We're constantly reviewing new and notable cycling accessories here on road.cc, and here are the best of the best from the past year.
In order to be considered here a product must have been reviewed on road.cc during 2018. It must also have scored very highly on our usual testing criteria: construction, performance, durability, weight (if applicable), comfort (if applicable), and value.
Our reviewers then got their heads together and decided which of the best ranked products really offered something special and deserved to make the cut. Sometimes the choice was obvious, sometimes a lot of discussion and argument was involved. We got their in the end.
We've included links to our original reviews so you can get all the info you need on the products that most interest you. We've also included buying links for everything so you can find what you're after online.
Don't forget to also check out:
Right, let's get cracking...
Cateye Volt 800 Front Light £89.99
The Volt 800 is a winner! It impresses with a compact single LED barrel profile, 800 lumens of potential output on static, a wide beam profile, with a selection of three useful flashing/strobe settings for use when being seen is more important than seeing where you're going.
Cateye's build quality is also up there with the best and this light is easy to fit to your handlebar.
Exposure Strada RS Front Light £255.00
Exposure's Strada RS is a road-specific light, and with excellent build quality, brilliant beam pattern, loads of modes to choose from and great battery life, it really is all the light you'll ever need, whether you're out for a full-speed quick blast or an all-night epic. If you are willing to pay for it, you won't be disappointed.
Lezyne Zecto Drive Max Rear Light £48.00
The Lezyne Zecto Drive Max offers several constant and flash modes for both night and day use, allowing you to balance output and battery life whatever the conditions.
Battery life is pretty impressive from such a compact unit and recharge time is just 2.5 hours via micro USB.
It fits securely to your seatpost with the rubber ladder strap or it'll clip easily to your clothing or a bag loop. The Zecto Drive Max is well built too and what it lacks in shininess it makes up for in robustness.
There are cheaper lights out there but if you want something this bright the Zecto is competitively priced.
Exposure Blaze MK3 With ReAKT And Peloton £115.00
This is possibly the best commuting and general riding rear light. It's easy to use – once you've figured out the settings – and it lasts for ages, although it's a little pricey side.
The Blaze can detect braking and put itself into a flashing mode to increase visibility. It can also adjust its brightness depending on the conditions.
The Blaze can also sense when another rider is positioned on your wheel by reacting to the increased brightness of their front light and dimming.
Hammerhead Karoo GPS Computer £388.89
The Hammerhead Karoo is an excellent bar-mounted GPS unit. It's powerful, intuitive to use, has a fantastic screen and decent battery life. For a day on the roads or trails, it's hard to beat.
You really need to check out our comprehensive review to get an idea of the Karoo's capabilities, but this is a GPS with very few downsides. Our man Dave reckons it's better than anything else for core functionality, with lots more promised for the future.
Smith Attack Max Sunglasses £199.99
The Smith Attack Max glasses provide excellent coverage and great vision, and swapping lenses could hardly be easier thanks to a clever magnet-based system.
A hinge at the end of the arm allows you to fold the arm in when you're not wearing the glasses, and also to swap the lenses really easily. You pinch the end of the arm and pivot it inwards. This opens a jaw and releases the arm from the dock on the lens. Blink and you miss it.
The Attack Max comes with two lenses, one of them Smith's ChromaPop Contrast Rose Flash lens for low light conditions while the other is a choice of three other ChromaPop lenses. Many brands boast that their lenses help you see better, but these really do add greater clarity.
These are well made and they provide very good eye coverage.
BBB Avenger Sunglasses £49.95
These sunglasses are a great package that show you don't need to be spending into the hundreds for a quality pair. With excellent coverage, a range of lenses and impressive weight there is very little to dislike.
The Avenger's use a large single-piece wraparound lens which really keeps the wind and grit out of your eyes as you ride along, even at high speed. A slot between the lens and the frame above each eye does a pretty good job of stopping fogging.
As well as a smoke lens, you get a yellow and a clear option in the pack, each made from polycarbonate and offering 100% UV protection. Okay, they don't quite have the crisp clarity of some of the more expensive shades out there, but when you take into account the price they are difficult to knock.
