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Should I get cycling shoes and a jersey (and why)?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Should I get cycling shoes and a jersey (and why)?

Old 06-04-16, 03:16 PM
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Should I get cycling shoes and a jersey (and why)?

So last year I bought my first road bike and did 40 miles every day for two weeks straight, but then I had some issues with the saddle cutting off circulation, so I just used it for shorter commuter rides from that point on. Other than the bike, I had (and still don't have) no other equipment or accessories, not even the helmet. I just ordered a new saddle and I'm hoping to buy a bike computer soon, too. For the helmet, I thought I'd just go with Giro Trinity (https://www.amazon.com/Giro-Trinity-H.../dp/B00MYIK2A4) and I'm also gonna buy some cheap padded shorts and a repair kit (does this look sufficient - Amazon.com : WOTOW Bicycle Repair Set Bike Outdoor Seat Saddle Bag 14 in 1 Multi Function Tool Kit Chain Splitterr (Black) : Sports & Outdoors). So those are things I'm set on buying.

I'm uncertain about whether I need anything else. I'm already pissed about how much this is costing me just to ride a bike, so if it's not needed, I'd rather not buy other stuff, unless I get into cycling more or see that it'd be helpful. But my question is whether I should get cycling shoes and a jersey, and if so, why? I'm not sure how cycling shoes would help, and I can do fine without that extra aerodynamics I'd perhaps get from the jersey. But maybe I'm missing some benefits. I guess when it gets colder, a jersey could come in handy, but why should I buy it now?
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Old 06-04-16, 03:37 PM
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Without the pockets on a jersey carrying things will be hard

shoes and an accompanying pedal system is more efficient and eliminates most of the risk of slipping off the pedal and receiving a nice wound from the chainring or pedal body.
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Old 06-04-16, 03:39 PM
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I have the same helmet and it suits me fine. The kit doesn't seem to come with a patch kit. Make sure you get one. You'll also want to get a tire pump. I sprung for a CO2 pump. It is small and fits perfectly on the frame. With the exception of gloves and shorts which I purchased from my LBS, I ordered the rest of the accessories from Bike Nashbar. Check out their website. Their prices are quite good and the service is excellent. I too have not yet purchased shoes or jersey but plan on doing so in the near future.
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Old 06-04-16, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by CafeVelo View Post
Without the pockets on a jersey carrying things will be hard

shoes and an accompanying pedal system is more efficient and eliminates most of the risk of slipping off the pedal and receiving a nice wound from the chainring or pedal body.
Carrying what things? I was thinking of buying a repair kit that comes in a bag.

And as for shoes, what do you mean by accompanying pedal system? You mean clipless? I haven't had issues with slippage, though, so I don't think I'd get it just for that reason.

Originally Posted by oldschool56 View Post
I have the same helmet and it suits me fine. The kit doesn't seem to come with a patch kit. Make sure you get one. You'll also want to get a tire pump. I sprung for a CO2 pump. It is small and fits perfectly on the frame. With the exception of gloves and shorts which I purchased from my LBS, I ordered the rest of the accessories from Bike Nashbar. Check out their website. Their prices are quite good and the service is excellent. I too have not yet purchased shoes or jersey but plan on doing so in the near future.
For the patch kit, I was thinking of buying this tire pump to put on the frame of the bike: Amazon.com : Mini Bike Pump with BONUS Glueless Puncture Repair Kit! Fits Presta & Schrader (No Valve Changing Needed), 120 PSI Mini Portable Cycle Frame Pump for All On & Off Road Tires. : Sports & Outdoors

Good to hear the helmet is alright. No issues with it then? From what I understand, once a helmet is good enough, the extra price is just the look of it.

And as far as Nashbar goes, I just found out about them yesterday and wanted to grab a bike computer there. However, I found out today that the 25% off thing is done, so I haven't placed an order yet. If you're familiar with them, do you know how often these 20 - 25% off things are with them? I can hold off on buying a bike computer for another month or so if needed and if there's a good chance they'll have a discount offer ready again.
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Old 06-04-16, 03:58 PM
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1. Shoes/pedals combo: the reason for getting clipless is for better pedalling efficiency and you can go faster. If you're set on flat pedals, you probably don't need cycling shoes.

2. Jersey: the pockets are the only reason to get one....otherwise if you have a bag to carry stuff you cam just wear any shirt, though I advise against cotton for any sweaty activity....I use cheap running tech shirts from target.
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Old 06-04-16, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
1. Shoes/pedals combo: the reason for getting clipless is for better pedalling efficiency and you can go faster. If you're set on flat pedals, you probably don't need cycling shoes.
I'm not racing other than with myself, so since only improvement matters, I guess clipless is useless for me at this point. But I'll consider it if I get heavier into cycling.

Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
2. Jersey: the pockets are the only reason to get one....otherwise if you have a bag to carry stuff you cam just wear any shirt, though I advise against cotton for any sweaty activity....I use cheap running tech shirts from target.
OK, it looks like I'll hold off on the jersey too, then. When it's hot and sunny, I prefer to cycle shirtless anyway.
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Old 06-04-16, 04:02 PM
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The pump looks fine. It's 9" in length. Just make sure you have a spot on the frame to mount it. You may also want to consider a water bottle or two.

No issues with the helmet. It is very comfortable.

I regularly check out Nashbar. It seems they have specials on a fairly regular basis. You could also check out Performance Bike. Their prices are also very good but I have read complaints of their service on this site. There is a Performance Bike store fairly close to me in Austin so I haven't ordered anything from them.
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Old 06-04-16, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by oldschool56 View Post
The pump looks fine. It's 9" in length. Just make sure you have a spot on the frame to mount it. You may also want to consider a water bottle or two.
I thought I'd put it on the horizontal crossbar, and the water bottles are on the other two bars. Do you see any issues with that?

Originally Posted by oldschool56 View Post
No issues with the helmet. It is very comfortable.
Awesome, it looks decent, too.

Originally Posted by oldschool56 View Post
I regularly check out Nashbar. It seems they have specials on a fairly regular basis. You could also check out Performance Bike. Their prices are also very good but I have read complaints of their service on this site. There is a Performance Bike store fairly close to me in Austin so I haven't ordered anything from them.
I think I'll wait another month in hopes of a new special popping up then. Performance Bike is more expensive, at least for the bike computer I was looking at. One site also has 10% cashback with Nashbar, so if I got 20-25% off, that combination would save me a lot.
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Old 06-04-16, 04:19 PM
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I actually only have 2 cycling jerseys...one that was given to me because it didn't fit the guy who bought it...the other I bought because it was the cycling clubs jersey and they were selling their extra sizes cheaper, and I wanted to be supportive. I alternate between those and regular running (non-cotton) shirts.
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Old 06-04-16, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Emperor Ryker View Post
I thought I'd put it on the horizontal crossbar, and the water bottles are on the other two bars. Do you see any issues with that?

Awesome, it looks decent, too.

I think I'll wait another month in hopes of a new special popping up then. Performance Bike is more expensive, at least for the bike computer I was looking at. One site also has 10% cashback with Nashbar, so if I got 20-25% off, that combination would save me a lot.
Sounds like a plan.
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Old 06-04-16, 05:35 PM
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Doesn't seem like you're that much into cycling, why not just use your phone to track your rides instead of getting the computer? You should have a floor pump at home. You will need to add air to your tires frequently and the smaller frame pumps are not that convenient. I would skip the shoes and jersey too if I were you. You were already complaining about your spending and these really are not necessary, nice but not necessary.
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Old 06-04-16, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by eastbay71 View Post
Doesn't seem like you're that much into cycling, why not just use your phone to track your rides instead of getting the computer? You should have a floor pump at home. You will need to add air to your tires frequently and the smaller frame pumps are not that convenient. I would skip the shoes and jersey too if I were you. You were already complaining about your spending and these really are not necessary, nice but not necessary.
No, I'm not yet, but I quit lifting and am looking to get into it more now. I don't have a floor pump, but if I get the mini pump, I guess I don't need it. As long as it works I don't mind if it's a bit more inconvenient, unless it takes me more than a couple of minutes to pump the bikes. Bike shops are also on my way to campus, so I usually just drop by there to pump my tires.

And, yeah, the one "nice" thing I'd be getting is the computer, but at this point I feel I need it for motivation and also improvement if I get into cycling more. Tallying it all up, the new saddle, computer and the rest of the accessories are almost going to cost me as much as the bike itself.
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Old 06-04-16, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Emperor Ryker View Post
... I don't have a floor pump, but if I get the mini pump, I guess I don't need it. As long as it works I don't mind if it's a bit more inconvenient, unless it takes me more than a couple of minutes to pump the bikes. Bike shops are also on my way to campus, so I usually just drop by there to pump my tires.
Most bike shops also sell a small adapter you can thread onto the presta stem so you can use the air at a gas station. Usually they are less than $3. The real challenge with this is finding a gas station that provies air at more than 40-50psi.
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Old 06-04-16, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by eastbay71 View Post
Most bike shops also sell a small adapter you can thread onto the presta stem so you can use the air at a gas station. Usually they are less than $3. The real challenge with this is finding a gas station that provies air at more than 40-50psi.
Meh, I guess it's more convenient for me to just stop by bike shops anyway, and I think you have to pay to pump your tires at (some?) gas stations, too.
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Old 06-04-16, 07:18 PM
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A $20 floor pump is more than worth the price, particularly one with a pressure gauge. You may think your mini pump is getting you close to your ideal pressure but it's not. And yes, you can go by the bike shop, but what if you're setting out outside their opening hours? A $20 pump will save you at least that much in unpunctured tubes within a year of regular riding.

