The Bike Boom phenomenon might be slowly fading. But cycling's here to stay. The number of people who picked up cycling in one form or another has now dabbled with cycling and a considerable number of them will continue or look into picking up road cycling. For people who are looking to pick up road cycling, congratulations! You've made the first step to picking up a new hobby that's healthy both physically and mentally. And one that's a whole lot of fun! Now you're probably wondering what essential items to get to start road cycling. Here's a list we've compiled to hopefully help you out with that!
1) Road Bicycle aka Road Bike
You want to cycle... Of course you need a bike! So what exactly is a road bike? Throughout the years, the definition and form of the road bike has changed tremendously. We now have multiple types of road bikes belonging to different categories, have slightly different purposes, and made of multiple types of materials.
For the sake of this article, we shall generalise road bikes as bikes with a drop bar and relatively 'skinny' tires. These bikes are of course designed to be ridden on the tarmac of the road and will not do well in rougher surfaces like gravel, or mountain bike trails.
The curved part of a drop bar is called a drop. Also, road bike tires are usually between 23mm - 28mm.
As mentioned above, there are many road bikes belonging to many different categories and made of many different materials. We've covered these discussions in separate articles as they can go quite in depth. Generally, modern road bikes are divided into endurance, aero or lightweight categories and can be made of aluminium or carbon fibre. Aluminium bikes generally cost less but with advancement of technologies and more efficient production and logistics methods, carbon fibre bikes have been very accessible in the last 5 years and some good carbon fibre bikes can almost cost the same as an aluminium bike. Take a look at the Giant TCR Advanced or Wilier GTR Team that we have or bikes like the Canyon Endurace.
The Giant TCR Advanced
Aluminium, carbon, endurance, lightweight, aero.... Do some research on the differences between each type and the components. Choose one and congratulations on your first road bike!
2) Helmet (preferably road helmet)
We've ranked this second most important in our list of cycling essentials to get, only second to the bike itself. You need a helmet to cycle. Period. There are plenty of studies showing you how a cycling helmet can save your life. Being a bicycle shop and cyclists ourselves, we've personally seen many cases of people whose helmets have saved them.
Any cycling helmet from reputable brands will do, but a road cycling helmet designed for road cycling is best. These are designed such that you get maximum airflow and comfort. As for price, we always tell our customers to buy the most expensive helmet they can afford and not to skimp on something that protects their heads.
Road Cycling Helmet With Vents
3) Cycling Bibshorts/Shorts
These are almost necessary. We say almost because you technically don't need them to cycle. But it will save you so much pain that you won't see a road cyclist without it. In fact, the reason you need it for road cycling is because you spend long periods of time seated on the saddle, unlike other cycling disciplines. Also, being new to cycling, you probably are not seasoned to the pain and feeling of being seated in a saddle for long periods of time so wearing a pair of cycling shorts goes a long way.
Pads so you keep your precious nice and comfy!
Cycling shorts/bibshorts are padded in areas where you're in contact with your bike saddle so you get extra comfort when you're seated and cycling. Bibshorts are shorts with shoulder straps called bib straps (or suspenders/ braces). This is designed so that it doesn't interfere with diaphragmatic movement when you need to huff and puff.
Isn't a one piece. You wear this UNDER your top (jersey preferably).