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New cycling gear for beginner

Old 01-11-17, 05:56 PM
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New cycling gear for beginner?

Abut to buy my first bike for general health and exercise.
Not using it for commuting.

New bikes come with No pedals, ringer/bell, reflectors.

Besides the basic essentials like:
1) helmet (which I still have from years ago....) do they have a 'sell by' date like motorcycle helmets which average 7yrs?
2) water bottle

what others should I consider buying?

Should I buy decent pedals with option of clip-in, did a quick search and there are ones that offer flat on one side, clip-in other
Lights....haven't even looked at those
Gloves? essential?

shoes, can I get away with regular exercise trainers?
Cycling shorts/pants? jeans is a bad idea right?

Last edited by boshk; 01-11-17 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 01-11-17, 06:05 PM
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What bike are you getting?

Since this is your first bike get some inexpensive platform pedals. Once you get comfortable on the bike you can try clipless.
Get a new helmet. I replace mine every 3 years. Most folks I know do the same.
If you want to be seen get lights (headlight and taillight). Reflectors don't work.
You'll need a floor pump to pump up your tires before each ride.
You'll need a mini pump to the with you.
Get a seat pack to carry a spare tube, multitool, patch kit, tire levers, etc.
You'll need cycling gloves, cycling shoes (road or mtn), cycling shorts, jerseys.
If you'll leave the bike unattended when out riding you'll need a lock, cable or U-lock.

And the list will go on and on and on.......
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Old 01-11-17, 06:05 PM
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Some argue otherwise, but I think lights are essential. They're pretty cheap these days and with rechargeable batteries they don't cost a lot to run.

If you want to clip in, you need bike shoes. Otherwise, wear what works for you. I need a very stiff sole because I can't seem to keep my feet flat otherwise, but many riders are fine in regular athletic shoes.

When I was a kid, I rode many miles in jeans. Now I wear bike shorts as I find them more comfortable, but you certainly don't need them.

The other thing I don't ride without is a spare tube, tire tools, and CO2 canisters to fix a flat on the road.
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Old 01-11-17, 07:05 PM
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should you crash , your hands will not get so scraped up, as badly, if there are gloves on them.
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Old 01-11-17, 08:08 PM
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From the thread title, I thought this was going to be about a new clothing line for the beginning cyclist.
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Old 01-11-17, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
should you crash , your hands will not get so scraped up, as badly, if there are gloves on them.
+1
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Old 01-11-17, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 02Giant
From the thread title, I thought this was going to be about a new clothing line for the beginning cyclist.
editted with a ?
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Old 01-11-17, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH
What bike are you getting?

Since this is your first bike get some inexpensive platform pedals. Once you get comfortable on the bike you can try clipless.
Get a new helmet. I replace mine every 3 years. Most folks I know do the same.
If you want to be seen get lights (headlight and taillight). Reflectors don't work.
You'll need a floor pump to pump up your tires before each ride.
You'll need a mini pump to the with you.
Get a seat pack to carry a spare tube, multitool, patch kit, tire levers, etc.
You'll need cycling gloves, cycling shoes (road or mtn), cycling shorts, jerseys.
If you'll leave the bike unattended when out riding you'll need a lock, cable or U-lock.

And the list will go on and on and on.......
Hybrid line, no road race, no extreme MTB, either Anyroad, Speeder or if there are suppliers, Quick CX
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Old 01-12-17, 01:21 AM
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I'm a minimalist. Here's my 2 cents.
Pedals - yep. You need 'em. Get the cheapest that you feel comfortable riding with unless you're someone who worries about efficiency vs effort and/or effort vs speed. For me, platforms with cages worked well with diamond frames though I eventually learned to use SPDs. Personally, I'll never spend over $30 on pedals again (go eBay!).

Helmet? Maybe... it's a divisive issue. Some people wouldn't ride without one on any ride... some believe it's a $$ waste. Only you can make that decision for yourself. Me? I wear one - sometimes, but usually only when required as part of RUSA or other events.

Cycling shoes? Um, not needed though they can be comfortable and "more efficient". If you're going to ride with platforms and cages, then they are less "necessary". What you do want, though, is a stiff lower/sole. Then again, thousands of people have ridden across country in 50s-70s era Converse Allstar style basketball sneakers. I wouldn't spend money on expensive shoes when starting out.

