Commonwealth Games kit roundup: the gear you need to train like the pros

From the tyres on the road to the helmet on your head

Forget about blowing your cash on carbon everything. While reducing the weight of your equipment is one way to go faster, knowing how well and effectively you ride is more important. A bike computer is going to help here, and a streamlined power meter.

Colnago CR-S Ultegra Road Bike

Top end ride without the cost

Groupset: : Shimano Ultegra | Frame: Carbon monocoque | Cassette: Shimano Ultegra 8000 11-28T, 11-speed | Brakes: Shimano Ultegra 8000, caliper type | Wheelset: Shimano WH-RS010 | Weight: 7.2kg

Supple and responsive
Great value for the brand
A touch noisy over poor roads
Non-typical sizing 

Italian brand Colnago knows how to craft road bikes that slip through the air. A carbon monocoque frame routes the cables internally, and the construction has the perfect balance of weight (there’s not much to it) and stiffness (there’s no flex here). The admirable Shimano Ultegra groupset provides ample stopping power when you squeeze the brakes, and gears offer direct, comfortable changes.  

Kask Mojito helmet

A lot of lid for the money

Weight: 220g (medium) | Number of vents: 26

Excellent value for money
Design the same as it was in 2012
Padding collects a lot of sweat

If Kask is good enough for cycling royalty Team Sky, then it’s going to suit your head just fine. The well-priced Mojito’s gained a lot of love for its weight, styling and streamlined design that offers ample airflow to cool your skull. A lot of the tech here has heritage in the pro-level lids, giving you the benefit of brilliant ventilation for a fraction of the price you’d normally pay.

Knog Blinder 1 Cross front bike light

Blinder by name...

Weight: 15g | USB type: micro USB | Light power: 11 lumens

Simple to install
Will need to be charged daily
Better for being seen than to see

A dead simple but effective way to be seen for anyone who trains beyond daylight hours. Easy to install, rechargeable via USB and waterproof, this compact light pumps out 20 lumens which is good for 500m of visibility. Considering its bargain price, you’d be well served splashing out on its partner for the rear of your ride, too. 

PowerTap P1 pedals

A no-fuss power meter

Weight: 429g (pair) | Cleat system: Look Keo | Battery type: AAA | Battery life: 80+ hours

Accurate measurements
Bluetooth and ANT+ compatible
Very expensive

Attach a P1 pedal to each crank of your bike and you have one of the best power meters going so you can gauge how much wattage you’re generating. The beauty of this system is two fold: the P1 is ANT+ and Bluetooth compatible so it’ll talk to your bike computer or watch, and it’ll attach to any bike, rather than having to fiddle around with the cranks themselves.

Garmin Edge 1030

The ultimate connected bike computer

Weight: 123g | Screen size: 3.5” | Battery: Li-Ion | USB type: micro USB | Connectivity: ANT+; Bluetooth

Big colour screen
Excellent battery life
Screen unresponsive in the rain
Accessories are expensive

You could bolt your smartphone onto your handlebars, but the constant vibration will shake it to bits, and leaving the screen on constantly won’t make your battery very happy. Invest in a bike computer that gives you customisable maps and access to key metrics like speed, the amount of power you’re generating as well as integrating with Strava and Training Peaks services to motivate your ride. It’s the best training buddy you’re going to get.

Paul Taylor is chair of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub SME Leaders Steering Group and and Cybersecurity Partner at KPMG.