I’ve created a cycling checklist with 3 categories:
- Must Have
- A Good Idea
- Would Be Nice
Let’s start with the cycling Must Have list:
I’ve already discussed at length the basics regarding a road bike vs triathlon bike and a used bike vs new bike.
Helmets are required by USA Triathlon rules. You can even be disqualified for simply sitting on your bike with your helmet unbuckled.
Like most gear, the higher quality helmets cost more. Don’t assume the bike helmet hanging in your garage from when you mountain biked 8 years ago is sufficient.
There are 2 helmet options for triathletes:
There are mixed opinions about how much of an advantage an aero helmet is over the road helmet.
Bike helmets basically come in 3 categories, and are more expensive as you move up from: entry level helmet, to middle range, and top-end.
I have a middle-range road helmet. I could tell a big difference in the air-circulation in the middle-range helmet over the entry-level one, but not as much from the middle-range to the top-level helmet.
Here’s a review of a Limar helmet.
#3 Cycling Shoes
Cycling shoes and clipless pedals are the preferred choice for most triathletes.
Here are my tips for biking with clipless pedals for the first time.
#4 Even More Stuff
The other “must have” items include:
- cycling sunglasses to protect your eyes
- cycling gloves for your hands
- cycling shorts or bibs, which have padding for your butt. You’re still going to get a sore rear end at first if you are new to biking, but it will be far worse if you don’t have cycling shorts
- air pump with the correct valve for a road bike tire
- chain lubricant for your bike chain
- saddle bag to attach to your bike, to be filled with the proper tools and materials for basic bike repairs such as a flat tire.
- tire repair kit with all the necessary stuff, which you stick inside your bike pouch. These are available from most bike shops
- spare tubeto put in your saddle bag. The tire size will be on the side of the tire on your bike, and will say something like, 700 x 23c
Yikes, that’s just the “Must Have” list, and chances are I forgot something!
Take a deep breath: breathe in… breathe out… breathe in… breathe out.
I’m over 40 years old, but I don’t give up easily. It wasn’t too long ago that I was exploring the idea of doing my first triathlon. If I can do it, you can too! I'm proof that with a little determination and training, you can get a great deal of fulfillment participating in marathons, triathlons… even ultramarathons.