Essential gear for beginning cyclists

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by marvelsferb7, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. marvelsferb7

    marvelsferb7 New Member

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    I've been out of the saddle for awhile and I was still a newbie when I left it. My S/O is going to join me and we are currently looking at bikes together and I was just wondering what everyone would recommend grabbing on top of a helmet. Any suggestions help, thanks guys!
     
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  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    There are plenty of threads on that subject.
    First thing you'll need is a (floor) pump. Bicycle tires don’t keep pressure anywhere near as well as car tires do. Road bikes will need topping up at least weekly. MTBs, hybrids can go a little longer.
    Me, I don’t ride outside walking distance w/o flat-fixing stuff. Replacement tube, tire levers, pump. I also carry a small set of pliers. If you get a penetration flat, Your replacement tube is no good to you unless you can remove the splinter/slicer/whatever that caused the flat. And make sure you know how to use them. Your pump is no good to you unless you know how to operate the valve or tear the valve stem. Your tube is no good to you If you pinch it on installation. I also carry a quick link. And a small multi-tool with a not horrible chain breaker. A quicklink is probably the most weight/volume effective spare part you can carry to avert a ride-stopping failure.
     
  3. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    This is going to sound crazy, but that's why I'm here...

    I would not start out with just a floor pump, why you scream? If you're on a limited budget you need to have a pump you can take with you when your riding, a floor pump will do no good staying at home while you try to fix a flat 10 miles from home. There are not many good mini pumps sad to say, the only really good one so far is the Lezyne Road Drive long version for high pressure road bike tires and the Lezyne Alloy Drive for high volume MTB and hybrid type of tires, they make two other shorter versions of both pumps don't bother with those.

    If money is tight you can get a cheap floor pump called the Bell Air Attack, it won't last long, maybe 5 years, but the time it breaks you can afford to get a decent one. If you can afford a nice one now the Topeak company makes a line of really nice ones for not a ton of money that will last at least 20 years like the Joe Blow Sport III.

    On that same note a pump isn't going to be much good if you can't fix a flat, or don't have a flat repair kit and a spare tube with you. So you need to learn how to fix flats on the road, you need a patch kit and spare tube as mentioned. You need a set of quality tire irons, I personally like the Soma Steel Core levers because they won't break but won't mar rims up like all steel will do because of a plastic outer shell, the best plastic levers is the yellow Pedro's levers. Easiest patches to use is glue on patches, but the glue tube can dry up. I use Park Super Patches, these are a glueless patch and if done correctly they will last the life of the tube, if you want to know how to use the glueless patch let me know it's not much different than a glue on patch, but only the Park brand works for the life of the tube, other glueless patches last about a day.

    If you mechanically inclined you may want a mini multi tool, like a flat this is case you break down or need to make a simple adjustment on the road, but it can also be used at home, I use my mini tool at home more than I use my dedicated bicycle tools because it's in the seat bag and I don't have to rummage through my tool drawer to find a tool.

    I noticed you got a helmet, great, but there is another safety factor you need to seriously consider if you'll be riding on roads shared by cars. Due to distracted drivers you need to get yourself visible. You need is the brightest tail light you can buy, at this time the brightest one is the NiteRider Omega 300, this thing puts out a startling 300 lumens on the highest strobe setting, compare that to a car tail light at 88 to 100 lumens. Why so bright? because you have to make up for the size difference of a car tail light vs what you can carry on a bike. This light can easily be seen in broad daylight from a mile away.

    The other safety consideration is a front flashing strobe light, there are lot of good ones on the market so take your pick, but what you want is one that can serve double duty, one that can strobe in the daytime and one that can be used as a headlight at night. You need at least a 400 lumen strobe capability, and around 1,000 to 1,200 lumens for a headlight. If you are a very alert car driver a strobe during the day may not be that important if you are watchful of cars coming at you, but it could help regardless, and will help if you're riding on a dim, foggy or rainy day. Raveman makes a good line of lights worth considering. You could try a cheap Amazon Chinese light, but these won't last long, they don't put out even half of the lumens they say they will, nor will the batteries last even half as long as they say they will, but they are cheap if you're on a budget, just pick one with the highest and has a lot of reviews.
     
  5. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Active Member

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    All good advice above.

    I've also recently put high visibility daytime lights on my road bike. Lezyne makes good ones too - 300 lumen strobe on the rear and a 1000 lumen strobe on the front. They have many other lights as well.

    Not cheap though.

    Basics are a pump, levers, and a spare tube. Patch kits are cheap so carry one of those as well in case the spare doesn't work - it's happened to me. Now I carry two spares.

    Not essential but very good is a bike computer. You can get one with basic functions for not very much. It will tell you how fast you are going, average speed, trip mileage and total mileage. I feel a bit off when mine isn't working.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Why do you carry 2 spare tubes? All you need is 1 spare tube and a patch kit, so if you flat the spare just fix it, unlikely that would happen but that's why you have the patch kit, then you don't have to carry around another 100 grams or so of dead weight.

