Road bike. New cyclist. What do I need to I buy?
Thinking of getting on the bike? Cycling has never seen such highs and in Australia.
At La Velocita, we have put together a quick guide to help you get started with the least amount of fuss. Throughout we have included links to products and stores so you can check things out as you go.
At La Velocita we offer a personalised buying advice service and can help you with a full fit out, a bike or one off help. For more information click here
In an industry with literally thousands of retailers stocking endless product options it is a maze for the budding cyclist to work their way through.
Don’t go crazy. Start off with something new for between $1,000 and $2,000.
If you can’t stretch that far try to get something for at least $700, this is where you start to get higher quality bikes.
Buy a recognised brand – Giant, Specialized, Trek…… there are many to choose from. Ask the bike shop if they have a test bike you can borrow for a half day. If they do not, you should at a minimum take the bike out for 10 minutes to get a feel. The one you like the look of the most might not feel comfortable when you are on the road.
Bikes in this price range tend to have a good resale value if you decide to upgrade or realise that cycling is just not your thing.
Look for end of year sales and always negotiate.
Expect to get back about 60% of the purchase price of a first road bike after 2 years and lots of kilometres.
Second hand bike
Should I go second hand? There is no doubt there is good value to be had in the second hand market. If you do decide to go second hand remember to factor in the following.
- A new bike will come with one to two years free servicing, at $70 plus a time this can add some value.
- Any problems with the bike and any good bike shop will sort you out with warranty claim help.
- A good bike shop fit should get you on the right size bike. The right size bike that is well set up for you can make all the difference when it comes to comfort, efficiency and improve your control making getting on the bike a more enjoyable experience. The amount of new riders we on bikes that are too small or too large has increased as the sport grows.
If you decide you want to go second hand check out bike exchange.
Shoes. It is well worth ditching the runners and buying some shoes with cleats – Shimano offer a wide range and start at less than $100 for a reasonable quality shoe. You can get good prices from Wiggle or Cycling express but make sure you check the return policy. It is very important you get the shoe size right, the shoes should be firm all around with minimal room to move, you should aim for good even foot contact with the sole. Don't buy a pair that are so tight that your feet go numb! While the Italian shoes (Sidi etc.) look great but if you have wide feet, steer clear and go Shimano or Specalized. As your bike shop to fit the cleats (the part that locks into the pedal as part of your setup).
Helmet. A helmet can save your life. It must fit you well to do this, so buy the best fitting helmet you can afford.
Don’t just go on look, all our heads are different shapes and some brands work for some people than others.
All helmets in Australian bike shops must be AU certified so are built to the same minimum standard. More spend equals, lighter, better straps, better airflow and more advanced materials and construction. Budget $150 plus to get yourself something nice that you will want to wear.
Pump. Buy a track pump (looks like a TNT plunger), you’ll get something online for $25 to $50 that will help you keep your tyres at the right pressure mini pumps are hard work and you will not get the 100 psi plus that you need.
Water bottles and cages. There are many to choose from. Get two and get plastic. Don't spend a lot of money on bottles and cages. If going for a new bikeget the bike shop to throw them in for free.
Other spares. Buy some spare inner tubes and tyre leavers and a mini pump to take with you when you are out riding. Saves a train trip or long walk home. Puncture repair stickers are handy but we only use them in an emergency.
Lube and cleaning products. Buy some bike specific lube and degreaser. We use Prolink lube. Their degreaser is good but you can find degreaser and car cleaning soap and some old rags from hardware stores do a good job at keeping your bike clean.
There are hundreds of brands to choose from but here are the essentials items. You can buy from local shops or head online. Do your research and look around then go for it.
Jersey. Just choose something you like the look of. We find that a full zip (like a jacket) is easier to get on and off and can be opened up on hot days allow get something with three pockets (look for a jersey with a small zipped pocket if you can).
Bib knicks. Cycling shorts that come up over you shoulders. They are more comfortable by a mile than simple shorts and let you breath more easily without digging into your waist. Buying the best pair for you can, making sure the fit is right.
Jacket. If you are riding in cool weather it is worth getting a windproof/waterproof jacket to keep you warm and dry if caught in a shower. There are many out there, you’ll get better breathability with a higher spend. Get something that can be rolled up small so you can carry it in your back pocket.
Base layer. If it is going to be cold buy yourself a base layer. This is a thin layer to insulate you that you wear under your jersey. You can pick these up from most sports stores, bike shops or online. If possible, aim for natural fibres.
Glasses. Clear glasses or sun glasses are useful if you wear contact lenses and also stop you running the risk of being hit in the face by any insects. You can pick up some basic glasses on-line from around $20 upwards.
Gloves. Pick up some fingerless gloves online $20+ will get you something. Just make sure they are comfortable without being loose. If you need full gloves for the cold here are a few to try.
Socks. Any sports sock will do, if it’s winter or you live somewhere cold get some winter marino socks but don’t get anything too thick as you’ll struggle to get you shoes on.
Your now set to go, good luck!
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