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  1. #1
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    What Does a New Enthusiast Need After He Gets a Bike???

    OK, quick summary: I just got a used Specialized Tricross Comp for light trails and road riding, here in Chicagoland. Being a new rider I have nothing in the way of clothing and accessories. Rather than buying stuff one at a time off ebay or CL or at a store, I thought I should get a list together of everything I will need to really get the most out of riding. In terms of clothes, I have lots of wicking running gear (Hind Drylete tights and long sleeve tops, UnderArmour tops and bottoms, Hind Arctic Drylete top, etc.).

    The only thing I have for the bike is an old tool kit that fits under the seat. Here's what I *think* I need. Please offer any advice of what to get and/or where to get it. I don't really want to spend as much on clothing and accessories as I did on my bike.

    1) Bike pump
    2) water bottle/holder
    3) shoes
    4) clipless pedals
    5) spare tube
    6) gloves
    7) biking jacket to go over wicking top on cold days
    8) some kinda lube for keeping the drivetrain in tiptop condition

    So, do I really need all this stuff? I don't really feel the need to *look* like a professional rider (hence no biking jerseys on my list), but I want to be comfortable and get decent stuff so I don't have to upgrade in a year. Any advice on specific products would be appreciated. I don't mind scanning ebay for stuff and slowly accumulating what I need, and also don't mind getting last year's model of water bottle with slightly less carbon fiber and saving a bit of dough that way.

    Thanks for any ideas. I really like this forum in my brief time here!

    PS -- I did get a CatEye Micro Wireless computer last week which I really like
    Last edited by Chiboy; 10-26-07 at 11:08 PM. Reason: typo
    2006 Specialized Tricross Comp

    new to biking....(cue Don Adams voice)....and loving it

  2. #2
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    IMO, order of importance:

    Helmet
    cell phone
    Spare tube, tire tools, pump, and a way to carry them
    gloves
    floor pump
    bike shorts
    Ability to fix said bike
    mini tool kit
    minimal tool kit for your "shop"
    jersery
    cool/cold weather clothing as needed
    computer

    To answer your signature line, I used double sided SPD type pedals and MTB shoes when I switched from toe-clips and straps. Now I use single sided Look road pedals.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  3. #3
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    Add the Take A look mirror to your list. It could save your life.

  4. #4
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    Your list is pretty good right there. Having a spare tube with you at all times is invaluable. Get a decent floor pump, don't worry about a portable one unless you ride alone very frequently, if weight's a concern CO2 cartridges are an option. So about $6-$12 for a spare tube, $3 for some CO2 cartridges, and probably $20 for the inflator gadget. If your fixit kit doesn't include patches and tire irons, those are handy too, another few bucks.

    Don't worry about getting carbon fiber everything, the price rises exponentially for smaller and smaller weight savings. The hard plastic water bottle cages are pretty good, still lighter than the metal cages, and will run you $12 new instead of $50.

    With respect to shoes and clipless pedals, you're going to get a different opinion from each person; if you're doing trail riding you'll probably want an MTB shoe with a recessed cleat. Lots of threads on this, my recommendation would be SPD's with dual sided cleats like DieselDan suggested, you can get in without thinking about it every time you unclip, and with many of them ride on the pedals unclipped if you feel like it; a great thing to have when you're learning to ride clipless.

    You mentioned you weren't going to buy new shorts; Even though your running shorts can wick, they won't have the chamois padding. I thought the padding was silly too, till I got them myself, and it's a pretty big difference. For 10-15 miles, no big deal to not have padding, but when the rides get longer,
    it helps me out a lot.

    Gloves are pretty individual. Some people need them, some don't. Again, length of ride matters. You don't need cycling gloves per say, there are a lot of other-sport gloves you can adopt to use for cycling, and in the winter time many people are wearing standard gloves/mittens anyway on their bike.

  5. #5
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    Depends on what you're doing.

