There are countless lists on what you need to get cycling but what about the things you don’t need?
1. Let’s start with the obvious – I know you want one but you don’t need a £5000 carbon super bike. You don’t really need a £3000 bike.
2. Deep rim aero wheels. You’ve seen them on the pros’ bike and you’ve probably heard them as that guy with the £5k bike overtakes you. Yes they sound great with that low rumble and they look great, but you don’t need to drop £1k plus on a pair. Besides you’ll be cursing them in a crosswind.
3. Electronic gear shifting. It’s not the future, it’s now, changing gears at the touch of a sweet button.No more clashing of gears with a mistimed gear shift on a hill. Great until you forget to charge the battery. Mechanical gear-sets from Shimano 105 or Campagnolo Centaur upwards shift assuredly and won’t let you down.
4. Aero helmet. You’ll see these as a rule on the ‘all the gear, no idea types’. The helmet that looks like an oversized ice cream cone. Don’t make the same mistake. Manufacturers are now making aero-inspired road helmets, only moderately more acceptable.
5. Any pro level kit - cycling shoes, mitts and helmets. It’s not so durable, it’s garish and unless you’re being paid to ride - excessively expensive. I’d include any Team Kit and cycle-wear from Rapha in this.
6. Carbon. It looks pretty and replacing aluminium components with carbon can shave whole milligrams from your bike’s weight, but it’s the cycling equivalent of ram raiding a Fiesta into Halfords and driving out with spoilers and body kit attached.
7. Beards. Yes I know Bradley Wiggins has been sporting one the last couple of season as well as any cycling Hipster East of the Old Street roundabout but I don’t want to think about what’s in a beard post-ride: flies, sports gel, sports drink, sweat and dribble! Give it a year or two and I guarantee you will be guilty of most if not all of the above! I know I am – except for the beard! For more cycling related ‘rules’ check out the legendary Velominati.
An aluminium bike is light enough for me. Anyone who pays the huge £££ extra for carbon is crazy. Does it really matter if you are a squillionth of a second faster?
What a great read. It's good to know that even an experienced cyclist will admit that you don't need lots of posh gear. And it's very helpful to have a second opinion when the advertisers will tell you you need the best of everything.
with you on everything at the last one - a bald chin gets cold in the winter! Not suggesting Gandalf-on-two-wheels, but nothing wrong with a beard!