Don’t Go Broke Buying Gear
When you start to add up all the gear you need to ride – helmet, bibs, jersey, water bottles, shoes – it gets expensive. And while having a wide variety of gear and accessories available to you helps make the process more affordable, it can also make it overwhelming. Some items such as helmets are necessary and well worth a hefty investment, while others such as water bottle holders are less essential.
Recognizing where to save and where to splurge isn’t always easy, so we’ve put together a list of five items that we believe every cyclist should invest in.
1. Base Layers
Come wintertime, base layers are your best friend. A quality base layer will keep your body heat close, preventing heat loss without sacrificing comfort or adding excessive weight. This could be the difference between a nice early morning ride or turning around 10 minutes in.
Base layers aren’t just great for the cold, they’re also crucial in the heat. A good summertime base layer will be lightweight, breathable and will wick away moisture to prevent sweat from weighing you down. Some, like Hincapie’s Power Dry Cooling Mesh Sleeveless Baselayer, even have cooling technologies to maintain your body’s temperature in the heat.
2. Bib Shorts
“Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike!” This was international cycling champion Fausto Coppi’s famous response when asked what three pieces of advice he would give to an aspiring cyclist. It’s definitely good advice, but putting in hard hours in the saddle without putting on a pair of quality bib shorts is ill-advised.
Beach cruisers aside, a typical bike seat isn’t exactly a bed of roses. That means it’s up to your shorts to provide comfort – a necessity for long rides and cyclists of any kind. Quality bib shorts will have a breathable chamois, lightweight fabrics, and comfortable shoulder straps.
3. Rain Jackets
Whether you like it or not, your season is bound to have its fair share of rainy days. Luckily, having a good rain jacket means your training schedule is no longer dependent on the weather.
Putting on a rain jacket doesn’t have to mean giving up comfort, safety, or even style. Some offer waterproof zippered back pockets to keep your valuables safe, some are partially transparent to keep your jersey visible, and some are insulated to keep you warm on those chilly, rainy rides. A lightweight, breathable shell with no exposed seams, the eVent jacket is completely waterproof and a fan favorite.
The weather isn’t always predictable, and it isn’t always consistent. It is not uncommon to start in the heat and end in the cold (or vice versa), especially on longer rides. Quality vests are lightweight and easily fit in a jersey pocket, making them the perfect choice when the weather is unclear.
Having a vest handy also relieves the stress of being too hot in a jacket or too cold in a long sleeve jersey. They are also helpful on those freezing rides when you’re worried nothing will be enough. It never hurts to have layers!
5. Shoe Covers
Every cyclist probably knows how important it is to have a good shoe. There’s nothing quite like descending a mountain on a hot summer day, feeling the air as it flows through the holes of your aerated shoes. But while proper air circulation is necessary for the heat, it is certainly unwanted in the cold. What’s worse than cold feet?
Instead of investing in an additional pair of shoes without perforation, a pair of quality shoe covers is probably all you need. Lightweight, insulated, and easy to layer, shoe or toe covers offer an easy fix for a fraction of the cost. Simply slide them over your shoes to keep your feet warm and dry!
What About the Rest?
We’ve deemed these five items worthy of an investment, but obviously, there’s a lot more gear you’ll want to pick up. Or, maybe you want the items listed above with your own design or logo for your team, club, office, or event. Call us at (866) 359-4796 to ask any questions or to talk through the custom order process.