Lights? Are you going to ride at dusk/dawn or other periods of low light? If not, then this could definitely be more wasted money. Some claim they help you to be seen - unfortunately being seen doesn't preclude being hit despite having really bright lights all around. Then there are the issues batteries vs dynamo and cost/convenience vs reliability/effectiveness.

Cycling gloves? Got 'em, use them sometimes. Don't feel they are really needed. YMMV.

Pump - no need for 2. Get one that can be carried with you. This is the one area of accessories that I do recommend you don't cheap out on. I carry a mini-pump with a gauge that is small enough to fit in my jersey pocket if needed and yet can pump my tires to 110 psi. I spent about $55 on it a couple years ago.

Bike bag? Maybe. How far are you going to be riding? The farther away from your starting point, the more beneficial it might be. What do you really think you'll need to carry - emergency tools, spare tube or repair kit, what? Cell phone? Are you going to be in traditional cycling kit or casual clothes with multiple pockets? My last diamond frame bike had a rear rack and Arkel Tailrider bag stuffed to the gills... but I rarely needed much of what I carried (probably weighed 10-12 pounds loaded out - WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!!!!). Otoh, I routinely rode centuries with just a multitool, 2 water bottles mounted on my frame, and a spare tube in my back/jersey pocket. No cyclometer, no GPS, no cellphone, no extra food...
--Think about overkill vs emergencies/necessities and weight vs mass issues. Sometimes less IS more. Other times, that extra 2 pounds you lugged uphill for 80 miles makes the difference between finishing a ride and making the call of shame for a lift home.

Lastly, I ride recumbents now and, while the frame is different, the issues remain the same - overkill vs emergencies/necessities and weight vs mass.

Sorry if this seemed pedantic or condescending. It's not meant to be. You can overthink things - don't do that. Get ut and ride... let experience and/or people you meet up and ride with teach you what you need.

Last edited by dual650c; 01-12-17 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 01-12-17, 04:06 AM
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Allen key set to adjust the seat position.
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Old 01-12-17, 06:34 AM
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First check your local legislation, that'll give you a starting point. In my country helmets, lights AND reflectors are required by law for urban riding.

I'd start with platform pedals and regular shoes, as you ride more you can decide wether you want to go clipless or not.

Gloves help a lot not only in case of crashing but the padding is comfy during long rides, IMHO.

Essentials for fixing an unexpected issue: a multitool (allen keys and chain tool), spare tube (or patches), mini pump. You can carry these in a jersey pocket or a dedicated saddle bag (or backpack if you're commuting with one).

I think these are the essentials for starting. As you ride more you'll start noticing your needs and riding style and can add things accordingly, such as a water bottle, cycling computer, cycling kit, a rear rack and bags, etc.
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Old 01-12-17, 07:48 AM
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First of all it makes a big difference what kind of bike or trike you buy. Then of course, I for one recommend a helmet, some sort of a pack to carry tubes and tools. If a tadpole trike you will need clip in pedals. Other wise for a time platform pedals will be fine. Then when it comes to clothes, if it is a diamond frame bike, you may want padded shorts to protect you from the bike. How ever if you chose a recumbent, you can pretty much wear anything you want. As a bent rider I wear t-shirts, and $15 rugby shorts.
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Old 01-12-17, 08:10 AM
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Eh, start small. I wouldn't necessarily even spend money on a helmet. Just get some platform pedals, a good floor pump, a spare tube, and a set of tire levers.
If you are going to be riding farther from home, get a portable pump and some bottle cages and water bottles.

Start cheap, and buy more as you discover what you actually need.
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Old 01-12-17, 08:46 AM
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No pedals, ask them if they can put anything on there. Old demo pedals, take-offs, etc. Most shops will, then buy your upgrades from them. Offer to return these.
Get a starter tool kit (tools/pump/etc). Most shops have an offering, and a tube to match your bike. I walked my 4 day old bike for an hour to get to a Canadian tire store to fix my first flat (lesson learned).
The last bike I bought this fall. That shop offered 20% off retail on all accessories for a month. I was surprised how much I enjoyed/used this, ask them.
If you enjoy the shop, staff and experience stop in once and awhile.

