Everything you need for cycling outings
Whether you're a casual or an avid cyclist, having the right cycling gear can make a world of difference in your performance and your enjoyment of your bike ride. Proper cycling gear also keeps you safer while you're cycling, by helping you stay cool and protecting you from serious injury in case of an accident or spill.
Every cyclist needs, at minimum, a helmet. This is the law in some places; in others, it is optional but strongly recommended. Helmets prevent serious head injuries and can even save your life, so if you're going to invest in only one piece of cycling gear, this is the one to get.
For cycling clothes, here are some of the items you may find useful:
- Cycling jackets. These perform numerous important functions. First, cycling jackets help you stay warm when you're out biking in spring, autumn or winter, and provide you with an extra level of protection in case of a fall or an accident. You can also get visibility jackets that keep you nice and bright, enhancing your road safety if you're out biking after dark.
- Cycle shorts. For cycling shorts, choose close-fitting pieces made of breathable synthetic fabrics that assist rather than impede movement. Cycling apparel that absorbs sweat is also strongly recommended for cyclists who go on long rides, as it will help keep you cool and dry for the long haul.
- Cycling shoes. These are especially necessary if you have pedals with clips, as only specialized shoes will fit in them properly. Cycling shoes are lightweight and breathable to help your feet stay cool and dry, and you can also pair them up with specialized athletic socks to maximize breathability and ventilation.
Other types of cycling gear you may want to consider include pieces of equipment that help you monitor your performance. If you're cycling to lose weight or stay in shape, a heart rate monitor or calorie counter may be an accessory you'll find useful. Other, more serious cyclists are interested in tracking performance statistically, so getting bicycle odometers and speedometers will help you push yourself harder when you're out riding.