The beauty of the bicycle is, you can literally start cycling barefoot in your birthday suit. After all, in June 2017, thousands of cyclists did exactly that during the World Naked Bike Ride in central London. However, for your safety and riding comfort, as well as obeying the law, it might be worth your while to spend some time getting the right type of apparel, footwear and accessories for you and your bike.
- Shirt & Pants
Next to your bike, your choice of apparel is arguably the most crucial element of your cycling kit. While sense of style is always important, comfort and breathability plays an even more vital role, see the Galvin Green collection here.
You should be looking for lightweight kits made from light mesh fabrics. They should be designed aerodynamically and more importantly, breathable - we wouldn't want you to be baked under the sun while stewing in your own sweat, right? Keep an eye out for kits with UV protection and sewn-in silicone grippers (which prevents your shirt and pants from sliding around).
For shorts, spend a little extra and get the best brand you can get - and make sure it comes with a high quality pad to keep your derriere as comfortable as possible and protect against saddle sores and chaffing. As far as possible, try to get two-piece kits instead of single piece suits - toilet breaks can get quite uncomfortable with the latter.
The golden rule: buy shoes that fit your feet perfectly. If you can't find one that does, go to other shoe stores. Make sure they are absolutely comfortable before leaving the store. Also, remember to factor in your swollen feet (which are common for cyclists once temperature and lactic acid content rises). And get shoes with the new Boa dial system - tightening your laces up has never been easier.
- Helmet and Headwear
Headwear is a great way to regulate the temperature of your head and body. Helmet, meanwhile, is a great way to protect your head if you take a tumble - especially on hard surfaces. Expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) is terrible on the environment, but helmets made from them are cheap, comfortable and durable. In this instance, let your conscience lead the way.
- Water bottle
Water bottles can be stored inside backpacks or fastened to your bike (you may need additional attachment), so there is no excuse for getting dehydrated. Pro-tip: frequent, long-term dehydration can lead to constipation, kidney ailments and even heart attacks.
Locks are cheap. Bicycles are expensive, especially beautiful, branded road bikes with thriving second-hand demand. Play it safe, and invest in a good lock. Secure your bike each time you leave it behind.
After selecting the type of bicycle, think about how much you want to spend. The prices vary greatly, so never start bicycle shopping until you've settled on a budget. Otherwise, you run the risk of buying the first great and expensive bike you laid eyes on.
Remember to test out the bicycle at the shop. Pay attention to the seat's comfort level; buy a different seat if needed. Inspect the brakes and position of the lights. Consider a basket as well- whether you need one.