Buyer’s guide: five essential items for new cyclists

“After you have bought your first bike, what else do you need to get ready for first ride? Well, be completely geared up for a safe and smooth ride with biking essentials that you have to invest if you really want to get serious with this activity.”


1. Tools

Getting stuck at the roadside with nowt but fields for miles around can be a dispiriting experience, especially when there’s no mobile phone signal.

Happily, the bicycle is a simple machine, and most repairs can be made with a few easily portable tools.

Punctures are far and away the ‘mechanical’ you’re most likely to suffer, so carry an inner tube or (ideally) two, tyre levers, and a pump.

A multi-tool fitted with a selection of Allen keys, and sometimes a flat-bladed screwdriver, Torx bit, and chain link extractor is another essential piece of on-the-go maintenance equipment, and easily stowed in a jersey pocket or saddle bag.

Finally, and depending on your level of mechanical proficiency, a spare chain link (make sure its suitable for your chain) and gear cable are worth space in your mobile tool kit.


2. Clothing

Few sports require as much or as varied clothing as cycling, in the UK at least.

To simplify matters, you can bank on poor weather for nine months of the year at least, so invest in clothing that will keep you warm and dry rather than succumbing to the temptation of the sale rail and the lightweight summer team kit that inevitably appears there when sponsors change with the coming season.

While it’s possible to spend hundreds of pounds 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

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