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  1. #1
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    Newbie - After the bikes, helmets, and bike rack, what else do we need?

    Hello All,

    My wife and I just purchased two bikes, helmets, and a bike rack for the car.

    We are new to this, so what else does the recreational rider (a few weekend rides per month) need?

    Thanks in advance!

    Mike.

  2. #2
    Senior Member kerk's Avatar
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    Speedometers, water bottles, tire tools, extra inner tubes, behind the seat wedge bag for starters.
    2011 Raleigh International
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    Proud owner of all three colors made! Orange, Blue , Yellow .

  3. #3
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    In this order of importance:
    cell phone
    tube, tire levers, pump/inflator
    gloves
    bike shorts
    bike computer
    bike jersery
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

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

  4. #4
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    Like the others said, we we buy a new bike I usually do the same routine:

    New seat (almost always)
    Computer (CatEye Mity 8)
    Bottle cages (We have lots of bottles)
    Seat bag (with multi tool, spare tube, tire levers, and patch kit)
    Some sort of frame or mini pump

    For the rider I like:

    Padded Bike Shorts (I think Performance Elite are the best value)
    Jerseys (if you like, keep you cool and nice to wear when riding)
    Gloves (I've always wear gloves and get a new pair every year)

    Other things that can come in handy:

    A nice set of hex wrenches
    Clipless petals and bike shoes (my wife finally switched this year)
    Blinking lights for early morning rides
    Cell phone holder
    Camelbak to carry lots of water

    Like any other hobby there are plenty of things to buy, and I've bought a lot over the years. Since I've bought road bike this year, I've been more into the jerserys and shorts, but each bike needs to be outfitted so if you flat or have a simple repair you'll be able to fix it and be on your way.

    John
    Time to Ride...

  5. #5
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    Don't forget a good lock and those blinking lights for when it gets dark. Maybe a light. I defintely would get a computer for milage. The computer can be had for only another 20-30 bucks unless you need something extra fancy.

  6. #6
    But Getting Smaller Bigmark's Avatar
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    On my cycling page I have a breakdown of what I carry as well as pictures.
    Wedge bag:
    I have the 4 hex wrenches my bike uses
    I have a small adjustable wrench
    I have two metric wrenches 13/15 and 14/16 mm
    I have a razor knife in case I need to make a boot
    I have tire levers
    I have a glueless patch kit
    I have a 4 way screw driver
    I have a chain tool
    I have a spoke wrench

    In the handlebar bag:
    I have a spare tube
    I have part of an old tire (to use as a boot)
    I have my cell phone
    I have an emergency master link
    I have a small first aid kit
    I have my wallet
    I have my keys
    I have my lock
    I have a power bar (mmmmmmmm)

    On the bike:
    I have an emergency pump
    I have 2 water bottles
    I have my cyclometer
    I have a T that carries my reflector and LED light under my handlebar bag
    I have a red LED light on my seat post.

    This may seem like a lot, but I have what I need, and I don’t worry about being out where there is no one to help.
    ~~"Get on your bikes and ride!"~~
    Working to be JustMark

  7. #7
    Good Enough ginger green's Avatar
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    I try to think of these in the following categories

    Safety
    Repairs
    Bling

    Kind of like personal financial planning. Buy slowly and buy quality. Sometimes delaying a purchase can save you lots of money. Just because we can buy all the stuff, does not mean you need it.

  8. #8
    primum non nocere Puppypaws's Avatar
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    I cant tell where you live, but around here it is too hot to ride in the sun. My hubby and I got lights that have allowed us to keep up our routine and ride safely at dusk.

    I realize Wallmart is not "cool", but they sell the a set of front/back lights that can shine solidly or blinking for about $15. Bell is the manufacturer. They easily install on your bike without tools. Remember to pick up the batteries for the lights too. (AA in front, AAA in back.)

  9. #9
    primum non nocere Puppypaws's Avatar
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    Oh, and Wallmart sells a little Allen wrench set for 88 cents!

  10. #10
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Don't get all those hex wrench sets and screwdrivers and spoke wrenches and Swiss army knife and .....
    Just get something like a Topeak multi-tool. They're available at bike shops and online retailers.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Year-round cyclist
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    After the bikes... I would say that bikes come incomplete and that you would need:
    – fenders (not to get dirty);
    – rear rack(s) and a set of panniers, or some kind of containers to carry around your stuff;
    – bottle cages and water bottles (although you could put the bottles in the aforementioned panniers, cages are more practical);
    – headlight and taillight.

    A rearview mirror is a very good safety feature and a helmet is a good protection feature. In my opinion, a car rack is unwelcome because without one, you are more likely to use your bikes to explore the neighbourhood first.
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

  12. #12
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Hmm...assuming recreational rider, I'm also going to assume you are just out for a nice ride, not trying to carry much. So this is what I think you NEED:

    Water bottle cages & water bottles (hydration is muy importante), seat-bag (to carry the following), spare tube, tire levers, pump or CO2 cartridges, know-how to change a tire (After all tools do no good if you don't know how to use them).

