When I first started cycling, I made pretty much every mistake possible, and still to this day, I look back at pictures on my Instagram and say, “did you ride your bike like that, Robbie” but it is what it is. I’m a firm believer that every mistake you make will teach you a fundamental life lesson.
One of the biggest mistakes I made repeatedly was constantly putting my money in the wrong place when cycling. I don’t mean like I wallet or pocket, haha I’m talking about where you should be spending your money on cycling equipment. Cycling is not a cheap sport, and it takes years to accumulate good gear. In this article, I want to run through the best places to starting spending decent money when you first start cycling.
It’s pretty apparent that wearing a helmet has many benefits, I see a post a fortnight on Instagram where a Helmet saved someone’s life, and that’s why it deserves to be at the top of this list. The criteria of what helmet to buy is essential too. I look for a reputable brand, for example, Catlike or Lazer. Then I look at the design as I will be using it a lot. It has to look good and finally the weight as personally, I’m not too fond of heavy helmets. I can highly recommend the Lazer Z1. It weighs 227g, fits perfectly, looks epic, and I trust it!
I cannot stress enough how much foot pain I have had over the years, which isn’t very good. I will never forget a day in Germany where I stopped on a busy road, took my shoes off, and cried. They hurt so much. I would have paid a lot of money to take the pain away, much more than what a set of high-end shoes would have cost. I was lucky enough to acquire a set of Shimano S-Phyre shoes, and they completely changed everything. Instantly I was pain-free, and still to this day, I find myself without any issues with my feet ultra racing.
Nobody likes to be saddle-sore, and honestly, when I first started riding in cheap padded shorts, I knew this would be a good point of investment. Not only will the pad be much more comfortable and probably stay cleaner, but you will also get a much better fit. They will last years, not months, and also they will make you look fantastic. I’m using Shimano Evolve when I got long-distance cycling at the minute, and they are excellent, super thick pad, pockets on the sides, and a perfect fit for my shape.
You knew this one was coming up, and you know how important it is already, I’m sure. Just because a saddle has a lot of padding will not make it comfortable. It’s all about the shape. Unfortunately, we are all differently built-in own bodies, so recommendations are very tough to make. Personally, what I see many people have good luck with is PRO saddles. I’m currently on the stealth and love it. Another brand to look at is Brooks the Cambium is a great saddle. For specialist lady’s saddles, Selle Italia does some excellent women’s fit saddles.
An excellent tool for tracking those rides. Let’s be fair if it wasn't in Strava, did it happen? You will get important accurate data, navigation options, compatibility with power meters and heart rate monitors, some fantastic features like alarm cues for nutrition, etc. I use an old Edge 810 though the new range of Garmin’s is much better. You also have other brands such as Wahoo, but honestly, I’ve never tried them.
A Final Note
What’s interesting about this list is that none of it matters what bike you will be riding. It’s all interchangeable between MTB, Road, Gravel bikes, etc. The value comes in the contact points and safety more than anything. I think putting money into these items here will make you so much more comfortable and make your riding much more enjoyable. Try not to fall into the trap of carbon wheels and specialist bearings too quickly.