Getting Fully Kitted Out

helmet 001

Like every great journey there are always things to prepare, or things to buy.  In the case of cycling, there is some equipment that you need.  I’m not talking about tools, or fancy cycling computers.  Today, in a show of optimism for the weather, I bought my bike helmet.  From what I have been reading, if I want to join a cycling group, a helmet is mandatory.  It probably isn’t a bad idea to protect my head either.

There isn’t much left to buy.  Well, that’s not true.  There are hundreds of things to buy, but most of them do not fill up the needs column but rather occupy the wants column.  A good understanding of this should keep the budget in check.  A poor understanding of this could lead to financial ruin.

What’s left is a some clothes to wear.  Specifically bike shorts.  While I am not contemplating any epic rides in the short term, I am contemplating them for later in teh season.  I am pretty sure that a chamois will improve my comfort and ability to stay on bike seat for any length of time.

Most people I talked to swear by the bib shorts, but seem to camouflage them to some degree.  I guess they are either a bit too revealing or too spandexy for some.  Actually, I found that there are quite a few pairs of biking shorts that are spandex and chamois on the inside, but cargo shorts on the outside.  Seems like a good idea to me.

Sadly, none of this is incredibly cheap.  I’ve seen some pretty cool stuff and I hope that the old saying “you get what you pay for” is actually true.

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About Anthony

I am: equal parts rebel, romantic and shockingly average Joe. a writer trapped inside of an ESL teacher's body. an introverted attention seeker. a teacher who hopes one day to be called "Captain, my Captain." an intellectual who can do some very dumb things. a person whose Japan experience, despite being so long ago, still exerts a strong influence upon him. a lover of books, music, beer, hockey and Pizza.
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13 Responses to Getting Fully Kitted Out

  1. PedalWORKS says:

    You’ll find in time that bibs are obligatory. Much more comfortable.

  2. bgddyjim says:

    You get what you pay for. Period. However, if what you pay for us one sale, then you’re good. If money is tight, look to Nashbar… Especially for jerseys. I’ve only ever paid full price for one jersey, most others were 50-70% off at Nashbar…and I’ve never been disappointed with them, they’re awesome.

    For the shorts, the type of bike matters. A mountain bike or hybrid, you don’t need Lycra shorts, you can get away with the cargo shorts. On a road bike, we go with Lycra. Your butt would have to be immense for anyone on a bike to notice, and I mean immense. We really don’t care because we know that comfort is king and long rides work best for dropping weight. That self-consciousness is entirely home-grown in your melon. I get it, but you don’t have to feel that way. Great post. Just remember, the most important thing is to keep riding.

  3. windswept007 says:

    I bought a few tops on eBay, and Amazon has cheap deals. I love cycling shorts, but always wear trousers/short over them, fat legs. A cycle helmet is a must for me as I am a teacher and want to set a good example. The next real question for you is..pants or no pants under the cycling shorts!

    • Anthony says:

      The guy at the store told me I had to go full commando to get the effect of the chamois. I am undecided yet, but will probably go bib and maybe ad a layer on top of that…maybe.

      • windswept007 says:

        I tried it once and it was ok, but I have less “tackle” to deal with. The comments on the Internet are hit and miss. Try it once. The blog post will be interesting.

      • Anthony says:

        I guess, importantly, I am going to have to consider how snug I can make it. I tried one on, but it didn’t feel good in my gut area as I have a beer belly. I am not very tall, but rather wide. I tried on a large and an XL. I would say the XL fit better, but it wasn’t that snug.

      • Anthony says:

        Currently I am thinking about distances. I want to enter a fondo in September. They have lots of distances, but I am not sure which one I will be up to by then. There is an advantage to signing up early, but I am not sure which one is better for me. I plan to ride from mid April onward, but either 80K or 110K?

  4. Mark says:

    Not sure about shipping to Canada and I know the exchange rate is not in your favor and lastly how you would feel wearing shorts from a manufacturer that you do not ride for but found these. http://www.commencalusa.com/PBSCCatalog.asp?ActionID=67174912&PBCATID=2451151

    another store besides Nashbar is http://www.jensonusa.com/ Wish you well on this venture. I ride in what I can pick up from Target for tops and shorts. Of course I am not riding in a pack of fast riding roadies trying to cheat the wind. Nice helmet by the way. Will not get on my bike without.

    • Anthony says:

      I mention getting kitted out, but when it comes right down to it, getting out cycling is more important. I am not a professional cyclist and do not have to wear anything for a manufacturer–though if someone wants to sponsor an newbie who is overweight and out of shape….hey, I would gladly accept.
      I have tried on various shorts and have settled on a couple of brands. I will only buy them online if the deal really kills the bike store. I don’t mind paying a bit more for an actual store over an internet venture–especially if I have tried it on at their store.

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