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Other Gear to Research & Buy

Lights are essential regardless of what bike you get - no one wants to be hit by a car! Ideally, every bike should have a front (white) and rear (red) light for riding when the sun isn’t out, or in a constant blink mode to give extra visibility.

Saddlebags with repair kits are essential for the inevitable tire puncture that will occur at some point in your cycling career. Typically, these will contain a spare tube, pump or CO2 to re-inflate the tire, and possibly snacks or extra layers.

Bike Computers (or, phone mounts) are convenient for navigating unfamiliar routes or tracking your activity for fitness app’s. Dedicated cycling computers collect data from various sensors (more on those below), have pre-downloaded maps for navigation, and can display stats such as speed, gradient, distance traveled, and time of day.

Sensors collect data from your bike and display it on a bike computer for real-time ride adjustment. A cadence meter tracks how many rotations per minute you are pedaling, which can indicate if you are in the proper gear. A heart rate monitor can be worn as either a strap on your chest or as a fitness watch, and gives an indication of how hard you are pushing yourself. Power Meters allow serious cyclists to track instantaneous power output and ensure they are at their optimal power zone, as determined during many hours of cycling!

What do I wear?

Up top, you can start with any layers you want that keep you at the proper temperature! Most cyclists will opt to wear a specialized cycling jersey as part of their cycling kit. These are form-fitting to minimize flapping in the wind, and have extra pockets in the back for snacks and cell phones to fit securely. Arm warmers can be worn and removed mid-ride, and rain jackets pack down to carry as needed. Winter clothing usually consists of a base layer, mid-layer for warmth, and possibly an outer shell for wind or rain blocking.

Arguably, the more important gear is aimed at keeping your rear-end comfortable: padded shorts or bibs! Bike saddles usually have limited (or, no) padding by design, since every rider will have different preferences. The pad is called a chamois (pronounced “shammy”) that is sewn into the shorts or bibs. Shorts are nice for versatility and their lower cost, while bibs are typically more secure for longer rides. As always, rider preference is essential while selecting between the hundreds of options. You can select from a wide range of shorts or bibs at any local bike shop or specialty sports store. 

Regardless of which kit you choose, be sure to look for sales or deals with our wonderful Sponsors to maximize your value!

More about bike maintenance

If you're dying to just learn more about bikes, bike maintenance, and more, check out the Global Triathlon Network Youtube channel!

Golden Gate Triathlon Club is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization.

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