Have you decided to get in shape by riding a bicycle this year? Whether “Santa” gifted you a womens hybrid electric bike or you have taken matters into your own hands and purchased a bike for yourself, there are a few things you need before you go on your first ride.
Though you could potentially hop right on your bike and take a ride around the neighborhood without any preparations, you’ll have a much better (and more comfortable) ride if you do a few things first. Here are some of the top accessories you need and preparations to make before taking your new bicycle for a spin.
Befriending Your Local Bike Shop Owner
You should have a local bike shop somewhere near you. One of the best things you can do is visit your local shop and befriend the shop’s owner. Bike shop owners know a lot about subjects like e-tricycle types, cruisers, road bikes, and hybrids. Your local bike shop owner can also give you advice for different accessories you may want to purchase to make your rides as enjoyable and safe as possible.
Any good bike shop owner will probably recommend the following for new bike owners:
- Portable bicycle pumps and spare tubes
- Tools to help you change tires, wheels, etc.
- Bottle cage and water bottle
- Front and rear bicycle lights (especially if you ever ride in low-light conditions)
- Small saddle bag to carry essential tools and snacks
- A bicycle lock
While the above tools and accessories are considered necessities by most bicycle owners, some tools may not technically be necessary but are really nice to have. They include:
- Cycling clothing (including padded shorts)
- Clipless pedals and shoes (to help you stay attached firmly to your bike and enhance your pushing and pulling efforts)
- Waterproof jacket
- Arm and leg warmers
- Eyewear (including sunglasses and/or clear protective lenses)
- Bicycle computer (to track your speed, routes, and progress)
These accessories can certainly make your rides more comfortable. They can also help make your rides more exciting by making it possible to track your rides and your speed. Though it can cost a pretty penny to purchase all the cycling gear you want and need in the beginning, once you have the gear and accessories you need, you don’t need to replace them often (with the exception of your spare bicycle tubes).
The Ins and Outs of Bicycle Maintenance
Whether you have a 3 speed step through bike or a regular road bike, there are some basic bicycle maintenance tips you need to know. They include:
- Inspect your bike before each ride for safety hazards (such as flat tires, broken spokes, etc.)
- Fill your tires to the correct pressure before each ride
- Keep your chain lubricated
- Squeeze the front and rear brakes before each ride to ensure they’re working properly
- Clean your bike regularly (especially after riding in muddy or wet conditions)
If you take good care of your bike, it’s more likely to last longer than if you don’t care for it regularly. A few minutes of regular maintenance can go a long way toward preventing more serious issues with your bicycle down the road.