Before you draw a line under your initial investment in cycling, ensure that you have acquired some of the smaller items that will make progress smoother. We’re talking here about a lock, pump and puncture repair kit, to name but three. It’s a good idea when buying a new bike to ask the assistant for advice on these items and taking the additional financial hit in order to ensure that you are fully kitted out.
A lock, for example, is sadly vital in this day and age, and the various types on the market are covered in a separate chapter. Not only will securing your bike hopefully deter thieves, but if you are planning to insure your new machine it is likely that the policy will stipulate a certain level of security is compulsory.
Another essential is a puncture repair kit. They only cost around £5 so there is no excuse for saving the money and hoping that your tyres will somehow avoid every sharp object on the road surface. Punctures are all part of the cycling experience, so be prepared rather than deflated when you suffer one.
Right Tyre Pressure
Talking of being deflated, there is no point buying a puncture repair kit only to find you don’t have a pump to hand. Again, you can pick one up for a fiver, while the more affluent can pay more for one that removes all the hard work from the process by using a gas canister to get your tyres up to the right pressure.
If you paid out for some fancy riding gear, it’s probably a good idea to go the extra mile and invest in a pair of mudguards. Not only will they prevent rain and mud spoiling your clothes, but they can shield you from debris flying up from your wheels. You should be able to pick up a pair for around £10, but visit a specialist shop to ensure that the ones you buy are suitable for your machine and address problem areas such as tyre and brake clearance.
Lights are a legal requirement, so this is one area where there is no option to save money. The standard battery operated models start from around £5-£10 but necessitate the carrying of spares in case they run out of juice on longer journeys. Alternatives include rechargeables, LEDs (light emitting diode) and the green option, the dynamo, which uses the pedals as a power source.
Another way to warn of your approach is by using your bell. The traditional small chrome dome costs around £5, but there are rechargeable models and loud hooters for the more flamboyant attention seekers.
For those planning longer journeys, it is a good idea to think about refreshments and storage. Standard water bottles can be picked up for a few pounds while hydration packs that strap on to your back don’t tend to retail for less than £50. For a pannier rack and bags, expect to pay around £100, depending on how much weight you are planning to load on your bike. Ensure your storage system is fitted properly and doesn’t compromise your cycling action.