Being the technical editor at VeloNews has its perks. High on that list is the ability to find the best and the most durable products in the cycling sphere. When I encounter those, you can bet they stay in my stable. This episode of the VeloNews Tech Podcast is dedicated to the Keeper — that bit of cycling gear that never dies, and comes with me on just about every ride.
Editorial director Ben Delaney and I decided to bring our favorites into the studio, to compare notes on what products have stood the test of time. We went into it blind — I didn’t tell Ben which products I chose, and he didn’t tell me which ones he chose — and it should come as no surprise that there was a bit of overlap.
Take a listen to hear all about what we chose and why we chose it. If you’re itching to start shopping right away, here’s our list of Keepers that we simply can’t do without.
Dan Cavallari’s Keepers
Merlin Extralight XLR
$3,200 (frame only)
Merlin is back, and making titanium bicycles right here in the USA at its Boulder, Colorado HQ. Talk about a Forever Bike: You can get your Extralight in stock sizes, or custom-made to your specs, and the finished product rides like a dream. I threw S&S couplers on my build to make it an ideal travel bike.
Gore C7 Gore-Tex Shakedry Jacket
By now we know Gore-Tex rules the weatherproof roost. The Shakedry doubles down on functionality by packing up incredibly small so you can tuck it in your jersey pocket. It’s a staple for me on just about every ride, and has saved me from nasty weather frequently — most recently at the Big Sugar-NWA Gravel course recon, in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Wahoo Elemnt Bolt
It’s the right size, it has the right functionality, it’s simple to use, and it comes in cool colors. The Elemnt Bolt does everything I need it to do, and it does it quickly. It has navigation features, and pairs with all your sensors and monitors, to track your data. You can even use it in conjunction with your Wahoo smart trainer.
K-Edge Aero Race mount for Wahoo Elemnt Bolt
This is simply the best GPS computer mount on the market. It’s CNC-machined, lightweight, and rock-solid. K-Edge makes a vast variety of mounts for computers and cameras, so regardless of what technology you’re running, chances are K-Edge has a mount for you.
Niterider Sentry Aero 260 light
The Sentry Aero 260 from Niterider manages to look sleek and cool despite its size, which is much larger than other rear lights. But that unique size and shape comes in handy, since it blasts out a ton of bright light in all directions. There’s even an indicator light to let you know when it’s time to recharge the battery. It’s among the best rear lights you can buy.
Spurcycle’s bell chimes for days. It looks great on your high-end road bike, and installs in seconds. And when you hit that ringer, expect everyone to hear it. The crystal-clear chime rings out loudly, and lasts for a very long time, so you can give walkers and fellow cyclists on the path plenty of warning that you’re coming.
Ben Delaney’s Keepers
Gore C3 WindStopper Helmet Cap
The C3 cap fits nicely under a helmet, and there’s no bill to get in your way. This bit of warmth might be the encouragement you need to get on the bike, when it’s frosty outside and the trainer starts looking better and better. When the temperatures climb, the C3 cap packs up small and stows easily in a jersey pocket.
Shimano SPD-SL pedals
They seem indestructible, and given how long we’ve had some of these pedals, that theory stands up pretty well. Shimano’s road pedals also offer a wide platform for power transfer and stability, are light weight, and there’s even an option for wider spindles to push out your Q-factor.
Wahoo Elemnt Bolt
Stages Power Meter
Stages made a name for itself by creating power meters at a price-point most cyclists can afford, but the benefits go well beyond this. For starters, it’s easy to swap your crank arm between bikes, so you can use your Stages power meter on any of your rides that share the same crank make, model, and length. You buy a brand new unit straight from Stages, or just send your existing crank arm to Stages and have them install the power meter on your existing arm.
ProGold ProLink Lube
It may not be the fastest chain lube according to VeloNews testing (in conjunction with Friction Facts) but ProGold’s ProLink chain lube also acts as a chain cleaner. That makes it one-stop shopping for those of us who probably don’t tend to our chains as frequently as we should. Apply it, wipe off the excess to clean the chain, then apply a second light layer and wipe that excess off. Then spin away.