Met Trenta 3K Carbon Road Helmet £265.00
The Met Trenta 3K Carbon helmet is lightweight, it feels cool in use and, if you accept Met's claims, it offers an aero advantage over a traditional lid, but you're going to have to dig deep for this one.
Our medium sized helmet weighed just 220g and you get large vents at the front, deep internal channelling and what's called a NACA Vent towards the top which ensures constant airflow through the helmet without catching the wind and creating drag. We found that most people got on well with the fit too.
Bell Stratus Mips Helmet £129.99
The Bell Stratus MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) Helmet is high quality and comfortable with a great fit. Adjustment is simple with a large wheel to click at the back, and you get height adjustment too
The MIPS insert is closely matched to slots in the helmet shell so there's no restriction to airflow over the scalp, with space between the helmet and the insert allowing plenty of room for air to get in (and out).
Out on the road, the Stratus MIPs feels light and unobtrusive. If comfort is very important to you, and if you've had problems finding a helmet that sits well, the Stratus will be worth a test fitting.
Specialized Sierra Women's Helmet £30.00
The Sierra fits really well, doesn't make you look like a mushroom, and its price tag significantly undercuts the vast majority of the leading specialist manufacturers for entry-level helmets.
The Sierra is the most basic women's helmet that Specialized offers, but that doesn't show in its looks or quality. You can adjust the fit via a micro-adjustable dial at the rear to create a really secure fit, the straps are really soft and sit snuggly against the cheeks, and plenty of venting means that overheating is unlikely to be an issue.
Te Sierra is perfect for commuters and newcomers to cycling, as well as for more experienced riders who value a quality brand without breaking the bank for an all-singing, all-dancing, feather-light lid.
Topeak BackLoader 10L £64.99
This is a reasonably priced bikepacking seatpack that carries its own waterproof stuffsack inside. Although you can get a waterproof bag of similar size that weighs slightly less, for its price and ease of use the Topeak Backloader is a brilliant choice.
The outer black bag is intended to stay fastened to the bike throughout your journey. When you get to your destination, you simply open the roll-top closure at the end and pull out the separate drybag that lives inside. The convenience of this separate stuffsack design is hard to beat out on the road.
Tailfin T1+SL Super Light Rack & Pannier £319.99
Tailfin's unique rack and matching pannier(s) are ultra-light and can be fitted to pretty much any bike. It's a pretty pricey setup, but makes a real difference if you ride with luggage a lot.
The rack is a single approximately-parabolic arc of lovely carbon. The Tailfin design is intended for bikes that don't have rack mounts, and instead of bolting to eyelets it attaches to replacement rear axles which have special pegs at the end. Once your pegs are in place, fitting the rack is an almost ridiculously quick job, and completely tool-free.
The 22-litre pannier (you can buy a pair if you like) has ultrasonically welded seams and custom engineering to fit it to the rack.
The system is super-fast to fit and holds its payload rock-steady.
Outer Shell Adventure Drawcord Handlebar Bag £72.00
The Outer Shell Drawcord Handlebar Bag is just excellent. It's easy to use one-handed, you can stuff everything from a camera to a six pack of beer in it, and it's made from quality materials, which helps justify the price.
The closure system works really well, the overall construction is well thought out, and the fact that the bag opens towards you when you're on the bike is a practical touch. Small details make all the difference! If you need to carry the bag off your bike, there are also two handy D-Rings. You can either buy an Outershell shoulder strap, or just use a length of cord.
Topeak Hexus X Multi-tool £22.99
The Topeak Hexus X multi-tool packs a lot of functionality into its small size. Fitting 21 tools into a package that sits neatly on the palm of the hand is a commendable achievement.
The Hexus comprises a solid plastic body carrying two hinges loaded with hex keys, Torx bits and a chain tool, with a tyre lever mounted to each side.
Everything works well and it's hard to see why you would want anything more to get you out of any sticky situation on the road.
Granite Design RocknRoll Toolkit £30.00
The RocknRoll tool is a smart ratchet style multi-tool with nine bits, an extender bar and neat pouch. It’s nifty, useful, and cheaper than competitors while being just as capable.
