When you are just getting into cycling, it can be difficult to know where to start. After you pick up your first bike, there are so many choices of cycling accessories. Of course, you need a helmet. That is the bare minimum. What activity nowadays does not require a helmet?
Do I need titanium rails on my saddle? Do I need carbon fiber soles for my shoes? I found this upgrade and it is made from ceramic. I couldn’t even tell you what part it replaces!
It is really easy to spend a couple hundred dollars to save a couple hundred grams on a bike. At the same time, most of us could lose a pound or two. To shave 900 grams of body weight will only cost you some sweat and hard work.
So what equipment will really make a difference on the bike? What do I actually need to get started with cycling?
There are a couple of pieces of gear that can make a huge difference getting started with cycling. Basically, your body comes into contact with the bike at three points on your body. They are your hands, your feet, and your butt. These are the three main sources of discomfort when getting used to being on a bike. I will talk about shoes and gloves in another post.
The number one piece of gear you need to buy first for cycling is a pair of cycling shorts.
Cycling shorts can make the biggest difference in your level of comfort. Cycling shorts have what is called a chamois. It is an anatomical layer of padding engineered into bike shorts. The longer you stay in the saddle, the more you are going to want the added layer of padding a good pair of cycling shorts provide for your rear.
Just like any other piece of clothing, there are so many choices when it comes to bike shorts. Here are 10 pairs of shorts that can help you get the most out of cycling.
This is a great choice for your first pair of cycling shorts. They have an easy basic fit. And just enough padding to get you used to have something between you and the saddle. And they come in any color you want as long as it’s black.
If you simply want bike padding without a complete short, this is your quick and dirty solution. Designed to be worn under any pair of shorts or pants, this breathable underwear will provide you some protection for shorter rides.
Not everyone is comfortable wearing spandex. That comes with confidence in your abilities. Until then, baggy shorts are a great alternative. They have a removable liner with a chamois. They look great both on the bike and at the cafe.
Many times we do not have much of a choice when we get to ride. Cycling in low light conditions can add another element of risk. These shorts with high visibility reflective panels make it easier for drivers to see you.
Most bike shorts keep you comfortable on the warmest of summer days. But when the temperatures drop, having the added protection of a heavier weight short will keep you cozy and comfortable in almost any weather.
As you begin to think about increasing the duration of your bike rides, you are going to look for additional comfort. These shorts are bibs. So they will never slide below your waistline. This allows you to avoid any embarrassing rear views. They also have a more advanced chamois that is designed for keeping you comfortable while riding long distances. A multi-panel design offers a more precise fit for every phase of your pedal stroke.
These serious baggy shorts are meant for hitting the trail. Hard. Cross country, downhill, enduro. Its okay if you are not ready for 50 mph descents. These shorts can handle anything you throw at them.
Bike shorts will make the biggest difference to your comfort by far. Shoes come next. Gloves are also an inexpensive investment. Choosing the right shorts will keep you more comfortable for more miles. And in most cases, leave you excited to get back in the saddle tomorrow.