Hope this helps,



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Old 01-15-17, 01:55 AM
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Bosh - I'm also went thru the "what do I need" phase in the past year. I found quite a few folks (and one LBS) that said I "had to have" a long list of gear. Not convinced of that I found a better LBS and did a lot of reading of these forums, Bicycling magazine, etc. My humble opinion (which I won't pretend is expert level):
Helmet - legally required in most places and really just a good idea with zero downside
Gloves - by your third or fourth ride (less on flat bar bikes) you'll realize how important they are. Get a good padded set and take care of them. Huge improvement in cycling enjoyment.
Bottle rack & bottle - you can probably ride an hour without drinking and be parched at the end. Putting on a rack and bottle makes short rides more enjoyable and mid range rides possible.
Tire pump - get a good standing pump with a pressure gauge. You'll use it.
And let's pause there. In my opinion you could get by with just the above equipment until you get out of the beginner stage. I did that for about 5 months of riding because I wanted to see if I'd stick with it before spending more cash. I used standard platform pedals, lightweight Merril hiking sneakers, regular workout gear (in bright colors) etc. I wasn't impressing anyone but I didn't care. I made sure I had a phone with me on all rides and someone knew I was riding. When I had one chain incident, I called someone to get me.

Once you get to the point where you commit, then you can add other gear. This is where a good LBS can be really helpful. Yes, you can save a few bucks on Amazon but the world is better if you spend your money locally. This is when you'll want to add a bag with spare tube, tire levers, patch kit, CO2 inflator, multi-tool, etc so you can do longer or unsupported rides. Adding clothing is all personal preference and riding style from there, although I think a high visibility jacket or shirt is a great start. Going further into padded bottoms, GPS units, upgraded saddles, etc are all great if your riding habits need them.
My favorite idea was to use the "things" as milestones, e.g. I wouldn't get my first cycling jacket until I could do a 10 mile ride in a certain time. Great motivational tool.
Get the basics, don't obsess, progress at your own pace and enjoy every little victory. Good luck!
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Old 01-15-17, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dual650c
Pump - no need for 2.
I couldn't disagree more. Owning just one makes your life unnecessarily unpleasant unless it's a floor pump and you use CO2 cartridges for roadside repairs (which will leave you stranded if you embed a small piece of tire belt wire in a tire which you can't find producing a slow leak in every replacement tube you try which also can't be found to patch), or it's a full sized frame pump and you use an air compressor at home.

A floor pump takes few easy strokes to get back to riding pressure from normal leakage, and 15-30 starting from zero.

A full-sized frame pump can get to 90 PSI in 90-100 strokes, but takes a lot more effort than a floor pump.

A mini-pump is a 200-300+ stroke ordeal

Best mini pumps for road cyclists - BikeRadar USA
As good as it gets:
Lezyne Road Drive Mini - Pressure at 200 strokes: 70-80psi

Pocket sized:
Axiom Blastair HPS (pocket sized and therefore bad) - Pressure at 200 strokes: 40-45psi "We reached somewhere around 45psi after 200 strokes, but even at this point the pump’s tiny locking lever was struggling to keep the chuck on the Presta valve."

Crank Brothers Sterling Short - Pressure at 200 strokes: 50-55psi "It had reached 50–55psi after 200 strokes, and had managed around 70psi after another 100. We kept going, but anything above 80psi will be a biceps-busting effort, and even 80psi left us with aching arms."

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 01-15-17 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 01-15-17, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by cj19
Helmet - legally required in most places and really just a good idea with zero downside
Very few jurisdictions in the US require helmets for adults.
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Old 01-15-17, 10:04 AM
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Just ride. The miles will tell you what needs upgrading.
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Old 01-15-17, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by boshk
Abut to buy my first bike for general health and exercise.
Not using it for commuting.

New bikes come with No pedals, ringer/bell, reflectors.

Besides the basic essentials like:
1) helmet (which I still have from years ago....) do they have a 'sell by' date like motorcycle helmets which average 7yrs?
2) water bottle

what others should I consider buying?

