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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my first road bike and it should be here in about a week. So I have a week to get my "road kit" ready so I can hit the ground rolling, so to speak.:) I'm a total newbie but I'm digesting everything I can here on the forum and I've got a couple of books from the library too. I'm wondering what gear you, the every day cyclist, take on a ride. Here's my list so far, and the questions I have about a particular item too:

1) Bike shorts - are these all about the same? I've seen them range from $25 to $100, plus there are bibs too and I'm not sure what the benefit of a bib is over just shorts. Maybe I want to look like I'm still wrestling?;)

2) Jersey - the same here about the price. I may just ride in a tight t-shirt although aerodynamically that's probably pretty dumb.

3) Pump - should I get the kind that attaches to the frame or a small cannister type thingee (technical term)?

4) Tubes - 2 should be enough, right?

5) Something to get the tire off, like a special tool of some sort. I've seen the all-in-one tools that are small enough to fit in a small saddle bag. Should this suffice?

6) A couple cages and water bottles. Are all cages about the same? I've seen some gold plated, and some bronze plated, and I'm wondering if that's just a cosmetic thing or do some of the cages actually break down and leave marks on the frame from oxidation or whatever might break down the finish?

7) Shoes - the prices really run the gamut here. I'd just like a good, reliable shoe. Not the cheapest, and not the most expensive. Just a good, functional shoe. Any recommendations?

8) Pedals - totally lost here. I plan on using shoes that snap in (not straps), so I understand I need pedals that allow for this but the prices again are from cheap to very expensive. About where do you see diminishing returns? At this stage I don't care if I save a couple grams here and there with this stuff, because quite honestly I have a long way to go before I even think about racing, but that is where I eventually would like to end up. So any recommendation on a nice pair of pedals for someone in my situation?

9) Floor pump. Any brands to stay away from? I saw a TOPeak Twister on sale locally for $50. This should be good enough, right?

10) Anything else?

I know that if I would have bought from my LBS I would have had help with all of this, but I got a pretty decent deal online for a bike that would have cost me $1,800 more if I'd have purchased it locally. I know the frame fits becaue I've ridden the frame before in that size. So now I'm trying to educate myself about what I need before it gets here.

Thanks for any help/insight you can provide.
 

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1) As with pretty much anything, the more you pay for shorts the better the short you will get. The more expensive ones tend to have a better chamois (the padding part) and the seams are smoother. You should always try these on because all brands fit very differently.

2) Not only will a jersey be more aerodynamic, but it will keep you cooler because it isn't going to be cotton, which does not wick moisture well. Also, they just look cooler.

3) I have the CO2 pump but this is really a matter of preference.

4) Yes

5) Get a couple of tire levers. You will also need the all-in-one tools that have a bunch of allen wrenches and whatnot.

6) Any cages are fine - they basically will vary based on the weight of the material. If you get cheap cages and they break then who cares?

7) I have Pearl Izumi Vagabonds - I like them. Look to spend about $100 or so here.

8) I have Speedplay Zero pedals. Whether you go with Look or Time is a matter of preference. You can usually find pretty good deals on Ebay. For Speedplay pedals, there is no reason for you to look any higher the the X5 or the Zero Stainless Steel (Zeros have float).

9) I don't have experience with the pump but it should be ok.
 

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It all depends on how much you ride, where you ride, how fast you ride, how much money you have to spend, etc. etc. I'll tell you what I decided for me, but that doesn't mean it's right for you. Keep in mind that I'm cheap and don't spend more money whenever less will get me by. That may not be your mindset.

Right out of the box, I got a frame pump, a floor pump, a few spare tubes (only carry one at a time), a patch kit, tire levers, a helmet, two water-bottle cages, water bottles, chain lube, and a bag for under the seat. That's all you need to start.

If you're a datahead, you'll want a computer. Depending on how much of a datahead you are, you might be satisfied with a cheap one that only gives you current speed, average speed and mileage. Those are very cheap and I'd probably start there. Or maybe you'll want a heart-rate monitor, cadence sensor, GPS, altimeter, power meter, etc. Prices vary over two orders of magnitude.

I rode for the first month in tennis shoes, toe clips, tee shirts, and regular shorts. Then I added bike shorts (two pair), jersey, shoes, cleats, and pedals. I just bought the cheapest ones in the store. That held me another couple of months.