    If you're riding around for an hour or so and not out of walking distance of your house, you don't need anything else- figure anything that happens to your bike, you just walk it home. Further out, take tools, take water.

  6. #6
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Put Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on your wheels, and you won't need to worry about carrying spare tubes or patch kits.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #7
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crast View Post
    Your list is pretty good right there.
    I agree, but one oft-forgotten item which didn't make the OP's list either is a set of tire levers. It's a silly situation to be stuck in when you have a flat, a pump, and a spare tube - but no way to get the tire off the rim. Another useful flat-related item is a patch kit. Very cheap, very light, very small, and can make a difference between walking n miles and riding n miles. (Two flats per ride are not that likely, but it does happen).

    1) Bike pump
    Definitely. Most people have two: one large floor pump for regular pumping at home, one portable one for the road. It's possible to get by only on a portable pump, but pumping tires will likely be a chore you dread, so you won't do it as often as necessary, so you'll ride on underinflated tires all the time and possibly damage your rims (not to mention lose efficiency). So I recommend two pumps. A floor pump for home and CO2 cartridges for the road are another option, but what do you do when if you run out of, or accidentally waste, them on the road?...

    Perhaps you already have a manual pump that fits a Schraeder (automobile) valve, and can go to over 100 psi. Then you DON'T need another large pump for your Presta valves. You can get a Presta-Shraeder adapter for a couple of bucks or less.

    2) water bottle/holder
    For sure.

    3) shoes
    4) clipless pedals
    Not absolutely a must per se, but dropping a couple of grand on the bike and then skimping on shoes and pedals makes no sense. It's like getting a state-of-the-art computer and running it with 64 MB of RAM. Or like buying a superexpensive stereo system and hooking it up to your laptop's speakers.

    5) spare tube
    Maybe two. Plus tire irons (levers) + patch kit + knowledge of how to actually use all of this to fix a flat.

    6) gloves
    Most of the time I ride without gloves these days, or with non-bike-specific gloves - and feel fine. But many people feel gloves are essential for comfort. Same goes for bike shorts - many swear by them and can't ride without them, while many feel just fine in non-bike-specific stuff.

    7) biking jacket to go over wicking top on cold days
    If you're going to be riding on colder days - definitely. Doesn't have to be a bike-specific jacket.

    8) some kinda lube for keeping the drivetrain in tiptop condition
    Yes. Plus some stuff to clean and degrease the drivetrain (you can't get away with just lubing it to keep it "in tiptop condition"). Also some minimal maintenance kit for your bike to keep at home. You may already have most of the stuff you need: a set of Allen keys, an adjustable wrench or a set of metric wrenches, a Phillips-head screwdriver. There are lots more other tools you may find useful, but this should be enough for routine maintenance on a new bike.

    Below are some more suggestions. You might not need all of the items below; read the comments to figure out of you do.

    Fenders and good raingear: if you ride in a cool or cold rain, you will really appreciate a set of good raingear. Can make a difference between a comfortable refreshing ride and a ride that puts you in a hospital with pneumonia (an extreme case, but you get the point, I hope). As for fenders, you'll appreciate them when riding in any rain or even after the rain when the ground is still wet. Full-coverage fenders are best.

    Lights: a must if you ride at night or dusk. An absolute must. Some people even like to run lights during the day, but if you're riding mostly on trails, it probably serves no purpose except for annoying other trail users.

    Helmet: if it's mandatory where you live and the law is enforced, definitely get it. Otherwise, it's up to you. Probably a million people on this board will tell you that if you buy only one piece of bike equipment it should be a helmet, but North American cyclists have a helmet obsession that's based on surprisingly weak evidence (considering the intensity of the obsession) and is not shared by billions of riders all over the rest of the world (with the exception of some other former British colonies such as Australia and New Zealand).
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  8. #8
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    A good set of allen wrenches goes a long way.