Should I buy decent pedals with option of clip-in, did a quick search and there are ones that offer flat on one side, clip-in other
Lights....haven't even looked at those
Gloves? essential?

shoes, can I get away with regular exercise trainers?
Cycling shorts/pants? jeans is a bad idea right?
Yes, helmets should be replaced eventually. How often is often debated. I doubt you need to replace your helmet every 2 to 3 years but if you ride a lot, and if the helmet is exposed to the elements, and sweat, etc...you might. That said, I am in the habit of buying a new helmet every couple of years, and rotating the new helmet in with the previous helmet, so at any given point, I have a new helmet that splits time with a helmet about 2 or 3 years old, and a 5 to 7 year old helmet relegated to use as a loaner in case a friend from out of town shows up and wants to go for a ride.

As to what else you need, I would break it down this way. If cycling becomes a regular activity, you will eventually get all the accessories and tools you need, if not at once, as you come to need them. So where to start?

The absolute necessities.
Pedals - Cheap platforms might work, but if you think you might go with clipless pedals eventually, a pedal like the SPD M324, with SPD on one side, platform on the other (or a similar model from Wellgo) might be a good idea. Just remember to save the cleats that come with the pedals to mount on the shoes you get down the road. These pedals are well made. I have a set of these and 2 sets of similar Wellgo pedals and they all work fine, even after 7 to 10 years of use.

Helmet - I know some don't use them, but I always do, for the last 20 plus years. Modern helmets are light, with most weighing less than 300 gms, and well ventilated. And while I am fortunate not to have sustained any blows to the head while riding, I was riding a couple of years ago with a guy who did. Slow speed crash, broke the guy's helmet, and he went to the hospital, but the helmet might have saved his life.

Eyewear - You don't need cycling specific eye protection, but some kind of eye protection is good to keep dirt, dust, bugs, and debris out of your eyes, as well as to protect from the sun. After going years with whatever cheap sunglasses I had around, I eventually bought some photochromatic sunglasses from Tifosi, which, IMO are very good and more reasonable than some high end cycling sunglasses. That said, my son prefers either cheap sunglasses or alternately, some cheap clear lenses on cloudy or rainy days. My wife just uses her prescription glasses, which are already photochromatic.

Bottle cage/water bottle - If you ride, you need to drink water. you can always fill up before and after a ride but on longer rides, you need to stay hydrated or you could get heat stroke, which is miserable and potentially dangerous. That said, I have a friend who stubbornly refuses to take water with him on rides.

Gloves - I like gloves. Short fingered in spring and summer, long fingered in fall and winter. They keep my hands on the handlebars even in the heat, when sweaty hands might otherwise cause my hands to slip. Modest amount of padding reduces hand fatigue from road buzz. How much padding you need in a glove is a matter of personal preference. And if you go crash, gloves may save the skin on your palms.

Lock - If you leave the bike unattended for any length of time, you will need a lock. How strong a lock depends on factors such as your tolerance for risk, and the prevalence of bike theft where you ride. I have a cable lock that I use just for minimal deterrence when I ride in rural and suburban areas, and a U lock that I use when I park my bike in urban areas.

Spare tube, patches, tire levers, mini pump - And know how to change a flat. critical for flat repair on the road, unless you plan to call for help every time you get a flat. Flat tires are a funny thing. You can go a year or two with no flats, then get 2 in the same week, or day. Best to be prepared.

Floor pump - Bike tires lose air quickly. You will need to be able to inflate your tires at least once a week, if not before every ride. A floor pump is better suited to this task than is a mini pump that you carry with you.

Mini tool/allen wrenches. - Carry this with you always. Sometimes things come loose, and one of these handy tools should be all you need to adjust a seatpost, or something similar.

THINGS YOU MAY EVENTUALLY WANT TO GET

Cycling shoes - once you start riding a lot, you might like having a retention system. I like SPD. It is inexpensive, and the cleats are recessed so you can walk on them a bit. Which brand of shoes is a matter of personal preference.

Shorts - I like them. Makes my rides more comfortable. Jeans are a no go for me. Even riding in technical underwear like Under Armor and running shorts is not as comfortable as decent cycling shorts. I can ride for about an hour in running shorts, but 2 to 3 hours in cycling shorts. I currently rotate between Specialized, Gore, Pace, and Craft shorts. YMMV.

