For those of you who are new to road cycling and looking to buy your first bike, you may be wondering what accessories you need to get started. Now this is a list that can get quite long, but making sure you have the correct accessories will ensure that your ride is much more enjoyable, and should you have a mechanical, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you have the correct equipment to get you going again, well that’s provided you know how use them.
- Inner Tube
- Tyre Levers
- Saddle Bag
- Bottle & Bottle Cage
In my opinion a helmet is one of the most important things a cyclist should have. Now the helmet debate is one that has been going on for years and one that will continue for years to come. Regardless of what everyone says I always wear one when out on my bike and my sons 7yrs & 2yrs old, always wear one when out on their bikes.
Helmets come in many different shapes, sizes, colours and prices range from around the £29.99 to £199.99 mark! The dearer the helmet, generally the lighter and more ventilated it is, but please bear in mind that all helmets in the UK have to meet the BSI safety standard.
We currently stock three brands of road helmets:
Check out our full range of Road Helmets. If there’s a particular brand or model you’re looking for and it’s not on our website, just ask, as we may be able to get a hold of it for you.
I’d say that pedals are pretty important for getting that bike moving! Some bikes will come with stock pedals while the higher end bikes tend not to come with them as every rider has his preferred style, brand and model of pedal.
There are three main types of pedals available, Flat, SPD and SPD-SL. Flat pedals which are not that common on road bikes are just that, flat. Some may come with straps or toeclips, which you’ll usually find on your older style road bikes or those where the owner uses it for popping to the shops etc.
The brands of road pedals we currently stock are:
SPD pedals are mostly found on mountain bikes but can be used on road bikes and allow the shoe to be clipped into either side of the pedal. When I first bought my road bike I used SPD pedals as I already had SPD shoes, cutting down the initial outlay. I used them for over a year before purchasing SPD-SL pedals and compatible shoes. SPD-SL pedals allow for a larger contact area on the pedal opposed to SPD’s which have a much smaller contact area, but only have one side where you can clip in.
It is possible to get a two-sided pedal where one side is flat and the other has an SPD fixing allowing you to use them clipped in or with normal shoes and trainers.
Shoes are a requirement when out on the road bike funnily enough, especially if you’re using SPD or SPD-SL pedals, and come in many different colours allowing for the perfect match with your bike and riding kit, because it all has to match and obviously when it all matches you go faster! 😉
Prices vary significantly from entry level shoes to the high end carbon sole shoes. Carbon shoes are lighter and stiffer allowing for better power transfer and pedalling efficiency. I currently use the Shimano R087 SPD-Sl shoe which is classed as an entry level shoe. I’ve used this shoe for 2 years and thousands of miles and have not had a issue with them. I scraped the buckle when I came off the bike a while back but it still functions fine and if I wanted to I could purchase a replacement buckle. One thing to note if purchasing Shimano shoes is that you should go up a size when ordering them.
Road shoes come with a velcro fastening, velcro and buckle fastening or a wire and dial fastening systems.
Please make sure you choose the right type of shoe for the pedal you plan to use, choose an SPD compatible shoe if you’re using SPD pedals. You’ll find some shoes that are compatible with both types of pedals.
Check out our range of Road SPD-SL Shoes to see the different types of shoes on offer and find the perfect shoe for your requirements.
The brands we currently have on our website are:
I would highly recommend purchasing a pair of glasses as they offer protection from the sun, flies, stones and the wind. It’s not uncommon for small stones to be flicked up off the road, or flies and other beasties to hit you in the eye when cycling, so it’s best to protect your eyes with a pair of glasses. You can get several different lenses for day, night and sunny conditions, with some glasses having interchangeable lenses.
With plenty of styles and prices to choose from there’s a pair of glasses to suit every budget, you can pick up a pair of Madison Shields Clear Lens Glasses for £17.99
We offer cycling specific glasses from several different brands such as:
Check out our full range of cycling specific glasses.
