If you’re new to cycling, it can seem as if there’s a dazzling array of equipment that you need to purchase before you can begin. However, just like running
, it’s possible to start off simply with just a few basics.
Most people learnt to ride a bike as a child and if you’re physically fit, it’s tempting to jump on and challenge yourself right away. Don’t be tempted to do too much, too soon - you’ll quickly discover that cycling uses completely different muscles and if you overdo it, you’ll be aching and stiff the next day! Begin with just a couple of miles and your endurance will quickly build. Before you know it, you’ll be cycling like you belong in Tour de France!
The right clothing
If you don’t fancy slipping into the tight and shiny cycling gear that the pros wear, the good news is that it’s not essential. You can wear whatever you want but here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable:
Don’t wear loose clothing - it will flap around in the breeze and could get caught up
Layer up; even if it feels cold when you first head out you’ll soon feel warm
Where possible, choose sportswear that wicks moisture away - this prevents painful chafing
Wear bright colours, even during the daytime. Cycles can be hard for cars to see from certain angles and making sure you stand out gives you the best possible chance.
Cycling without wearing a helmet is simply insane; even the smallest tumble could result in a serious head injury if you’re not protected. It’s also a good idea to wear gloves. Any gloves will suffice as the idea is to protect your palms if you fall off but specialist cycling gloves give you better grip and also act as shock-absorbers too.
You can build up the accessories as you become more experienced and our military discounts can help you to save money on the cost. However, there are just a few things that you should have from the start:
A drinks bottle - this should attach to your bike
A portable pump - if you get a slow puncture this will be invaluable
A repair kit; a few simple items such as a multi-tool, inner tube and tyre levers are a good start.