    I do things different than other riders, I patch FIRST BEFORE I use my spare tube, why you scream? Because about 90% of the time I can find what caused the leak either because it's sticking out of my tire, or there is hole in the tire, if not I take the tube out and pump it and find the hole, since I put a middle letter of the tire brand adjacent of the stem I can index the tube and the hole and find out if there is an offending object sticking through the underside of the tire. By the time I roll up a tube to put it away I've patched the tube anyways. If I can't find the hole then I have to find if the object that caused the flat is sticking out of the inside of the tire and remove it before I put my new tube in.

    While fixing the flat on the side of the road takes a maybe 2 to 3 minutes longer than replacing the tube, but it saves me time when I get home and not have to spend 10 minutes unrolling the tube, pump the tube up and find the hole, deflate the tube, patch it and then re-roll the tube for storage. Since I use glueless patches those speed up my patch time on the side of the road a bit more than glue on patches.
     
  7. DavidRogers39

    DavidRogers39 New Member

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    There are plenty of accessories available, but it depends on your need. You may know many off the safety accessories, but there are some things that you should pay attention to as a beginner.

    The first thing is bicycle cleaning and maintenance.
    This is one of the important things that you should adopt in your everyday life.

    You can read this bicycle chain cleaning and maintenance guide here

    Bicycle chain cleaning can save a lot of time and money in the long term.

    Make sure you also buy some bike locks, since more than 700,000 bikes are stolen in the US alone (around 1 bike every 45 seconds!) and the worse part is 90% per cent of them are never recovered.

    You can read about the six simple steps to keep your bike safe here.

    As to go through your riding journey you can even set up a small bike workshop in your home for less than $200 (even if you buy all the essential tools).

    It is way cheaper to do some repairs at home than going to a bike shop.

    Moreover, it can also be enormously satisfying figuring out how a bicycle works and keeping it in peak condition.


    You can read the guide to set up your home workshop here.

    Cheers.
     
  8. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    100 grams of tube 3.5 ounces, a patch kit 1 ounce. Difference of maybe 2.5 ounces maybe depending on tubes used. You seriously feel the difference of 2 oz in you seat pack?
     
  9. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Essentials, know how to fix a flat before you leave. You'd be amazed at how many cyclists I have ridden with who claim to never flat then flat on our ride. Only to find they really have no idea how to do the roadside repair. If you know what you're doing, it makes no difference whether you carry spare tubes or a patch kit. The big factor here is that you know how. Practice removing and installing the rear wheel so you do not freak out on the road.

    I did a century with a guy who was some big time double century rider who completed the California Triple Crown (3 doubles in a year). 30 miles into our ride, he flatted. 6 of us so we were waiting while he tried to make the repair with a stick on patch. He couldn't get it right and seemed to go into a panic. He actually almost started crying. I told him to give it to me, did the repair and we took off. I swear he took almost 15 minutes to make a mess of the situation. Not sure how he got thru 3 double centuries.:D

    I can get tires off my rims without tire irons so I don't even need them. I do carry 1 out of the set of 3 to be safe. Plus this makes my bike much lighter and I can go really fast.:rolleyes: Just make sure you can do the tire repair before leaving home. :p

    So get a spare, a patch kit, a pump, a helmet and a water bottle. Oh, and a bike! Those are the essentials. Everything else is icing on the cake.
     
  10. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Active Member

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    Because sometimes I can't find the hole. If it's quiet I can hear the air leaking when I pump it, but sometimes it's very windy so I can't hear it. Also, I can't always feel it either. And when you're riding with a group and they stop with you, nobody wants to wait around while you struggle with a patch kit.

    I once got 4 flats on the same ride - was the Highlander ride in the Finger Lakes area of New York State (I live in Toronto). It was raining the night before and that disturbed all the sharp pointy little stones at the side of the road and they would work their way through the tire and flat the wheel. Later in the day it rained some more - I got my third flat in the rear, fixed it, jumped on, peddled once and then the front flatted. What a nightmare. My ride friends got flats too but not as many as me. Good thing everyone was carrying extra tubes and we had patch kits as backup.

    When we got home we were all fishing little stones out of our tires. I just gave up actually and put on two new ones.
     
  11. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I have never had really good hearing myself. One thing I do is looking for the hole is air up the tube as much as possible. I then run the tube by my lips. When the little hole runs across my lip blowing air, I can feel it for sure.

    Not sure about you, but I have very sensitive lips! :D:p:D
     
  12. Germanrazor

    Germanrazor Member

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    Other than a helmet I would say the following if a road bike:

    Gloves
    Bright cycling jersey
    Frame pump and maybe a CO2 inflator
    Extra tubes
    Sunglasses
    Decent rear blinking light
    Some extra chain links for emergency repair
    Water bottle

    There are other things but these are the basics I would want.
     
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