Then, as I rode longer and longer, I bought a mini-tool kit (spoke wrench and allen wrenches) and some more (cheap) clothes (mostly just for variety and to postpone washing longer). I also bought some butt cream (still not sure if I needed that or not).

As the weather got colder, I had to add cold-weather gear: jacket, better socks, tights, arm warmers, leg warmers, long-sleeve jerseys, shoe booties, skull cap, polypro undershirts.

Your chain will get dirty enough that you'll want some degreaser and a chain cleaner. As your bike needs fixing, you'll need to eventually start buying some tools: a chain whip, a cogset remover, and a repair book. You might also want a cog brush.

That's as far as I've gotten to date (10 months and 5,000 miles in now). I don't race. I don't try to look cool. I don't try to impress my buddies. I just ride as much as I can, uphill whenever possible. In general, I've been satisified buying the cheapest of everything in the store. But, as I said, I'm cheap.
 

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if you buy a jersey..

don't strap on a saddle bag. they're called pockets, use em! :)
I'd suggest dropping at least 60$ on a shorts, they will last longer. Also, consider bibs..although harder to take a pee out of, they keep things in place better and I find are generally more comfortable. skinsuits are all in one, if you want to go that route.
CO2 pumps are my general preference as I hate that long tube pump strapped to my frame. pedals are personal choice although most will say the larger platform the better..heps alleviate hot spots in your foot (I ride Ultegras and love em...Look are good also).
water bottle holders only do one thing..hold water bottles. forget whatever plated ones you're seeing...plastic or carbon fiber work fine. I like the Profile Strykes' as the bottle goes in and out pretty easy, they hold well, and are fairly cheap.

shorts with leg warmers/arm warmers work just as well as long bibs or long sleeve jerseys. usually cheaper.
good luck, test out the pedals somewhere safe as you will fall over teh first time you use them, and go ride the crap out of that thing.
 

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I know that saddle bags are not "cool", but I couldn't care less. My saddle bag contains my spare tube, my patch kit, my emergency contact information, my mini-tool kit, some emergency money, and a couple of paper towels. This is stuff I absolutely, positively want on every ride, and never want to forget. Except in unusual circumstances, I never open my saddle bag for months at a time.

My jersey pockets are then used for stuff that varies from ride to ride, such as my snack food, arm warmers, rain jacket, cell phone, etc.

Not everyone's cup of tea, I realize, but it works well for me.
 

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1) Bike shorts - They are not all the same, and you may find that you like cheaper ones better than spendier ones (like I do). You'll just have to try a few--I recommend starting in the mid-range of $40-60. Generally, I recommend against gel padded ones, unless you like the feeling of sitting on a full diaper. Bibs are really nice because the waistband doesn't roll down in front, and you don't get plumber-butt. If you're whippet-thin, you won't get roll-down, but depending on how the shorts fit and how long your jersey is, you could be showing some cracky/lower backy with shorts.

2) Jersey - For me, moisture transfer/cooling is more important than aero. Cotton wicks like crazy, but it doesn't evaporate that moisture easily (the evaporation cools you). This will leave you soggy and hot in summer and soggy and cold in winter. You want to get that sweat off your skin and get rid of it. Technical fabrics like you find in jerseys will do better. If you like the cut of a t-shirt, there are quite a few MTB jerseys that are the right fabric but cut more like t-shirts. Also jerseys are great because they have pockets in the back. My preference is three open pockets as opposed to fewer, and I hate, hate, hate zippered pockets.

3) Pump - Whatever works for you. A pump is more work than CO2, but then again, you'll never run out of cartridges with a pump. I'd stay away from the ones that are supposed to be both, though. I've heard mixed reviews about winding up with something that doesn't do either job all that well.

4) Tubes - 2 should be enough for starters--I only carry one with me on the bike. If I flat that one too, I go to peel and stick (not glued) patches. I keep several tubes (and C02 cartridges) at home, though, so I don't have to run to the shop every time I flat.

5) Something to get the tire off, like a special tool of some sort. Plastic tire levers are cheap, easy to use, and light. You should have a multi-tool with the basic hex keys as well. I don't need any tools to change my tires, but it never hurts to have levers. And you should practice changing tires at home a couple of times, when it doesn't matter if it takes 20 minutes.

