So you’ve bought the bike, now which kit (clothing or otherwise) should you get to maximise your ride enjoyment? When I first started cycling I really had no idea what was necessary and what was not. And what the hell are bib shorts anyway?
I asked some of my cycling buddies what they had wished they had when they first started too, so read on below for the essentials we think you should get! Some top sites to check out for great deals and range are Wiggle (literally the mecca for triathletes) and also Sports Pursuit have great monthly deals on often high end brands!
So its not illegal to go out without a helmet in the UK, but you will probably get yelled at by me if you do ;). It’s just something that keeps me enetrtained out on the road. But seriously get a helmet! Its gonna save your life if you do fall into unfortunate circumstances.
Bib shorts (& chamois cream)
If your are woman for some reason we are often promoted regular cycle short with out the ‘bib’ element. The bib part are basically like braces which hold everything in place. And with no waistband it means know cutting your stomach in half. Of course some women prefer this but I would definitely go for bib shorts all day everyday. So so comfy. It might be slightly more difficult at toilet stops but I think its worth it. I’ve tried bib shorts from dhb, Morvelo, Rapha, Black sheep, Maap, the list goes on. You can really spend money on this item, and they often are more expensive than you might think. But since the chamois (spongy bit that protects your bum) is fairly critical I wouldn’t be a afraid to spend money here. Personally I really like my new dhb aeron shorts, but dhb also offer some cheaper options which look great!
Friends also say that chamois cream is a lifesaver,….although I’ve never used personally!
Look good feel good, if you can get a matching jersey for your first cycling kit. You will feel that more pro, and it’s guaranteed to make you go faster. Cycling jerseys are great because they have a full length zip so you can easily take it off/adjust. They also have pockets in the back for your puncture repair kit (also a good thing to have) and most importantly SNACKS! It also eliminates the need for a rucksack, your shoulders will thank you. I’m currently loving tic-cc kit, just trying to think of an excuse to buy ;).
As good as a long sleeve top can be for keeping your warm on a chilly morning. Arm warmers mean you can take them off without remving your cycling jersey. So you can go for long to short sleeve in a matter of seconds.
The pros wear these to protect their hands in case they crash, but they also provide some additional comfort/grip on the handlebars. I swear by them out in Thailand when things get really sweaty & slippy!
Cleats & Bike shoes
So you’ve got comfortable on the flat pedals or you’ve gone straight for these shimano pedals. Now you need the corresponding cleats – I recommend these (yellow ones) & some shoes to match! Carbon soled shoes are great because they are light, but they can also be uncomfortable – so no need to push the boat too far out here. Try these out. And voila! No wasted energy on those hills. Now to work out how to clip in and out……video coming soon!
I was pretty surprised to hear my friends say they would have bought a bike computer sooner. But I think that’s their competitive nature. If you want to keep track of more than just time on the road – go for a reasonably priced speedometer like this one. Or if you want to get out and explore I love the map capability of Wahoo devices. The app makes it ridiculously easy. And now you’ll be able to measure how much faster you’re getting!
If you have any questions about kit or bikes don’t hesitate to contact me. Or read here for more on my coaching options. See you on the road!