Are you new to cycling and unsure if or what cycling gear you need for having fun on two wheels? If you answered yes, then this beginner’s guide is for you.
To get the most from your bike ride you’ll require some key pieces of equipment. Before anything else, always buy a helmet. The Road Safety Authority of Ireland recommends that both a helmet and hi-vis clothing be worn by cyclists. Here are some of The Edge Sports Shop tips on how to choose the best cycling gear.
How To Choose A Bike Helmet
Cycling is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air while also getting some exercise. It’s essential to have a good helmet when cycling, no matter your level of experience. A helmet is the most important piece of safety kit. Make sure to find one that fits snugly and meets safety standards.
When choosing a bike helmet, there are several factors to consider. First, make sure the helmet fits appropriately by measuring your head circumference and selecting the right size. If you are between two helmet sizes, always opt for the larger size.
Also, look for a helmet that matches your style of riding. Road bike helmets are designed for road cycling, while mountain bike helmets are designed for off-road cycling. It is also important to look for a helmet with an adjustable dial for a better fit.
When it comes to the inside of a helmet, choose what you find most comfortable and reliable. Nearly all helmets have vents to keep you cool as you ride, but some also have breathable padding.
Lastly, pay attention to the straps of the helmet. Make sure the straps adjust comfortably to fit your physique. To test that the buckled chinstrap is tight enough, open your mouth halfway. When you do this the helmet should press down on the top of your head as you do.
Helmets that come with MIPS is also advisable, if you’re willing to spend a little more. The results are in, and helmets equipped with MIPS give you added protection.
How To Choose A Bicycle
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of buying your own bike when you officially have the cycling bug. Choosing the right bicycle for your needs is an important decision. It’s tempting to go for the cool bike but we recommend considering the bike’s purpose, budget, and brand too.
Bikes for Fitness
For fitness, a road bike is a good option as it is lightweight and designed for speed. Mountain bikes are also a good choice for fitness, as they are designed for off-road riding and provide a more comfortable ride. If you plan to do a little of both, then a hybrid may be more suitable.
Bikes for Utility
For utility, a hybrid bike is a good option as it combines the features of a road bike and a mountain bike. If you are touring far and often, you might like the added assistance of an electric bike.
Bikes for Commuting
For commuting, a city bike is the best choice as it is designed for comfort and convenience. That is of course unless you plan to commute cross country, in which case opt for something sturdier such as a hybrid, mountain or gravel bike.
When it comes to budget, it is important to consider the quality of the components, as well as the price. Higher quality bike components will last longer and provide a better ride. By paying less, you may find that you need to replace parts more often. It is also important to research the brand’s reputation, quality of customer service, and warranty information.
Choosing The Right Size Bike
Finally, it’s important to consider your height, inseam length, and ape index when choosing the right size bike. An ape index is the difference in measurement between your height and arm span. There are plenty of online calculators to help work out your ape index.
How To Choose A Bike Lights & Reflective Gear
For nighttime or low-light environments, having lights and reflective gear can help make you more visible to other road users. Ideally, it’s best to always wear reflective gear when cycling, day or night.
When choosing bike lights and reflective gear, it is important to consider:
- the type of light,
- the brightness,
- the battery life of lights,
- the sturdiness of the light attachment.
Front lights should be high-output lighting systems so you can see ahead of you. Rear lights should be bright and have a blinking option to help other road users see you. Take the brightness of the light into account too. Generally, the brighter the light, the better. Look for lights with good battery life or a quick and easy charging method.
In addition to lights, reflective gear is also important for visibility. Simply put, the easier you are to see, the safer you are on the road. Reflective gear can be used to supplement bike lights, but not replace them. In our bike range, you will find bike vests, jackets, helmets, and more, all with reflective qualities.
How To Choose Good Quality Cycling Clothes
When it comes to choosing quality clothes for cycling, opt for lightweight, breathable clothing for comfort. On longer rides, remember to take into account the weather conditions. Especially when cycling in Ireland. Having some lightweight and waterproof layers in a small pannier bag is a good habit to get into.
Good quality cycling clothes are an important investment for any cyclist’s wardrobe. Cycling clothes are designed to make you more comfortable and even help keep you safe. To ensure you get the best quality cycling clothing, there are a few key things to look for.
Firstly, look for cycling shorts and jerseys made from nylon or lycra type fabric. These stretchy materials will help to cushion your seat and provide a more comfortable ride. Bib shorts are also a good option as they have built-in braces for extra support. They are usually preferred by racing enthusiasts but are suitable for all cyclists. A jersey with a full-length zip on the front is a good choice, as this will allow you to adjust your temperature while riding. A stand-up collar is also beneficial as it will help shade your neck from the sun. Wearing sunscreen is advisable also.
When it comes to brands, there are many reputable companies that produce quality cycling clothing. Pearl Izumi is a greener choice as they focus on sustainability. Santini is another popular brand, as they have become one of the world’s top manufacturers of premium road cycling clothing. We stock these and other great brands online and in-store in a range offering great value for money.
Finally, it is important to remember that cycling clothing should fit snugly, but not too tight. This will ensure that you are comfortable while riding and that your clothing does not restrict your movement.
Armed with the right cycling gear, you’ll be on the road and ready for your next adventure in no time.
The Health Benefits of Cycling
Cycling offers a variety of health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health. After a while, you will also notice you have increased muscle strength, and improved balance and coordination.
Cycling is also proven to help improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, and increasing self-esteem. It can also help reduce the risk of many serious conditions and extend lifespan.
If you need any advice for choosing the best cycling gear, please contact our customer service team in Cork.