    Nice to haves:

    Multi-tool (to make adjustments en-route), cyclocomputer (for speed/distance), rack/trunk-bag (for extra food/drink/clothing if doing a long ride or going on a picnic), cycling specific clothing (or at least don't wear cotton as it gets soaked and you get uncomfortable if its hot out or you are pushing the pace a bit), kick-stands (this is nice to have on recreational bikes), Locks (in case you want to leave the bikes outside while you go in a shop for a coffee etc.)

    Good if you ever get more into transportational cycling:

    Fenders (invaluable in rain for keeping you & the bike clean. If your recreational cycling includes rain, move this to the nice to have category), Cycling shoes/pedals (keeps your feet on the pedals if you want to pedal at a faster cadence and gives confidence to stand up and hammer to get through intersections or up hills).

  13. #13
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    for the recreational ride, all you really need is the tools necessary to change a flat, and the time necessary to ride the thing.

    bring water accordingly.

  14. #14
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevo
    for the recreational ride, all you really need is the tools necessary to change a flat, and the time necessary to ride the thing.

    bring water accordingly.
    Best advice I have seen yet in this thread. You are just starting and there is no need to go into accessory shock buying stuff that more 'seasoned' riders think of as bare necessities right off the bat.

    My recommendations:

    1. water cage and bottles - Polars are insulated, which you might appreciate.
    2. a handlebar, frame or under seat bag to store keys, wallet/id, cell phone, stuff, tools, munchies, etc.

    That is enough to go out and enjoy a ride in the neighborhood or the local bike path. Tools, tire levers, patch kit, frame pump, spare tube, etc. are good to have, but only if you can use them! IMHO both the tools and learning to do basic bike maintenance is highly recommended, but should not stop you from enjoying your bikes now. Don't forget helmets, if you feel the need to wear one.

    From there, if you become a regular cyclist, you will find gobs and gobs of stuff that you will want to have and spend money on including; chamois-padded shorts or undies, rain gear, jerseys, shoes, clipless pedals, racks, panniers, lights, cyclocomputer, better components, a better bike, better stuff, more stuff, different stuff, OMG it never ends!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by chipcom; 09-20-05 at 09:17 PM.

  15. #15
    RRZ
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    Water and Cellphone.

    If you're not going far from home, you don't need repair tools...assuming you can call someone on your cell phone to pick you up.

  16. #16
    Shaun
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    OMG it never ends!!!!!!!!!
    How very, very true.

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    In this order of importance:
    cell phone
    tube, tire levers, pump/inflator
    gloves
    bike shorts
    bike computer
    bike jersery
    Ditch the cell phone. It's really not necessary. People existed for thousands of years without them and yet managed to go all over the planet and come home again.

    Add: 1. Water carrier of some kind (probably the most important thing to carry) This can be water bottles (carry 2) or a Camelbak (my choice for rides longer than 10 miles)
    2. Patch kit
    3. Rack and trunk bag on the back of the bike for carrying stuff (food, extra clothes, beer, wine, whatever)
    4. A comprehensive map of your area so that you can explore 'cause that's what bicycle riding is all about!
    5. A dream location you want to cycle to or at.

    Now go ride!
    Stuart Black
    Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
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    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  18. #18
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    Gloves may seem like a "nice to have" but if you take a fall even at low speed, the first thing to hit the ground is usually your hand. Taking the skin of your hands is no joke, they take months to heal. Gloves protect the skin of your hands and also provide some protection against vibration damage when you ride.
    I never ride without them.

  19. #19
    CannondaleGrl
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    I usually carry water. I don't carry flat changing equipment on short trails because I'll just push it back to the car. And a cell phone for a ride home if I get a flat on longer rides. So far, so good. I did invest in a little cycling computer because it's fun to know how far, how fast, how many calories, etc...

  20. #20
    Senior Member sggoodri's Avatar
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    As they say in the Hummer ad, "need" is a subjective term.

    You can add your equipment gradually as you enjoy starting cycling. The more you ride, the easier it is to justify, at least emotionally, the extra expenditures.

    The first thing you will probably find essential is a way to re-inflate your tires, at least at home, if not on your ride. I recommend at least a sturdy floor pump with a pressure gauge built in.

    If you will ever ride in darkness, you need a white front light (this is the law) and a red rear light (which is much safer than the tiny red reflectors that come with the bike). The LED headlamps and combo kits designed for emergencies and short trips at slow speed are quite affordable these days.

    A spare tube and a patch kit are a smart and affordable investment. Plastic tire spoons are also pretty cheap. But if you keep your tires properly inflated and stay out of the glass and debris on the edge of the road you will probably go a very long way before ever getting a flat out on a ride.

    A multi-tool with common metric hex wrench sizes will eventually prove useful for adjustments and repairs at home. Only once or twice have I ever needed these tools on my rides, but I carry a very compact set on my bike.

