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Old 10-16-12, 11:17 PM   #1
campngolf
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Newb in need of gift ideas for even more enjoyable rides

Took another short spin on my new bike and it was wonderful. Only about 5 miles but this was my first ride with big boy cycling shorts and I don't care how many smirks, laughs or finger pointing comes my way, I will never ride without NICE cycling shorts again. Not once did I even think about rearranging the posterior. The hands are different. I think just spending more time on the bike with help. the gloves seem comfortable.

So with a birthday and Christmas coming up soon, I need to stark building my wish list and and looking for some advice from the pie guys. Here's what I've put on the list:

- wireless cycling computer
- multi-tool (not sure how big, I mostly ride paved bike trails)
- floor pump
- co2 inflator
- arm warmers
- lightweight packable jacket
- headlight and taillight


Any advice on specific types/brands for items above?
What other thing should I add?
Anya and all suggestions are greatly appreciated.

My bike - '13 Specialized Secteur (which sure rides smoother than my previous bike....20 yr old Rockhopper
My skill level - week. If I were to ride with a group now, I'd be the guy sucking hind teet.
Luckily I live in NorCal which has pretty good year-round cycling weather, although I'm not hard core enough to go out in rain or nasty wind.


Camp
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Old 10-16-12, 11:42 PM   #2
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Nobody ever smirked about my cycling shorts except my teenage daughter, and even she has got used to them.
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Old 10-17-12, 12:13 AM   #3
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I personally would not go with the CO2 inflator but I would go with a good Frame pump. Topeak Morph series comes to mind.
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Old 10-17-12, 02:00 AM   #4
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I wear them under other shorts, still not brave enough....plus i think i got them a size too small....and yah i don't know how hard it is to inflate a road tire to 120psi but those cartridges don't seem very green to me. As they say it's not like cyclists have the greatest upper body strength, so work it and use that pump!
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Old 10-17-12, 09:44 AM   #5
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Did you buy a cheepy helmet like me?
How about a garmin?
My son still snickers at me, I think to myself It flattens my belly...lol
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Old 10-17-12, 10:04 AM   #6
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I personally would not go with the CO2 inflator but I would go with a good Frame pump. Topeak Morph series comes to mind.
I agree... you will soon tire of the CO thing. I love my Topeak pumps... so does everyone else as they are always borrowing mine...

Funny little things that are nice to have (but not necessary):

A Bento Bag. It sits on the top tube and is perfect for your phone, camera, nutrition etc.
A good pair of long fingered gloves especially for cool/cold weather riding or nights. I like anything Pearl Izumi.
Fun or nifty cycling socks. Can't have too many. Really. I have hundreds and still need more. Wool is great for winter.
A HALO band to wick away sweat from the brow. A beanie or headwrap for cold winter riding.
Toe Covers. I think Pearl makes some. At first I thought these are stupid but now love them.
Consider MTB shorts with a chamois if you don't like wearing shorts but for winter get some tights to wear under a shell.
One good wool jersey. Long sleeve tops. Actually like buying these at Target. The Champion brand of wicking fabric tops are great and wonderfully inexpensive! Maybe invest in one Craft undershirt.

PS for tools - Park makes several nice sets but frankly on the road you really need tire changers and a couple of allen wrenches. Maybe tweezers to pick out thorns or debris.

Anyway plenty of stuff to spend money on... start saving!
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Old 10-17-12, 10:38 AM   #7
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Funny little things that are nice to have (but not necessary):

A HALO band to wick away sweat from the brow. A beanie or headwrap for cold winter riding.
Toe Covers. I think Pearl makes some. At first I thought these are stupid but now love them.


Anyway plenty of stuff to spend money on... start saving!
+1 on these two, Pam. It took me almost two years before I realized they existed. In addition to the Halo band, I also use HeadSweats. Keeping the salt out of the eyes and the frost off the toes has made cycling much more enjoyable.
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Old 10-17-12, 10:55 AM   #8
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Won't give you specific recommendations, because everyone has their favorites. Most are good or excellent. But, if I were to prioritize your list, these are what, (in my opinion), you should get first.

1. A floor pump, (to check your pressure before every ride you take).
2. Headlight/taillight, (the brightest you can find/afford - for safety use, even in daytime, (on flash/strobe mode)).

Do you have an under-seat bag? In it should contain a spare tube, tire irons, patch kit, and a removable chain master link. All that will fit into the smallest bags available. Personally, I'd skip the multi tool. In fifty plus years of riding, I've never carried one ... nor ever needed one. As long as you maintain your bike properly, you won't have much need for one, (baring catastrophic events).

