Cycling is a fun and healthy activity that you can do as an exercise, a hobby or a leisurely way of spending your free time. Cycling is also a sport that tests your endurance and stamina. If you are the athletic type and would like to venture into cycling, you’ve found yourself a good sport.
While cycling isn’t a full-contact sport, this activity exposes you to adverse outdoor elements such as extreme temperatures, rugged terrains, irregular road orientations, and other vehicles. Thus, as a novice cyclist, it is important to have the essential gear for cycling.
This is one of the gears that should be on top of any cyclist’s priorities. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of cyclists and trail bikers who do not wear this protective gear.
Remember that the bicycle is a mechanical object that builds up speed and momentum and any sudden shifts or opposition to this momentum can throw the rider off. Predictable trips and falls can cause minor injuries, but sudden and unexpected ones can cause significant bodily harm, especially head injuries. Thus, always think of your safety first and foremost whenever you venture outside on your bicycle.
It may not look like it, but a reliable timepiece is an essential gear for cyclists and not just novice ones. Novice cyclists are naturally driven to push themselves hard and prove themselves in the sport of cycling.
Thus a watch that not only keeps track of their cycling speed through a stopwatch function but also serves other useful functions, according to iknowwatches.com, is something they will definitely need. A watch that can also serve as a compass for direction monitoring and detect changes in temperature can be handy, especially if you venture into off-road or unfamiliar cycling trails.
A prepared cyclist is a good cyclist. Always prepare for unexpected things that can happen while on the trail. No matter how much you have checked and maintained your bike before hitting the trail, some parts would eventually loosen or give off a sound that warns you to stop in order to check what’s wrong and fix it.
A multi-tool that has essential tightening or fastening tools such as Allen wrenches of multiple sizes, a Philip screwdriver, a flathead screwdriver, and a chain breaker can help you get back on the trail and catch up on your lost time. A multi-tool can also spare you the long walk back to the trailhead.
Spare Tube and Handheld Pump
Bring out the inner boy scout in you by anticipating and preparing for one of the worst-case scenarios in cycling: a flat or punctured tire. Believe it or not, tire punctures are common even on smooth roads.
To save you from the discomfort of a wobbly ride and the possibility of aggravating the problem (e.g. tearing the tube, denting the rim, bending the spokes), it’s a good investment to include these gears and store them in the extra compartment of your hydration pack. Make sure that the extra tube has the right fit for your wheel, and bring more than one spare if possible. You’ll save yourself from the long walk and arduous push back to the trailhead or where you started.
Elbow and Knee Pads
Protective gears should be a top priority for novice cyclists, especially if they are unfamiliar with the terrain or learning a new skill. Circuitous routes, unpredictable terrains, and steep downhill courses can be difficult to handle especially if you are starting out with cycling.
There is a high chance of trips, falls, and wipeouts. While there certainly is no gain without pain, you also don’t want to be sidelined for a long time because you didn’t bring these gears. You may not be totally unscathed when after you fall, but you can avoid ugly wounds, scrapes, and bruises and still keep on cycling.
Padded Cycling Shorts
You may not think of it as an essential gear at first, but trust us, you’ll be thankful that you included this gear in your cycling essentials. Your lower back, pelvis, and buttocks take in a significant punishment especially when you go cycling on unfamiliar trails. Sudden bumps, pothole falls and going over rough roads give your backside a beating.
Your bicycle’s suspension system and seat padding are not enough to negate or significantly lessen the impact on your hip area. Instead, for added cushion, comfort, and hip area protection, wear a pair of padded cycling shorts. You’ll find your ride smoother and comfortable without the need to shift your weight and pedal while standing. Plus you are saving yourself from ugly blisters and soreness at your backside.
These gloves are made to give your hand added protection and comfort while on the trail or on the road. Even on a seemingly smooth surface, there are very small vibrations that you and your bike encounter. These hardly noticeable vibrations, coupled with a strong grip on the handlebars, can make you develop calluses or painful blisters.
Your cycling gloves also serve as protective wear that minimizes or eliminates hand injuries during falls or wipeouts. An injury to your hands can significantly hamper your regular cycling sessions and trail biking rides. In order to avoid staying sidelined for a long time, wear this pair of gloves always when you go cycling.
Your eyes are important in navigating your cycling path, so also include protective gear for it. Cycling sunglasses can protect your eyes from harsh elements like dust, bugs, wind gusts, minute flying objects, extreme sunlight, and rain. If possible, you should select one with UV protection and interchangeable lenses for high and low illumination conditions.
While the bare minimum can be a water bottle and bottle cage attached to your bike’s frame, this can’t be nearly enough for long-distance rides. If you plan out biking for more than 2 hours, you’ll need a hydration system that can replenish your lost body liquid to keep yourself cool and hydrated. A hydration pack with a built-in water bladder and hose and can be worn on your back is a good pick.
There may still be other essential gears not included here, but we made sure that the ones discussed above are ones that can keep you safe on the trail or on the road. Your gears don’t have to be expensive or bulky. Instead, they should be ones that you think will be useful to you when cycling under different road conditions. Most importantly, your gears should be ones that keep protected and make you safely complete your journey.