6) A couple cages and water bottles. Are all cages about the same? Unless you're really concerned about weight, you can get pretty much any old cage. If it's really weak-kneed, it won't hold your bottles well, but other than that, I'm never picky about these.

7) Shoes - Once you decide whether or not you're going to be using MTB shoes (some do--they're easier to walk in, but many road pedals won't work with them) or road shoes, the important thing is to find a pair that really fits well. In my opinion, affordability takes a back seat to fit. If you can find cheap ones that fit, good on ya--you may want to upgrade before long, but for starters you'll be OK.

8) Pedals - This is the one place I definitely go against skimping to save money. Only your wheel bearings will see more use (and you bottom bracket will see as much). Get the best you can reasonably afford, and take care of them according to manufacturer's instructions. Your best bet is a reputable shop--go in and explain what kind of riding you'll do, and ask for their recommendations, particularly as regards durability. Don't ask about price at first. When they've made a couple of recommendations, you can start asking why one is cheaper than the other, and is it worth the difference. Your choice here will have some impact on what shoes you can use, too, so do this first.

9) Floor pump. I've had good luck with my Topeak, but I did almost immediately remove the valve head and put on a Silca head--they work better, IMO, and they're what I'm used to--you don't need to do this, though. Definitely get a floor pump--you don't want to get a pinch flat on the road just because you didn't want to hassle with getting full pressure with your hand pump.

10) Anything else? Good luck and happy riding.
 

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all that stuff..

John Nelson said:
I know that saddle bags are not "cool", but I couldn't care less. My saddle bag contains my spare tube, my patch kit, my emergency contact information, my mini-tool kit, some emergency money, and a couple of paper towels. This is stuff I absolutely, positively want on every ride, and never want to forget. Except in unusual circumstances, I never open my saddle bag for months at a time.

My jersey pockets are then used for stuff that varies from ride to ride, such as my snack food, arm warmers, rain jacket, cell phone, etc.

Not everyone's cup of tea, I realize, but it works well for me.

can fit in jersey pockets but I understand your desire to have your essentials in one spot. for me its a matter of noise...I've heard do clunky saddle bags on some bikes. I like almost complete silence when I ride, except for the sound of hard rubber gripping to asphalt. I don't even like hubs that ratchet...
you're definitely carrying more than I would or do on rides. I check the weather, dress accordingly, and come what may. unless the ride is over 60+ miles, food is usually out. a lot of people are using bags, definitely wasn't a personal attack...Im more of a minimalist. to each there own...
that is what makes the "beginners corner" tough..getting advice from people that have found out what works for them is always going to be conflicted..
 

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To start..

tuoti said:
I bought my first road bike and it should be here in about a week. So I have a week to get my "road kit" ready so I can hit the ground rolling, so to speak.:) I'm a total newbie but I'm digesting everything I can here on the forum and I've got a couple of books from the library too. I'm wondering what gear you, the every day cyclist, take on a ride. Here's my list so far, and the questions I have about a particular item too:

1) Bike shorts - are these all about the same? I've seen them range from $25 to $100, plus there are bibs too and I'm not sure what the benefit of a bib is over just shorts. Maybe I want to look like I'm still wrestling?;)

2) Jersey - the same here about the price. I may just ride in a tight t-shirt although aerodynamically that's probably pretty dumb.

3) Pump - should I get the kind that attaches to the frame or a small cannister type thingee (technical term)?

4) Tubes - 2 should be enough, right?

5) Something to get the tire off, like a special tool of some sort. I've seen the all-in-one tools that are small enough to fit in a small saddle bag. Should this suffice?

6) A couple cages and water bottles. Are all cages about the same? I've seen some gold plated, and some bronze plated, and I'm wondering if that's just a cosmetic thing or do some of the cages actually break down and leave marks on the frame from oxidation or whatever might break down the finish?

7) Shoes - the prices really run the gamut here. I'd just like a good, reliable shoe. Not the cheapest, and not the most expensive. Just a good, functional shoe. Any recommendations?