The other stuff on your list is nice to have, but only after a good pump and lights.

- - - -

p.s. I keep forgetting to add these to my seat bag, and curse myself every time I have to change a tube on the road. A under-seat bag should contain a set or two of disposable gloves for use when changing flats.
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Old 10-17-12, 11:17 AM   #9
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1. A floor pump, (to check your pressure before every ride you take).
Totally agree with this.
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Old 10-17-12, 12:36 PM   #10
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CO2 works just fine once you get the hang of it, so long as you get a good inflator, and it's both quicker and lighter than carrying a pump. This is the inflator I like: Portland Design Works Shiny Object Inflator. It comes with a leather cover for the CO2, so it won't freeze your fingers, but the key feature is the the threaded control.
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Old 10-17-12, 01:15 PM   #11
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Won't give you specific recommendations, because everyone has their favorites. Most are good or excellent. But, if I were to prioritize your list, these are what, (in my opinion), you should get first.

1. A floor pump, (to check your pressure before every ride you take).
2. Headlight/taillight, (the brightest you can find/afford - for safety use, even in daytime, (on flash/strobe mode)).

Do you have an under-seat bag? In it should contain a spare tube, tire irons, patch kit, and a removable chain master link. All that will fit into the smallest bags available. Personally, I'd skip the multi tool. In fifty plus years of riding, I've never carried one ... nor ever needed one. As long as you maintain your bike properly, you won't have much need for one, (baring catastrophic events).

The other stuff on your list is nice to have, but only after a good pump and lights.

- - - -

p.s. I keep forgetting to add these to my seat bag, and curse myself every time I have to change a tube on the road. A under-seat bag should contain a set or two of disposable gloves for use when changing flats.
While I don't disagree regarding the importance of a pump and lights (to put it another way, flat repair and visibility), I don't ride beyond the city limits without a chain tool. Chains break, even on well-maintained bikes and sometimes even on relatively new bikes. In fact, the drive chain on my newest tandem broke after about six hundred miles. We were forty miles from home and were thankful we had a chain tool. If we had only had spare quick links we would have been walking at least half of those miles to reach a point with cell phone coverage.
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Old 10-17-12, 02:09 PM   #12
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- wireless cycling computer

I have the Cateye Strada wireless on my road bike. Only one minor design issue. The entire computer is the button and sometimes when getting something out of my Camelbak, I have rested it on the comp and reset my trip data. Just had to learn not to do that.Otherwise it's been a great little computer. I have a Catey Micro on the tandem and that works well too. Both can be found on sale for $40 to $50 if you shop around.


- multi-tool (not sure how big, I mostly ride paved bike trails)
I prefer a multitool with a chain breaker. I don't need it to often but I'm always glad to have it. Needed it on a group ride recently when one rider (not me) went down and damaged the derailleur of the guy he fell against. Had to make an impromptu single speed out of it. My favorite is the Topeak Alien (Might be slight overkill, but it has EVERYTHING), and I also have a Park MTB-3 and a Crank Bros with my other bikes.

- floor pump
Yes, get one. I have a budget model that is ok but nothing special. Can't even recall the name.

- co2 inflator
I'm not a fan of them. I prefer a frame pump or at least a mini pump. I know there is always more air if I make a mistake or have more than one flat. I have a Zefal HP-X on my main road bike, a 30 year old Zefal HP on the tandem and Hurricane mini pumps on the others.

- arm warmers
Very handy to have and they stow in a jersey pocket. Make sure to get ones that are finished properly and stay up. (I bought a cheap pair once and they roll down and annoy me) I have several pairs of fleece lined ones from Garneau that work well.

- lightweight packable jacket
Again, very handy. The better ones have vents under the arms and/or back to allow your sweat to escape.

- headlight and taillight
I've tried a handful of flashlights and dedicated bike lights. Ended up preferring the Cygolite Expilion/Pace series for up front. All in one, very bright and good runtimes. I have a number of different tail lights and usually use more than one. DealExtreme has some unbranded versions of the Planebike Superflash for $5 (less in quantity).

When you start riding further, you might want to think about a hydration pack. Some people love them, others hate them. It's a personal preference thing, and Camelbak threads can go on longer than helmet debates do on this forum.
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Old 10-17-12, 02:25 PM   #13
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Great suggestions.

I leaning toward not going the CO2 route. Just looked at the Topeak Morphs and they look very nice.
Love the Bento Bag idea too. I already have a seat bag.
I have a 20+ yr old helmet that I will be replacing. Anything besides comfort I should be looking at?

