Any ride can be challenging if you’re not well prepared. Most seasoned riders have a small list of essentials that routinely carry on every bike ride to ensure they rock each ride, are uber comfortable on the ride and have safety as their highest priority.

Here’s our list of the top 10 essentials for every ride

1. Helmet

is the most important accessory on any bike ride. We follow a strict NO HELMET, NO RIDE policy on all our shop rides.

2. Hydration / Nutrition

We cannot emphasize enough on how important staying hydrated and well-nourished is. A mere 50km ride can have you feeling giddy and uneasy. A minimum of two water bottles is a must on any ride longer than 50-60kms.

Some quick tips

  • Drink before you’re thirsty; eat before you’re hungry
  • Have small sips every 15mins
  • Carry small energy bars on the ride
  • Rest well prior to the ride and have a small bite before you kick off the ride
  • Keep a consistent pace and ride at a pace that’s comfortable to you

3. Riding Glasses

They keep the dirt and glare out of your eyes. This is especially important on longer rides. Dust from vehicle movement ahead can get into your eyes and can be quite distracting. Glasses will make a huge difference even when it’s sunny out.

4. Gloves

The most important aspect of gloves is that they protect and comfort cyclists’ hands. The constant pressure, friction, and vibration on palms and fingers can lead to blisters and general discomfort. 

When your hands get sweaty, gloves help with grip and stability.

5. Cycling Apparel – Jersey/Shorts

Cycling gear is cut to fit properly when you’re leaning forward over the handlebars. That means jerseys have a longer back to keep your lower back covered, and legwear has a higher waist at the back too. They’re skin-tight too so aerodynamically you’re at an advantage.

6. Saddle Bag

You want to be as light and as efficient as possible. Any additional weight is just going to weigh you down. Keep it simple. Invest in a good saddlebag and keep your essentials there. All your puncture fixing essentials along with some spares can comfortably be accommodated in there. These small things will come in handy when you’re in trouble. Most saddlebags these days are water-resistant as well – meaning all your equipment is safe from the elements.

7. Hand Pump

The best sort of pumps are frame fit. The longer, larger barrel means you can push more air with each stroke. The mini-pumps are much easier and lighter to carry. They do, however, need more strokes to fill up the tire.

8. Spare Inner Tubes

You can never tell when you’re going to have the next puncture. It’s good to be prepared for the worst during any ride. Road bike inner tubes will certainly fit in any saddlebag. Keep it in there and forget it.

9. Multi-Tools

Multi-tools are great to keep in your saddlebags. They have pretty much all the sizes required for any bike. Multi-tools are very compact and are a no brainer on long rides. Some multi-tools also have a nifty chain breaker tool that can come in handy in case you have some trouble with your chain on the road,

10. Tire levers & Patch Kit

Patch kits or Vulcanizing patch kits are great for tourers and brevet riders. If you’re not in too much of a hurry then you can fix your punctures as and when they happen. This way you’re utilizing your tube to its fullest.

BONUS – Two more that we think are essential on every ride!

a. STRAVA – STRAVA is a great app that helps you track, record and create rides. We here at BumsOntheSaddle use STRAVA for all our rides. It can be used for navigation too. STRAVA allows you to connect with other regular riders as well. You can view other riders’ rides and compete with them if you so wish.

Check out our video on how to navigate using STRAVA

b. Cash & Phone – these are an absolute must to get you out of trouble and to also capture some great memories of your bike ride with your buddies.

There you go – that was a quick checklist of cycling essentials that we feel are an absolute must on every bike ride to ensure your ride is comfortable, safe and amazing.

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About the Author

Shaun George

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT CYCLING I'm an avid mountain biker and I like riding fast and flowy singletrack. As I keep riding, I continuously work on honing my riding skills. I like to ride whenever possible, especially with friends. I also like to influence folk into getting to ride more often. Working on bicycles has also been a keen interest of mine for quite some time. DISCIPLINE: Mountain biking and Road biking CURRENT BIKE: Merida One Twenty 9.600 & Specialized Allez Elite DSW DREAM BIKE: Santa Cruz 5010

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