6 Bicycle Gear Essentials to Keep Fit Year Round
Cycling is one of the fastest-growing sports globally, with mountain biking trails increasing by over 500% in America in the past year! People choose to hit the road and trails for fresh air, fitness, and love of the bike.
Have you joined the mass movement towards cycling, or have you always been an avid lover of the sport? Whichever it is, there is certain bicycle gear that is essential to ensure that you have the best possible time while on your bike.
Check out these six purchases to make your ride more comfortable and enjoyable, keeping you on the bike for longer!
1. Waterproof Jacket
There are few things worse than getting stuck in heavy rain while on your bicycle. The raindrops pelting you, the visibility terrible, and the road slick — it all makes for a pretty terrible experience.
However, having a good waterproof jacket can make all the difference. Remember, for cycling, you cannot just use any rain jacket to keep your body covered even when in the cycling position.
Cycling waterproof jackets have an extended back and arms so that when you’re hunched over your bike, you remain covered.
Look for a brightly colored jacket that makes you visible in bad weather to keep you safe. The jacket should be waterproof and breathable, so you don’t start boiling in your own sweat.
If you’re a road cyclist, you can look for a jacket with lighter material. However, mountain bikers will need a hardier material to endure snags and a backpack.
2. Padded Shorts or Tights
Spending a couple of hours on a bicycle can leave your backside feeling sore and sensitive. Propper padded legwear is one of the essential fitness accessories of cycling. You might be a bit put off by the strange latex kit of cyclists, but you don’t need to swathe yourself in lycra to be comfortable on the bike.
Close-fitting shorts or tights work best as they are breathable and flexible, moving with your body. The padded inserts make a huge difference to your comfort level, allowing you to spend more time on the bike and less time in pain the next day.
There is a range of cycling shorts available to match every style. If you’re not keen on the idea of wearing tight-fitting lycra, you can wear padded boxer shorts under normal clothes or get loose cycling shorts with padded inserts.
This is a small, compact bag that sits under your seat/saddle. It’s super functional, affordable, and small — the perfect addition to your cycling gear. You may cycle with a camelback with some pockets or a larger backpack, but most people choose to carry their luggage on their bicycle. It’s much more comfortable this way.
You can fit your repair kit and tools in your saddlebag, or maybe some cash for ‘just-in-case’ situations and an energy gel to give you a kick when you need it.
Your bike should carry the essentials when you’re heading off on longer rides. This way, you don’t have to carry any weight, and you won’t become excessively sweaty from a bag on your back.
4. Repair Kit
Do you want to be stuck on the side of the road flagging down motorists? Or phoning a friend and begging them to come to pick you up in some far-flung, remote destination?
Every cyclist should carry a repair kit and tool to cover basic, common repairs while on the road.
The repair kit will differ slightly depending on your bicycle. For example, you won’t need a puncture kit or spare tubes if you have tubeless tires.
However, always carry a multi-tool with 2-8mm Allen key bolts, a pump or CO2 inflator, and tire levers.
And the best part? All of this will fit in your handy, compact saddlebag with no problem, so there is no excuse not to be prepared!
Packing tools and spares for quick repairs ensures that you can keep enjoying your ride and not have to cut it short for a small maintenance issue.
5. Cycling Shoes
The best shoes very much depend on the type of pedals you’re using. The chances are that if you’re new to cycling, you will likely be using flat pedals — ones that you don’t clip into. In this case, you want to choose shoes with flat and stiff soles.
For mountain bikers, you also have the option of buying shoes that can be used for clipless and flat pedals because the threads are recessed in the sole. This is a fantastic option for beginner riders who hope to make the transition to clipless pedals.
The cleat is always exposed for road cyclists, so you have to decide which pedal you’re sticking to and get the shoes to match.
The health fitness gurus have excellent resources and buying guides for men and women cycling shoes and other cycling gear. Do a little bit of research and shop around to ensure you get the best shoes for you, your bike, and your pedals.
This is one of the fitness accessories for cycling that is almost non-negotiable if you want to have a comfortable and enjoyable ride. You don’t need cycling-specific glasses, but you do need eye protection.
Wearing sunglasses or clear glasses when you’re cycling protects your eyes from the sun, grit, dirt, and insects.
The optimum glasses for cycling have interchangeable lenses and wide coverage. You want to be able to change your lenses according to the weather. The common lens choices are dark lenses for sunny days, clear lenses to use at night and yellow or orange for overcast days.
Which Bicycle Gear Items Do You Need?
Which of these bicycle gear items is missing from your gear stockpile? Equipping yourself with these accessories will make your cycling trips more fun, comfortable, and safe!
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