I'm so stoked to know that it won't be socks and ties under the tree this year.
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Old 10-17-12, 03:15 PM   #14
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Another vote for the floor pump. You really need this before anything else. Get the kind that has the chuck that will inflate both presta and schraeder valves without having to change heads or use different heads or anything stupid like that. Expect it to cost around $50 for a decent one. Also, at our age, it helps if the gauge is located at or near the top of the pump, instead of at the base. And the gauge should have a moveable ring with an arrow, so you can point the arrow at your target pressure. And if you can get it in steel, rather than plastic, that's another plus.

And once you get it, you'll need to maintain it. Every year, unthread the plunger and grease the washer. A good floor pump, like any good tool, should last forever.

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Old 10-17-12, 06:43 PM   #15
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A good floor pump, like any good tool, should last forever.
Unless your kids loan your Silca pump out without permission and then forget who they gave it to.
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Old 10-17-12, 06:46 PM   #16
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Unless your kids loan your Silca pump out without permission and then forget who they gave it to.
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Old 10-17-12, 09:16 PM   #17
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I'd go a bit easy on the clothing until you figure out what works for you. Arm warmers are perfect for me since I don't need much insulation - a long sleeve jersey is something I would almost never use, same with long sleeve base. Good base layers are absolutely wonderful in both cold and warm conditions. I have a very nice craft jacket, but can only use it below 40 degrees and even then only when I'm just idling; big thing with cycling clothing is you've got to have ventilation and you should never get wet. Long finger gloves for winter, but only needed in NorCal on the coldest mornings. the list goes on and on.
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Old 10-17-12, 09:38 PM   #18
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While I don't disagree regarding the importance of a pump and lights (to put it another way, flat repair and visibility), I don't ride beyond the city limits without a chain tool. Chains break, even on well-maintained bikes and sometimes even on relatively new bikes. In fact, the drive chain on my newest tandem broke after about six hundred miles. We were forty miles from home and were thankful we had a chain tool. If we had only had spare quick links we would have been walking at least half of those miles to reach a point with cell phone coverage.
Okay. I see your point. Stopped at the LBS tonight on the way home from work that did my pro fit the other month to have them finally saw down my fork stem, as I am now comfortable with the fit. The kid wasn't there, (up north getting more fit training), but did purchase a small Park Tool chain tool that I will now keep in my saddle bag. Thanks for the reality check. Guess I've just been lucky/fortunate in never needing one.
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Old 10-18-12, 08:42 AM   #19
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Great suggestions.

I leaning toward not going the CO2 route. Just looked at the Topeak Morphs and they look very nice.
Love the Bento Bag idea too. I already have a seat bag.
I have a 20+ yr old helmet that I will be replacing. Anything besides comfort I should be looking at?

I'm so stoked to know that it won't be socks and ties under the tree this year.
Had I known your helmet was 20 years old, I would have suggested that as the first thing you replace. Helmets have a shelf life and don't really last forever. I change my out every 5 years or so (if I don't have a crash or drop the helmet first) to insure the material is at its protective best.

Helmets like saddle and shoes are very personal. All helmets sold will protect you. The more expensive a helmet the lighter and more comfortable it is to wear. People need to find the helmet that fits their head best. I like Giro helmets because they suit my noggin best but Bell, Specialized, other companies make good helmets as well. Watch for them on sale and buy a couple - that way you can trade them out on rides so they last longer (and have an extra handy in case you crash or drop your helmet).

I love my Specialized Floor pumps. I have one in the garage and I keep one in my bike carrier (ie my car). As much as I love my Topeak pack pumps its so much easier to start the floor using the floor pump first.

And I didnt add but will highly second a recommendation for a hydration pack. Again this is very personal and some people hate having them on their backs. Since I mountain bike most and have gotten use to them, I use a hydration pack now even on the road. I find it is so much easier to stay hydrated if I don't have to reach down for a water bottle; the nozzle is always right by my mouth. Plus depending on the size of your pack (I have a smaller one for road cycling) you can carry your gear in it.

