Bike Essentials

Abus Tec-Tical Helmet

This helmet is good value for money, with great-quality moulding and assembly. At 302g it's not the lightest helmet on the market, but it fits well straight from the box and ventilation is excellent. A great option if you're looking for no-nonsense performance. Voted TW's best on test, July 2011.

Info: zyro.co.uk
How much?
£79

Polar CS500cad

This sophisticated bike computer measures everything from speed, distance and time to power output, cadence and heart rate. A fuel reminder tells you when you should eat and drink and an inclinometer displays gradients in percentages so you can bra about the incline when you get home. You can also move it between bikes without recalibrating.

Info: polarelectro.co.uk
How much?
£262.50

Giro ProLight SLX

Giro's first cycling shoes are very light, even with the cleats, and they are as soft as slippers to wear and are very comfortable to walk in. You'll feel as if all your power is being transferred through the stiff sole to the pedal stroke. Worth the hefty price tag? Absolutely.

Info: madison.co.uk
How much: £279.99

Craft Performance Bike Light Vest

This lightweight gilet is designed for biking but it's just as good on the run. It's featherlight, wind resistant and breathable because it's not much more than two Pertex front and shoulder panels stitched to a mesh back. It's small and portable enough to stash away for an emergency but practical enough to slip on at the start of your ride for some protection against wind and rain.

Info: craft.se
How much? £46

Gore Power Lady Waterproof

This is one of the best jackets around. It will keep you dry, warm and comfortable in terrible weather, and it breathes well, so you'll be fine on warm days, too. The only minor quibble is it didn't pack down small enough to fit easily in a pocket.

Info: gorebikewear.co.uk
How Much? £135

Rapha Bib shorts

These tights are the height of luxury. The chamois is so thick and padded you will feel as if you're sitting on a big soft cushion. They don't claim to be waterproof but it would take quite a downpour to penetrate the fabric. Despite the weight of the fabric, the tights breathe and wick moisture well.

Info: rapha.cc
How much? £160

Hirzl Gripp Tour Full Finger Gloves

Hirzl's Gripp technology - originally developed with golfers in mind - delivers three times more grip in the dry, and five times more grip in the wet, than regular cycling gloves. The kangaroo leather is also brilliantly resilient: even if you neglect gloves after a wet ride, they'll dry out without becoming brittle.

Info: nemesisactive.com
How much? £44.99 

Pearl Izumi PRO Leader Arm Warmers

These classy and comfortable arm warmers can be worn on the bike or run. The combination of aero panels and Therma Lite fabric make them both comfortable and fast. The silicone grippers on the uppers keep the sleeves in place and after a downpour they dried fast. The arm warmers look and feel premium and are great value for the price.

Info: madison.co.uk
How much? £29.99

Abus City Chain X-Plus

If you want a heavy-duty bike lock that looks and feels unbreakable, this is a good choice. It's not a light option, but it has a Level 15 rating from security specialist Thatcham, which recommends it as an anti-theft device for motorbikes. If that doesn't convince you that it's a secure choice, nothing will. 

Info: zyro.co.uk
How much? £119.99

Knog Multi 20

It's surprising how much you can cram into a small package like the Knog 20. This plated chrome steel box, which weighs 178g, opens up like a clam to reveal a set of Allen keys (from 2-8mm), various bolt wrenches, two screwdrivers, a bottle opener, a chain breaker and four spoke keys. It's not just the variety of tools that makes this such a fine piece of kit, it's the thoughtful extras such as the little rubber tab you pull on to access the keys or the top of the tool, which spins around one end to double as the handle for the chain breaker.

Info: todayscyclist.co.uk
How much? £34.99