New Bike Essentials
Make the Most of Every Ride
Whether it’s your very first bike or a new addition to the stable, outfitting yourself with the right cycling apparel and your new bike with the right accessories makes it easy to jump on and go. Explore our recommendations for the bells and whistles your bike needs - or visit us or reach out online for expert advice from our friendly, knowledgeable team of cycling enthusiasts.
Safety first, fun second. Look, it’s actually pretty safe out there, but you never know what’s around the next bend. Modern helmets are more protective and comfortable than ever and are styled to fit every rider’s personal preferences. Also, it’s good to replace your helmet every 3-5 years to ensure it works as designed when you need it. UV rays, sweat, and general wear and tear all cause the helmet to degrade.
Bike lights perform a very valuable function: they help you be seen! While they certainly help you find the way when the sun goes down, they're immensely useful during the day. You will want to do whatever you need to do to be seen on the road, and lights are a phenomenal first step.
Studies have found that daytime running lights improve visibility in all conditions, so there’s never a bad time to shine.
Finally, if you think there's any chance you'll be out and about half an hour before sunrise or half an hour after sunset, you need a light. It's the (by)law.
No person shall operate a cycle on a highway between ½ hour after sunset and ½ hour before sunrise unless it has the following equipment:
(a) a lighted lamp mounted on the front and under normal atmospheric conditions capable of displaying a white light visible at least 150 metres in the direction the cycle is pointed;
(b) a red reflector of a make or design approved by the Superintendent of MotorVehicles under the Motor Vehicle Act; and
(c) a lighted lamp, mounted and visible to the rear, displaying a red light.
Your shiny new bike might not come with pedals. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that riders on higher end road bikes and mountain bikes would immediately switch them. The bike industry decided to just leave the choice with the riders instead of creating waste.
Which pedals you choose will vary widely depending on how you want to use your bike. Are you clipping in? Rolling with flats? If you're using flats, do you plan to use the bike on trails or will you limit the use to roads only?
If you need help choosing your pedals, get in touch. We'd happily help.
We hate to say it: bike theft is rampant! The best protection for your bike is having eyes on it at all times, but it's very difficult to live your life that way. That's where bike locks come in.
You should be prepared to spend up to 10% of the value of your bike on bike locks. That might seem like a lot but the reality is, so is losing your bike to thieves.
Feel free to reach out and ask our team about the locks they recommend. We'll let you know about the pros and cons of the different types of bike locks and can give you tips, like which brands offer anti-theft guarantees.
A Basic Repair Kit
You do not want to be caught without a repair kit. It's all fun and games having an "I'll grab a lift" attitude instead of a repair kit, until you're caught with a dead phone battery and a flat tire.
A simple repair kit includes tire levers, a spare tube, a patch kit, and a pump. It all packs into a fist-size roll you can attach under your seat or carry in your bag or jersey pocket.
Tools for Basic Bike Maintenance
Your bike will run better and last longer if you're able to undertake some basic bike maintenance at home. There are two things we strongly suggest you buy and learn how to do at home:
1. A floor pump with a tire pressure gauge.
2. Chain lube (and an old rag).
You should be routinely checking your tire pressure. Our staff check weekly at least, but many check before every ride. Correct tire pressure improves performance and handling, helps stave off fatigue, and helps to prevent damage to your wheels. There are no drawbacks here - only benefits!
You should ask our team what pressure you should be running, since there are a lot of factors that will change this - including terrain, riding style, and your goals.
As for chain lube, you should clean and lube your chain at least once a month if you're a casual rider. The more you ride, the more often you should be using lube.
Regularly lubing your chain helps protect your drivetrain from unnecessary wear. It also ensures your bike runs smoothly and protects it (and your legs) from extra friction.
Ask our team for technique tips on applying lube when you pick up your bike.
Cycling apparel includes specific features that increase comfort while you're on the bike. Jerseys made from stretchy fabrics with a zippered front help regulate body temperature while rear pockets hold ride essentials, like snacks or a repair kit. Shorts and bibs are also made from stretchy fabrics and typically include padding in the seat — called a chamois — to reduce discomfort on long rides.