  9. #9
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    No one has mentioned lights yet? Head over to the Dinotte online shop and pick up two of the better lights for your bike for $200. With a front and rear light you'll be able to extend your riding times quite a bit, especially since it's getting dark much earlier nowadays and that's before daylight savings switches.

    http://store.dinottelighting.com/Product56
    http://store.dinottelighting.com/Product55

  10. #10
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiboy View Post
    So, do I really need all this stuff?
    Believe me, if you stay with this long enough, not only will you need this stuff, you'll find plenty of other stuff to spend your money on.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Without music, life would be a mistake."
    -- Friedrich Nietzsche

  11. #11
    another cat...FAB! stevesurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    IMO, order of importance:

    Helmet
    cell phone
    Spare tube, tire tools, pump, and a way to carry them
    gloves
    floor pump
    bike shorts
    Ability to fix said bike
    mini tool kit
    minimal tool kit for your "shop"
    jersery
    cool/cold weather clothing as needed
    computer

    To answer your signature line, I used double sided SPD type pedals and MTB shoes when I switched from toe-clips and straps. Now I use single sided Look road pedals.
    +1
    I would insert Clipless Pedals/Shoes before the Jersey...I've got a couple pair of Sidi's with two different cleats just so I can ride other bikes when I visit people, they are IMHO that important...

  12. #12
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    Wow, thanks for all the great ideas! Just to clarify:

    I do have a helmet (it's only a year or so old and I wear it whenever I ride) and a cell phone. The under seat tool kit has tire irons and I was reading on line how to actually use them I have all the at-home tools mentioned, as well as a small pump that plugs into a car cigarette lighter. I guess I need the adaptor for the valve (thanks!). I did know that a computer wasn't at the top of the list, but I did think they were cool and am glad I can regale my wife with "I rode 18 miles today at an average speed of 15mph. Did you know I hit 23 mph?"

    Sounds like there's a pretty long must have list!
    2006 Specialized Tricross Comp

    new to biking....(cue Don Adams voice)....and loving it

  13. #13
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    Practice switching the inner tube in the comfort of a warm home , not a cold, wet roadside.
    Gloves keep you hands warm and protect them from a skinning if you take a slide .
    On cold days you will need a good windproof and maybe a neck-warmer tube.

  14. #14
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    money

  15. #15
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    Did anyone mention an Ankle Strap? It's getting cooler out now, the strap keeps your pants out of your chain/gears. Here's a good site for other riding apparel suggestions...

    http://brgov.com/DEPT/PLANNING/bike/biketowork.htm

  16. #16
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    I'd consider some type of lock somewhere on that list, but well after a solid helmet, cellphone and other suggestions vital for a decent ride. If weight is an issue, some small cable lock, if you can put the lock someplace as you race, consider a decent U lock.

  17. #17
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    another bike...

    we all either have more than one bike, or secretly wish we did

  18. #18
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    If you truly become an enthusiast, you will soon find that the money spent on the bike pales in comparison to what you spend on all the rest of the stuff.

    Trust me on this.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Each one of your items on your list deserves its own discussion. The big plus to your list was already mentioned: helmet. You're asking if you really need all this stuff. It depends on how long you want to keep riding. I think your real question is not these litems per se. Its the commitment on an activity and how it hits your wallet.

    So then it becomes a cost/benefit thing. Running is cheaper, a few pairs of shoes per year, good socks, clothing that doesn't really do much in comparision to cycling. Running can be expensive, as you say...injuries which leads to medical costs and unpaid sick leave and the stress of going back to work knowing that there's a ton of work waiting for you.

    Now the intrinsic thing. Is biking more fun than running? Go to the Triathlon section and ask those guys what they think, what's more fun, not what's their best event. For me, its more fun than running. In my specific case, I was an ok distance runner because of my power to weight advantage. As I got older that advantage disappeared and I became just an average runner with the threat of kneee problems...a la Dr. Kerlan the Laker's orthopod (at that time...I'm old).

