What did I say in Getting Started Cycling part 1? Something like “It's all about the bike”.
Yes, the bike is important. Let’s put it at number 1 on the essential kit list. However, it's number 1 on a very long list. In fact I would go so far as to say that the ‘kit’ of this kit-heavy sport is the major attraction for many cyclists.
Get ready to open your wallet at the counter of your Local Bike Store – or more likely just set up a regular payment to the bank account of Chainreaction or Wiggle and arrange for a secret delivery address from which you can smuggle your stash home without your partner noticing the ever-growing bike related deliveries.
Let's start with the contact points:
Those are the true essentials, but whilst we’re talking kit what else is useful?
A T-shirt or running top is fine but cycle jerseys have pockets on the back for the sort of stuff you should take with you on a ride like: keys, mobile, cash card, inner tube, bike tool, pump or CO2 inflator (and canisters), energy gels and bars.
This is already a very long list of essentials but if we’re going to do this properly lets complete the list.
I’d add sun glasses - not because I’m optimistic about the British weather but more to guard from grit, mud and flies in the eye.
Also a water bottle on your bike (or two) is advisable.
A bike computer (Garmin Edge recommended) or just a mount for a smartphone, to aid with navigation and for recording your rides.
A saddle bag for spare inner tubes and tyre spanners.
Cycling jacket (or jackets – 1 for each season!).
A track pump to pump tyres up hard to reduce punctures.
I did warn you, the list is endless!
So in the end the best thing to do is to step away from the cycling kit websites, get out on your bike, get riding, talk to other cyclists and you will soon know what kit you really need and the kit you really want (there is a difference!)
I must be a very lax cyclist because I hardly take any of these things. For me, a water bottle and helmet are the essentials.
don't forget the suncream too - peak UV was very recent! My local Aldi has regular cycling kit sales too, perhaps not the place for the helmet but the shorts and tops look quite good!