Having great gear can often times make or break your trip. Every cyclist needs to be prepared for mishaps, but beyond that, there are essentials that can add to your comfort and enjoyment. Next to your bike, helmet, and shoes, here are the top 10 things you need to make the most out of your time in the saddle.
1. A Good Mini-Pump
Chances are you’ll be using a mini when you’re trailside. That means you could be low on energy from your ride or out in inclement weather. Cold hands paired with a cheap mini pump spells disaster, so invest in a light but capable pump that won’t let down.
2. Gear Bag
You need a solid bag to stow your helmet, shoes, clothes, and other essentials for a day on the trails. Look for a bag that has a designated place for your dirty, wet riding equipment. It’s also great if your bag has an area to store electronics and headphones.
3. Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
On your ride you’ll want to make sure you either have a good pair of headphones or tough Bluetooth speaker for your favorite tunes. In terms of safety, the latter may be more suitable, depending on where you’re riding.
4. Tire-Pressure Gauge
Keeping your tires at the ideal pressure means you’ll have fewer flats. Unless you have a very practiced hand, you’ll need an accurate gauge. A digital gauge is easy to use, read, and carry.
5. Quality Tires
Don’t skimp on tires. Good tires improve traction, handling, and can enhance suspension. You’ll ride well if you use premium tires.
6. A Sturdy Bicycle Rack
Before you can hit the trail you need to get out of the city. Don’t trust your bike to a flimsy rack. Go to your favorite bike store and get recommendations for a good rack. They’ll be able to fit it to your rig as well.
7. Bike Cleaner
Cleaning your bike is one of the best things you can do to avoid mishaps. Every time you run a rag over your bike, you’ll be giving it a quick inspection. If anything needs adjusting, you’ll spot it before it becomes a problem. In addition, your bike works better when it’s free from grit.
8. Bib Shorts
Bib shorts fit better than shorts with a waistband, and they can help you avoid chafing and keep your chamois from shifting. If you don’t like the look of tight-fitting shorts, just pop some baggie shorts over your lycra. Dedicated bib shorts with a high-quality chamois will make you feel better so you can ride longer.
A stand is essential when you need to work on your bike. It frees your hands and raises your bike to eye level so you can see what you’re doing. You’ll be more likely to work on your bike if you own a stand. In the long run, you’ll save money when you have the tools to bypass the repair shop.
A day on the trails makes bikers thirsty and hungry. Stock your cooler with your favorite snacks and drinks before you head out to ride.
A multi-tool is one of the most versatile tools out there, but don’t make the mistake of going cheap. Your tool can save your bacon if you need to make a repair on the fly, and you should get one that comes with a chain breaker.