8) Pedals - totally lost here. I plan on using shoes that snap in (not straps), so I understand I need pedals that allow for this but the prices again are from cheap to very expensive. About where do you see diminishing returns? At this stage I don't care if I save a couple grams here and there with this stuff, because quite honestly I have a long way to go before I even think about racing, but that is where I eventually would like to end up. So any recommendation on a nice pair of pedals for someone in my situation?

9) Floor pump. Any brands to stay away from? I saw a TOPeak Twister on sale locally for $50. This should be good enough, right?

10) Anything else?

I know that if I would have bought from my LBS I would have had help with all of this, but I got a pretty decent deal online for a bike that would have cost me $1,800 more if I'd have purchased it locally. I know the frame fits becaue I've ridden the frame before in that size. So now I'm trying to educate myself about what I need before it gets here.

Thanks for any help/insight you can provide.

1. Bib shorts are far more comfortable than regular shorts, at least in my opinion, yeah, they are a little more money, but they are worth their weight in gold.

2.Jerseys, I wear a skintight underarmour shirt on short rides-less than 20 miles, but on anything longer I like a jersey cause I can carry some food and gear in the pockets.

3.I have a SMALL pump that fits into my saddle bag, it's not a co2, so no cartridges, but it's there for an emergency. I hate the ones that attach to the frame, but that's a personal preference sorta thing.

4.I only carry one tube with me, I know I might be tempting fate, but I usually only carry one. Plus a patch kit, and some patches.

5.I have a multitool that has a tire iron on it, although the last few times, I've been able to do it with my bare hands and no tool, but to start, yes you should have at least one tire iron.

6.I have two cages on my road bike, and one on my cross bike, I only carry one bottle on shorter rides, less than 20 miles, but anything more and I carry two. Usually one with a sports drink, and one with ice water.

7.Don't scrimp on shoes, you don't have to buy the priciest, but try several on, and definitely buy whatever is the most comfortable for your feet.

8.There are a myriad of clipless pedals, and like one of the other posters I like the speedplay's, they have a ton of float which is nice on rides over 50 miles to help keep the feet limber, at least for me.

9.I have a JoeBlow floor pump at it works fine. I don't know that there is a great deal of difference between most of them.

10. Good Luck, you'll recieve a ton of advice, but find out what works for YOU, and go with it.
 

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1 get some shorts that fit and you find comfortable
2 get a jersey - no need for a saddlebag then
3 find someone to ride with that carries a pump, later on you can get your own
4. get an extra tube, stick it in your jersey pocket, or a patch kit would work fine
5 i dont use em, but they can help
6 2 cages, no real differene, get a color that goes with the bike
7 get good shoes. specialized body geometry road comp are what i use. they have all the features of a really expensive shoes w/out the carbon sole, or the price. they fit any pedals, and they are really stiff and they come with the fancy body goe footbed the expensive shoes have, i got mine for $90, if they fit your foot, i highly reccomend.
8. talk to your shop, id reccomend look keo's (i just got a pair, i love em) the classic model can be had for $45 off of probikekit.com. but first talk to your shop about what u need and see what they have to offer.
9. get some bike friends with a pump......or just buy one. that one should be find, i have a joeblow and it works fine
10 ride and enjoy yourself.
 

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Gloves.

Most, but not all, wear gloves. You probably should at least try them to see if you like them. Fingerless gloves will probably get you through the summer. You'll want full-fingered gloves for cold weather. Different people like different amounts of padding. Probably no way to figure out without experimenting.
 

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John Nelson said:
Gloves.

Most, but not all, wear gloves. You probably should at least try them to see if you like them. Fingerless gloves will probably get you through the summer. You'll want full-fingered gloves for cold weather. Different people like different amounts of padding. Probably no way to figure out without experimenting.
yea. get some short gloves (half fingered) if you have glove liners or thin gloves, see if you can fit those underneath your gloves, this means you can put off buying full finger glo.ves for some time. i actaully prefer this to real full finger gloves, i find them warmer for me.

a helmet, that fits well is also necessary
i like having a cyclecomputer w/ cadence - cateye astrale 8 - not neccessary though
 

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John Nelson said:
I know that saddle bags are not "cool", but I couldn't care less. My saddle bag contains my spare tube, my patch kit, my emergency contact information, my mini-tool kit, some emergency money, and a couple of paper towels. This is stuff I absolutely, positively want on every ride, and never want to forget. Except in unusual circumstances, I never open my saddle bag for months at a time.