It’s important to carry at least one spare inner tube with you because you never know when you may get the dreaded “P” word! Inner tubes come in different sizes depending on the width of the tyre you’re using. The world’s lightest inner tube, the Eclipse Inner Tube comes in at as little as 29g, but not so light on the old wallet with a price tag of £45! Yes I said £45 for an inner tube!
It’s one thing carrying a spare inner tube and another knowing how you change it, so make sure you’re confident in changing the tube if needed when out on the road in the wind, rain, sleet, snow and very rare instance, sunshine!
Tyre levers are another essential part of kit to carry with you for getting those stubborn tyres on and off when changing or repairing damaged inner tubes. Tyre levers are small and lightweight so take up virtually no room at all and certainly won’t cause heartache for the weight weenies amongst us.
Some people are able to remove and re-fit tyres without the use of levers, using their thumbs only. I have managed this once maybe twice, and only with folding tyres as wired tyres especially the Continental GatorHard Shell are near impossible to do, well for me anyway!
There’s no point having spare inner tubes if you have no way of inflating them, therefore you need to look at getting a pump. You get Hand Pumps, Floor Pumps and CO2 Cartridge Pumps. You wouldn’t carry a floor/track pump around with you but they are ideal for inflating tyres quickly and effectively at home.
CO2 Pumps are great for inflating your tyre quickly when out on the road.
Saddle bags tuck neatly under the saddle and hold the essentials like, spare inner tube, tyre levers, CO2 cannister, mobile, keys etc. Saddle bags come in several different sizes and fitting options, you get ones that use a strap fitting function where you secure the velcro strap around the saddle rails and also around the seatpost or you can get an integrated clip system like the Fi’zi:k ICS system which allows for the bag to be attached directly to a compatible Fi’zi:k or Selle Royal saddles.
I used the Topeak saddle bags up until a couple of weeks ago when I upgraded my saddle to the Fi’zi:k Antraes model with ICS system and have now changed my saddle bag to the Fi’zi:k ICS Saddle PA:K with clip.
If you’ll be using your bike for commuting to and from work or if it will be stored outside, it’s essential you purchase a secure lock. Bike locks come in various shapes and sizes with prices varying depending on the level of security it offers. If you purchase a heavy lock for your commute to work you can always leave the lock attached to the fence/lampost etc to save you carrying it about with you.
On longer runs when I know there’s going to be a cafe stop involved I pop a very small and light lock into my jersey pocket. This lock is used more as a deterrent for opportunist thieves as I’m always sat by the window keeping an eye on the bike. Even just locking two bikes together when there isn’t a fence or lampost within view of the cafe acts as a deterrent.
For the ultimate protection for your bike against theft, I’d suggest on of these:
Check out our range of Bike Locks to find the one that meets your requirements.
Bottle & Bottle Cage
It’s important to keep hydrated when out on the bike whether it’s on your daily commute or a club training ride, so make sure you have at least one bottle filled with fluids. You’ll also need a bottle cage to hold your bottle on the frame, with road bikes come with fittings for two bottle cages.
Bottles come in 500ml, 750ml and 1ltr sizes, just check to make sure there’s enough clearance on the frame to get the 1ltr bottle in and out the cage. I personally use 2x 500ml bottles on my runs, but only need the one for my 7 mile commute to work.
Check out our range of Bottles & Bottle Cages.
Personally I use and would recommend wearing gloves when out on the bike, though some people choose not to wear them and that is also true within the pro peloton. Like everything else, gloves come in various different forms, you get fingerless ones, full fingered ones, liner gloves, waterproof gloves and winter gloves.
Check out our full range of Cycling Gloves.
Now you don’t usually see a roadie with a backpack, unless like myself they are commuting to and from work, as we need somewhere to put our lunch and change of clothes. The best idea would be to have a think what you’ll be carrying in the bag and get the smallest one that will hold everything you need. I tend to leave a change of clothes and a spare pair of trainers at work so I don’t need to lump a lot of stuff around with me.
Check out our range of bags to find the best one suited to your needs.
There you have it, a fairly general but by no means exhaustive list of accessories advised for those roadies out there, and even the MTB dudes and dudettes. What accessories people use and carry is very much personal choice and vary between rider.