Ten Cycling Products I loved in 2022

Prices continued to rise in 2022. I think many cyclists have become stricter than before in drawing the line of what to buy and what not to buy.
I prioritized my purchases for my gravel bike that arrived this year, so my selections this time were largely influenced by that, but I still use all of them for both road and gravel.

Incidentally, as I do this post every year, I try to avoid introducing items that I no longer use after I bought them, and basically pick up items that I have been using for a long time.

text / Tats (@tats_lovecyclist)

MAAP x Apidura Frame Bag ($215 AUD)

MAAP and Apidura collaborated on this frame bag. It has been further improved from the original Apidura version, which was originally very user-friendly, with not only a new design but also the addition of small side pockets.

When heavy items are placed in a bar bag or saddlebag, the center of gravity becomes unbalanced, which can significantly affect dancing and cornering, but with a frame bag, the center of gravity is centered, which makes it easier to stabilize. This is why it was so useful this year as a container for lenses weighing close to 1kg. I will continue to use this bag in 2023.

*Used with frame size 54. Smaller frame sizes may not fit, so size measurement is required in advance.

MAAP x Apidura Frame Bag

Adidas Velosamba ($130)

Since I started riding gravel bikes, I have been using different shoes for 2-bolt and 3-bolt depending on my riding style.

The one I use for my most casual rides is the Velosamba, a 2-bolt shoe based on Adidas’ classic Samba model. I like the fact that they look just like Samba, so they give a nice loose feel to my feet. In fact, I can wear them like sneakers, and they are easy to walk in normally (however, the outsole is hardened for cycling).

The upper is windproof, so while it gets stuffy on summer rides, no shoe covers are needed in winter. I wear size 25.5cm, the same as sneakers.

Velosamba (Amazon)

Fizik Vento Ferox Carbon ($299.99)

The Velosamba is more casual, while the Ferox Carbon is more competition-oriented.
In the past, 2-bolt shoes have frustrated me because there are few clean designs on the market like 3-bolt shoes. In response to the recent trend toward faster gravel races, Fizik has released a more competitive off-road shoe, the Ferox Carbon.

The shape and coloring of these shoes are fantastic…! The light purple color is easy to match with clothing and gives a clean look different from white shoes.
Also, unlike conventional off-road shoes that take into account the ease of walking, these shoes have a highly rigid outsole that can withstand the intensity of racing, so you can step on them as if they were road shoes.

The closure is easy to adjust, the upper is lightweight and dirt-resistant. In short, the best on- and off-road shoes.

Fizik Vento Ferox Carbon (Wiggle)

Fingerscrossed Oversocks (€30.00)

In Tokyo, Japan, where I live, oversocks plus a disposable toe heat pack are sufficient to keep my feet warm in midwinter.
I have been using Fingerscrossed oversocks for the past two years. They are consumable, but I enjoy selecting my favorite color each time as there are many variations. This season’s border pattern is quite fresh.


KOO Spectro ($190.00~)

The Spectro is a pair of rugged sunglasses by KOO, an eyewear brand by KASK. The Carl Zeiss lenses are clear and easy to see, and they go well with KASK helmets.
We don’t see many cyclists using these sunglasses, but when I actually wear them, they look cool with this rugged shape.

KOO Spectro (Amazon

Factor LS ($2,700)

This bike was put together from the perspective of “the bike I would most enjoy in my field,” and it arrived about six months after I ordered it at the end of 2021.
I have made the LS because I think the gravel racing bike category is the best option for my mixed riding style (90% paved roads + 10% unpaved roads), which is inevitable in urban areas and mainly on paved roads.

Immediately after delivery, I had Mavic Allroad SL wheels on it, but the ride was a little different from what I was expecting. I then switched to Roval Terra CL and the ride has been a huge improvement. I now do most of my riding on the LS without hesitation.

By the way, the current price has gone up about 35% since I ordered them, shudder…

Factor LS

Beast Road Stem (€339.9)

Beast stem selected to match the Factor LS. Beast is a German brand that manufactures carbon components such as wheels and handlebars.

I chose Beast because I wanted to add a little flair to the simple black frame of the LS. The shiny, glittering carbon is really shiny.
The stiffness is also very high, and I love the perfect balance of stability and dressy image.

BEAST Road Stem

Universal Colours Unisex Insulated Packable Jacket ($220.00)

Universal Colours also has an excellent casual line. One of them is the “Unisex Insulated Packable Jacket,” which is light and thin, but extremely warm and has been very useful since last winter. My partner liked it so much that he bought another color this season.

The surface is coated with DWR (durable water repellent) and the inside is 3M Thinsulate high-performance padding, which provides amazing heat retention.
Unlike ordinary down jackets, the design is indeed optimized for riding posture with long sleeves and back cover. I’m 177cm and wear a size S.

Packable so you can put it in your bag (it’s big enough for that)

Universal Colours Insulated Packable Jacket

FUJIFILM X-T5 + XF50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR

The camera body has been changed from X-T4 to X-T5 after two and a half years of use.

There are many minor changes, but the most significant is the evolution of AF performance. Until now, the AF performance of FUJIFILM cameras has been overwhelmingly weak compared to other manufacturers, and honestly speaking, I used them with the understanding that they were not suitable for sports photography, but I feel that the T5 generation has finally caught up with the previous generation of Canon and Sony cameras.

The original FUJIFILM-only color tone is now combined with practical AF performance, and the images I want to take can be taken more error-free, enabling smooth shooting with less strain on the model I am photographing.
The 50g weight reduction is also a nice touch.

Incidentally, the change from vari-angle to tilt was a very welcome change for those who do not take selfies.

FUJIFILM X-T5 (Amazon)

The telephoto zoom, XF50-140mm, is used in the aforementioned frame bag in key locations. Combined with the standard zoom XF16-55mm that I already had, I can cover all focal lengths, further expanding the range of my image creation.

XF50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR (Amazon)

This is enough to put an end to mirrorless-related investments for a while, so that I can handle all kinds of shooting.

iPhone14 Pro

The iPhone 14 Pro is more like a “new digital camera” than a “new smartphone” that I needed.

The iPhone 14 Pro has a camera sensor size approaching 1″, which makes it close to the photos of condensers with built-in 1″ sensors, such as the SONY RX100 series.
The ability to save in RAW format also makes it possible to retouch images as desired. Video performance has also been greatly enhanced, so if you need a compact camera that can take both photos and videos, you can now choose an iPhone over a digital camera.

Although carrying a camera on one’s back has become a common style of carrying a camera, I frankly prefer to do so if I don’t have to carry anything on my back, which is my honest feeling as a road cyclist. I used to use the RX100M5A when I didn’t need a mirrorless camera, but even carrying it around was too much of a hassle, so now I can use my iPhone as a replacement, which is a big plus.

Other items reviewed this year


Tats Tats Shimizu@tats_lovecyclist
Editor in Chief. Having been riding sports bikes for 10 years. He likes to unravel the trends in the sport bike industry, especially road bikes, from a marketing perspective. At the same time, he has extensive friendships with cycling apparel brands from around the world and proposes various styles through the media. His main bikes are Factor O2 (road) and LS (gravel).