Jersey - Yes, I know you can get away with a regular technical T shirt from Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, or Champion, but a cycling jersey, with zipper, back pockets, and somewhat longer back is something you may come to appreciate over time. I usually keep my cell phone, house key, ID and some money in the back pockets when I go out for a ride.

Socks - Lightweight, wicking socks are nice for hot days over cheaper thick socks for general use. Alternately, on cool or cold days, Merino wool socks are lightweight and warm at the same time.

Wind/rain jacket - doesn't need to be cycling specific, but necessary if you ride in the rain. A wind proof layer is nice on cool, windy days, say for temps between 50 and 65 degrees F.

Lights - necessary if you ride at night. Not so much you you don't.

Last edited by MRT2; 01-15-17 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 01-15-17, 11:49 AM
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For a beginner, cycling has to be one of the easiest and cheapest sports to get into, because we really don't need anything special.

I recommend having the ability to repair a flat on the road. Tube, patches, pump, tire lever and a seat bag to carry them. That's really it for a beginning cyclist.

Sneakers and platforms are fine, basically forever. At some point, some cyclists decide that they want retention (clipless or clips) but it's perfectly safe to kick that can down the road, and the brutal fact is that you aren't losing much (if any) efficiency with platforms regardless of what people say. It keeps your feet on the pedals, particularly in a hard sprint.

Anyone can work out what clothes to wear. I'd get a water bottle, but objectively bottled water from the store works just as well.

For electronics, I'm a believer in knowing what the speed is - otherwise we tend to fool ourselves. For a speedometer, the cheapest wired Bell computer from Walmart works as well as a Garmin.

If you're looking for equipment to jump right in with both feet as an enthusiast, that's a different story.
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Old 01-17-17, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt
Originally Posted by dual650c
Pump - no need for 2.
I couldn't disagree more. Owning just one makes your life unnecessarily unpleasant unless...
Obviously mileage varies according to one's experience.

When I was much younger, decades ago, I strapped a floor pump to the crossbar of my diamond frame to ride cross-state distances and augmented that gas stations air pumps. Later, I owned and carried only a relatively cheap frame-mountable pump. Now I own only a Topeak Road Morph pump (Weight 210g Length 35cm PSI at 150 strokes 86).

I don't find the smaller pump inconvenient or unpleasant at all.

I'll repeat, there's no need to own 2 pumps in my experience.
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Old 01-17-17, 07:58 PM
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Keep it simple to start off. Get platform pedals, a cheap helmet, a spare tube, a pump, tire levers and learn how to fix a flat. Get out and ride then get the rest as you ride more and have a better idea what you want.

Think back to when you were a kid, what did you have then?
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Old 01-17-17, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmach
Keep it simple to start off. Get platform pedals, a cheap helmet, a spare tube, a pump, tire levers and learn how to fix a flat. Get out and ride then get the rest as you ride more and have a better idea what you want.

Think back to when you were a kid, what did you have then?
Not much, but for the most part when I was a kid, I was never more than a couple miles, at most, from home. It wasn't until I started riding 20 or 30 miles out that it occurred to me that I would have a long walk home if I experienced a mechanical problem.

Last edited by MRT2; 01-18-17 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 01-18-17, 04:24 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by MRT2
Yes, helmets should be replaced eventually. How often is often debated. I doubt you need to replace your helmet every 2 to 3 years but if you ride a lot, and if the helmet is exposed to the elements, and sweat, etc...you might. That said, I am in the habit of buying a new helmet every couple of years, and rotating the new helmet in with the previous helmet, so at any given point, I have a new helmet that splits time with a helmet about 2 or 3 years old, and a 5 to 7 year old helmet relegated to use as a loaner in case a friend from out of town shows up and wants to go for a ride.

As to what else you need, I would break it down this way. If cycling becomes a regular activity, you will eventually get all the accessories and tools you need, if not at once, as you come to need them. So where to start?

The absolute necessities.
Pedals - Cheap platforms might work, but if you think you might go with clipless pedals eventually, a pedal like the SPD M324, with SPD on one side, platform on the other (or a similar model from Wellgo) might be a good idea. Just remember to save the cleats that come with the pedals to mount on the shoes you get down the road. These pedals are well made. I have a set of these and 2 sets of similar Wellgo pedals and they all work fine, even after 7 to 10 years of use.

