Are you joining the cycling world? Here are the top 5 pieces of kit that every beginner will need:
The benefits of cycling are never-ending, from the cycle commute to work, to the adventure trail trekking weekends. The freedom it gives you and the release of happy endorphins are endless, but there is nothing worse than feeling ill-equipped.
Whether you are new to the world of cycling or still figuring out exactly what your cycling kit essentials should be, we aim to share informative advice to get you out on the road.
It seems like stating the obvious, but a helmet is first and foremost the most important piece of kit that you need. It can often be rather confusing when choosing the right one. Most brands now offer three somewhat distinct types of road helmets: fully vented traditional, aerodynamic, and the newer semi aero design.
Helmets are commonly constructed from expanded polystyrene foam, which is protected with a thin layer of polycarbonate to help spread the impact over the foam. The internal construction of a helmet consists of soft foam or gel padded for comfort, and secure straps which loop the ears and fasten under the chin.
A relatively new protection system for helmets is called MIPS: Multi-directional Impact Protection System. This innovative design provides a low-friction slip cage inside the helmet, which helps reduce rotational forces incurred through impact.
Helmets sold in the UK should meet the British Standard, and this will be marked with the BS Kite Mark. You can check the helmet also meets European standards, which will be displayed via the CE mark.
The Great British weather is highly unpredictable and battling the elements can at times be a job in itself, however, prior preparation is key.
Layering up is important because layers trap your body heat between them, allowing you to stay warmer during cool-weather rides. You can also remove a layer should the temperature rise unexpectedly. When done correctly, your layers will also pull moisture away from your skin, as well as keep outside moisture from reaching your skin in damp conditions, to keep you dry and comfortable on a ride.
At Spokesman, we have used breakthrough technologies in our high-performance range that offer protection from the elements, whilst allowing your skin to breathe.
When choosing glasses to protect your eyes, there are a number of options to consider. Whilst one piece lenses offer the best protection from weather conditions and flying debris, dust and dirt, there are options to buy glasses that have interchangeable lenses. Most cycling glasses with interchangeable lenses come with three lens options:
- The standard shaded lens with 100 UV Protection – great for dimming bright conditions in summer.
- Yellow tinted lens – ideal for overcast conditions, brightening up grey flat light, adding contrast and a little lightness to your vision.
- Clear Lenses – useful for dark, wet or night riding.
The research on visibility is incredibly mixed (apart from at night, when reflective kit and good lighting is a must). If someone isn’t going to see you, they won’t notice you whether you’re in a yellow jacket or a black one. However, clever reflecting detail can be the key.
Our range is designed to enhance your safety through the very strategic positioning of reflective strips that are relevant to your riding position. Visibility is about contrast and changing conditions. Using a combination of monochrome palettes with bright coloured accents can be just as effective as wearing a high-vis jacket.
If you are riding through urban areas, it might surprise you to read that a 2012 study by the Transport Research Laboratory concluded that, unlikely as it sounds, black or white sometimes offered more of a stark contrast than bright colours on busy city roads.
One of the best ways to safeguard your bike is also one of the most commonly overlooked: knowing its serial number.
“It’s the single most important thing you can have if the bike goes missing,” says Bryan Hance of Bike Index, a digital bike registry. Photos and unique characteristics — a sticker here, a funky component there — are helpful for post-theft identification, but the serial number “is the only thing that’s going to prove that it’s yours.”
Typically, this can be found engraved beneath the bottom bracket or on one of a few other easy-to-spot places.
Invest in a high-quality D-lock. A poor quality lock at the lower end of the market can be easily sawn through or bolt cropped in seconds. It certainly pays to invest in the best quality lock you can afford (At least £30 -£40). Always lock your bicycle to something immovable, an object a bicycle cannot be lifted over and cannot be broken, cut or removed i.e. chain link fencing, grilles, gates or trees – check the object is fastened to the ground. For maximum protection use two locks of different types (a D-lock and robust chain and padlock are ideal). Use each lock to catch the wheels, frame and stand.
There are many things that you need to consider when starting to cycle, so this list is not exhaustive by any means! The more important thing is to have fun and enjoy yourself!
We hope you have found this useful and if you have any questions at all, you can get in touch through our social media FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / TWITTER