Top 10 Cycling Essentials for New Riders

So you either just bought, borrowed or inherited a bike. Congratulations! Whether you like it or not, you are now a cyclist. You have joined the gas-free, sweat-powered, leg-shaven, lycra wearing, adrenaline-pumping world of cycling. Here have a cookie!

WAIT! Do not. I repeat. Do not eat that cookie! You are a cyclist now and you need to watch your weight for race day. JUST KIDDING. Cycling can be a little intimidating at first but you really don’t need anything all that fancy to get started. In addition to the obvious items like your ID, your phone, some spare money and/or a credit card in case a cafe or brewery is calling your name, we have compiled a list of 10 items that any self-respecting cyclist should never leave home without. 

10 Items Everyone Should Take On a Bike Ride: 

  1. A Helmet. Cycling can be dangerous so use your head and protect your head with a helmet. If you are buying your first helmet, check out our learning center video on how to properly fit a bicycle helmet
  2. Water. Whether you are commuting to work or tackling your local 50-mile loop, cycling is a workout and it is important to stay hydrated while you ride. You can either carry a water bottle in your handy dandy water bottle cage or pick up a hydration pack to conveniently carry other items as well.
  3. Tire Levers. At one point or another every cyclist gets a flat tire. Getting the tire off is the first step to repairing a flat and tire levers will make that job much easier.
  4. A Spare Tube. After removing an old deflated tube, it is much easier to just replace the tube with a spare than attempting to fix it with a patch. Carry at least one spare road tube or mountain tube so you can get back to cycling as quick as possible.
  5. A Pump or Co2 Inflator.  After you install a new tube in your tire, it is important to carry a frame pump or a Co2 Inflator to get it re-inflated to the proper PSI. If you have never used Co2 before, check out our learning center video on how to use Co2 to inflate a bicycle tire
  6. A Patch-Kit. It is always a good idea to carry a patch kit as a back up in case you get a flat in your spare tube or you forget your spare tube altogether. You can use a kit with a tube of glue for a more permanent fix or glueless patches for a quick and easy solution. 
  7. A Multi-tool. A multi-tool is essential for making minor repairs or adjustments to your bike while out on the road or trail. If you’re in a pinch, you don’t want to be caught without your multi-tool.
  8. A Seat Bag. You need something to carry all of your tire repair essentials and maybe even your phone so throw it all in a seat bag. The seat bag will conveniently carry everything in a location that won’t interfere with your riding. 
  9. Cycling Shorts or Bibs. Long days on a bicycle saddle can be hard on your derrière but luckily there is a brilliant invention to alleviate some of this pressure; the chamois pad! Road cycling shorts and bibs and mountain biking shorts have integrated chamois pads to keep you comfortable longer and therefore riding longer.
  10. Eye Protection. Finally, if you want to stay safe on a bicycle you need to protect your eyes from the sun’s blinding rays and also from dust and debris that can be kicked up on the road or the trail. Never leave home without a pair of sunglasses or goggles
BONUS: After a few rides on your new bike you may want to think about some other items that will help you go faster and go longer:
  1. Extra Nutrition – Proper nutrition will help you fight off the dreaded bonk and keep you performing at your highest level.
  2. Cycling Shoes & Pedals – Whether you ride mountain or road, cycling shoes and pedals connect you to your bicycle and allow you to pedal more efficiently.
  3. Cycling Jersey – A cycling specific jersey is designed to make you more aerodynamic, keep you comfortable and carry some of the essentials we mentioned above.
  4. Gloves Mountain biking gloves and road cycling gloves provide padding to dampen vibration, protect your hands in case of a fall and keep your hands warm in cold weather.
  5. Cycling Computer – A cycling computer measures your speed, distance, elevation and other valuable metrics so you can track your progress and continue to improve every time you ride.