If you’ve decided to make the jump from cycling at the gym to road cycling, then getting a head start on some of the things every cyclist should own is a very good idea.
This is a shortlist of cycling essentials you might want to consider getting before you take up cycling in earnest. Once you have your bike, there’s not that much more you need beyond the energy and enthusiasm to keep pedaling. These items will make the trip more enjoyable and comfortable.
One of the things not mentioned in these 5 points is a bike rack. This will definitely come in handy, especially on long trips, be sure to check out reviews about these on RackFact.com. This is one of the best treatments that you can give your bike.
In order of importance, here is the list of 5 things every cyclist should own and – of course – the bike.
Okay, this might be stating this obvious, but a suitable bike is kind of the most important part of your new activity. If you are starting from scratch and have vague memories of cycling to school on an ordinary cruiser bicycle, you need to know that things have changed a lot since the days of wobbling around on a Chopper bike.
Buying a new road bike can be daunting with a huge range of options and prices out there. There are perfectly adequate bikes you can pick up at the nearest sports goods store for under $100. They will do the job if all you want to do is cycle a few miles to and from work every day. You could also decide to drop thousands of dollars on a famous name brand bike replica that won the Tour de France last year if you plan on making cycling your weekend hobby for life.
Surprisingly enough, cycling entails a ton of benefits for the brain. So you can rest assured that this form of sport is a very effective way when it comes to advancing your health status.
Image credit: Raleigh
Just remember that bikes are targeted for theft even more than cars, so be sure to keep your insurance current and consider upping your bike’s security if it’s a specialist model. Think about what you will be using the bike for and spend according to your needs.
Friction, perspiration, road bumps: these are your derrière’s worst nightmare over long distances. This won’t affect you so much if all you have planned is a short commute to the office and back; regular clothes will do just fine. All you’ll need is a bike clip if you are wearing long pants or a skirt. But if you plan on tackling long-distance cycling or joining a cycling club that participates in events, you need padded shorts.
Padded shorts don’t need to be worn as your outward apparel. You can conceal them under a skirt or pair of baggy shorts if you want. They do take a bit of getting used to, however, as padded shorts can’t have underwear underneath them. It’ll be worth it over longer distances when every little bit of extra cushioning helps.
If you enjoy cycling with just a t-shirt and sunblock on the top part of your body and it makes you comfortable, then that’s fine for short rides. There is a reason why cyclists wear their clothing gear for long-distance cycling, and it’s because they have been specifically designed to handle the physical demands of a long-distance cycle or tour.
A jersey made especially for cyclists is fabricated from materials that keep you cool in higher temperatures (body and outside temperatures), and they also keep you dry when you perspire. They are designed with a long zipper in front for ventilation and have 3 pockets at the back to hold food packs and other essential items. There are cold and hot weather cycle jerseys, and they can be accessorized with gilets and arm warmers. This item is ideal for trips where you don’t want to be weighed down with anything.
One of the most pleasant activities you can do on a comfort bicycle is head outdoors with just a few friends and a backpack for the company. When you check the weather conditions for where you are going, you can fold the appropriate clothing into a designated cycling backpack and hit the road.
Water Bottle and Cage
Even if your route is going to take you through an urban or built-up area, you will still find it easier to have a water bottle attached to a bottle cage on your bike instead of having to stop and buy beverages whenever you need to hydrate. After a few trips with a soda bottle or can rubbing against your back in the jersey pocket, you will understand why the convenience of reaching for a water bottle from the bike bottle cage is so popular.
Environmentally speaking, reusing a bike bottle is better than searching for a recycle bin every time you stop.
There are a few pieces of equipment that you should always find a space for somewhere in your gear. You shouldn’t leave home without your basic bike tool kit, because there is so much debris on the side of the roads waiting to puncture bike tires.
- Spare inner tube
- Bike oil/ lube for chains
- Crayon/pen to mark out the puncture hole
- Patch kit including sandpaper, vulcanizing solution, patches, French chalk
These items will fit in quite comfortably in a backpack or saddlebag. If you are competing, training, or racing in an event, make sure they have the right size inner tube for your bike in the following vehicle.
You might not need this if your smart device can sync with your bicycle, but every cyclist likes to know what distance they’ve covered and how fast they managed to go. A bike computer is not an essential item (that’s why it’s at the bottom of this list). That said though, a cycle computer comes in very useful if a riding partner asks you how far and fast you’ve gone that day. It is also a good way to measure your progress.
If you are new to cycling and became interested in the sport from the time you spent doing it at the gym, then having a cycle computer is a good way to make the transition from getting your data from the stationary bike at the gym to a real one. They display your speeds – both average and maximum – inclines, and physical measurements: heart rate, calorie burn, and highest bpm.
You can download an app that will do all this for you and upload the data onto a chart when you get home. Don’t forget though, that cycle computers don’t break when you fall off your bike and are weatherproof into the bargain.
Now that you have more information about the five things every cyclist should own, you can make an informed decision about what you need to take with you and wear on a bike. You can relax knowing your safety and comfort are riding along with you.