If you aåÛåªre looking to pursue cycling seriously, here'åÛåªs a checklist of everything you'åÛåªll ever need to make your trips more safe and enjoyable.
Must haves:These are the basic accessories which are absolutely essential with the bike you buy. There'åÛåªs no compromise for safety or convenience.
Helmet: A well-fitting helmet that covers your forehead can protect you from any concussion in case of minor accidents. Although there is only a slim possibility of serious crash on biking tracks, it pays well to own a helmet than can protect you on slippery weathered tracks and upon collision with low-speed vehicles.
Water bottle holders: It is essential to remain well hydrated on long rides. And a bottle holder on the front body of your bike makes water accessible without having to reach out for you backpack each time. A 1L bottle refilled every two hours will provide adequate hydration for a comfortable ride. Or you could also consider having water bladders attached to your backpacks.
Bicycle U Lock
Locks: When youÌ¢åÛåªve paid a huge price for your bike, it is only logical to invest on a secure lock. A good D-shaped shackle lock ensures safety courtesy itÌ¢åÛåªs heavy armouring around the key area. These are more secure than the regular heavy chains with padlocks.
Tool box: While touring around remote areas, most bike related problems require fix-it-yourself solutions. A well-equipped toolkit will ensure you have everything covered. ÌâåÊMake sure your toolbox has the following:
Ìâåá A puncture kit containing a few patches and rubber cement.
Ìâåá Spare tubes
Ìâåá Bike levers
Ìâåá A mullti-tool handbox with screws of variable sizes to make adjustments.
Mini-Pumps:ÌâåÊ Check the type of valve on your bike tires and choose an appropriate bicycle pump. Also be aware of the appropriate tire pressure to be used while inflating your bike tires. You could add a CO2 cartridge inflator to your collection, although it might not be a cheap way to pump your tires.
Nice to haves:ÌâåÊThese arenÌ¢åÛåªt absolutely essential, but they sure do help in making your ride a little more luxurious.
Cycling shorts/skin: These light-weight tight fit fabrics reduce wind resistance and friction allowing you greater ascent speed on an uphill track and also increase your cycling efficiency. These clothes also dissipate heat ensuring you donÌ¢åÛåªt get sweaty or uncomfortable over long rides.
Shoes:ÌâåÊ Shoes specially designed for cycling are made with stiff soles so that your feet donÌ¢åÛåªt curve over pedals. If youÌ¢åÛåªre someone with a flat foot, itÌ¢åÛåªs a no-brainer to go for these shoes as theyÌ¢åÛåªre an absolute relief to the feet.
Jackets:ÌâåÊ Cycling jackets are helpful in rain prone areas or on rides that involve night travel. Cycling jackets are designed with longer arms to fit you well I riding position.ÌâåÊ TheyÌ¢åÛåªre well aerated and often come in neon shades, which are recommended for their noticeable and reflected nature.
Mudguards: This is another important accessory to have ÌâåÊif youÌ¢åÛåªre riding on roads post a rainy day. You might want to keep your bike clean of slosh and a mudguard offering a full rear protection does a great job of keeping spray off your chain and feet and riders behind you.
Cycling Gloves with padding
Gloves: If youÌ¢åÛåªre a cycling newbie and fairly unused to long rides, gloves are a recommended part of your apparel. Cycling gloves help in preventing calluses or blisters post a long ride. Their strategically placed gloves reduce numbness and absorb shock.
Nicer Ì¢åÛåÒ to Ì¢åÛåÒ haves:ÌâåÊ These arenÌ¢åÛåªt really necessary unless cycling has become an indispensible part of your life. However, they do nothing short of making your rides a tad more comfortable.
Eyewear: You can invest on a couple of shades, a dark one for sunny rides a bright, colourful one for rainy or overcast days.ÌâåÊ Or better still, you can buy frames with interchangeable lenses. They protect your eyes from dust apart from saving your eyes from having to adapt to varying climates.
Clipless pedals: Once youÌ¢åÛåªre accustomed to spending a lot of your waking hours on your bike, itÌ¢åÛåªd be useful to have pedals that firmly attach you to the bike. Cycling shoes come with threads that snugly fit on clipless pedals.
Cycling computer: These mini devices help to keep track of your distance and speed of travel. They can also monitor your heart rate and calorie count. If you canÌ¢åÛåªt afford one, you can make do with the Strava app for your smart phone.
Torch lights: Apart from making yourself visible on roads, it is important to be able to view obstacles on dark, unlit paths. If youÌ¢åÛåªre a mountain biker who likes to travel off road at nights or if youÌ¢åÛåªre planning on an uninterrupted night ride, an LED torch light or one with rechargeable batteries will come in handy.
Panniers: If youÌ¢åÛåªre going off road for a couple of days, a simple rucksack will be sufficient to help you carry your essentials. However if you have more luggage, a comfortable ride calls for allowing your bike to take the load. Panniers bolted to bikes provide sufficient space for utilities.
By Sneha Sankar