The following reviews are of kit and equipment I have personally used. Although I am always looking for good value for money when it comes to buying cycling gear, I am more concerned with the kit doing the job to a high enough standard not to let me down when training or racing. I hope you find the reviews helpful.

Specialized S-Works Road Shoes (2013)

I was long overdue a new pair of shoes when I walked into my local bike shop to have a look at what was on offer. I was looking for something with a stiff sole and something light.

To the downfall of my bank account, the S-Works shoes were the first to catch my eye. I picked up a shoe and thought I had dropped it, but it was still in my hand; light as air. "Wow", was my first thought. I asked about the price (£240) and promptly put them down.

Then I picked up some of the other shoes on display, but my eyes kept drifting back to the S-Works shoes. Nothing compared. So I tried them on. A red and white pair. So shiny. The Boa S2 Snap reels allow you to fasten the shoes securely, one click at a time. My impression is that there is nothing on the shoe that should not be there. The shoe is made for racing.

The Body Geometry system raises the inside of your foot with exaggerated arch support, but after a bit of riding I got used to this and now cannot imagine riding without it. The idea is that it helps keep you knees aligned better.

Sportful Hydrodrytex+ Arm Warmers

Finding arm warmers that fit correctly can be tricky. I am built like a cyclist. My biceps are not big. This in itself is not an issue for finding arm warmers that fit, but the fact that I am just shy of 6ft2 and have long arms means that most arm warmers that are long enough for me are too loose and tend to slide down. Exposed flesh is not nice on a winter ride.

I was pleased to come across some Sportful arm warmers which are long and tight. I wear a size L in these arm warmers. On fit alone I would recommend these arm warmers to anyone built like a racing cyclist is stereotypically built. They are also warm enough to use in pretty cold conditions. I usually ride through winter with arm warmers and a gilet, and these keep my arms warm enough.

Endura Thermolite Leg Warmers

Fleece lined leg warmers that fit well without any loose bits and do not slip down your thighs. I have fairly long legs (I wear 34" long trousers) and the L/XL in these Endura leg warmers are plenty long enough for me. There is enough elasticity in them to keep them snug around my legs, which are more Frank Schleck than Andre Greipel.

The zip on the Achilles is not uncomfortable at all, and allows you to slip them on and off more easily, especially if you want to pull them off without taking off your shoes at the side of the road. They are warm enough for the coldest winter rides you will be doing in the UK.

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