21st December 2020 / Comments (0)

ADVNTR Approved: Gear of the year 2020

gear of the year advntr awards approved

This year, we invited both ADVNTR contributors and some of our pals from bike industry brands and distributors to nominate their favourite gear of the year in our ADVNTR Approved awards. 

Let us tell you, choosing just one thing is hard! Enjoy this eclectic mix of gravel, bikepacking and MTB favourites from our pals. What would be your favourite item you’ve used this year? Let us know in the comments below.

Jack Davey: Bombtrack Hook EXT-C Frameset

About Jack (Morvelo Overland): I embrace the pain of climbing, but fear the pain of bad descending!.

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

We’ve heard no shortage of praise for Bombtrack’s gravel offering, the Hook

There were quite a few contenders, but I reckon the Bombtrack Hook EXT-C frameset has made the biggest difference to my riding this year. The combination of geometry and parts compatibility has been the best possible chassis for my perfect do-it-all build. This frameset, armed with a choice of two wheelsets and my slightly unorthodox drivetrain cocktail, has given me a machine that’s as good for an all-day asphalt ride as it is for burning past the mountain bikers on the South Downs Way. I commute on it, train on it, generally just mess around on it – and in 2021, I’ll be racing on it.

Erwin Sikkens: komoot synced the Wahoo ELMNT ROAM

About Erwin: I’m an adventure oriented gravel rider / bikepacker and even day packer. Party pace wins the race, smiles over miles.

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

The Wahoo ELEMNT ROAM x komoot combo is Erwin’s choice in the Netherlands and beyond.

Changing weather conditions, wrong turns or closed off bridges: it’s the stuff you always run into when you expect it least. Replanning on the go has always been a hassle. Komoot has been an absolutely brilliant planning app for years now and their app planning has made it real easy planning a truly beautiful route or detour on the spot, whatever the reason. Whilst some choose to navigate by komoot app using turn by turns in offline maps, I choose to easily sync those routes on the spot to my Wahoo ELMNT ROAM cycling computer (£300) with it’s perfect navigation features. The two combined make on the go planning really easy and even fun.

Tangwyn Andrews: White Industries G30 cranks

About TangwynI only ride roads to get off roads.

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

The White Industries G30 crankset is a neat option for gravel builds

A fantastic 30mm spindle crank from the the legendary White Industries, all made in house in California. Perfect Q factor and shaped to accommodate fat tyres and wider stays. The direct mount 36T chainring (other options available) means a nice low gear for the big hills and loaded rides. The finish is superb and options for the anodised extractor bolts to match your ride is a neat touch. I’ve put a lot of miles through these and looking forward to many more.

Vedangi Kulkarni: Findra Merino Base Layer Fine Stripe Top

About Vedangi: Long distance adventure cyclist, gravel andMTB rider.

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

A fine merino base layer like this is a must-have for many (Photo: Callum Howard)

This is legit my most used piece of clothing! For the past 18 months, I’ve used this Findra merino base layer (£90) on all sorts of occasions including multi-day bike rides, post-swims, multi-day hikes, meetings, dates, house party (pre-COVID), nights out (also, pre-COVID), and SO MUCH MORE! I love the fabric, love that it doesn’t smell (I do wash it, but this applies to the multi-day stuff when I can’t) and LOVE that it keeps me nice and warm in most situations. I carry it just about everywhere as it fits in my hip-pack.

Josh Meyland: Ripton & Co V2 Jorts

About Josh (Ison Distribution): Road mostly but do like a bit of gravel and bikepacking .

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

Ripton Jorts: Jeans shorts without the discomfort . Photo: @bicycle_factory

These Ripton V2 Jorts ($79) are amazingly comfortable! I am not normally a big fan of overshorts or baggies, but these are a real game changer. I always wore Jorts for MTB/Gravel riding… but now they’re actually practical, with a 4-way stretch material they are comfortable no matter the type of riding. Stylish too!

Abi Rose: My trusty Olympus binoculars and Rough Stuff Fellowship Winter Cap

About Abi Rose: Gravel and country lanes, with a heavy focus on coffee breaks.

