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Buying a bike 1, 2, 3. (3 of 3)

Home / Equipment and Set-Up : The Bike

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Article posted: 01/05/2013

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Step 3 - Accessories

You’ve got your bike, so now you need a few accessories before you hit the road and start logging up the miles on the British Cycling Sportive Training Plan. To keep riding throughout the year, you’ll also need to think about clothing but that’s covered in a separate articles in the Insight Zone.

Lights

You’ll need a powerful front light to give you a presence on the road when riding at night and to light the way ahead. A decent light will cost around a £100 but is well worth it as it will light up the road for you to see potholes of you and catch the eye of other road users. You’ll also need a rear facing red light, again the brighter the better. It’s also worth considering additional lighting on your person to increase visibility, especially from the sides.

Mudguards

Will keep chilling water off your backside and feet, protect your bike from corrosive salt and make you far more popular if you ride in a group. Even if your bike doesn’t have dedicated mudguard drillings there are numerous clip-on products that’ll fit any bike. You can ditch them on sportive day but, for spring, autumn and winter training, they’re a must have.

Panniers/Racks

If you’ll be using your bike for commuting, carrying all your kit in a rucksack can be uncomfortable and, if it affects your bike’s handling and stability, dangerous. Panniers spread the load and allow you to concentrate on riding. If you know you will be commuting, look for a frame with drillings for a rack and factor the price for this an panniers into your budget. There are rack systems available that utilise the seat-post but their load capabilities are often limited.

Helmet

Helmets are not something which you should save money on. They really can save your life and shouldn’t be skimped on. You’re far more likely to wear a helmet that looks good, is comfortable and is lightweight.

With crashes, placing your helmet down to quick or just wear and tear your helmet could develop a crack. Some of the high end brands do a crash or crack replacement service, replacing your helmet free charge or for a small charge. Check your helmet regularly for damage and, if necessary, replace it.

Pedals

It might come as a shock but the majority of bike come without pedals. We’d encourage you to invest in clip-less pedals and compatible shoes. With this set-up your shoes clip into your pedals using a system similar to ski bindings. It’s not nearly as scary as it sounds, takes no time at all to get use to, is perfectly safe and has significant performance benefits.

Tools and tubes

You should be independent on every ride and have the kit and knowledge to deal with minor mechanical issues and punctures. This means carrying a decent multi-tool, tyre levers, pump and a couple of spare inner tubes. This can be quite a lot to pack into your jersey pockets so, having it all stashed in a small saddlebag that you leave on the bike, is a good plan.

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