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Beginners gadgets

Old 06-15-17, 10:59 AM
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TheFitAdventure
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Beginners gadgets

Any advice on what I should be purchasing for my gadgets as a beginner to road cycling?
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Old 06-15-17, 11:03 AM
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I like simple bike computers. helps me gauge my effort during the ride & let's me know how far I am from home or my car
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Old 06-15-17, 12:12 PM
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Bright front and rear flashers and a mirror are the only things I consider to be mandatory, for me.
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Old 06-15-17, 01:11 PM
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Water bottle and cage. At least one, two if you ride long distances between refill stops. Polar and Camelbak insulated bottles are both good, just with different spouts. In summer either freeze half a bottle of water and fill with water before you go, or use half ice and half water. My 24 oz insulated bottles keep the water at least tepid by the end of a 20 mile ride. My non-insulated cheaper bottles get unpleasantly hot quickly even with ice, so I drink those first. In summer I try to drink at least an ounce per mile. If my 24 oz bottle still has water after a 20 mile ride, I'm doing it wrong.

Basic flat repair kit. My road bike has a Serfas Speed Bag saddle bag with Lezyne self sticking patches, a set of plastic tire levers, a multi-tool, and occasionally a couple other tools if I'm making adjustments to the saddle, stem/handlebar or derailers along the way.

Air pump or CO2 inflator. I carry a Topeak Road Rocket HP mini-pump. Probably the minimum pump that's adequate for high pressure road bikes and moderate pressure hybrids. Costs only $25. Lezyne mini-pumps are excellent too. If you go for a larger pump there are at least a dozen good choices.

The one day you go without the pump and flat repair kit is the day you'll have a flat.

Helmet. "Road" helmets with lots of vents are comfortable and according to some tests offer better crash resistance than full coverage Bern and similar helmets popular with skateboarders and BMXers. I got a Bell Solar from Nashbar for $20 in 2015. Great helmet for the money. Spending more will get full plastic protective covering over the "styrofoam" material on the back of the helmet to protect from dings and dents. Spending a little more than that will get a MIPS system (Google it). But any helmet is better than none, as far as my own noggin is concerned. Opinions differ.

Gloves -- for comfort, protection from road rash and sunburn. For hot Texas summers I'm liking the Louis Garneau summer weight gloves I got last year. Very lightweight, faux-leather on wear points, tough mesh fabric elsewhere, washable and remarkably durable for such lightweight gloves.

Mirror. I use a Take-A-Look mirror mounted to my helmet, but there are other good brands. I also use Mirrycles on my hybrid bikes' handlebars. I know some folks who use bar-end mirrors on their road bike drop bars. Haven't tried 'em yet but might eventually. Years ago I used a wrist mirror -- a typical wide angle coverage type mirror attached to an elastic band that went over the back of my hand. Those are still available and work well.

Front and rear lights. There are too many to list here. Check some reviews and owner comments.

Cycling apps for your smart phone. I use Strava (free version), Wahoo Fitness (free) and Cyclemeter (paid version). All are good. Helps me track routes I want to ride again, and those I want to avoid repeating. Gives me an idea of my fitness progress. I set 'em and forget 'em until after the ride -- I don't leave the display running during a ride because it just wastes battery charge and the speedometer always lags.

If you'd like a real time speedometer, there are many inexpensive basic bike computers around, for $10 on up.

Emergency contact info -- in your wallet, a pocket (inside a ziplock baggie is better since we get sweaty), a Road ID, etc. My phone has contact info but in an emergency these might be overlooked, or you might get separated from your phone. I always carry a prepaid flip phone on my body as well since the smart phone is usually on the bike.

First aid kit. Just basic stuff, including ibuprofen, aspirin, etc., for pain -- if you crash and crunch your ribs, etc., it can help ease the long ride home. Maybe some sunscreen wipes and insect repellant, especially if you're in mosquito and tick infested areas. Glukos tablets for quick energy if you're prone to low blood sugar (I am). Snack bars or gels.

Or, if you can afford it, a AAA roadside service for cyclists, or call Uber or Lyft. Seriously, I know folks who do this in case of problems along the ride.
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Old 06-15-17, 02:31 PM
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Agree on the water bottle, pump and tube(s), and gloves. Should have had those on my list to start with.

If you have no family or friends to bail you out and your ride is significant (5 miles or more) then the roadside service is a good idea. For 5 miles, meh, if the bike dies, I'll just carry it.
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Old 06-15-17, 03:19 PM
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canklecat pretty much covers it. Like all of us, you'll soon have more than enough gadgets. The most important thing is ride, ride and ride.
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