Cycling gear can often be a little bit awkward in the beginning and you may be wondering why there is so much tight spandex. There is also a lot of gear that goes with cycling as well. Between the clothing, the gear and the bike you may be feeling overwhelmed but rest assured you can do this on a budget. Our Community Partners are here to help you.
There are many different types of cycling gear and it is all designed for comfort. Buying cycling gear is a very personal process. If you have fast drying exercise clothing you can wear this for your first few rides. On your training rides ask fellow riders and your Training Ride Leaders what their experience has been and what they recommend. These suggestions may or may not work for you as every body is different and you will need to find what is most comfortable for you.
If you are used to wearing street clothing when riding this may work for you. Keep in mind that when you start adding mileage and are doing 50-70 miles it might not be as comfortable. So you may want to invest in some cycling gear.
You do not need to buy all your cycling gear at once. It takes time to figure out what will work for your body. Since cycling gear is on the pricey side you will want to take some time. Starting with one pair of shorts and a jersey. Once you know what works you can start to slowly build your gear. While you are training you will have time to do laundry in between rides so just a little bit of gear can work. Slowly purchasing items can help with your budget.
Cycling Gear is designed for comfort. The fabrics used are quick drying and help draw the sweat away from your skin to keep you dry. Most jerseys come with pockets in the back which you can use for snacks, tubes and other items. Cycling shorts are padded for your comfort which will help on those long miles on the saddle. The pad or chamois is specifically designed to keep you dry and prevent chaffing.
DO NOT wear underwear with your cycling shorts. Cycling shorts are designed for direct contact with your skin. Your underwear will hold in moisture and can cause chaffing.
Recommended Cycling Clothing
- Padded cycling shorts
- Cycling jersey
- Rain jacket
- Knee or leg warmers
- Arm warmers
- Wind vest
- Cycling specific shoes (SPDs recommended)
- Cycling socks
There is also a lot of gear that goes with cycling. This is to help you carry all the items you need and be self sufficient while riding. If you get a flat tire you will need certain tools to fix it. Here is a list of all required items and recommended items.
Required Cycling Gear
- Bicycle (mechanically safe and in good working order)
- Helmet (CPSC, ASTM, ANSI and Snell approved)
- 2 water bottles, 1 filled with an electrolyte replacement drink or 1 hydration pack (i.e. Camelbak) and 1 bottled filled with an electrolyte replacement drink
- Bike frame pump or CO2 cartridge
- Spare tube (that fit in your tire) or a patch kit
- Tire irons
Recommended Cycling Gear
- Bicycle multi tool
- Saddle bag (or bike seat bag - to help you carry all your gear)
- Hand wipes or hand sanitizer
- Lip balm with sunscreen
- Bike computer
- Clip less pedals