Get these road cycling essentials
Before you head out on your bike ride, it’s a good idea to have a few key pieces of road cycling essentials for a safe and enjoyable bike ride.
Bike. If you don’t already have a bike then you’ll need to consider a bike that fits you in three main ways:
- Size: bike sizes range from extra small to extra large. A local bike shop can help you find the right size, but if you’d rather walk into the shop with a sense of what you need, then this bike fit guide will help.
- Budget: bikes range in price from several hundred to several thousand. In short, pricier bikes feature different frame materials and components.
- Cycling needs: there’s a bike for every type of riding you might want to do. Would you rather bike in the mountains or on the road? Do you want to ride on weekends or do you plan to start racing?
Helmet. A helmet is crucial, and depending on your country, wearing one may be a legal requirement.
But not any old cycling helmet will do, especially if yours was involved in a crash (if it was, replace it now).
Helmets have a limited lifespan, and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends replacing your helmet every 5 to 10 years.
If you’re on the market for a new helmet, look for one that includes a Multi-directional Impact Protection System, or MIPS for short, such as this Bell Stratus MIPS Cycling helmet .
MIPS technology absorbs and redirects rotational forces, potentially reducing the severity of brain injury. If you’d like to learn more about MIPS, see here.
Front and rear cycling lights. Like helmets, front and back bike lights may be required depending on your country and local state laws.
Front bike lights brighten the road ahead, signal your presence to drivers and pedestrians, and reduce bike accidents 2.
If you don’t want to get too fancy, then this rechargeable front and rear cycling light set is a great affordable option.
Bike pump. A flat tire can put a damper on your ride, but a small portable bike pump ( Pro Bike Tool Mini Bike Pump) can get you back on the road quickly.
Bike computer. Need to know where you are on your route? Track your mileage? A bike computer, like a Garmin Edge 520 can give you all the details.
Medical identification bracelet. You can convey important medical information quickly with a medical identification bracelet, like a RoadID Medical Alert bracelet.
With this, you can customize a faceplate to display medical information to First Responders, such as your emergency contact phone number and allergies.
Mini first aid kit. A first aid kit with a handful of essentials can be useful for minor injuries.
These two lightweight, packable first aid kits are made especially for cyclists: Brave Soldier Crash Pak First Aid Kit and Cycling First Aid Kit.
Multitool. A multitool—such as this Fix It Sticks tool that’s both lightweight and portable— can help you with off-road repairs.
Extra bike tubes.