Swear by: Oakley Radarlock, Bont A shoes, Salice Bolt helmet

Another in our series of mini reviews based on the tried ‘n’ true stuff that we swear by. Extremely long term tested!

We all have certain items of kit we won’t leave the house without when going for a ride (we did a blog about this a while back). All of these items are tried and tested and have earned their place as my favourites.

Salice LR

Salice Bolt ITA road helmet

Checkitout

This helmet has become my go to helmet for a number of reasons. It’s pretty light which always helps and the 23 vents have done a sterling job of keeping my head cool in the heat of France and Spain as well as recent hot spells in the UK.

I haven’t needed to tighten or adjust the straps since I first set it up and the little Velcro cover on the chin strap is really comfortable. The retention system works really well and there’s a reassuring amount of coverage at the back and sides.

There are also two small but unique features that I’ve come to love. The hairnet under the vents at the front part of the helmet has stopped countless insects from getting at my skin and many a wasp has been deflected away.

The little LED red light on the retention system adjustment dial is a really neat idea and ideal for a back up eye level rear light on early morning or dusk rides.

Radarlock LR

Oakley Radarlock Sunglasses

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I’ve been a massive fan of Oakley sunglasses for years and have more pairs than I care to admit. I still remember vividly the debates and research I did when I was buying my first pair in 1989 when I had to choose between the £40 Eyeshades or save for weeks more for the £60 Iridium Blades (the Blades won in the end). Fast forward 26 years and the Radarlock are my current favourites.

I have had a pair of the ordinary Radar glasses for a few years and loved them. The frames are very comfortable, sit just the right distance out from the brow and on the nose and haven’t slipped yet. The arms grip well without digging into the side of your head which really makes a difference after a few hours. With no rim at the side or bottoms the view is unobstructed and the lens quality is of the usual Oakley excellence.

The Radarlock version is exactly the same shape frame and lens but the little hinge on the side allows you to quickly and easily swap lenses. The hard storage case they are supplied with also has space for the extra lens with plenty of protective padding.

Bonts LR

Bont A-One shoes

Checkitout (the A-Two version)

I’ve had these Bont shoes for about four years now and although they are starting to look I’ve been playing 5-a-side in them they are still sound and comfortable. I remember the first time I moulded them – probably the most concentrated I’ve ever been putting anything into an oven! Then falling asleep on the sofa wearing them when I was meant to be moulding them. Luckily they didn’t need much shaping and I’ve never had to touch them since.

I love the Bont sole design where the foot sits in a tub rather than a flat sole. This is so much more comfortable for me and provides much more stability as the foot is held in place better than a flat sole. It’s also virtually impossible to bend the sole meaning no loss of power through the sole flexing but not at the expense of comfort. I’ve done some nine hour rides in these shows and never had a problem.

The leather last has been solid since day one and apart from the scuffs from front wheel toe overlaps the rest has stayed perfect. The ratchet strap does the bulk of the fastening with the two well placed Velcro front straps keeping the foot in place much better than a single strap.

I’ll be absolutely gutted when these shoes eventually go but I have got a pair of Bont Riot for nice sunny days and have just got a pair of Vaypor Plus shoes to see if the double Boa system is any better.

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