New bike company Stanforth aims to combine the rugged performance of a mountain bike with the style and accessibility of its city sibling; a cycle that can tackle the daily commute and also tour the world. The product of this philosophy is the lightweight Kibo, which boasts a rigid steel frame (hand built from Reynolds 631 tubing) and quality parts from Shimano, Nitto, Velo Orange and Brooks.
If you need further persuasion, company founder Simon Stanforth certainly knows a thing or two about bikes: in 1908 his great grandfather won a silver medal in the 100km at the Olympics, and his father is a former owner of iconic bike brand Saracen.
Stanforth Kibo, from £1,495, stanforthbikes.co.uk
You need to hold the new Vertu Aster to appreciate its quality. Constructed in the UK from titanium and a choice of calf, karung (sea snake) or ostrich leather, it’s a stunning piece of manufacturing. A single 117 carat sheet of solid sapphire crystal protects the 4.7” HD display, while it also boasts a 13mp camera and a super-fast quadcore processor.
While the Aster’s price-point is slightly lower than the firm’s Signature Touch, it has a less macho, more unisex feel that makes it our favourite Vertu yet. We especially like the raspberry ostrich-leather version (pictured), available for £5,900.
The range starts at £4,200 for calf leather, available from the Vertu boutique at Old Bond Street, Harrods or Selfridges