6 Essential Things for Cyclists to Invest In
Whether you've just started cycling or you're coming back after an extended time, it's important to have a few high quality essentials to make sure you have a safe and comfortable bike experience.
This list does not include the bicycle itself because 1/ it deserves its own article, and 2/ even so-called cheaper bikes aren't cheap so it's hard to just put out a blanket recommendation. Our advice re buying a bike is invest in the best bike you can afford.
Ok, so. By 'invest', we mean these 6 pieces are going to form an important part of your bike riding experience. We can’t recommend more strongly the need to wear the right gear when riding your bike, because the biggest thing discomfort leads to, is discouraging you from riding your bike. We don’t want that!
We believe these 6 pieces are essential to having fun and being safe on your bike - and remain the same no matter if you're on a hybrid heading for a casual loop around your neighbourhood or heading out on an off-road gravel adventure.
Let's get started!
1. Padded Bib Knicks or Shorts
When we cyclists meet someone who doesn't ride, the most common question is “doesn’t your bum hurt?”. Let’s put aside the awkwardness of this exchange for a moment and be frank. The answer can often be a resounding yes – but delightfully, it can also be a big no.
If you haven't ridden bikes in a while - or even if you have - knicks are incredibly important to a comfy ride. Not only are they literally the closest things to your most sensitive areas, they are also the only thing between a great bike ride with friends, and feeling as though you've been horse riding bareback for roughly 3 weeks.
Knicks will make your cycling experience much more enjoyable in three key ways:
- The chamois pad should be high quality and scooched right up against your body, to provide a smooth sitting surface for you as opposed to normal clothing which will likely have seams running through, err, uncomfortable places
- Snug fitting knicks will reduce friction, by providing a snug fitting fabric that moves with you as you pedal, reduce rub against your skin and prevent nasty chafing
- Fancy technical fabric to wick moisture from your body, prevent your chamois becoming squelchy from sweat, promote the movement and evaporation of sweat away from your skin, preventing bacteria from building up
If you're wondering about bib knicks vs high waisted shorts, we've developed a handy mythbusting guide to help you make that decision... In a nutshell - high waisted shorts can now be a great option because the style has developed alongside activewear leggings. Think high waisted wide bands that keep everything nice and tucked away.
High waisted shorts will hold everything in place exactly the same as bib knicks - IF THE FIT IS RIGHT.
Check out CWRB's brand new high waisted shorts and bib knicks, available in our new Slothee print for a limited time.
2. Drink Bottle
Riding bikes is thirsty work! If you've ever had a low quality drink bottle before, you'd know that they massively suck. You have to use your teeth to wrench the top open, it makes water taste like plastic, it's hard to clean and anytime there is a hint of heat they basically lose their shape and don't fit in the drink bottle cage anymore.
A good quality drink bottle is essential for a happy time on the bike. If you need one, grab one or two of ours which is made with Purist technology which shields the inside of the bottle from bad taste, mould or staining. Nothing sticks so your bottle stays clean and your water tastes pure, and they only cost an extra couple of bucks.
3. Cycling Jersey (with ventilation)
If you live in a hot climate, use a camelbak while you ride, or you're just a heavy sweater - listen up. NEVER WEAR COTTON on the bike. Unless you're legit riding a short distance to the shops or the cafe, cotton is not sweatwicking and will cause you extreme grief as soon as you start moving.
If you're new to cycling, buying a jersey may seem like overkill! You might be thinking to yourself "but I'm not a professional cyclist, what do I need one of those jerseys with the pockets at the back?!"
Totally understandable, seeing as many of us who are new to cycling only have the Tour de France pros and MAMILs to look to for inspiration, but you'll find that most cycling attire is a lycra blend with sweat wicking properties... and is essential to being comfortable on your bike ride.
Check out CWRB's brand new jersey range, available in Standard (as modelled by Katey on the right) and ECO+ - our silkist and ventilated jersey, available in our new Slothee print for a limited time.
Your feet sweat. It's what they do. But your feet are also one of the three contact points between you and your bike so they also need to be supported and looked after!
There are lots of different kinds of socks out there, from fabrics to design to height and size. All of that is personal preference, but we would recommend making sure the body of the sock (the part that goes around your feet) is breathable, sweat wicking and comfortable.
Whether you go with ankle socks or up-to-the-knees compression socks, keep your feet in tip top shape by choosing socks that fit rather firmly. Similarly to the fit of your knicks, your feet do a lot of work while you're riding, irrespective of whether you're wearing trainers, flats or clip ins.
You DON'T want your socks moving around in your shoe every time you pedal as that's when blisters can form and bacteria from your feet and the environment around you can be introduced into your bloodstream.
Check out CWRB's sock range, available in our new Slothee print for a limited time!
5. Cycling or Sports Glasses
This may not be something you immediately think of when you imagine investing in certain cycling pieces, however having glasses that are cycling or sports-specific is very important.
I always rode my bike with my regular prescription sunnies. I never really thought much about getting 'sports sunnies' like 'real cyclists'. My specsavers ones will do just fine, thank you. That was my thought process until I could have lost an eye. ~ Jordana Blackman, Chief Chick CWRB
Whether you're riding a gravel bike, a road bike or a dual suspension MTB, having the right eyewear will ensure that:
1/ You don't get a rock, sand or other grit flicked up into your eye
2/ You're protecting your eyes from UV, and glare
3/ If something happens, the lenses are impact resistant which means the glass shards won't break into your face if you have a stack or an accident.
There are glasses that look more 'pro' and other ones that look more like traditional sunnies - whichever way you go, make sure you're not just wearing your regular fashion sunnies on the bike.
You can get a pair for as little as $50 from our friends at 99 Bikes - so make sure you pop in and see them to try some on. Got a prescription? Head to your optometrist or get in touch with our friends at Goggleman.
In Australia, wearing helmets while riding is mandatory. It's therefore important that we spend money on one that feels great, will protect our noggin if anything happens, and also look good enough that we don't feel like we're wearing a huge pile of plastic-wrapped foam on our heads.
Before committing to buying one, make sure you go and see our friends at 99 Bikes and ask to try a few on, and make sure you can adjust them to fit correctly. (You can also use your 20% off voucher in your app when you're ready to make your purchase!)
A well-fitting helmet won't move or shake around when you tilt your head forward, and you should have 2 fingers width between the chin strap and your chin.
(If you're in Australia, make sure it has a sticker showing it's compliant to AS/NZS 2063.
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