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

A winning combo for toasty ears and decent sightings

In some way or another we’ve all had to slow down this year and the binoculars (Olympus 8 x 40 DPS I) helped me take advantage of the slower pace. The RSF cap has meant I’m willing to visit the overwintering birds on the coast without feeling like my ears are going to drop off! Plus it uses materials made in the UK: a cotton oilskin outer with Scottish wool lining. Helps to make me feel RSF worthy when I’m pushing my bike down claggy bridleways.

Sam Jones: Rene Herse Naches Pass 26″ x 1.8″ tyres

About Sam (Cycling UK): Rough Stuff Fellowship rider, who tries to keep to the mantra “ride what you bring” but still lusts over the latest bikes the industry teases us with. Firmly in the 15kph club (or lower) – and happy with it, as allows more time for tea (or beer).

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

26″ aint dead, according to Sam and Rene Herse…

It’s next to impossible to find high performing tyres if you roll on 26″ wheels… or so I thought until I popped on a pair of Rene Herse Naches Pass tan wall tyres (from $71). They’re swift, comfortable and have incredible traction on a variety of services, though struggle a bit in the wet and mud. This summer they turned my tourer (Surly Disc Trucker) into a gravel munching machine that for once had a touch of speed as well. They totally transformed my bike, and made me rethink my desire for a new gravel bike. Can’t recommend enough, parting with them for winter was a sad time!

Tom Farrell: Ultradynamico Tyres

About Tom Farrell (The Woods Cyclery): All sorts, but more often than not drop bar singletrackin’ with intermittent coffee and/or swim stops.

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

The Ultradynamico Rosé and Cava. Best named tyres ever? Photo: Tom Farrell

Ultradynamico tyres (from £65) are fast and supple as hell! Makes a bad bike feel like a dream, makes a good bike feel out of this world!

Katherine Moore: Decathlon MH500 Quechua Hiking Trousers

About Katherine (ADVNTR.cc Editor): Gravel and bikepacking nerd who judges her rides by stoke level, rather than speed.

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

Comfy, robust and accessibly priced, what’s more to love? Photo: James Stockhausen

I have Dave Sear from Pannier.cc to blame (thank) for discovering these MH500 hiking trousers from Decathlon. I couldn’t believe the price at just £25, which doesn’t reflect the quality at all. Super stretchy, with ample pockets and really robust, these have become my go-to for MTB, bikepacking and casual wear through the autumn and winter months. As they’re also really thin, they dry out super quick. Choose between men’s or women’s cut, and even a purple pair for women!

Joel: Microshift Advent 1×9 Groupset

About Joel (Wayfarer Cycles): 26″ yompin’ along the muddy bridleways of the Wirral. “Gravel” would be a better term, though I certainly don’t do it in style.

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

Microshift isn’t the most popular choice, but shouldn’t be overlooked.

Wide gear range at an affordable price, perfect for breathing some new life into an old bike though a great budget option for a new build as well. Extremely durable, clutch derailleur options, extremely crisp shifting and the choice of flat bar, bar end or drop bar shifters. The latter also has the option of a dropper post lever in the left hand shifter!

Chris Hunter: Voile straps

About Chris (Araf.cc): Steady as fuck.

ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

The humble voile strap can be a real life-saver.

With a skiing and snowboarding background it’s been fun to see the bike market embrace these, and as a someone who loves a splash of colour its great to see brands releasing their own custom versions. I’m probably a but late to the party using Voile straps on bikes, but they’ve been a game changer and I rarely ride with out them either strapped on or packed away for whatever needs to be attached to something. I love them. Such a simple, handy thing to have on a ride.

James Stockhausen: Five Ten Trailcross Mid Pro

About James (Temple Cycles): A danger to myself and others
ADVNTR Approved Gear of the year

Quick drying, sturdy and comfortable; the perfect hike-a-bike shoe?

For flat pedal die hards, this more modern take on the classic Five Ten mountain bike shoe is a surprisingly versatile package. The grip of the stealth rubber we all know and love is present, but gone are the oversized skate shoe aesthetics. Instead the Five Ten Trailcross Mid Pro (£130) is a shoe that dries quickly, is sturdy for walking/hike a biking and super comfortable. Essential for the demands of British mountain biking but also a top tip for bike packing off the beaten track.

Stayer Cycles: The Graveler Pokemon card


Does this need any explanation?

When the riding gets tough we like to pull out our Graveler card for that ultimate level up.


Last modified: 22nd December 2020

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