Trek Incite 9i Wireless computer
Trek isn’t really the fist name that leaps to mind when shopping for a computer, but we like this computer. The large display is easy to read, it works well and is easy to fit to your bike – especially with no wires to worry about – the instructions made it a refreshingly pain free process.
In the box are enough zip ties to secure the few parts to your bike, and the computer mount is flexible enough to fit any handlebars, and if space on your bars is limited, the computer can be mounted on the stem.
Nine functions include all the usual suspects like max speed, average speed etc and there’s also a temperature gauge, useful when deciding it’s too cold to ride. All this and it’s reasonably priced.
Shimano PD-R540 pedals
For 40 notes Shimano’s entry level road racing clipless pedal is hard to fault. In use they’re identical to the more expensive Ultegra and Dura-Ace models. And considering they’re £90 cheaper than the Dura-Ace, you only get a 49g weight penalty – which is nice on your wallet.
To keep the price down Shimano have used a resin body, it’s aluminium on the higher-end pedals, and a heavier chromoly steel axle. Other than that, they still offer the same wide platform for stability, low profile design and tenstion adjustment.
They look great in all-black. We’re just about to stick them onto our new winter trainer (to be announced), they’re cheap enough to fit and forget and if they do wear out you’re not going to have an episode over replacing them, which you would if they had Dura-Ace written down the side.
Specialized Messenger bag
Got loads of stuff to carry when on your bike? The Messenger bag from Specialized has 2240cu in of space, which in layman’s terms means; a laptop, a change of clothes, a pair of shoes, keys, ipod, packed lunch and other miscellaneous gear.
There’s some nice features on the bag. A large zipped pocket on the outside of the main flap, two smaller internal pockets, both zipped and one with a mesh front so you can easily see the contents. The main compartment has a separate slim pocket to take your laptop.
Outside, the bag is closed by too buckles, with loads of adjustment on the straps for taking big loads. There’s a neat pouch which will hold a mobile phone or small camera on the main strap.
The bag has stood up to a daily commute, the only evidence (aside from bit a bit grubby on the bottom) is the stitching coming loose on one of the closing Velcro strips, but this is easily fixed. The Nylon fabric is heavy duty and waterproofed so none of our contents have got wet, which can happen with other bags.
Selle San Marco saddles
San Marco has been in the saddle business of over 70 years, still handmade in Italy and their products have graced the steeds of many of the world’s greatest bike riders. The Rolls is a saddle legend, still used by many of the world’s top pros. And at £25, is a bit of a bargain, but it is heavy, but what price tag can you place on assured comfort. We particularly like the gold finishing details.
Stepping back into the present, the SKN is the latest performance saddle – of which there are many – but unlike a lot of performance products the SKN is reasonably priced. For £30 you get a sub-200g saddle thanks in part to titanium rails. The shell is split along the middle, as is in-vogue with current saddle designs.
And for the girls, the £50 Glamour ASPide follows similar design lines to the SKN, but is a bit wider along the nose and at the back. There’s still the split shell design, but slightly less pronounced than the SKN. Underneath, the saddle gets interesting. A Corezone is two strips of the saddle base cut away, with two elastomer inserts, looks to offer some additional comfort.
San Marco are unique in the fact they recognise it can be difficult buying a saddle you’ll find comfortable, so they offer a ‘Try Before You Buy’ scheme. Buy a saddle, if it’s not comfortable, you can swap it out for another. Read our previous article to get the details.
Watch out for full reviews of these saddles soon.