The kit centres on a ratchet tool contained in a Cordura fabric package. Inside the small roll up bundle is the ratchet tool itself, an extension rod and nine bits: seven hex bits (2mm/2.5mm/3mm/4mm/5mm/6mm/8mm), star bit (T25), and Philips bit (PH2). The tool is made from S2 alloy steel and will withstand 60 newton metres at the gear.
Silca HX-Two Travel Essentials Kit £75.00
Yes, it's expensive but the Silca HX-Two Travel Essentials Kit is a very high-quality set of tools fit for any home mechanic, with all the necessary hex and Torx tools for carrying out most minor, and some major, mechanicals on a road bike.
What you're getting is an assortment of tools made from S2 tool steel, manufactured using a nine-stage heat treatment process, and coated with a high-friction chrome and rubberised polymer. The result is a set of hardwearing and durable tools.
If you're fettling your bike regularly and you want the best tools and have deep pockets, this kit certainly fits the bill.
Duck Smart Earth Mover Bike Cleaner £6.99
Duck Smart's Earth Mover works as well as ever and a redesigned nozzle means there's now less waste.
You spray this on to a bike that's already wet, leave a few minutes, wiggle a brush into the worst/most hidden corners and rinse off. It works a treat and it's totally biodegradable.
A new nozzle design allows you to choose between squirty and foamy. With the foaming option, it's easier to put it where you want it, which means you use less of it.
WD-40 Bike Degreaser £6.99
A good solvent is a worktop essential, and WD-40's Bike Degreaser does a great job at a sensible price.
WD-40 degreaser is a high-pressure, volatile spray that liquefies oil, dirt and grime and flushes it right off the component of your choice.
This kind of high-speed spray is beloved by bike mechanics for its ability to clean out hard-to-reach places, such as inside rear mechs, behind chainrings and in between sprockets. It evaporates quickly too, which means you can re-lubricate components pretty quickly after use, and it's great value.
Green Oil Wet Chain Lube 100m £6.99
Green Oil's Wet Chain Lube is an exceptionally good barrier against water, dirt and corrosion, seriously reduces maintenance and won't turn the planet into an unliveable wasteland. The price is good and the applicator is well designed. There's really nothing not to like.
Stans NoTubes Road Bike Tubeless Kit £32.00
This is a good all-in-one option for getting your bike setup tubeless. It's well executed, and great value to boot.
If you want to go tubeless you need sealant. And special tape. And special valves. And even if you have these things, are they the correct width or length for your rims? This package offers you the lot at a very good price. For the £32 Road kit there are two rim tape sizes of 21 or 25mm, and three valve lengths of 35, 44 or 55mm.
All-up, the Stan's Road Bike Tubeless Kit is a well-thought-out, convenient and cost-effective way to get your bike running tubeless.
Flinger Race Pro Clip Mudguards £44.99
These Flinger Race Pro Clip mudguards are truly excellent. They install easily, they don't rattle too much and you can whip them off easily when the weather dries up.
The stays fit to the frame with a rubber band that can be cut to length. Once in position, they can fixed be tightening a barrel adjuster.
The only gripe you might have is that the guards are designed to support a maximum 25mm tyre.
Hornit Clug £15.00
The Hornit Clug is very possibly the world's smallest, simplest bike rack. Available in three sizes to suit most tyres, it's hard to think on how to improve it.
The premise of the Clug is simple: it's a clip that grips your tyre. That's it. Screw to the wall, insert bike. Done. Pull bike out, ride. It beautifully functional and secure in use.
Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In (300ml) £8.25
Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In is a simple and effective way to restore the water repellency of coats, jackets and other wet weather clothing. You simply put the garment in your washing machine, and instead of using detergent you just put this stuff in instead.
It's an excellent way to take waterproof jackets back to their previous best, assisting with breathability too.
Pedal Plate £11.00
Pedal Plates are a quick, cheap and lightweight way to make your SPD-SL or Look Keo 3-bolt cleat pedals rideable in normal shoes. Not everyone will need them, but if you do they could come in very handy.
As cycling accessories go, it's hard to think of anything simpler: they snap into your pedal where the cleat goes. Once in they offer you a grippy, flat surface to pedal on. They do their job really well!
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.