Whether you are getting involved for the health benefits, to gain a competitive edge or simply to take up an exciting new hobby, cycling can be a great way keep fit and have some fun. But knowing what cycling equipment you need can be confusing.
Cycling has seen a significant boost in recent months, with more and more people getting into the sport, whether for fun and fitness, or as a way to make commuting to work that little bit cheaper and better for the environment. But if you’re new to cycling, the vast amount of equipment and clothing available can be daunting. So if you’ve got your bike ready, here are some ideas on the ‘must have’ items you may need.
You might think that bikes and cycling helmets are all you need to get started, but the equipment you require when cycling is a little more complicated than that. Start by ensuring your bike has front and rear lights, especially if you are commuting and will be travelling at times when visibility is low. Also keep a patch kit, spare tubes, a pump and basic bike tools handy at all times in case you get a puncture in the middle of nowhere and need to do an emergency repair.
However, aside from those much needed items, have a good think about the kind of clothing you will need, after all, you will find cycling much more fun if you are comfortable and safe when you’re doing it. Unless you are getting involved in competitive cycling from the outset, you don’t necessarily have to have everything straight away. A good pair of padded cycling shorts or leggings will offer a certain amount of comfort especially if you’re new to the sport. A waterproof jacket, preferably in a high visibility colour, is also helpful, even if you’re a fair weather cyclist! And don’t underestimate how cold bare hands can get even when moving fast. Consider investing in a comfortable pair of cycling gloves early on too.
Of course, whatever kind of cycling you are in to, remember, cycle helmets aren’t just for the kids. If you are planning competitions then a helmet will definitely be needed, but if you are commuting or cycling for fun, a helmet could save your life, so don’t miss out. There are lots of cycling helmets to choose from, from lightweight road helmets to protective full face versions, but what you choose should really depend on how you are going to use it. A helmet with vents will keep your head cool and a visor will shield the your eyes from the sun, but whichever kind of helmet you choose, ensure a good fit by measuring your head and trying your helmet on before you start riding. It should sit low on your forehead and not move, even when you shake your head.
Colin Farnder is an avid biker, taking part in both competitive races and cycling sportives and spends much of his time encouraging others to discover the health benefits and fun gained by cycling. He writes regularly for a range of biking websites and blogs on choosing the best cycling clothing and equipment. click here to know more.