Rather than spending on shoes or a jersey, buy a more expensive pair of shorts. A lot of the pain you experienced on your early rides might be down to not having good shorts. I can't imagine doing more than 30 miles without a good pair of well-fitting, well-padded cycling shorts. Anything else on your list is strictly optional, but if you're riding any sort of distance, good shorts are essential.
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Old 06-04-16, 07:22 PM
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You don't need clipless pedals or a jersey. Stick with what you have and consider it later if you keep up with the cycling. Clipless isn't going to make you any faster or more efficient. Most find it more comfortable to ride clipped in however, so you may want to give it a try at some point.
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Old 06-04-16, 07:24 PM
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I have a pump like the one you linked (branded differently but many things like this will be branded by several companies) it's good to get you back on the road after a flat repair but inadequate for general use, mostly due to lacking a gauge and reaching full road bike tire pressures is difficult. I had a recent thread about patches and most agree that the glueless are also inadequate, once again pretty much good enough to get you back going after a flat. Vulcanizing glue patches are the choice for sure patch jobs.

After 6-8 weeks of riding I went clipless and haven't wanted to ride platform pedals since. I started off with dual sided pedal (platform on one side SPD clipless on the other) thinking I would want to be able to ride in regular shoes but I never did. I don't use the bike for anything other than to ride so I having street shoes would be of no advantage for me, which wouldn't be the case if I used the bike for transportation.

If you're going to be more serious about cycling and looking for a computer I'd recommend one with cadence. Finding where your optimal cadence is and staying in gears where you can maintain that cadence is not only going to optimize your effort but also minimize fatigue. I think people get to where they know by feel after years or decades of riding but for me I haven't developed that feel yet.
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Old 06-04-16, 07:45 PM
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I'd get pedals/shoes before a computer.

It will only take slipping off the front of the pedal once before you're convinced. Maybe it's from being stupid or maybe a chain skip, or maybe hitting a bump, but if you ride hard enough it will happen eventually.
I've had it happen twice (once before I was sold on clipless and once when recovering from a broken ankle so I switched back to standard pedals), and that was it for me. I'd rather have to take my shoe off still clipped in than have that happen. Not to mention if you were standing when that happened and in a sprint, it could be really ugly.
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Old 06-04-16, 09:02 PM
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After reading your original post a few times, I think you need to reconsider your approach. Are you sure the problem is your saddle vs. bike fit vs bike setup? It may be the clothing you were wearing as well? It may be that your were putting on more miles than your anatomy was ready for and your body needed time to adapt. IMHO, the only thing you really need is a Helmet and making sure your bike fits properly. You don't mention which saddle you bought, are you sure it will solve your problem?
Now, if you want to improve the experience, you can add the appropriate clothing, computer, tools, etc. Why do you want to ride? What equipment will aide in pursuit of your goals? Rather than getting pissed, take some time to figure out what you want from the activity and decide what will help you achieve those goals.
Having started with tennis shoes, shorts and cotton tees many decades ago, I cannot imagine riding without proper, modern cycling clothing, shoes and clipless pedals.
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Old 06-05-16, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
A $20 floor pump is more than worth the price, particularly one with a pressure gauge. You may think your mini pump is getting you close to your ideal pressure but it's not. And yes, you can go by the bike shop, but what if you're setting out outside their opening hours? A $20 pump will save you at least that much in unpunctured tubes within a year of regular riding.

Rather than spending on shoes or a jersey, buy a more expensive pair of shorts. A lot of the pain you experienced on your early rides might be down to not having good shorts. I can't imagine doing more than 30 miles without a good pair of well-fitting, well-padded cycling shorts. Anything else on your list is strictly optional, but if you're riding any sort of distance, good shorts are essential.
Why wouldn't it get me to the ideal pressure if the maximum is 120 psi, though?

