Cycling for beginners: how to choose the right gear

Cycling for beginnersCycling for beginners
Cycling for beginnersCycling for beginners


Cycling for beginners: how to choose the right gear

Getting into cycling is a positive step towards a healthier lifestyle. You will become more active and can build your social circle by taking part in races and mountain biking competitions once you build up your skills. However, as a beginner, you need to get the basics right by visiting bicycle shops and looking for the right gear for your ride. Below are some simple tips on how to choose the right gear as a beginner cyclist.


What kind of riding do you want to do?

The first thing you need to consider before you go out to one of the many bicycle shops in Cape Town is what type of riding you want to do. Are you interested in mountain biking on harsh terrain, or will you be sticking to cycling along roads on flatter terrain?

You will need to invest in the right kind of shoes for these different types of riding, such as hardier boots or sneakers for mountain biking or more streamlined shoes for road cycling. The type of riding you plan on doing also affects the type of clothing you will be wearing on your cycling adventures.


Look for a decent kit

A decent cycling kit (jersey and shorts or long pants) is vital to keeping you feeling comfortable and confident on your bike. Look for high-quality bib-shorts that can aid with comfort and aerodynamics for road cyclists, and can also maintain comfort for mountain bikers.

Your jersey should be tight against your skin to avoid getting caught in your gears while riding, and should be made of a warm yet breathable fabric. Bike shops in Cape Town and around South Africa sell colourful jerseys to fit any size, but if you prefer the neutral look then choose one in black, navy or white. Your kit should not be too tight, but should also not hang loosely off your body in case it becomes tangled in the spokes or on the handlebars.


Shoes and socks are important too

When looking for gear to wear on your bike ride, it is important to look for shoes and socks that match the ride you will be going on. Road cyclists, mountain bikers and those who prefer using their bicycle for daily rides all need to look for different shoes and socks to suit their needs.

Road cyclists should look for an aerodynamic and lightweight options with slick soles. For mountain bikers, you will need to find durable shoes with a sole that has a good grip. Casual riders should look for a sports shoe that is able to grip easily onto the pedals without slipping off easily. Your socks should be warm but breathable, which makes bamboo cycling socks the best choice.


You will have to deal with helmet hair

Being a cyclist, whether you are a mountain biker, road cyclist or enjoy it casually, means that you will have to wear a helmet wherever you go. It is illegal to cycle without one, but most importantly, it is highly dangerous.

You do not have to wear an expensive, carbon reinforced, brightly coloured helmet, but it does need to be solid enough to support your head if you are in an accident. Road cyclists do not need visors, but mountain bikers do due to the debris that goes flying when cycling down rough mountain terrains. Never buy a used helmet, as these can break easily when damaged and do not offer the right amount of protection.


Luggage options to suit your needs

Luggage is not often a word that you associate with bicycle shops or cycling in general, but for those who will be using their bike as a form of daily transport, you will need some form of a bag to carry your essentials in while riding.

A small, compact rucksack is the best option for riding around town or a quick jaunt to the countryside, but if you are planning on going for longer rides then a rack and panniers will give you lots of capacity for all necessities. Your rucksack, backpack or crossbody bag should not make you feel constricted with little to no movement, especially if you are going to be going on a long journey. Ensure that you can move easily and that you have not packed too heavily for your cycling journey.


Enjoy the ride

Cyclists know that the journey is as important as the destination, and in order to enjoy the ride, you need to have the right gear. A helmet and eyewear are vital accessories to have for both road cyclists, as well as the right jersey and shorts. Enjoying the ride means having the right shoes and socks for the situation: mountain biking in sandals is not a very good idea. Once you have the right gear to wear and the right accessories, you can set off on your next cycling adventure!

Cycling for beginners