My friend is just getting into cycling and requested that I give him a recommended gear list with particular emphasis on preparing for winter. Below is the following essentials list I composed. I pretty much only used one online retailer for simplicity but these products can be found just about anywhere. I hope this is helpful to someone out there.
MUST HAVES FOR SAFETY
1. Light set (example: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4320
This is a great price for the set I have. I like it because I can take the rear blinker off and clip it to my jersey or pack.
2. Portable/mini pump (example:http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4361
My buddy ordered this one and I like it a lot for the price. I would not recommend this one if you are not going to get a floor pump.
3. Multi Tool (example: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4217
This is the one I use and I love it. Most repairs can be done with this tool.
4. Spare tubes: can buy locally or you can get them in bulk here for half of retail (http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/109...-Set-of-10.htm
). Otherwise, you can pick them up locally for about $4-$5.
5. Patch Kit ( you can buy this locally for about $3.00). I use the glueless but would only recommend the Park brand (every other brand I have tried has failed). I am thinking of switching to the gluey kind. I think that has better versatility and is only a little bit slower to use.
NICE TO HAVE
1. Floor pump with a gauge (you can also get mini pumps with gauges). I have a specialized air force. I recommend something like this: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=17141
. You will have to check your tires every few days if you are riding the bike so a gauge and pump is critical.
2. Glasses: I highly recommend an orange or multi lense glass that has orange or yellow lenses as well as clear. I find that I almost never use the brown lense and use the orange even in bright sun. I only wear the clear when it will get dark, so it is almost always orange or yellow, wich filters 15% of the light, but is polarized and seems to reduce glare very well. I don't like dark lenses while riding. I have this pair and love them for riding. I find I don't use them for other purposes, though. http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=
Warmth for Winter
1. Tights (Femmy, I know, but they add a lot of warmth and you don't have to spend a lot of money here. Thick running tights from Garts will work). You might kill two birds with one stone and get something that will pull you through rain/wind days and be a little warmer like a pant http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=1130
. I have a pair of pants but find them somewhat dorky feeling. They are warm, though.
2. Jacket (This is something you want to put some thought into, I have a pearl izumi and like it a lot, but prefer to wear the vest and underlayers if I can get away with it; the jacket makes me sweat. That being said, I wear the jacket a lot. Don't get waterproof breathable; get water RESISTANT/breathable. I might recommend: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=19314
because it will meet both the jacket and the vest needs and is affordable. I have never tried the convertable jackets, though. Personally, I think it would be a nice product and would love that versatility. Another nice jacket is http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=19931
for not very much money.
3. Arm/leg Warmers (not absolutely critical, but really nice to have). I have tried the cheaper brands but personally find Pearl Izumi worth the extra money. They are thicker and warmer. http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=17893
4. Underlayer: I highly recommend a polypropolyne underwear layer. Just the zip top can extend the comfortable jersey weather by 10-15 degrees before you have to wear a vest.
5. Long finger gloves: I like my specialized ones (not available online) but you could go with a pair like this one http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=18872
. As it gets colder (like now) I combine a cheap pair of uni-fit knit gloves underneath them and can go down to freezing with that combo. As it gets really cold, you will need a wind proof glove. You could just layer a leather pair over the top of the previous combo but I love gloves like these http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=19284
6. Foot coverage: I have not quite got this figured out yet. I have a pair of these that work down to freezing http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=15808
or and they are nice for rain, but for real cold, you need to either experiment with layering underneath these or go with a full neoprene bootie like this http://www.performancebike.com/shop/....cfm?SKU=17558
7. Head warmth: I recommend a bandanna until it gets cold enough to require ear coverage. I sweat a lot and it keeps it out of my eyes. A headband + bandanna or a knit hat will work after freezing or so. When it is really cold, I combine a bandanna and a light balaclava. You can get these items locally and as needed.