What do you think of when you think cycling? The obvious comes to mind – freedom,fun,exercise, and adventure. But maybe you’re also thinking “CHA CHING!”. Yes, like anything worth the investment, cycling has some initial costs like a good quality bike (of course). But where can you shave off some $$ without losing quality?
We’ve compiled a short list of gear you should have that won’t break the bank!
Flat kit bag
Gotta have this one (and know how to use the goods within). Installed underneath your saddle, this little bag should be stocked with the essentials should you experience a flat tire, including a mini-pump, a tube and tire levers. Check with your local shop to see if it offers seminars on how to change a flat. Because like death and taxes, flat tires are inevitable. Be prepared.
No, you don’t need an aero helmet. And you don’t need a $225 one with vented channels and carbon fiber structure. A $75 brain bucket will protect your head just as well as the expensive ones. Just be sure to get it from your local bike shop, which generally carries brands that have passed standardized testing for safety. Bell, Giro and Specialized are among the top names in the category.
On the bike and run, a basic pair of sport sunglasses, which can start in price at $45, are invaluable. Wind, bugs, raindrops, an errant squirt of energy drink from your bottle are all thwarted by your peeper keepers. (And, oh yeah, they’re great at knocking down sun glare, too.)
While it’s possible to spend hundreds on constructing a cycling wardrobe, an outfit of base layer, short-sleeved jersey and bib-shorts, paired with arm and knee warmers, gilet, and lightweight packable rain jacket should see you through. everything else can be added as you go.
Water Bottle & Cage
Happily, not everything in cycling is expensive to begin with, and the outlay required for a humble bottle and cage combo is among the highest ‘bang for buck’ purchases available.