New To Cycling / What Products Do I Really Need?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by gnzalez7, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. gnzalez7

    gnzalez7 New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Just purchased my 1st bike and I am no pro so please be kind to me since I am new to the sport of cycling.
    I see so many products out there for this sport but I figured I'd ask others who have experience in this as to what products do I REALLY need?

    I am planning to go on long rides with a group so I just need some guidance from some seasoned cyclists as yourselves.

    Thank you for all your help.... :)
     
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  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Well, you need the bike.
    A helmet is a sensible thing and may be required either by law or to let you participate in organized events.
    You also need the tools, parts and skills to be able to fix a flat along the road. So at a minimum 1-2 spare tubes, tire levers and a pump/CO2 inflator.
    Planning for rides of more than one hour? Water bottle and holder.
    2-3 hours? Carry a snack.
    Padded bicycle shorts aren't mandatory, but they help.
    Jerseys, sweaters and jackets can be improvised. Main thing you don't want them too floppy or billowing. Although bike clothes do tend to work better.
    Shoes with a stiff sole. Or bike shoes with cleats.
    Get some solo rides in first. To ride in a group you need decent bike control skill not to be a danger to others.
    And it's no fun trying to join a group if your fitness level is too different from the group average.
     
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  3. NJAgent020

    NJAgent020 Member

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    Helmet
    Bottle cage
    Bottle
    Two tire levers
    Small frame pump
    2 spare tubes
    Bike multi tool
    Floor pump w pressure gauge
    Rear red light if u are on roads w traffic
    Front light if ur on roads at dusk or later

    I like a saddle bag to put my flat repair stuff in.

    Fenders are optional

    Skip the cycle geek clothing.
     
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  4. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    Gloves.
     
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  5. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    A basic cycling computer is good to have. A speed only unit should run about $20. If you plan on upping your performance, consider getting a model with cadence as well as speed.

    A sturdy cell phone mount and a basic smartphone makes a fine GPS computer as well. Apps like mytracks, strava and endomondo provide plenty of ride data for free.
     
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  6. NJAgent020

    NJAgent020 Member

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    No no no. All this Fred crap is not essential. You just want to pick up the bike and go. No fancy clothes, shoes, computers etc. Map my ride is fine and it works with your phone for free...if u want to see how far you went. Keep it fun, keep it breezy.
     
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  7. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    You need the "geek" clothes if you want to be practical. A good set of bibs will save your a** and the jerseys are made to shed sweat, are made to breath and have practical pockets for storing things. They are also generally made in high visibility colors. I also recommend all the equipment previously posted.
    Now if you are just touring the neighborhood on a beach cruiser I guess a pair of flowered short and a tank top will do. You can skip all the tools and just push the bike home if you have issues. Also gets some spinners for the handlebars and maybe a fiberglass pole with flag on top to attach to the rear of the bike. Flip flops will be fine foot wear.
     
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  8. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

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    If you're going on long rides with a group, one thing you'll need is a basic repair kit, because the surest way to lose riding buddies is to make a habit of not having the shit you need to fix flats or other minor mechanical issues, and rely on them to have it.

    Spare tube, tire levers, some means to inflate a tire (hand pump, frame pump, or CO-2 canisters and inflators), multi-tool with hex wrenches of assorted sizes, and maybe a patch kit (or a second tube) in case of double flats. Carry this kit in a seat wedge bag so it's always on the bike, and not lying on your kitchen counter because you left for the ride in a rush.

    Water. Hydration is important. Your bike probably has bosses for attaching bottle cages to the down tube, and probably the seat tube too. Get the cages, carry two bottles in warm to hot weather. You don't have to spend big money on carbon fiber cages. Plastic works fine. $5-$10 apiece.

    If you go on organized or club group rides, you're going to notice that most if not all of the other riders have cycling shoes, with cleats that attach to their pedals. As you get better, you will probably want those, too. Don't listen to the irrational and ignorant fears of cyclists who think they're dangerous.

    Wear a helmet. Always. It's not how fast you're going that can bust your skull (although faster crashes tend to raise the risks). It's how far you fall and what hits the ground first. People die every day from slip and falls in their bath tub or shower. Those are 0 mph crashes.

    Cycling clothes might make you look like a rodeo clown, but they, like the clowns, exist for a reason. Try riding 50 miles in cut-off jorts and a cotton T-shirt, on an 85 degree day, and get back to us. ;)
     
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  9. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    That's mister rodeo clown if you don't mind.
     
  10. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    You are not required to wear jerseys with loud graphics and numerous logos. A dry fit T-shirt or tank top works well, but I do like the rear pocket a jersey provides. Solid color jerseys are available and usually less expensive.
     