    Bike shorts and a non-cotton shirt will make cycling more comfortable, especially in the heat.

    Some storebought beverages fit in a bottle cage, but you will eventually prefer a bike-specific water bottle that fits best and is easy to drink with one hand while pedaling.

    -Steve

  21. #21
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    On water bottles, if you buy Ice Mountain water in the 24 oz sports bottle, it fits nicely into almost all bottle cages, and a 24 pack at Sam's Club costs about $5. You can refill if desired, or carry 2, and throw out 1 after riding halfway to lighten the load for the ride home.

    It's good to be able to repair a flat tire, and maybe tighten a few things, but otherwise? The likelihood something else will break while riding around town, to the point of rendering the bike rideable is pretty low, and do you know how to repair a broken chain anyway?

    You can buy a kit that has 2 tire levels, a few glueless patches, and a couple of itsey, bitsey C02 cartridges that will inflate a few tires so you don't have to carry a pump. This will fix most flats, the whole thing fits into a tiny little case, and you can buy one at Sports Authority for under $20.

    The only other tool you really need for emergency repairs is a little "multitool"--such as the Topeak described in a previous post. A small one will at least tight up a loose seat (so you don't have to ride home standing on your pedals!), loose handlebars, etc. I got mine also at Sports Authority for under $10.

    Then, you should also get a bag to carry these items, either one under the seat, handlebars, or a rack that attaches either to the seat post or to the back frame.

    To me, everything else is nice, but not essential.

    Fenders? Maybe you might get a little dirty, but then again, maybe not, and if you have a road bike, fenders won't fit!

    Panniers? Gee, I've ridden on 2 week trips and never had the need. Too much weight. Are you planning on carrying a tent and sleeping bags? For overnight trips, credit cards and hotels!

    Pump? CO2 cartridges are much smaller, cheaper, work just fine, and have you ever tried to pump 100 pounds into a tire by hand?

    Map? Plan out your route and print out 1 page using your computer and "Mapquest".

    Lights? Only if you're traveling at night.

    Cycling computer? Nice, but not necessary. To me, a compass is more useful.

    Biking clothes? I just don't like them and wear my gym shorts.

    Of course, to each his own.

  22. #22
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ineedhelp
    Pump? CO2 cartridges are much smaller, cheaper, work just fine, and have you ever tried to pump 100 pounds into a tire by hand?
    I pump the Armadillos on my OCR to 120, with my Road Morph. For me, it's actually easier than with my floor pump and I don't see the logic of avoiding physical labor pumping just so i can continue the physical labor of riding. Actually, I consider fixing flats and pumping tires as part of the whole 'package' of cycling.

    How are cartridges cheaper? One cartridge, one flat, while the pump lasts for years of flats using some of those rare remaining things that are free - air and sweat.;-)
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  23. #23
    Senior Member Fibber's Avatar
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    Yep, everyone has an opinion, so why not add mine? I am a casual rider with my kids (one on her own, other in a trailer). We rarely are so far 'out there' that we couldn't get some help if needed, so I travel "light to moderate". But being an engineer and an eagle scout makes it hard sometimes to let go and just ride without worry!

    Hitch rack for the Subaru Outback.

    Gloves for hand protection for me and my big kid.
    Cages and water bottles.
    Bell/horn
    Basic functions bike computer
    Bag under my seat with tire levers and glueless patches, multi-tool, Master combo lock and coiled cable chain, wallet & keys.
    No pumps - figured we can bum a pump off of one of you other well equipped riders, if necessary!
    Cell phone (to call for tire and tube delivery, if necessary!)

    As I sometimes ride short solo runs at dusk or early evening, I can clip on a handlebar Astro-5 NiMH headlamp, and multi-mode flashing LED rear.

    I am starting to look at and consider padded bike shorts.

    Remember, accessorizing is half the fun!!!

    Steve

  24. #24
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    what type do you recommend for carrying stuff in. Are there good examples out there on the web. Should I just buy something at the LBS I bought the bike or search for something off the web.

    Also about the lights. I bought the LED type at the LBS not knowing what to get. Is was like 20-30 dollar Giant type with five LEDs. Should I get something bigger and brighter for night travel and if so, any recommendations I can look at on the web.

    Thanks for the help. I am really enjoying my bike and need something to carry my stuff with. I also am not sure if that LED light is enough for night riding. I do have a blinking red light on the back and I do wear one of those reflective orange tops when I ride at night.

  25. #25
    sdr
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    Misanthropic Miscreant sdr's Avatar
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    murph,

    here is the link to a site that manufactures a great line of rack packs, panniers, bags, etc.

    http://www.jandd.com/bikes.asp

    i have the "rear rack pack economy" on my bike to carry my lock, bungees, maps, keys, and any number of other small items.

    commuting to work everyday on my bike, i'd be lost without it.

    check it out.

    *sdr*
    “You must be the change that you wish to see in the world” Gandhi

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