New Bike Essentials
So you've purchased a new bike, or you already own one that you love. The hard part is over! Choosing your new ride is a painstaking and tough decision that usually results in a long term relationship with mankind's most perfect invention; the bicycle. And hopefully yours is the perfect one for you. Now comes the easy, but most often overlooked part...making sure you have the right gear for your cycling experience.
Every cycling discipline is different and therefor the gear required is also different. So what we've done here is focused on the essentials that aren't unique to any experience. This is the stuff that you need for every bike ride whether it's on road or on dirt, whether it's long or short, and whether you're an enthusiast or casual. There's a ton of stuff out there and like most bike shops we believe that we carry the best of it. Hopefully this helps but as always you can visit our store and have a member of our team outfit you with the right gear. See you out there!
All living things need water....even you! But when we offer many "New Bike Customers" a bottle cage we often get, "no thanks, I'm not racing" as a response. Every bike comes equipped with the necessary mounts for one bottle cage, most times they can fit two. The average amount of required water that anyone needs to consume per 40 minute period is 20 ounces so if you're going to ride longer than that grab two cages. You can skip the cages if you plan to ride with a hydration pack (though super frowned upon when road cycling). Want bonus points? Water isn't usually enough for your nutrition needs so put in a mix that contains electrolytes, sodium, and sugar. And no, Gatorade from the gas station is NOT the same thing.
Everything that connects you to your ride only enhances the experience.
PEDALS - Whether you're going clipless or flat, pedals are pretty essential. Don't stick with the crappy ones that come with your bike.
SHOES - If you've got clipless pedals then it's pretty obvious that you need the shoes to match. But with flat pedals it's easy to overlook that a stiff shoe that's meant for cycling is necessary.
GLOVES - Protect your hands from blisters and hold on tight. Gloves help you do both!
SHORTS - This the one that we get the most "push back" on but cycling shorts have as much to do with hygiene as they do with comfort. Choose tight or baggy...we won't judge.
COMPUTER - OK, full disclosure; you don't "need" a computer. But knowing how far you've gone and how fast you're going is valuable. If you're prone to getting lost then you might want to consider a GPS unit from Garmin or Wahoo. Many GPS units can also give you enhanced performance metrics if you're into that sort of thing.
Cycling requires that you expect the unexpected and that means protecting yourself.
HELMET - At this point you'd think that it's a "no brainer" that you need to ride with a helmet at all times but sometimes it still needs to be pointed out. Protect your noggin or risk losing it. All CSPC certified helmets meet minimal standards but the nicer ones are more comfortable and protect even better.
GLOVES - Blisters and blah blah blah. Wear gloves.
EYEWEAR - When was the last time that you got something in your eye and like it? Eyewear protection is essential on any ride whether it's protecting your eyes from glare or from debris.
LIGHTS - They're not for just night time anymore. Daytime running lights alert drivers long before they reach you and give them time to avoid you and give you space. It's scientifically proven and such.
FENDERS - They may be lame but the keep you dry. Fenders keep water and debris from the road off of you and your bike, and off of everyone riding with you too. You don't need them "always", just "sometimes".
The single best thing that you can do to enhance your safety is to be more visible. The more that you are "seen" the more that you are "safe".
LIGHTS - They're not for just night time anymore. Daytime running lights alert drivers long before they reach you and give them time to avoid you and give you space. It's scientifically proven and such. Wait, did we tell you this already?
JACKETS & VESTS - Jackets and Vests in neon fabric are more visible than black and traditional colors. But pretty much all cycling jackets and vests have reflective elements built in.
We hope that every ride goes according to plan....but in case it doesn't: BE PREPARED (like a good Boy Scout)
BAG - You'll need something to carry your gear. A dedicated saddle bag that "lives" on your bike may not be a bad idea since you'll never forget it. Otherwise you can carry everything in a hydration pack too.
PUMP & TOOLS - The right tools can mean the difference between fixing it yourself and calling for help. Bring a multi-tool for any tightening or adjusting needs. Bring a pump, tube, and patch kit for your tire needs.
CELL PHONE - C'mon...bring it but don't use it.
RACK - Sometimes you want to bring more than a small saddle bag can carry so there are racks for larger bags.
Nutrition (Bonus Points)
Bonus points are available for your cycling adventure! Bring plenty of nutrition products to make sure that you see it through to the end. This goes beyond hydration. You need to eat something!