TOP FIVE MUST HAVE ACCESSORIES FOR BEGINNER CYCLISTS
Some purchases in life make things easier. Running to a laundry mat at night might be a good way to meet interesting people. but owning a washer and dryer is far more convenient. Some purchases keep your favorite things safe. A sturdy cell phone case will not make your phone work any better but you’ll be glad you have one the first time your phone sails out of your hands on to the floor. So, when starting new hobby like cycling, it’s important to budget for the items that will make riding not only safer, but more enjoyable. These are the top five must have accessories for beginner cyclists.
1. A good helmet is a must. Remember the cell phone comparison? You should spend at least as much protecting your head from cracks as you would your phone. Todays helmets have come a long way from the ugly, hot ones you remember as kid. New technology like MIPS makes serious head injury even less likely. Need some suggestions? Try the Specialized Echelon if you want something with more ventilation to keep your head cool.
2. Like any teenager in an eighties horror movie can attest to, it sucks to be stranded. While you may not have Leather Face running after if you stop, a flat can ruin your ride. Having a repair kit with at least an extra tube, tire lever, and some form of inflation will save you from having to call a significant other to pick you up or worse, walking for miles. Throw your repair items in a hydration pack, saddle bag or jersey pocket on every ride. Grab a Genuine Innovations Seat Bag Inflation Kit Deluxe for an all in one kit.
3. Just like your first time back in the gym, if you are just starting to ride or starting for the first time in a while, you will be sore. There is something that you can do help alleviate your soreness, though. A good pair of padded shorts, also called a chamois (pronounced shammy), can go a long way to relieve discomfort. Remember the more comfortable you are, the longer you can ride and the more enjoyable it will be. Try Specialized’s Enduro Sport Short for a great pair of baggies or Pearlizumi’s Quest short. Also, how come nobody has every produced a Chamois Davis Jr. pair of shorts?
4. Unfortunately, bike tires (tubes actually) loose air pressure over time just like car tires. That’s just the way it is. If you ride with lower pressure you are more likely to rip your tube’s valve and flat. Checking your tires with a floor pump before ever ride will help eliminate unnecessary flats. So, what’s to stop you from using a hand pump or co2. Well, nothing really except it takes three times the effort with a hand pump and using co2 cartridges regularly can be costly. Make things faster and easier buying a floor pump. The Specialized Air Tool Sport SwitchHitter is a long lasting pump with a great warranty.
WATER BOTTLE/ HYDRATION PACK
5. We live in the desert and it gets hot here. You don’t need to watch Mad Max: Fury Road (but you should, its really good) to understand the importance of water in a hot climate. And while you probably already know that you should carry a water bottle with you when you ride, you may not know how many different carrying options you have. Go with Camelbak’s Podium Ice to keep your water four times colder than your standard bottle. Or if you are out all day on the mountain, get yourself a Camelbak Mule with a one-hundred-ounce bladder.
By Geoffrey Waller. A born and raised El Pasoan with an English degree from the University of Texas at El Paso and a passion for cycling. Contact him at GeoffWaller@live.com or follow him on Twitter.