Have you recently started cycling? Fortunately, it’s a relatively straightforward hobby to get into, and apart from purchasing a bike if you don’t have one already, it commands very few additional costs. However, there are a few things you might want to bear in mind before you swing your leg over the saddle for the first time.
Like any hobby, cycling has a list of essential equipment needed to ensure that you can partake safely and to the best of your ability. Yet, if you’ve never cycled before, you might be wondering how to pick cycling gear and what you’ll need to get started besides the apparent requirement of a bike.
Luckily, you don’t need an extensive range of equipment– just determination and the ability to turn the pedals. As you get more and more into the hobby, you can purchase additional accessories and gear to make the activity more enjoyable. But for now, we’ve created this article listing several pieces of gear you’ll need to wear while riding your bike – keep reading to find out more.
Depending on how often you intend to use your bike and how long you plan to cycle at a time, the gear you wear needs to reflect this. Suppose you’re only planning to cycle short distances such as back and forth between your office and your house or occasionally down to the convenience store. In that case, you will likely be okay wearing regular clothes.
On the other hand, if you intend to get into cycling properly and would like to tackle longer distances, join a cycling club, or enter charity races, then padded shorts will be a worthwhile investment. It may sound funny but trust us; your backside will be thanking you later!
No matter how cushioned your saddle might be, extended periods of use can cause your glutes to feel numb or sore, which the extra layer of cushioning that padded shorts provide aims to reduce. If you feel self-conscious about wearing them on their own, you can disguise them by slipping on a pair of baggy shorts over the top.
Like most sportswear pieces, padded shorts are available in various textures, styles, brands, and colors. Depending on which ones you opt to buy, you can expect to fork out anywhere between $25 to over $300; there is something for all budgets. Consider looking at buyers’ guides to get more inspiration.
If you’re cycling between your house and workplace, you’ll find that a simple cotton shirt is suitable for shorter rides; however, they are not designed for lengthier rides. Cycling jerseys are made from a unique material that can adapt to all types of weather, keeping you cool on sunnier days yet dry on rainy ones.
Typically, they are designed with a long zip down the front for ventilation and have a couple of pockets for storing mid-ride snacks and other supplies that you might require. Like padded shorts, cycling jerseys also come in wide varieties, can cater to conditions like wet or warm weather, and can be worn with other cycling accessories like gilets.
If you’d like to learn more about how to pick cycling gear, look at online buyer guides or blog posts from knowledgeable cycling experts like Velosurance. Primarily a bike insurance provider, their website is also full of valuable resources aimed at both novice and seasoned cyclists, with topics ranging from maintenance tips to how to pick cycling gear. Consider following their blog to stay in the loop with all the latest cycling-related issues or visiting their website for more information about their insurance policy that covers you and your bike against most biking scenarios.
At times cycling can be a two-in-one workout, improving your strength and cardiovascular endurance through balance, control, and peddling. Due to this, cycling can be a very demanding activity, especially in severe weather conditions, meaning that your energy will deplete over time, and you may become dehydrated.
Exercising can be thirsty, hungry work, so cyclists must keep hydrated and have the gear to help them achieve this. Most bikes come with bolts down the side of the frame, which cyclists can use to attach bottle cages into which a water bottle can be stored.
To accompany your bottle cage, you can purchase a cycling bottle that can be reused repeatedly since they are easy to clean and can be drunk on the go. They also offer environmental benefits since they are designed to be multi-use, unlike traditional plastic bottles, in which for every six bottles purchased, only one is recycled.
Bottle cages aren’t an essential cycling accessory since you can easily fit a water bottle into your cycling jersey. However, they aren’t the most secure or straightforward way of storing a beverage on long-distance bike rides.