CYCLING | HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT CYCLING APPAREL AND GEAR?
Having the right cycling gear helps to make your ride safer and more comfortable. However, the gear you need depends on a number of factors, including the season, temperature, distance and road conditions.
If you’ve just started cycling, you might balk at the idea of wearing a jersey. However, thanks to their lightweight and comfortable design, jerseys offer numerous benefits for medium and long-distance rides.
Cycling jerseys are usually made from a soft, breathable and elastic material that helps to wick away perspiration. They are available in a wide range of colours, including fluorescent and reflective designs to increase your visibility to other road users.
If you tend to sweat a lot when exercising, you can wear a base layer underneath your jersey, as this will help to wick sweat away more quickly and keep you warm.
Most importantly, cycling jerseys have several pockets for storing snacks, your phone or your wallet.
Cycling shorts feature a built-in cushion that reduces pressure points and absorbs vibrations to
prevent discomfort. Cycling shorts are usually worn without underwear in order to reduce chafing. They are made from a UV-resistant material that helps to wick away perspiration.
There are two types of cycling shorts:
- Waist shorts: These are the most basic type of cycling shorts – if you’re a beginner, we recommend trying a pair of waist shorts before upgrading to bib shorts.
- Bib shorts: Unlike waist shorts, bib shorts feature bib straps that stop the shorts from moving when you’re cycling and prevent waistband compression around your waist.
- Before setting off, always plan your route to avoid getting lost! If you have any electronic gear, remember to charge it before starting your ride. In addition, if rain is forecast, carry a waterproof rain jacket in one of your jersey pockets so that you can keep dry in the event of rainy weather.
Essential protective gear
- Wearing a helmet that meets international standards (e.g. EU, Australian, or US standards) helps to protect your head and attenuate impacts in the event of a crash. Firstly, make sure you wear your helmet the right way round, and check that it fits snugly around the entire circumference of your head. The helmet should be approximately one finger width above your eyebrows. Twist the adjuster as necessary, making sure that the helmet is not too tight around your head. Then adjust the Y-shaped straps around your ears so that they sit approximately one finger width below your ear lobes. Finally, fasten the buckle and adjust the chin strap so that it is approximately two finger widths below your chin.
- Always try a helmet on first to make sure that you buy the right size. After use, wipe the helmet with a wet cloth, and then store it in a cool place.
- You should replace your helmet every 3 years, regardless of whether it was subjected to an impact, as prolonged exposure to sunlight and perspiration weakens the helmet’s material and impairs its safety function.
- Finally, check for cracks and other signs of damage before wearing your helmet to ensure that it will protect you in the event of a crash.
- To help to prevent blisters and dry skin. In summer, you can wear mitts to wick away perspiration.
- To prevent loose trousers and shoe laces from getting caught in your chain, use leg bands or consider wearing a pair of tight-fitting cycling shorts.
Cycling UV Sunglasses:
- To reduce the glare of the sun and keep flying debris out of your eyes on windy days so that you can focus on the road ahead.
Other cycling gear
- To allow you to lock your bike to a fixed object, such as a metal railing. A good quality lock also reduces the likelihood of your bike being stolen. Decathlon offers a range of different bicycle locks, such as chain locks, combination locks, U-locks and cable locks, all of which help to protect your bike against theft.
Bicycle Pump / Kickstand / Bottle Cage / Saddle Bag:
- Before setting off, check that there is sufficient pressure in your tyres to reduce the risk of a flat tyre.
- A stand is also a useful accessory, as it helps to support your bike when you stop on a pavement or next to a cycle path.
- For rides of more than 45 minutes, consider installing a bottle cage so that you can take a bottle of water with you to keep hydrated en route.
Regardless of how much cycling gear you have, always remember to conduct a thorough check before setting off, including your tyres, chain, brakes and gears – safety first is most important!