Step 3 – Get the Basic Equipment

 

Once you have your bicycle there are still a few items that you will need to purchase to ensure your ride is as safe and pleasant as possible.

The first and most important item is a helmet and I still see far too many cyclists on the road riding without one. The investment you need to make for an accessory that can potentially save your life is invaluable. Helmets today are light, comfortable and vented so much of the time you will forget it is there. Use your head and get a good one.

road cycling shoesPedals and shoes which I mentioned in the previous article can add a vast amount of comfort to your ride but there is still much fear associated with these for beginners. I won’t hide the truth that chances are you will probably be in a situation where you cannot unclip from the pedals and find yourself lying next to your bike. But in no time at all you will learn how to unclip easily and reap the benefits from a more efficient pedal stroke.

Tubes and tire levers are a must! Glass, metal and other sharp objects litter the roads and are just waiting for a nice juicy bicycle tire to puncture. Punctures WILL happen and as such you should be prepared for this with at least two tubes. A decent set of tire levers will help remove and reseat the tire onto the rim of your wheel.

So you have the new tube in the tire and need to inflate it, CO2 canisters (compressed air) with inflators work really well and inflate a tire in a matter of seconds. These canisters cost around $1 each and I normally carry 2 on my bike. Pumps are always handy and have become so small that they can be carried in the back pocket of a cycling top.

A multi-tool is another very important accessory to throw into your saddle bag as running repairs are bound to happen. These small folding tools normally have just the right mix of tools for just about all the bolts and screws on your bike.

Where do I keep all of this gear you ask? A small saddle bag strapped to the back of your saddle can hold quite a lot of gear if you pack it cleverly.

Bicycle computers are an extremely useful device to have on your bike. Depending on the make and model they will measure your distance, speed, elevation, heart rate and cadence. These measurements will help you determine how your riding and fitness are progressing and are invaluable as a training tool. These can range from as cheap as $20 to $800 depending on what measurements they take and what technologies they use.road bike night riding

Need to ride early or late? Bicycle lights have become very cheap and at the very least you should look at purchasing a rear light for the bike. A rear red flashing light will make you more visible even during the day and it goes without say that the more visible you are to traffic the better it is.

Lycra is the material of choice for most road cyclists, loose fitting clothing that can bunch up and chafe is never a great idea. But there is more to the Lycra than just showing off your great looking legs and glutes, the chamois that so many manufacturers spend millions of dollars designing is there for your comfort. And after a few hours on the bike you will be glad it’s there. For short rides a cheap chamois will do you fine but after you hit 40km upwards the investment you make in your shorts is sure to be felt, be good to your bum.

This list can go on forever as there are thousands of accessories and toys that you can use to adorn your lovely bike. Hopefully this article will make the shopping experience a little easier by giving you an idea of the basics you need.

Enjoy the Ride.

Step 2 – Buy a Bike
Step 4 - Stay Safe on the Bike

22 Responses to “Step 3 – Get the Basic Equipment”

  1. Timothy

    Oct 20. 2014

    Yes this one came back to bite me when I bought my bike, who would have thought I would have needed an extra $150 after I bought the bike, none the less I am loving the sport.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jacques C

    Oct 29. 2014

    I couldn’t agree more about the helmet part, I wouldn’t be typing this today if it wasn’t for my helmet, extremely important.

    Reply to this comment
  3. charley mclean

    Nov 18. 2014

    Erm, I’m not too comfortable with the lycra thing, will normal shorts suffice?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 13. 2015

      Not really, as I noted the cycling shorts have a chamois and won’t cause chafing like normal shorts. If you are really uncomfortable there are a few brands that make baggies that have a built in chamois so if you are really not happy in Lycra then give those a try.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Herbert Hayashi

    Nov 30. 2014

    Do you get tubeless road tires like those used on MTB’s?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 13. 2015

      A few manufacturers played around with tubeless conversions for road but it never seemed to take off, it does make the bike a little heavier, also based on the relatively small amount of air that is in a road tire the tire would deflate far too much before the sealant plugged the hole so essentially ruling out the effectiveness.

      Reply to this comment
  5. roxana

    Dec 02. 2014

    This article was very helpful thanks, now I know what to expect.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Bradan W

    Dec 04. 2014

    A good helmet is an absolute must, don’t skimp on this accessory.

    Reply to this comment
  7. orlan

    Dec 11. 2014

    I second your opinion on having a proper chamois, it will change your ride experience, looking forward to more articles.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Matt I.

    Dec 12. 2014

    I had a sales person trying to sell me a chain breaker and I think he called them quick links, I don’t see a mention of them. Do I need them?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 13. 2015

      That is once accessory that I did not mention although it is not as important as the rest, it does not happen too much on road bikes but you could break a chain, so having a spare quick link and chain tool is helpful. Many multi-tools have the chain tools built in.

      Reply to this comment
  9. George Willie

    Jan 05. 2015

    I would also suggest a pair of gloves, long hours on the bike will take their toll on your hands.

    Reply to this comment
  10. tabb shin

    Jan 19. 2015

    Would you advise wearing a hydration pack?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 13. 2015

      There is an opinion with some of the cycling snobs that hydration packs are just not cool, I say if it works for you and you are comfortable then go for it.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Taber M.

    Apr 11. 2015

    Hi, out of interest what helmet and kit do you use?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 13. 2015

      My lid (helmet) is a Bell Sweep and my favorite set of kit is Santini Gara bibs and top.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Ronald Lindquist

    Apr 22. 2015

    Nice informative site with great advice.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Keith S.

    May 13. 2015

    Power meters, would you suggest using those?

    Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Aug 13. 2015

      These are intended for serious training so if you have a proper training plan that incorporates power into training then yes but otherwise not for a casual or novice rider.

      Reply to this comment
  14. gery kay

    May 16. 2015

    I need to agree with some of the previous comments, use your head and get a decent helmet.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Craig A

    May 24. 2015

    Tire choice is also important, when I bought my bike it had a pair of thin cheap tires and I kept getting punctures, I changed to another set recommended by a friend and haven’t had a puncture in a year.

    Reply to this comment

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