My jersey pockets are then used for stuff that varies from ride to ride, such as my snack food, arm warmers, rain jacket, cell phone, etc.

Not everyone's cup of tea, I realize, but it works well for me.
A big +1

I started out with a few too many items and too large a bag, but I have graduated to a small Pedros with a all-in-one tool, 2 tire levers, 1 tube, a CO2 dual pump (it can be used as a hand pump in a pinch), 2 CO2 cartridges, and a patch kit.

The stuff that I want access to I just keep in my jersey pockets, usually a cell phone, ID w $20, and some OC spray. I really don't understand why so many people like to load up their jerseys every time they go on a ride. It is just so much easier knowing that everything you need is already strapped to your bike.
 

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John Nelson said:
Gloves.

Most, but not all, wear gloves. You probably should at least try them to see if you like them. Fingerless gloves will probably get you through the summer. You'll want full-fingered gloves for cold weather. Different people like different amounts of padding. Probably no way to figure out without experimenting.
I forgot my gloves a couple weeks ago and was surprised as to how little difference there was, I told the guy I was riding with that I may do this more often. He simply replied, "what if you fall". I then realized that comfort on the bar is only part of the picture. If I do endo, I would definitely prefer to slide on my gloves. :thumbsup:
 

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the only other thing that i would add to the probably overwhelming list is a pair of glasses. i have a pair with interchangable lens since i usually see differnt light in the same day when i commute, but certainly not a necessity. i hate to ride with out eye protection. nothing worse for me that something in the eye at 20+ mph. A pair fitted with rubber on the nose bridge and arms is nice too, to keep the glassed from sliding down.
 

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handsomerob said:
I started out with a few too many items and too large a bag, but I have graduated to a small Pedros with a all-in-one tool, 2 tire levers, 1 tube, a CO2 dual pump (it can be used as a hand pump in a pinch), 2 CO2 cartridges, and a patch kit.
This is almost exactly what I carry in my seat bag too--it's very small, though, so there's no room for a tube. And I just have a CO2 inflator, not a pump.

Jersey pockets, moving left to right:
Pocket 1: house key, arm warmers (if necessary)
Pocket 2: Spare tube (I set it on my saddle after a ride so I don't forget it), bag with fig bars. this is also where I put a rain jacket or other soft goods I take off during a ride.
Pocket 3: cell phone, ID, a GU or two in case I forget to eat and bonk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Wow!

This really helps a lot - thanks very much everyone. I just received an email from the seller and the bike is due to arrive at my house this Saturday, so I've got to get busy and start shopping.:thumbsup:
 

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Hey tuoti! Lonesome Picker here.

Everybody here has given you fine advice. I can only add --

I find padded bicycle gloves to be essential.

My favorite brand of shoe is Carnac. They're wide. They're very soft inside, yet extremely supportive. Of course, you mileage may vary. They can also cost a fortune.

Pedals: I love my Campagnolo Choruses. 7500 miles on, they have yet to break, release unexpectedly, or trick me into thinking I've snapped into them when I really haven't. By the way, all these wonderful things have variously happened to me with my Shimanos, Eggbeaters and Looks.

I have a Serfas fp 200 floor pump. It works fine, but for the long haul a genuine Silca Track Pump is the one to get. It took me fifteen years to kill one of them. It only took me six months to kill a Specialized one.

I'm a bit weird, but my favorite shorts have been the Performance house brand. Get bib shorts, too, if you can. The regular shorts can give new meaning to the term "droopy drawers." Regular shorts also eat into your belly. They are a bit cooler, though. When the day is really hot, I turn to my old normal shorts.

When it comes to bottle cages, I've always liked Ciussi aluminum ones. Yeah, the new carbon fiber ones are hip, but they cost a fortune and look clumsy. When it comes to water bottles themselves, I've found Specialized are the best, folllowed by Tacx. Water bottles can be surprisingly ornery. Some make the water smell awful. Some will break your teeth when you try to take a sip. Some brands don't seal very well.

Finally...and most important...don't put heavy gauge steel strings on your 1860's New York Martin.

All the Best...
 
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