As for shorts, it can't be just that. The pain starts 10 minutes in and lack of good shorts wouldn't leave me impotent for a significant amount of time.

Originally Posted by dksix View Post
I have a pump like the one you linked (branded differently but many things like this will be branded by several companies) it's good to get you back on the road after a flat repair but inadequate for general use, mostly due to lacking a gauge and reaching full road bike tire pressures is difficult. I had a recent thread about patches and most agree that the glueless are also inadequate, once again pretty much good enough to get you back going after a flat. Vulcanizing glue patches are the choice for sure patch jobs.

After 6-8 weeks of riding I went clipless and haven't wanted to ride platform pedals since. I started off with dual sided pedal (platform on one side SPD clipless on the other) thinking I would want to be able to ride in regular shoes but I never did. I don't use the bike for anything other than to ride so I having street shoes would be of no advantage for me, which wouldn't be the case if I used the bike for transportation.

If you're going to be more serious about cycling and looking for a computer I'd recommend one with cadence. Finding where your optimal cadence is and staying in gears where you can maintain that cadence is not only going to optimize your effort but also minimize fatigue. I think people get to where they know by feel after years or decades of riding but for me I haven't developed that feel yet.
Same as above, why is it inadequate for general use if the maximum pressure is 120 psi? I'll take note on the patches, and I'll see if there are any similarly priced kits with vulcanizing glue patches. But I don't know how to patch a tire anyway, and maybe I'll just carry a spare tube and learn how to change it. Not sure, really.

As for the computer, my plan was to buy Garmin 500 with the cadence sensor, but the special is up, so I'm gonna wait for another month or so hoping it's back again. Otherwise I might consider buying something cheaper like Sigma Rox 10.0, but that, too, would come with a cadence sensor.

Originally Posted by deapee View Post
I'd get pedals/shoes before a computer.

It will only take slipping off the front of the pedal once before you're convinced. Maybe it's from being stupid or maybe a chain skip, or maybe hitting a bump, but if you ride hard enough it will happen eventually.
I've had it happen twice (once before I was sold on clipless and once when recovering from a broken ankle so I switched back to standard pedals), and that was it for me. I'd rather have to take my shoe off still clipped in than have that happen. Not to mention if you were standing when that happened and in a sprint, it could be really ugly.
Nah, for me a computer has much greater priority than shoes. I can cycle just fine with regular shoes, even though I think I slipped before, too. I never took that as something bad and I figure that it just happens.

Originally Posted by MonsterFat View Post
After reading your original post a few times, I think you need to reconsider your approach. Are you sure the problem is your saddle vs. bike fit vs bike setup? It may be the clothing you were wearing as well? It may be that your were putting on more miles than your anatomy was ready for and your body needed time to adapt. IMHO, the only thing you really need is a Helmet and making sure your bike fits properly. You don't mention which saddle you bought, are you sure it will solve your problem?
Now, if you want to improve the experience, you can add the appropriate clothing, computer, tools, etc. Why do you want to ride? What equipment will aide in pursuit of your goals? Rather than getting pissed, take some time to figure out what you want from the activity and decide what will help you achieve those goals.
Having started with tennis shoes, shorts and cotton tees many decades ago, I cannot imagine riding without proper, modern cycling clothing, shoes and clipless pedals.
I'm not sure the saddle will solve the problem (I bought Selle SMP Hell), but I got my sit bones measured and the new one should be proper width at least. It also won't be the crap Bontrager basic model, which I heard many have had serious issues with. And as I said above, it can't just be the clothing. I've ridden bikes before, I ride the stationary all the time, and there's just no way clothing would cause such severe issues already 10 minutes into the ride.

Oh, and I've already thought about those things, that's why I'm buying the things that I'm buying. And I guess at this point, as many have suggested, I really don't need shoes and a jersey, but that might change in a couple of months. And then lastly, I believe you when you say you can't imagine riding without those things, but that's always the case when you upgrade. It doesn't mean that someone that has never tried it can't enjoy it to the same extent as you now do the "better" stuff.
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Old 06-05-16, 01:18 AM
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For many reasons you'll find it much easier and quicker to pump a tire up to 100psi with a stand pump than with a mini pump. The stated limit is 120psi, and that's fine, but that doesn't tell you how many pump strokes it'll take to get to 120 (if the mini pump is 1/10 the size of a stand pump it'll take 10+ times more strokes) or how much harder those last few strokes will be with a mini pump (hint; the floor pump will be waaaay easier).