Anyway it's fun to shop for bike stuff... I think I am weird, I rather shop for bike shoes then some designer heels for work!
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Old 10-18-12, 08:47 AM   #20
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I'd go a bit easy on the clothing until you figure out what works for you. Arm warmers are perfect for me since I don't need much insulation - a long sleeve jersey is something I would almost never use, same with long sleeve base. Good base layers are absolutely wonderful in both cold and warm conditions. I have a very nice craft jacket, but can only use it below 40 degrees and even then only when I'm just idling; big thing with cycling clothing is you've got to have ventilation and you should never get wet. Long finger gloves for winter, but only needed in NorCal on the coldest mornings. the list goes on and on.
This is why Target is good... they carry a line of fitness wear that is good and inexpensive so not a big investment. I used to purchase winter jerseys at $120 a pop and never wore them and now I purchase a long sleeve wicking top from Target at $20 and use it for all sorts of things. Target also now has light weight glooves for physical activities which work good for cycling and also have headbands and beanies.

I know it gets cold in No Cal so you will thank me lately for these cheap purchases!

But do invest in a nice pair of arm warmers - greatest invention ever! I like Pearl's and Defeets.
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Old 10-18-12, 09:25 AM   #21
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- wireless cycling computer: Get a Garmin, I use the 800 but any model will work well.
- multi-tool (not sure how big, I mostly ride paved bike trails) - Lots of good brands out there, I use Park Tool's version.
- floor pump - Topeak Joe Blow Pro
- co2 inflator - Insta-flate is good but I usually use a frame fit pump (Topeak) instead.
- arm warmers - Pearl Izume wool.
- lightweight packable jacket - Lots of good brands out there, I use Sugoi.
- headlight and taillight - Again, lots of good lights but I've had excellent results with NiteRider products.

Luckily I live in NorCal. Camp
Yes, very lucky you're in NorCal because you're not far away from Vacaville where the QuackCyclists have the Knoxville Double Century every year! It's my favorite double and I'm sure you'd have a wonderful time riding it. Here's a link: http://www.quackcyclists.com/

It's a 7 hour drive in either direction for me, but I ride the Knoxville Double every year!

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Old 10-18-12, 01:12 PM   #22
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I'll second the good floor pump, Topeak, Joe Blow, Blackburn, Lezyne and Bontrager are some of the good ones, I have a model with the pressure gauge and the schrader/presta head mentioned, good to have these. The arm warmers mentioned are really neat as they can be easily put on and taken off without removing the jersey.

The CO2 v. hand pump is up to you, some like the hand pump since it cannot run out of its charge as an inflator could. I use the CO2 inflator and carry 4 extra cartridges in my seat wedge, if I have over 4 flats I am making the call of shame, regardless. Use one or the other, I personally carry a tube and a patch kit in the wedge, many carry a folding tyre, too. Don't get too carried away with what you carry, it is easy to go overboard.

This list could get pretty long as we all have that inner personal list of goodies we would like to have. Hope you get several things you like and are quality made as well.

Bill
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Old 10-18-12, 01:36 PM   #23
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I'll second the good floor pump, Topeak, Joe Blow, Blackburn, Lezyne and Bontrager are some of the good ones, I have a model with the pressure gauge and the schrader/presta head mentioned, good to have these.
Serfas floor pumps also fit the bill.
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Old 10-18-12, 02:19 PM   #24
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On the helmets- I never used to have a helmet for more than 2 years before it got damaged and it got to the stage that I went and bought a spare helmet to keep in the shed for when I break the one I am wearing at the time---and then replace the broken helmet when I can. Still in that habit except I don't break them-I wear out the lining and padding in about 3 years and the new one will already be in the shed and the worn out one is kept as a spare--Till the new one wears out again.

And Cycling socks--Gotta be cycling specific socks from a good well known brand--They are superb. Never believed it till My LBS gave me a pair of their own socks to wear on a long ride. First 12 hour ride where the feet did not get sweaty and sore and have a hot spot. Don't decry socks for Christmas
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Old 10-18-12, 06:27 PM   #25
lphilpot
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FWIW,

I'm pleased with my Park PFP-5 pump: http://www.parktool.com/product/home...oor-pump-pfp-5
The extra large gauge is nice for old eyes.

I also like my Topeak Road Morph G: http://www.topeak.com/products/Pumps/RoadMorphG

I picked up a PlanetBike Blinky for the rear, and it's plenty bright.

I've got an Axoim seat wedge, but I can't locate the exact model right now. As long as you can carry tube, patches, chain tool (or spare master link), a few spare $$, tire levers, multi tool, a rag ... and what else ... then you're OK on the road.

CatEye Strada counts the miles and a couple of PolarBottle insulated 24 oz bottles rounds it out.

I also keep a strip of 3/4" x 12" double-sided Velcro wrapped around the headtube. If I carry my phone, I just keep it in the case and wrap the Velcro through the belt loop. If I take a quick ride in jeans, I wrap it around my right ankle to keep my jeans clear of the chain.

YMMV.
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