Many people have started riding over the last year. And as more folks have discovered cycling, there are some essentials that we think improve the experience and keep the party rolling. Stop by the shop and see these and other recommended essentials.
Just Getting Started? Get The Basics To Have Your Best Ride Yet.
GPS-enabled bike computer
A GPS-enabled bike computer like those from Wahoo or Garmin can expand your riding horizons. Paired with apps like Ride Spot and Strava, you can find new routes, both in town and in far off places. Riding with a pre-loaded route and digital map, much like using a car’s navigation system, takes the guesswork out of where to go and how to get there. Plus, the data recording ability of a GPS-enabled cycling computer lets you track your progress over time and helps keep you motivated.
Cycling shorts and jersey, aka a “kit”
Cycling clothing is built for one purpose--riding. The placement of seams and grippers, the choice of materials used, and the cut of each piece is designed with one thing in mind: moving with you. Basic cycling shorts, both traditional looks and MTB baggy shorts, will keep you comfortable and riding further. And a simple cycling jersey will pull moisture off you and keep you cool and dry. Added pieces like socks and gloves up the comfort level even further.
“Clipless” pedals and cycling shoes
Flat pedals are fun, but more advanced cycling pedals work in conjunction with cycling shoes, which feature a stiff sole to increase pedaling efficiency. Cycling shoes accept pedal-specific cleats, which clip into the paired pedal much in the same way a ski binding and ski boot work. Road and off-road pedals and shoes are available and all cycling shoes come in a wide variety of sizes with their own features. Being “clipped in” keeps the power to the pedals and you riding efficiently and safely, as a clipless pedal system keeps your foot from accidently slipping off the pedal. Why are they called “clipless” if you clip in? In the old days, road pedals had cages, called toe clips, on one side where your foot slid in and was held with a strap. No more toe clips, hence “clipless.”
Many modern bikes can be run tubeless and many come with much of what you need to convert to tubeless, that being tubeless-ready wheels, tires, tape, valves, and sealant. Tubeless helps prevent punctures and improve ride quality, allowing you to run lower air pressure and improve tire grip. If your new bike is tubeless ready, but you’re still running tubes, it’s time to make the switch.
Puncture repair items
Road debris and sharp rocks on the trail being what they are, punctures can still happen, even with a tubeless set up (although it’s much rarer). You’ll need a spare tube, a tire lever to help remove your tire from the rim, and a way to inflate your spare tube either a CO2 inflator or a mini pump. Particularly helpful is a saddle bag or other bag to carry your emergency repair kit, and a multi-tool, a folding tool set that has common bike-specific tool sizes (allen wrenches and screwdrivers) and maybe a even a tubeless repair tool, a tire plug specifically for tubeless setups.
Water bottle cages and insulated bottles or a hydration pack
It’s important any time, but especially as the weather gets warmer to stay hydrated while riding. Preferred drinks aside, a way to easily and efficiently carry your beverage of choice is key. Typically road and light trail riders prefer water bottles in cages that bolt to a bike’s frame and MTB riders use hydration packs that are worn like a backpack. We’re partial to insulated water bottles, which help keep cold drinks cold.
Modern cycling helmets offer superior protection and increased comfort compared to helmets of even just a few years ago. More and more high end-helmet features, like vent count, size, and placement, as well as strap adjustability, are trickling down from high end helmets to more budget friendly options. Our favorite thing about any helmet? They all protect you to the same safety standard, so more money doesn’t mean safer, it just means lighter and perhaps better ventilated.