Helmet - I know some don't use them, but I always do, for the last 20 plus years. Modern helmets are light, with most weighing less than 300 gms, and well ventilated. And while I am fortunate not to have sustained any blows to the head while riding, I was riding a couple of years ago with a guy who did. Slow speed crash, broke the guy's helmet, and he went to the hospital, but the helmet might have saved his life.

Eyewear - You don't need cycling specific eye protection, but some kind of eye protection is good to keep dirt, dust, bugs, and debris out of your eyes, as well as to protect from the sun. After going years with whatever cheap sunglasses I had around, I eventually bought some photochromatic sunglasses from Tifosi, which, IMO are very good and more reasonable than some high end cycling sunglasses. That said, my son prefers either cheap sunglasses or alternately, some cheap clear lenses on cloudy or rainy days. My wife just uses her prescription glasses, which are already photochromatic.

Bottle cage/water bottle - If you ride, you need to drink water. you can always fill up before and after a ride but on longer rides, you need to stay hydrated or you could get heat stroke, which is miserable and potentially dangerous. That said, I have a friend who stubbornly refuses to take water with him on rides.

Gloves - I like gloves. Short fingered in spring and summer, long fingered in fall and winter. They keep my hands on the handlebars even in the heat, when sweaty hands might otherwise cause my hands to slip. Modest amount of padding reduces hand fatigue from road buzz. How much padding you need in a glove is a matter of personal preference. And if you go crash, gloves may save the skin on your palms.

Lock - If you leave the bike unattended for any length of time, you will need a lock. How strong a lock depends on factors such as your tolerance for risk, and the prevalence of bike theft where you ride. I have a cable lock that I use just for minimal deterrence when I ride in rural and suburban areas, and a U lock that I use when I park my bike in urban areas.

Spare tube, patches, tire levers, mini pump - And know how to change a flat. critical for flat repair on the road, unless you plan to call for help every time you get a flat. Flat tires are a funny thing. You can go a year or two with no flats, then get 2 in the same week, or day. Best to be prepared.

Floor pump - Bike tires lose air quickly. You will need to be able to inflate your tires at least once a week, if not before every ride. A floor pump is better suited to this task than is a mini pump that you carry with you.

Mini tool/allen wrenches. - Carry this with you always. Sometimes things come loose, and one of these handy tools should be all you need to adjust a seatpost, or something similar.

THINGS YOU MAY EVENTUALLY WANT TO GET

Cycling shoes - once you start riding a lot, you might like having a retention system. I like SPD. It is inexpensive, and the cleats are recessed so you can walk on them a bit. Which brand of shoes is a matter of personal preference.

Shorts - I like them. Makes my rides more comfortable. Jeans are a no go for me. Even riding in technical underwear like Under Armor and running shorts is not as comfortable as decent cycling shorts. I can ride for about an hour in running shorts, but 2 to 3 hours in cycling shorts. I currently rotate between Specialized, Gore, Pace, and Craft shorts. YMMV.

Jersey - Yes, I know you can get away with a regular technical T shirt from Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, or Champion, but a cycling jersey, with zipper, back pockets, and somewhat longer back is something you may come to appreciate over time. I usually keep my cell phone, house key, ID and some money in the back pockets when I go out for a ride.

Socks - Lightweight, wicking socks are nice for hot days over cheaper thick socks for general use. Alternately, on cool or cold days, Merino wool socks are lightweight and warm at the same time.

Wind/rain jacket - doesn't need to be cycling specific, but necessary if you ride in the rain. A wind proof layer is nice on cool, windy days, say for temps between 50 and 65 degrees F.

Lights - necessary if you ride at night. Not so much you you don't.
Spot on +1
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Old 01-18-17, 12:15 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by jon c.
Some argue otherwise, but I think lights are essential. They're pretty cheap these days and with rechargeable batteries they don't cost a lot to run.
I think so too. Reflectors do work, but only as a last resort. Definitely need lights if riding any time between just before dusk to just after dawn. Can't go wrong with both lights and reflectors.
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