it isn't until you use a really good version that you realise how important paying a bit extra can be. The Birzman Maha Apogee III floor pump is a perfect example; it's certainly not cheap at £54.99 – though it isn't the most you could pay for a track pump – but it performed really well throughout the review period. While we've tested more affordable track pumps, the Birzman is here because if but if you are pumping up tyres frequently or you just want a top quality track pump, you won't be disappointed by how quickly it engages and then inflates.
Some people can't see the point of spending good money on cleaning a greasy bike. So what does the LifeLine Essential Bike and Chain Cleaning Kit give you that can't be achieved with a couple of washing-up brushes from your local pound shop? A gleaming chain in minutes, that's what, and a clean frame and wheels not far behind. You get all the tools you need, and they’re sturdily made and the brushes stiff enough that they don’t bend when using them.
The Feedback Sports Sprint is an excellent workstand that's a joy to use on normal or disc-braked bikes. It's genuinely hard to fault. With a bike clamped on there's no rocking in any direction - the Sprint has a massive nylon bushing at the bottom of the black pole inside the body that removes any hint of wobble. The Sprint workstand is a joy to use. Overall the Feedback Sports Sprint Workstand is a great-looking top-class bit of kit that you'll look forward to getting out to use. If you can bring yourself to put it away, that is.
The Seasucker Talon is just the thing if you need to stick a bike on the roof of your car but don't have (or can't fit) suitable roof bars. It uses rubber vacuum cups to stick to the roof, letting you mount a bike quickly and firmly to just about any car. Seasucker racks aren't cheap. They don't really have much direct competition, though, so if you couldn't put a bike on your car until now, this could be a price you're willing to pay.
The brand new Edge 25 is Garmin's smallest ever GPS computer, and along with its diminutive size, Garmin has nailed the user interface. It’s a dream to use. Provided you don't need route mapping and navigation and just want to track all the important metrics like speed, distance and elevation, the Edge 25 does everything you need.
The Carogna Tape from Italian company Effetto Mariposa makes the fitting of tubs an absolute doddle even for the first time tubular user, and thanks to its ease of use, cleanliness and unbelievable adhesive qualities, you’ll never need to use tubular glue/cement again. It’s the benchmark-setter in the world of tubular adhesive tapes.
Long the benchmark luggage choice for cycle-tourers, the Ortlieb Commuter Bag is well solidly constructed with a laminated Cordura material which is tough and waterproof. The bag is available in lots of sizes, colours and mounting systems.Once at your destination, getting the pannier off is a doddle - you just grab the handle and it unclips the fixtures, coming away easily in your hand. An expensive pannier but you're getting a great quality and very well-designed product for your money, and it should last for a long time.
The Cateye Volt 100 front light & Rapid X rear light are a really good combination with enough lighting output to be seen by with the battery, charged by a USB lead, providing good run time for commuting. Both lights are easy to mount to the bike. The rear light uses a simple rubber band approach and fits easily to most seatposts, even aero ones. It's a very slim light and never obstructs pedalling and even looks quite good on the bike.
The Tortec Universal Storage Hook is a very sturdy bike storage option for road or mountain bike, holding skinny and fat tyres equally well. Once it's fixed to the wall, putting the bike into place is very simple: lift wheel to the right of the hook, align with a gap in the spokes, shift the wheel left to put the hook over the rim and let the bike drop down. The tyre seats between the angled guides and is held firmly, regardless of size.
The RaceWare Direct Garmin and GoPro combined mount allows you to easily fit a Garmin computer and GoPro camera to the handlebar, freeing up space and providing a very stable mount for the video camera to film smooth footage of your rides.
Unlike regular chain whips that use a short section of chain, this one has three pegs that locate into your small sprocket and holds the cassette in place while you undo the lockring with your chain tool. It’s that simple, and it’s super simple to use. The handle is long enough to get plenty of leverage. And it’s not very expensive either.
With more and more people owning smartphones, and plenty of good apps, it makes a lot of sense to use it to record your cycle rides. If you want to follow a route, or see data while you’re cycling, the Quad Lock makes it really easy to mount the phone to your handlebars. It’s a sturdy mount, but the phone can be easily removed when you've finished a ride, or popping into a cafe.
The Zéfal Z Box L is a tool holder for longer rides, and it does exactly as it claims with aplomb. It’s tough, made from hard-wearing and durable polypropylene, and provides 0.8L of storage capacity so you can free up your jersey pockets, or extra space for more food on longer rides.
Crashing when you're riding on your own can be serious especially in the cold and dark of winter. ICEdot's Crash Sensor can let a contact know within a minute should the worse happen and they can even direct the emergency services to you from their armchair. Setting it up is easy, and uses an app on a compatible smartphone to operate during rides. It does cost £140 but it’s a good investment for solo cyclists for the peace of mind it others you, and partners and relatives.
The JetBlack WhisperDrive is a direct drive trainer with magnetic resistance, and it's one of the quietest trainers we’ve ever tested. Direct drive means your bike connects directly to the trainer, rather than your rear wheel turning a roller. it's just a question of removing the rear wheel from your bike and mounting the rear dropouts onto the WhisperDrive. You get a realistic road feel from the WhisperDrive, with seven resistance levels controlled via a handlebar.
The Urban 800 is the highest lumen output light in Light and Motion's Urban range. Each of the lights in the range has the same battery life, are the same size, the same weight and the same shape. The more you pay, the more lumens you get. This one works well if you ride on unlit country lanes with enough brightness and run time for the longer commutes or evening training rides.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.