11 Must Have Items For Every Cyclist
This should go without saying, but if you ride, you need to wear a helmet. Study after study has shown that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of fatalities and injuries for all cyclists, whether on the road, path, or pavement. Even minor falls can have potentially disastrous consequences if you hit your head. Remember, your brain is the only part of your body that can’t repair itself, so be smart and protect it. To learn more about cycling helmets, click here.
Knowing how to do basic maintenance is a must for all cyclists. Nothing can ruin a ride faster than a flat tire, crooked stem, or a loose seatpost. Invest in some basic, quality tools, and maintenance becomes a whole lot easier. To learn more about basic bike maintenance, click here to visit our How To Section.
Basic tools every cyclist should have with them when they ride:
3. Home Tool Kit
Your portable tool kit is great when you’re on the road or trail, but having a more comprehensive tool kit at home can help you accomplish a lot of repair tasks more easily. To learn more about home maintenance, click here to visit our How To Section.
- Floor pump
- Hex wrench set
- Torque wrench
- Chain tool
- Cassette tool
- Chain whip
- Shop rags
- Bike Grease
- Brush set
4. Chain Lube
The secret to getting the best performance out of your bike is a properly maintained drivetrain. Cleaning and properly lubricating your chain will increase the service life of your chain, chainrings and cassette, help eliminate squeaks and noise, and improve shifting performance. Remember, use wet lube for wet conditions, ‘cross and road bikes, and use dry lube for dry dusty conditions and for mountain bikes.
We’re all familiar with sunburn, but the sun can also damage your eyes. For mountain bikers, there’s also the danger of sticks, rocks and mud getting into your eye, which can cause more serious injuries. Most cycling sunglasses today are designed to protect your eyes with UV blocking treatments, and with ballistic-rated lens technology that can protect your eyes from foreign objects.
When you ride you burn calories. Having enough of the right kinds of food is important. If you’ll be riding more than 90 minutes, make sure you have plenty of food with you. Knowing how to properly fuel your body can help you rider longer, faster and just enjoy the ride more. For a more comprehensive overview of nutrition and hydration, click here.
A good pair of cycling shorts is one of the best investments you can make. A good pair has a chamois pad sewn in that offers plenty of cushion and support that will work with your saddle to keep you comfortable. The lycra material most shorts are made from also is highly breathable, wicks away sweat and is designed to minimize rubbing and chaffing. To learn more about cycling shorts, click here.
A good cycling jersey can be your best friend on a ride. Doubling as both a garment and a storage device, most cycling jerseys feature a moisture wicking polyester fabric, a zipper than can be undone to help circulate some air, and pockets on the back that can store things you need quick access to like your phone, snacks, and some cash. To learn more about cycling jerseys, click here.
Arm and leg warmers can help extend the riding season of your favorite shorts and jersey. They are basically sleeves that cover your arms and legs (and remember, they go UNDER the shorts legs and jersey sleeves) to help keep you warm in cool conditions. Combined with a jacket, these may be the most versatile pieces of gear you end up owning. To learn more about clothing accessories, click here.
A good jacket can help save your ride, especially in transitional seasons like spring and fall. Unless you are looking for a heavier winter jacket or a dedicated water-proof rain jacket, we recommend looking for a model that is windproof, water-resistant, and can pack up small enough to fit into a jersey pocket. To learn more about jackets, click here.
11. Cycling Shoes
When and if you decide to switch to clipless pedals, take the time to really consider your shoe choice. Aside from shorts and saddle, choosing the right cycling shoes is one of the most important decisions you can make. An ill-fitting pair of shoes can turn what should have been a pleasant bike ride into hours of agony. Remember, the right pair of shoes aren’t the ones that look the coolest, they’re the ones that fit your feet the best. Everyone’s feet are different, so you might need to try on several different brands and models to find the right ones for you. To learn more about pedals and shoes, click here.