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  11. NJAgent020

    NJAgent020 Member

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    I got a cannondale jersey, nice pattern not plain jane at Bike Nashbar for like $15.00. Generic jerseys will usually run about $50 at a local bike shop. If you don't need the extra storage from the pockets... an under armour shirt works well to.
     
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  12. gnzalez7

    gnzalez7 New Member

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    Awesome! Thanks so much everyone. That is some great info.. some obvious but really great info.

    maydog mentioned a cycling computer but others stated the Apps work great too. Anyone has any favorites for use on an iPhone 6 Plus?

    Also, where would I put my phone? I saw a small bag that fits on the handlebar and hosts the phone. Does anyone have any experience with those?
    Looks like I could store my wallet but not a tube there.

    Thanks again for your input, this helps allot...
     
  13. JPNpower

    JPNpower New Member

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    Small bags somewhere for keys/tools/phone/etc. Under saddle bags are popular.

    As for Cycling computers, they tend to have better (visibility wise) screens than a smartphone and are rather cheap too. I heard that you can program the cheapo computers to give you cadence instead of speed too, which I want to do. (I have no computer now)

    I am also more of a beginner, and have very little gear. So the only thing I have to say is this: Gloves are truly helpful on long rides.
     
  14. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    I usually toss the phone in a ziplock baggie and put it in my back jersey pocket to use with Strava. That setup is no good for realtime feedback though.

    To use a cheapo cycle computer for cadence. Attach the magnet to the left pedal and the sensor on the left chainstay. If you use a calibration of 2682mm the speedo will show 1.0mph for each 10rpm; i.e. 90rpm will be 9.0 mph.
     
  15. vespid49

    vespid49 New Member

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    Firstly, you should definitely get a helmet and a lock. You want to be alive to use your bike and you want to have a bike to ride on after leaving it somewhere overnight. Secondly, get some biking clothes. Billowy and loose clothing will do little to improve your aerodynamics. Also, padded pants make biking a lot more pleasurable. And finally, get some decent tools that will allow you to fix a flat while on the road. You don't want to be stranded on that long ride with your friends. Get a couple of patches (you can actually get 100 on amazon for less than 15 bucks), a pump, some rubber cement, and some spare inner tubes.
     
  16. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Rema F0-P, 16mm, patches are the best for road bike tubes.
     
  17. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. You don't need anything fancy like CO2 just a standard but good pump like the Topeak Race Rocket HP or the Lezyne Road Drive which ever you can find on sale for the cheapest price.

    2 spare tubes is a good idea IF you don't know how to patch a tire, I carry just one tube and only use it if for some reason I can't fix the tube that flatted on the road, so I patch on the road about 98% of the time.

    Patches...well the glue on ones are great but they take to long to use and someday you'll be cursing on the side of the road when you discovered that your glue tube dried up! I like Park (Super Patch) and Specialized (Fatboy) brand of glueless patches, they work great and last the life of the tube if done correctly, I've used them for over 20 years with only one failure when I tried a cheap brand once. If you want to know how to use a glueless patch just reply to this post or privately message me.

    But you do need to know how to fix a flat on the road if you don't already know how, so learn how to do that before you venture to far from home, learn how to patch too there are a lot of You Tube videos that you watch to get an idea then practice what you watched.

    You need to get good quality tire irons, cheap ones can break while trying to mount a tire. Irons like the yellow Pedro's or the Soma steel core ones are the best. Also there is one I use a lot called the QuikStik, this makes taking off and putting on tires very fast, watch a You Tube video on how to use one if you get one of these.

    You need a helmet but you don't need a $300 helmet, a good $60 to $80 helmet will suffice and give you better ventilation then the lower costing Walmart jobs and will last longer. Here is a good helmet on closeout: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_564930_-1___204662

    A multi tool is great if you understand bike mechanics well enough, otherwise it's an option you don't really need right away especially with a new bike. I happen to like the Park MTB3 the best but this is just my opinion, Amazon has them for less than $18 see: .http://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-MTB-3-Rescue-function/dp/B000S6HZBI

    Some things like a bike computer is not essential unless you want one, and Sigma makes the best computers for the money on the market in my opinion, they make fantastic ones for under $30.

    Find as much as you can of the stuff you need on sale or on closeout deals, you save a bundle from just going down to an LBS and loading up on crap.
     
  18. kana_marie

    kana_marie Member

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    The cycle geek clothing is the most important part, if you ask me. I gan it in my closet and set my goals to looking good in them.
     
  19. kana_marie

    kana_marie Member

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    The cycle geek clothing is the most important part, if you ask me. I gan it in my closet and set my goals to looking good in them.
     
  20. Weatherby

    Weatherby Well-Known Member

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    The most important thing thing is the knowledge between your ears.

    Learn how to fix a flat is my advice

    I was on a double and stopped to help a rider fix a flat, he did not know how to use his fancy CO2 cartidges. If you elect to use them, practice a few times in your place of residence.
     
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