Road cycling is both an effective way to improve and maintain your fitness and a fun and relaxing pastime. Cycling can be included as part of your daily life as a way to get from A to B, and it is also a great way to explore new areas. Another attraction is that once you have kitted yourself out, cycling is an inexpensive way to keep fit and provides you with an environmentally friendly way to travel. If you are considering getting into cycling, here are the key pieces of equipment that a beginner cyclist should get hold of.
Bike and helmet
You will not get far without a bike, so that should be top of your list if you do not already have one. There are plenty of bikes on the market and several types to consider such as road bikes and mountain bikes, but hybrid bikes are a particularly good choice for beginners. A hybrid bike is also known as a commuter bike and, as a combination of mountain and road bikes, offers versatility and comfort. Take a look at the best hybrid bikes for men at Cycle Solutions.
A good-quality helmet is not expensive so, but you should ensure that it meets European safety standards. While it is not illegal to cycle without a helmet, it is much safer to do so, especially if you are new to cycling.
Padded shorts and jersey
If you are not planning on cycling for long periods of time, then you may be comfortable wearing your everyday comfortable clothes. However, if you are hoping to improve your fitness and possibly join a club or compete, it is best to get yourself some padded shorts to protect your backside from the hard seat. A cycling jersey is designed to keep the wearer cool (or warm if designed for cold weather) and will wick away sweat. They also usually have a zip – which can help with ventilation – and pockets for carrying supplies.
Water bottle and cage
It is essential to hydrate before, during and after exercise, especially if you will be cycling for long periods of time. The bike’s frame usually has bolts that enable you to attach a bottle cage where you can keep your water bottle. The bottle should be secure, easy to drink from when cycling and easy to keep clean so you can reuse it over and over again.
Bike maintenance kit
You need to try to avoid punctures when out on a ride, but in the event that you do get one, make sure you are carrying a pump and an extra inner tube in a backpack or saddlebag. A multitool can also be an invaluable piece of kit as it will enable you to adjust the height of the saddle and the gears wherever you are. A bottle of chain oil is also handy to keep the gears working at their best.
To monitor your progress over time, consider buying a fitness tracker that connects to an app on your smartphone. This will tell you how far you ride, how fast you pedalled, how much energy you used, your average and top speeds, how high you climbed and your heart rate. Click here to view the best fitness trackers for cyclists.