    On other thing. The more you ride, the more you like it. For me, I stay off the streets as much as possible and my local area allows me this luxury. Others don't.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    I would recommend a combination tool. Cooltool comes to mind, but that is just an example, not a specific recommendation over over combination tools.

    Someone already said practice changing the tires at home. Great idea. Also there is a trick to this. The label on the tire should line up with the valve stem. That way you can line the tube back up witht ehtire once they are off the rim so you can check the tire to be sure you do not still have glass or other objects in the tire that will flat you as soon as you have replaced the tube.

    >> General point, a tool is worthless unless you know how to use it, so learn that part for all tools.

    Also get a patch kit. You may never use it, or on your third ride you may run through some glass, flat both tires and miss one shard and even though you thought you were fine with 2 spare tubes you are facing your third flat in 100 yards.

    Many frame pumps are convertable, meaning you can change a few parts and it can work for schraeder or presta. That kind of pump plus a patch kit means you can help anyone with a flat. Very useful when you are riding with someone or find a damsel in distress with a setup different from yours.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    So then it becomes a cost/benefit thing. Running is cheaper, a few pairs of shoes per year, good socks, clothing that doesn't really do much in comparision to cycling. Running can be expensive, as you say...injuries which leads to medical costs and unpaid sick leave and the stress of going back to work knowing that there's a ton of work waiting for you.

    <snip>

    Now the intrinsic thing. Is biking more fun than running? Go to the Triathlon section and ask those guys what they think, what's more fun, not what's their best event.

    <snip>

    On other thing. The more you ride, the more you like it. For me, I stay off the streets as much as possible and my local area allows me this luxury. Others don't.
    Good points. Knowing me, I don't foresee giving up running -- it clears my mind, relaxes my body, and I can get a nice 4 mile workout in half an hour. But that isn't the point really. I just went for a 30 mile ride on Sunday with someone I met a week ago. 10 miles of road, 10 miles of trail, 10 miles back on the road. It was a lot of fun! I know I will enjoy biking, and I'm happy to buy a bunch of stuff. I just wanted to put together a tentative list of things I'll need right away. Now I'm deciding whether to get a bunch of stuff piecemeal on ebay or CL, or whether to take a trip to Perf. Bike and buy a bunch of stuff at once.

    I've been searching the archives, but if anyone had specific suggestions for the things on my list that would be helpful. I don't want to get something crappy that I'll need to replace in a year, but also don't want to get caught up in the carbon fiber $100 water bottle scene (gross exaggeration, my specialty).
    2006 Specialized Tricross Comp

    new to biking....(cue Don Adams voice)....and loving it

  22. #22
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Anybody mention eye protection? A good pair of shatter proof glasses, tinted for sun and clear or amber for dusk/dawn and night.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    Anybody mention eye protection? A good pair of shatter proof glasses, tinted for sun and clear or amber for dusk/dawn and night.
    Ah, something I have already from my platform tennis collection of stuff!
    2006 Specialized Tricross Comp

    new to biking....(cue Don Adams voice)....and loving it

  24. #24
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Excellent. I figured you might. Most active people already have a decent set or 4 of sunglasses.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  25. #25
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chiboy View Post
    The only thing I have for the bike is an old tool kit that fits under the seat. Here's what I *think* I need. Please offer any advice of what to get and/or where to get it. I don't really want to spend as much on clothing and accessories as I did on my bike.

    1) Bike pump
    2) water bottle/holder
    3) shoes
    4) clipless pedals
    5) spare tube
    6) gloves
    7) biking jacket to go over wicking top on cold days
    8) some kinda lube for keeping the drivetrain in tiptop condition

    So, do I really need all this stuff?
    IMO the only stuff you really need is a pump, spare tube, water and tools. everything else is optional. are you commuting? if so consider lights and racks/bags for carrying stuff. you don't need the special shoes and pedals.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

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