Checklist of Cycling Essentials

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We have pavement just outside our front door, so road cycling is so appealing. Nevertheless, you’ll find that road riding can be rather complex once you step into your local bike shop. If you’re a beginner, finding the essentials can be challenging, from chain lube to pressure gauges. Fortunately, a few essentials never seem to change, regardless of your biking experience level. As a general guideline, this road biking checklist should give you a good idea of the essential gear you’ll need. Your budget and level of experience will determine what gear you require.

It’s no secret that we are a cycling nation. Be prepared for every ride and riding condition, whether you’re a commuter, a mountain biker, or a weekend lycra lightning bolt. In order to help new cyclists get started, we’ve developed this easy-to-read checklist. On this GO Outdoors checklist, you’ll find everything from cycling clothing to bike helmets.

Bike

In order to complete your challenge, you’ll need a reliable, safe, and well-maintained bike. There are so many types of bikes available at different prices, so it’s worth getting fitted at a bike shop. A specialist bike shop can help you find the best bike for your needs at a variety of prices, so it’s worth doing that. You can ask them which type of bike would be best for you.

Helmet

There’s no excuse for not wearing a helmet – they’re lightweight, comfortable, and inexpensive.

Lights

Without proper bike lights, it is illegal to cycle at night in the UK. You should at the very least have:

  • The light should be a steady, fixed white light conforming to BS 6102/3, mounted in the middle of the ground or off to one side, and no higher than 1500mm from the ground. From the front, it should be clearly visible.
  • BS 6102/3 or BS3648-compliant steady, fixed red light. Mount it at the rear of your bike, either in the center or offside, between 350mm and 1500mm above the ground. You should be able to see it from the rear and it should be aligned accordingly.
  • BS6102/2 compliant amber reflectors. The front and rear indicators should be clearly visible from each pedal. Reflective trouser clips or bands can also be used if you can’t mount reflectors on your pedals.

Make sure the bike lights you buy are complied with the Department for Transport’s regulations by checking their packaging or the manufacturer’s website. Our Night Rides include information about cycling at night to prepare you for your ride.

High Visibility

While cycling at night, we strongly recommend that you wear bright clothing in addition to lights. You should wear something fluorescent and reflective so that you can be seen by motorists, such as:

  • Wear high visibility vests/jackets
  • Belts that are high invisibility
  • Trunk bands and armbands with high visibility
  • Reflective backpacks or rucksack covers

Cycling Jersey

It’s fine to wear any old shirt when you’re riding your bike, but a cycling jersey will wick away your sweat and provide pockets for your keys, money, and energy bars. In addition, there are some pretty sweet designs that will make your bike look stylish.

Shoes

Depending on the type of bike you have, you’ll need different shoes. You will need bike shoes with cleats that fit into your clip-in pedals if you have a road bike with clip-ins.

Cycling shirt

To reduce drag from the wind, wear a tight-fitting shirt. Technical fabrics are used in cycling shirts to ensure that you stay dry by wicking away sweat and helping it to evaporate.

Cycling shorts

Cycling shorts for those long rides will be more comfortable with the padded seat. The shorts are also constructed of a technical fabric that helps wick away sweat and aids in evaporation.

Cycling jacket

Wear layers when you go for a ride. On a warm day, the wind can make you feel cold. Like a jersey, a cycling jacket has the right pockets, wicks sweat, is breathable, and sometimes protects you from wind and rain. You can store most of them in the back pocket of your cycling jersey when you’re finished wearing them.

Water bottles

Make sure you stay hydrated while driving. The majority of road bikes have two water bottle holders. Visit our nutrition section to learn how to stay hydrated. Even if you’re just taking a leisurely ride, cycling can be a great workout! Keep hydrated so you can get the most out of your biking experience. We sell water bottles and cages that mount right on your bike, as well as hydration packs that you wear around your waist and back.

Tire pump

It’s useful to have a free-standing hand pump that allows you to easily inflate your tires. It’s worth carrying a lightweight pump when you train or go on long rides (two hours or more).

Spare tubes

When riding longer distances, make sure you carry spare inner tubes.

Eyewear

Protecting against wind and debris is always a good idea when wearing glasses. A pair of sunglasses, clear glasses or ones with interchangeable lenses are ideal.

Chain lube

Even though you won’t take this on rides, it’s an essential component as it helps keep your chain lubricated to ensure smooth gear transitions.

Gloves

Waterproof cycling gloves tend to be fingerless, with padding around the palm area to protect your hands from blisters and soreness.

Arm warmers

Since cycling tops are often short-sleeved, arm warmers are a perfect addition to your cycling wardrobe!

Multi-Tool

It does a little bit of everything. You can use it for DIY bike projects at home or while riding. You’ll be able to tweak, adjust, and fix any issues you encounter while biking. There are eight spanners in one with Allen key-like tools that fit nearly every bolt on the bike. They are useful if you need to adjust your riding position.

Emergency Information & First-Aid Kit

Often, motorists hit cyclists and leave them unconscious on the side of the road. When you carry an ID and contact information, the emergency services will have your personal information in case you ever need medical assistance. You can write down your personal information on a slip of paper that you can tuck into your bike bag if you are uncomfortable packing your ID. Lastly, although a miniature first-aid kit, or crash pack, is not a common item among cyclists, it can still prove useful if you or a fellow rider require immediate medical attention. When space is limited, consider bringing a few bandages or gauze that can treat road rash.

Tips for Road Biking Beginners

Layout all the items you need before securing them to your bike as you put on your gear and pack your bike bag. So, you can make sure you have everything on your list and inspect your gear. Make sure your bike is in good working order before you ride. It is as simple as remembering your ABCs: air, brakes, and chain. Use the PSI recommendations on the tire wall to determine how much air to put in your tires. Make sure that your front and rear brakes are properly engaged by pressing the levers. Clean and lubricate your chain if necessary.

 

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