Youd be surprised how big a difference clothing can make to comfort. Wearing good shorts with the padding next to the skin can relieve a lot of the pressure and discomfort.
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Old 06-05-16, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Emperor Ryker View Post
Same as above, why is it inadequate for general use if the maximum pressure is 120 psi? I'll take note on the patches, and I'll see if there are any similarly priced kits with vulcanizing glue patches. But I don't know how to patch a tire anyway, and maybe I'll just carry a spare tube and learn how to change it. Not sure, really.

As for the computer, my plan was to buy Garmin 500 with the cadence sensor, but the special is up, so I'm gonna wait for another month or so hoping it's back again. Otherwise I might consider buying something cheaper like Sigma Rox 10.0, but that, too, would come with a cadence sensor.
Being rated for 120 PSI and being reasonably able to get a tire to 120 PSI is different. I've used mine 4-5 times and it's great but I've gotten well tired of pumping before I got close to the 100 PSI that I run in my rear tire. First of all unlike a floor pump you have to contain the pump between your hands where a floor pump you're pushing down with the pump sitting on the floor. Second while you're pumping the head it attached directly to the tube's valve stem, the more pressure in the tube = the more stress you're putting on the stem and rim, it's probably not going to damage anything but if it does it's going to be at the worse possible time. I don't mind riding home on 60-80 PSI but I'm not going to make it a habit of starting out at with a tire that low. I bought my floor pump at Walmart for less than $20 but it's not the best pump $20 will buy and I would recommend spending that on a better rated/recommend pump from one of the online vendors. Tubes leak down, low tubes cause flats and a hard to use pump will likely cause someone to run under inflated tires more often.

For the computers I've used is a cheap standard computer from eBay on my MTB, it's fine at $7, if you want just the basics. Next was a Cannondale IQ114, wired $20 computer with cadence. Great for $20 but I didn't want the wires on my current internal cabled bike. I'm not using my Android phone mounted on my stem running Strava. I have been using a HRM and have a wireless cadence sensor ordered. I'll wait and see how the cadence sensor works before making a recommendation on it. My HRM is about $8 on eBay and works fine, though I can only assume it's accurate. The Garmin and Sigma computers I would expect to be great but I have never used either.

You mentioned you were shopping on Nashbar.com, that you had just found it. Nashbar offers an unconditional forever guarantee on everything they sale ( Nashbar - NBSatisfaction ). So you do get that piece of mind. As far as there coupons, I get emails with 20-30% off about every other day, sometimes it's specific items sometimes it's pretty much everything. I just received an order in the mail today and it has a return shipping label in the box (free return shipping). Other online vendors may have similar guarantees but Nashbar is the only one that I've ordered from.
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Old 06-05-16, 06:45 AM
  #23  
bakes1
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Cycling shoes/clipless are absolutely not needed.
Neither is a bicycling specific jersey.
Get an inexpensive seatpost bag for the couple of small essentials you carry and you are all set.
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Old 06-05-16, 07:36 AM
  #24  
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I think you misunderstood. Upgrading doesn't always make the experience better. I'm sure many here have drawers full of stuff they wished they never bought. Upgrading with a plan to satisfy a need or fix a deficiency usually makes things better. So, if you are concerned about costs but are looking to buy a computer and don't have cycling clothing, I think you might want to reconsider your priorities. I certainly could ride without a computer but wouldn't want to be on my bike without proper shorts. Everyone has their own way and mine probably isn't the best for you.
On another note, I agree with others about a floor pump. Also, I think the tool kit is probably overkill. On the road, I only carry a spare tube, levers and CO2 cartridge. I have never had the need for wrenches, chain break, etc on the road. Mountain bike is different. One last thing to consider, cheaper isn't always better. As an example, I have been using the same CO2 pump for 20 years. It is threadless and uses standard cartridges that can be had at any sports/camping store. Don't know what it cost but I definitely got my money's worth. Same thing goes for the floor pump I have. On the other hand I had 2 mini pumps which are now probably in a landfill somewhere--thought I could get away with a mini as a a do all.
Good luck with whichever way you proceed and I hope your new seat solves your issue.
Originally Posted by Emperor Ryker View Post

Oh, and I've already thought about those things, that's why I'm buying the things that I'm buying. And I guess at this point, as many have suggested, I really don't need shoes and a jersey, but that might change in a couple of months. And then lastly, I believe you when you say you can't imagine riding without those things, but that's always the case when you upgrade. It doesn't mean that someone that has never tried it can't enjoy it to the same extent as you now do the "better" stuff.
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Old 06-05-16, 09:02 AM
  #25  
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You are probably not good enough for those things. You would look like a poser.
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