You probably have memories of riding your bike with the kids in your neighborhood for hours in the summertime. Those days spent on the bike were filled with the youthful freedom you would do anything to get back. You might even have a road bike collecting dust in your garage right now, and you keep telling yourself that one day, you’ll get back on the bike and on the road again. But then you start looking up articles about cycling and you see words you’ve never knew existed, aero brake levers and a Sugino chainring have to do with riding your bike to work and if you’re going to have to wear spandex in order to be considered a “real cyclist.”
First of all, relax. No one is going to make you put on spandex if you don’t want to, and you’ll definitely still be welcomed at cycling clubs even if you don’t know what a Sugino chainring is (in case you’re really worried someone is going to quiz you, it’s what connects the pedals to the bottom bracket spindle. A Sugino chainring is one of the best chainrings you can buy for your crankset because they work on all types of bikes). Below are a few tips that will help you get you through your first few months cycling.
Get the Inexpensive Essentials
Again, you don’t need to buy every piece of fancy gear that you see online. Go into a local bike shop and started with the essentials: a bike that is built for the road. It’s important to shop in a physical store because you’re going to want to fit the bike to your size and height. Think about what your goals are for cycling and what kind of roads you’re going to be on. The workers at the bike shop will know exactly what frame will work best for your needs.
Do not get on the road without buying a helmet first. Even if you’re just riding up and down your street, this is the absolute most important piece of gear you will ever own. Always wear a helmet and replace it if it ever cracks. Make sure you find a helmet that fits wells and is the right style for the type of cycling you want to do just like you did when you shopped for a bike. The more you like your helmet, the more inclined you are to wear it.
When you have the two most important pieces of gear, you can shop for athletic clothes for cycling or full bibs and spandex, depending on how aerodynamic and comfortable you want to be. It is the best to start with regular bike pedals before moving into clipless pedals, but if you want to go for the latter, make sure you find the right kind of shoes to go with them.