You’ve seen the Tour de France, the Tour de Yorkshire and Sir Bradley Wiggins smash the hour record. So in the excitement you’ve gone out and bought yourself your first road bike, and now you need some accessories to go with it. Now all you have to do it decide what you need, so here is a little guide to help you on your way.
Protect Your Head
Before you go any further, the first item you will need to buy is a good helmet. As roads are becoming more crowded with traffic, you want to be sure that your head is protected if you have an accident, because it may just save your life. Either that or it will save you from a nasty bump when you can’t undo your toe straps and fall off (which we all do at some point).
When you are riding a high quality mountain bike chances are you are going to do challenging routes where you will need good protection for your head.
Clipless Pedals and Shoes
You will soon want to upgrade the stock pedals on your new bike to clipless ones. Not only do they look good, but they increase your peddling efficiency so you can cycle further. Clipless pedals come in two distinct styles, which are mountain bike and road bike oriented.
• Mountain bike pedals are usually smaller, have clips on both sides and are more rugged so they can take knocks. The shoes that go with them have proper soles which you can walk on, much like a walking shoe but with a small cleat recessed towards the front.
• Road cycling pedals are generally lightweight and single sided. Road cycling shoes are stiff, with little or no tread on them and a larger cleat. You won’t want to walk very far wearing these type of shoes if you plan to commute a lot.
• Touring shoes however, offer the best of both worlds. They fit MTB pedals and have proper soles you can walk on, but not as aggressive as off-road shoes.
Going clipless just needs a little bit of confidence to begin with.
Purpose Made Cycle Clothing
You might think; “I won’t be seen dead wearing those!’ but you’d be surprised at the benefits of wearing proper cycling clothing, especially if you are cycling to maintain fitness or enjoy long rides. The necessity of a pair of well-padded cycling shorts and a high wicking top soon become apparent. Not only will you feel more comfortable (more so around the bum area), the special design and fabrics enable you to dissipate heat and moisture in summer, and keep you warm and dry in winter. Other items you may want to buy are a pair of gloves, which will help cushion your hands and protect them if you come off, and a lightweight rain jacket because this is Britain after all.
A Good Pair of Cycling Glasses
Not the first thing you think of, but something you will soon find very useful is a good pair of cycling glasses. Not only are they shaped to protect your eyes from rain and flies, but they can be very stylish as well. Oakley for example, are synonymous with literally bulletproof construction combined with cutting-edge fashion. They also offer prescription lenses for those who need to wear spectacles and can’t wear contact lenses.
There are many other accessories depending on your needs, like cycle locks, lights and mudguards for commuting. The main thing is to just get out there and enjoy yourself!