Can you be described as an occasional or novice cyclist? If the answer is yes you may not take much notice of what equipment or ‘kit’ you have. However, regardless of how often you get on your bike you still need the right kit to ensure you are fully equipped in every situation. Beyond this with the right kit you will also be able to step up your cycling and start enjoying longer, more enjoyable rides and cycle routes.
Below is a closer look at six pieces of kit a novice cyclist should consider investing in.
Getting stuck on the side of the road is every cyclist’s nightmare, especially if you’re out in the countryside and can’t get signal on your mobile phone. Fixing your bicycle however, is simple with a few basic tools and to make sure you’re ready for every eventuality you should try and ensure you have at least:
– An inner tube
– Tyre levers
– A pump
– A multi-tool with a range of Allen keys, Torx Bit and chain link extractor
– If you have a high level of competence or experience in bicycle maintenance then consider carrying a gear cable and spare chain link too.
Although the issue around helmets is contentious and whilst there are plenty of arguments for and against them, it’s still advisable to choose one as a novice cyclist on the road. The risk of injury on the road for cyclists is high so any protection is something to think about.
All helmets sold by reputable retailers in the UK should meet European Union standards and therefore there is no specific need to invest in the most expensive one on the market. You can choose one which you like the style or but also look out for one that adjusts well and is properly fitted.
3. Water Bottle (and Storage)
One of the cheaper items for your bike but one you’ll come to appreciate. A good water bottle and cage to store it in will save you a fortune in the long run. Cut out endless stops at cafes and shops for hydration and instead simply focus on your journey and know when you need water it’s there and waiting for you. The risks of dehydration when cycling are high, especially in the hotter months, so this is one essential you’ll be pleased to always have with you.
Whilst cycling clothing isn’t essential it will improve your experience. Clothes to keep you warm and dry are essential for the main part of the year in the UK and as a basic kit you should invest in a base layer, short sleeved top and bib shorts as well as gilet, waterproof jacket and leg warmers should see you through the most part of the year. You may want to add gloves, overshoes and a long sleeved top in the coldest months and also possibly invest in a soft shell instead of your regular top. In the UK mid-weight items will see you through the bulk of the year and mean you don’t need to invest unnecessarily.
There will be times you need to lock up your bike and you need to know it’s safe. A bike lock should be the first thing you buy and a good lock will be a true investment, the best locks aren’t cheap. Experts suggest that the best type of lock is a D-shaped shackle with strong armouring around the mechanism. The lock may be one of your more expensive pieces of kit but it ensures you don’t end up stuck out of town without your bike to get home on.
6. Smartphone and Apps
Only a few years ago it would have been recommended that you buy a computer or gauge to track your rides but now all you need is the right app on your smartphone. With an app such as Strava or Map My Ride you can get a full picture of the rides you’re taking and soon you’ll probably feel yourself cycling even further than usual and setting goals for your next ride.