If there is one sport that allows you to both exercise and sees beautiful landscapes while a fresh breeze blows against you, it is road biking.
But walk into your favorite bike shop, and you’ll soon realize that the world of road biking can be quite complex. From gauges to chain lubricants, finding the essentials for the road ahead can be a real challenge.
In this article, you will find a list of tools you need for a better road biking experience.
Basic Road Biking Equipment
Before you even consider road biking, there are a lot of things you need to get your hands on for a safe and fun cycle every time. Here are a few of them:
As obvious as it may seem, to practice road biking, you will need a road bike. You’re probably wondering, what distinguishes this type of bike from other options?
Road bikes have different characteristics depending on the type of bike you choose.
For example, there are road bikes for tourists. These types of bikes are equipped with luggage racks or compartments to carry the extra load. They also have wider tyres to help manage the added weight. On the other hand, racing bikes are more slender and stripped down to the basics, allowing you to ride these as fast as possible.
A good starting point is finding the best bikes in your price range and comparing these to find a bike that’s affordable and suitable for you.
The helmet is another essential item on your checklist. The two main factors to consider when buying a bicycle helmet are fit and design.
For example, if the lid doesn’t fit properly, you could be injured in an accident. At the same time, remember that you will also be wearing your helmet for miles around, so make sure it fits comfortably and securely.
When looking to buy your helmet, look specifically for road bike helmets, as other types of cycling helmets would have distinct features.
Now that you have everything you need to start your road biking experience, here is a list of things that will make you comfortable during your rides.
The cycling jersey
If you take road biking seriously, the jersey is the first thing you need to have in your cycling sports and fitness kit.
Generally, where you choose to go road biking will determine which jersey suits you best. Those who ride in colder climates, for example, should look for long-sleeved jerseys that allow the wearer to deflect the wind while providing insulation. On the other hand, those who ride in the heat should look for fabrics that are designed to keep them cool and wick moisture away.
As a rule of thumb, a basic cycling jersey for beginners should be affordable but durable, breathable, and not too tight. But generally speaking, most cycling jerseys have a long front zip for better ventilation. Some jerseys also have three back pockets for storing food and other supplies you may need on long trips.
What you wear when you ride your bike depends very much on your destination. For example, if you plan to ride short distances, perhaps to the office or a friend’s house, you may not need a pair of padded shorts.
However, if you plan to spend more time on your road bike, go on a training ride, and go for longer distances, invest in a pair of padded shorts that improve the bike’s comfort and efficiency. Padded cycling shorts also reduce pressure points, prevent chafing, and disperse road vibration.
Cycling shorts can indeed look weird and seem unfamiliar. However, they are useful because the extra padding between the seat and you will reduce pain and give you reliable comfort during long rides.
During long journeys, there are a lot of vibrations and constant shocks, which can tire your hands or leave them sore.
The advantage of using cycling gloves is that they not only protect your palms but also offer good cushioning. They are crucial, especially when you have to spend long hours holding onto the handlebars.
Most road bike gloves are fingerless, with padding on the palms and thin fabric on the back. Try these out first before buying just to see which pair suits you best.
Not everything will often go as planned during your trips. That’s why you should have the following items with you to be less surprised and more prepared in case something happens.
Whether you’re taking a short ride with friends or competing in an event, you’ll need a bike bag to store valuables, repair equipment, and other loose items.
Although bike bags come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, you can manage with a saddlebag that’ll fit securely under your bike seat.
Because of their capacity, these saddlebags are ideal for carrying small items such as a multi-tool, tyre levers, a spare inner tube, a power bar, or a repair kit.
Much like you need mirrors to see when you’re driving a car, you need a bike mirror to keep an eye on what’s behind you while you focus on what’s in front of you. Depending on your preference, the mirror can be attached to your bike or your helmet.
Water bottle and bottle cage
It is essential to stay well hydrated when cycling for long periods, especially during summer. In fact, when you ride your bike, you want to expend energy, so you sweat a lot. This can result in dehydration and electrolyte loss. So drinking water helps you to replace electrolytes and water.
If you notice, most road bikes have bolts on the frame’s down tube and seat tube. These are specially designed to fit in a bottle holder to store your water bottle. Otherwise, you will have to keep your bottle in your hand, which will not be comfortable or safe while riding.
A road bike has essential components for attaching one or two bottle holders to the frame. So make sure your bike has these.
Bicycle repair tools come in various sizes and shapes, but for your comfort and safety, the two tools to bring on your journey are a bicycle multi-tool and a set of tyre levers.
A bicycle multi-tool is the cyclist’s equivalent of a Swiss Army knife, with a range of bits that can be used to make adjustments or repairs.
On the other hand, although it can be cumbersome, the set of tyre levers allows you to change your flat tyres at the side of the road without having to worry.
You also need pumps, inflators, and a spare tube to make your repair tool complete.
Ride Far, Ride Safe
The above items are essential when biking professionally or if you’re taking road biking seriously. However, you do not have to get everything listed here right away.
Only get the ones that you think you really need and will be essential to your safety, especially during long rides in out-of-the-way places.
If you are in the UAE and want to update your gear, you can purchase men’s sportswear in Dubai in a top sports gear shop.