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BRANDS
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Coming from somewhere around the middle of Minoura's extensive range, the LR540 offers a great balance of value and performance. Set-up is straightforward and in use it's notably quiet: your rear wheel spinning generates more noise than the 1.5kg magnetic flywheel.

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The combiloop features a seriously long two-metre cable designed to loop around multiple items. At full stretch, it'll secure five or six bikes together. The downside to this length is that there's no storage option beyond balling it up, making it more suited to a saddlebag than a jersey pocket.

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Firmly established as the global leader with its hydration packs and water reservoirs, CamelBak moved into sports bottles a couple of years ago and the Podium Ice is the latest, most innovative product to date. 

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The boot is a very subtle thing that immediately calls to mind the traditional Brasher walking boot. These boots instead are made with a synthetic upper which has worn well and weathered like leather too. The sole has a semi-aggressive Vibram IceTrek rubber over a stiff, but not rigid shank.

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Does this helmet offer the best of all worlds? Aero, airy, light, and comfy – if you're after a new road lid, we'd urge you to give this a once-over

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There are good reasons why you see Altura’s Night Vision products so often – they work, and they’re well priced. The 2013 Evo has gained a small rear LED, which makes it one of the most comprehensively specced jackets out there.

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The Giro Factor ACC shoes oozes style and is luxuriously appointed with heavily perforated leather-like Evofibre uppers that are very tough, providing excellent support and resistance against maximal efforts on the pedals.

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The beam has a very tight focus for reasonable – if not excessive – reach and good middle distance fill that works great in most riding situations. Peripheral illumination is a bit vague if you're really cracking on or negotiating twisty lanes, but it was still praised as one of the most balanced light outputs by our test team.

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Covered helmets are constantly faster, but the trouble is they're also hotter - unwelcome unless you're riding and icy Classic.

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One of the toughest cycle locks you can buy, this short D-lock uses a 13mm hardened steel shackle whose parabolic shape causes problems for cutters, pry bars and jacks.

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The Giro Empires hark back to the old school with their laces and simple, but stylish two-tone design. Thankfully though the retro styling is merely skin deep as the technology involved is right up to date, ensuring that the Empires meet the demands of a premium road racing shoe. The best of both worlds you say?

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Panaracer RiBMo

31/05/2014

The massive 35mm version of the RiBMo has the same resilience we found in the 25mm tested in issue 282. Tough enough for bridleways, tow paths or even British roads, it's highly recommended.

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The Panaracer Race Type A Evo 2 is an excellent all-round race tyre...

It's fast and grippy rubber which offers impressive levels of durability. Panaracer's 'PT Shield'  offers bead-to-bead puncture protection. The tyre is available in 23mm and 25mm widths, with claimed weights of 210g and 240g respectively. If you want a tyre for both training and racing then the Type A Evo 2 is a willing candidate.

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Building on the success of Giro's first top-end road shoe, the Prolight, the SLX ii incorporates a number of small improvements to keep them up to date. With a move from Teijin fabric to Evofibre, a lighter man-made fabric that's more resistant to stretch, the fit has become even more important.

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Minoura's new Vergo Excel, retailing at £109.99, offers a sleek profiled aluminium body and two quick release fork supports. These can be positioned sideways, and forwards/backwards with quick release fixings to attach to your customer's van or MPV.

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