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Newbie Road Cycling Gear Tips II

Here’s a list of everything you need to hit the road in safety, comfort and style (part 2)

Ready to join the two-wheeled legions of Lycra on a local road near you this summer? Here’s a list (part two of two) of the gear you need to get to start road cycling in safety, comfort and style. For a list of the gear you need to get to wear, check out part one.

Water bottle holder (and water bottle!)
Though most road bikes come with a water bottle holder, you might want to check first if a) you actually have one; and b) it fits the bottle you buy. If you don’t have a water bottle holder, head down to your local cycling store to have one installed on your bike. As for a water bottle, pretty much any 700-plus millilitre soft-plastic water bottle with a sealable spout will do.

Bike tire repair kit
Nothing can ruin a ride more than having a tire blow when you’re miles away from home, so be sure to carry a bike tire repair kit with you on the bike just in case. Your repair kit—which you can find at most bicycle shops—should include a screwdriver, tire levers, rubber patches, a small pump or air cartridge, and carrying case that can attach behind your seat or on your bike’s crossbar so it’s out of the way. And of course, take the time to learn how to repair a bike tire so you’re fully prepared just in case.

Visibility gear
Bike lights and reflective gear are a necessity if you plan to hit the road on you bike at dawn, dusk or nighttime. You’ll want a front and back mount light, with the front light being at least 700 lumens so you can see and be seen on the road. The red back light allows you to be visible from behind, and usually comes with a few settings so you can have it blinking or static. Also, a reflective cycling jacket or vest is a good thing to have on hand for night riding.  

Bike with clipless pedals
Don’t feel like you need to shell out major cash for a speedy road bike if you’re just getting into cycling. Although almost any sport bike will do, you’ll be much more efficient on a road bike with clipless pedals and bike shoes. Snapping into clipless pedals helps you to increase the power in your pedal stroke by allowing you to both push and pull with each stroke, making your ride much more efficient. If you’re not quite ready to ride with clipless pedals (they can take some getting used to), strap pedals are another great option.


 

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