Many have the misconception that in order to become a pesky/legendary (depends on what you judge us to be) cyclist, all you need to do is simply buy a bike and set off. But there's more to it than just that!
Cycling is expensive.
Create a budget in your mind. Now remember you're probably not going to spend that much..... because you're simply going to spend more. It will happen and you won't regret it.
If you're on a strict budget, try sourcing a used bike or a bike which is a few years old, they all do the same thing anyway! Just do your research and consult someone before buying it!
What the heck is a bike fit?
Don't even think about buying a proper bike before getting an accurate bike fit!
"But..where can I get this 'Bike Fit' done?"
Magri Cycles in Mosta !
IT IS A NECESSITY. It's something you will NEED unless you want your knees to plummet to extinction at an unbelievably fast rate. And the rest of your body with them...
Now the interesting bit!
First off, what type of cycling do you think you'll like? And why are you going to start cycling in the first place?
If you have no liking for the trails and will only be using your newly bought, rather expensive bike just for the road, go for a road bike, no matter what other people may say (me included). The common perception of believing that starting off with a mountain bike is ludicrous. Start off with what is sensible for you!
On the other hand, if you naturally have a strong knack for the great outdoors and the rough terrain, go on and buy a mountain bike!
If you're starting off cycling just to lose weight and lead a healthier life, I'd suggest investing a bit more and getting a road bike..
Heck, just invest more anyway. Why?
I can guarantee, you're most certainly gonna get hooked on cycling!!!
Oh, and the model of your bike you've just purchased...will be changed and updated every year so make a wise decision.
Buy any pair of front and rear lights. Spend as little as you want but BUY A PAIR OF FUNCTIONAL LIGHTS!!
If you're cycling to and from work, or just a short distance, you'll be fine cycling with your normal clothes. However don't attempt to go on the trails / on the road for training purposes in your normal clothes. Buy some lycra cycling clothes. Cycling jerseys and Bib Shorts are an absolute must!
Try to hit two birds with one stone here. Buy a cycling jersey/bib that serve as clothes and at the same time make you more visible!
No. You're not going to skip on this one. You'd be mad to. Any helmet that fits your head will do but you MUST buy one. I don't need to go into the 'Safety' features of a helmet. It is imperative to own and wear one when cycling.
Bottle Cage & Bottle
Don't allow yourself to cook out (tire out) ! Buy a bottle cage and a bottle. You'll need replenishment during your rides.
But avoid the wine..
If you're going to be leaving your bike outside...buy a proper U-Lock unless you want other people to 'borrow' your bike and never give it back.
Bike GPS / App
In this day and age we're loaded with tech and guess what?
You can now have a small 3inch computer right in front of your face even whilst cycling! Whilst this won't seem to do much at first it will be a HUGE game changer once you start getting into cycling more and more. You'll know what I'm talking about once you start cycling with a GPS / App.
You could also opt for a phone holder with a cycling app running or just put your smartphone in the back of your pocket, turn on Strava / Endomondo or any other cycling app and cycle on! But don't forget to press the START button!
Pedals to Clip Pedals
Most bikes don't come with a set of pedals and will require you to purchase a set of pedals...unless that is, you've invented some kind of way to cycle without pedals. If this is the case I'd like to know about it, just drop me a line on my email....
If you're not confident riding a bike or haven't ridden one in quite a while, don't even think about Clip-On Pedals. Opt for normal pedals with the tacky bright orange reflectors for a start and only when you're ready to take the plunge go for the clip-on pedals.
Clip-On Pedals may seem like an unnecessary addition to the bike but they make a GINORMOUS difference in how your power gets transferred to the bike and will make you much more efficient in your cycling! However this does come at a price....You will fall whilst trying to clip-out. Multiple times. You will embarrass yourself. Multiple times too. And you will hate me for it.
....Oh and if you're getting clip-on pedals you'll have to spend some extra cash on some Clippy Cycling shoes (EXTRA BLING)!
Think about maintenance supplies!!! NEVER AND I MEAN NEVER EVER GO OUT WITHOUT A PUMP, TYRE LEVELS AND A SPARE TUBE!!!!!! YOU WILL ENDURE MULTIPLE PUNCTURES IN OUR ROADS. SOMETIMES TWICE IN THE SAME RIDE - HAS HAPPENED TO ME THREE TIMES NOW!
Also, you should have some just-in-case tools in your garage to be able to fix your bike when requiried. Such as when it loses it's gear setting or some other messy problems that may rise (it will happen). Keep your bike well maintained. Clean it's chain with lubricant and degreasers around once a month or depending on use.
And buy some bike cleaner too! There's nothing better than a clean and sparkly bike!
Cycle with a Group
Got some friends?! You probably do...cause cyclists are awesome people and they enjoy the company of everyone...except for some motorists.
Meet your friends and shove down their throats some of your recent ride's statistics, where you cycled to, your calories burned and use a bunch of complex sounding cycling lingo !
If no one joins you...ditch those losers, get a new group of friends and repeat the process!
A Simplified List
- Create a Budget
- Get a Bike Fit
- Buy a Bike
- Choose some Lights
- Grab some Clothing
- Pick a Helmet
- Attach a Bottle Cage with a Bottle in it
- If needs be, purchase a Bike Lock
- Mount a GPS / App
- Attach a set of Pedals
- Stock up on Maintenance Supplies
- haggle some friends..