Cycle touring is great fun: there is no doubt about it. Think about the freedom and memories you can get on the road. It is also a very cheap way to experience the world at your own pace. For people who embark on your first biking adventure, deciding what to bring can be a headache. Too much stuff and their pace can be slowed down.
Too little and they might be left in the middle of nowhere with no food and a flat tire. Well, no doubt that everyone needs a road bike first a foremost. See this for recommendations of which best road bike for beginners you should get. For other gear, read on for a beginner’s handy guide.
Before talking about the essentials you need, we need to remind you that what you should pack depends on the length of your trip (and of course other factors like the weather and locations).
- For a day trip, you mostly need a handle bag only, which is easy to access. What is the use in bringing too much clothes or food anyway? Aim for the maximum weight of five to eight pounds only.
- For a weekend trip, saddlebags prove to be useful. They have more storage than handle bags for sure, allowing you to pack enough stuff for 1-2 nights. A change of clothes is necessary in this case; plus, you need some kind of sleeping arrangement like tent, sleeping mat…
- For a long trip, you may need to tow along a single-wheeled trailer that has plenty of space for a full repair kit, different types of clothing, recreational equipment, and cooking appliances. Wool clothes are recommended for overnight: they offer good insulation and are lightweight.
When you are out on the road, obviously you cannot go without essential items like bike clothes, stove, food… Instead of talking about these obvious things, we focus on other items that can help you enjoy a pleasant cycling adventure:
- Cream or salve for reduce saddle sore
To prevent the discomfort you get from cycling for long distances (especially if you embark on a long trip), just the bike shorts alone are not enough. Remember to bring along the type of cream or medicinal ointment that you can apply to your tender areas to reduce sore or friction
- Repair Kit
It is not a good idea at all leave your at home, by accident or not. At the very least, you need tools to repair your tires: spare tube, tire patches, hand pump and a tire lever. Having a flat tire is no fun: we can assure you that.
- Rain gear
You never really know when it rains. Trusting the weather forecast 100% and you can be in trouble. Rain wear does not take up a lot of space in your bag; it can come in very handy in fact. Opt for gear made of Gore-Text material because it is very breathable: you won’t sweat a lot while wearing rain gear, which is a huge plus.
- Cotton scarf
No, we do not talk about clothing gear here: just a piece of handy item you should bring along. While cotton clothes are not highly recommended because they absorb water easily, a cotton scarf can keep your head and neck warm in windy weather. When the road gets really dusty, you can just use it to cover your mouth.
- Bike lock
There are various reasons that can cut short your trip but losing your bike is probably among the most terrible ones. It never hurts to invest in a good lock no matter how long your trip is.
- Extra calories
Surely, you already pack enough food but it is always nice to some extra cereal or chocolate bars in your pocket. They can give you a quick boost of energy, especially when you do not feel like eating food.
- A camera
Why not bring it along and record the wonderful view you see during the trip?
One last tip: After you finish packing, take a test run. Fully load your bike with all things you prepare and take a short ride. This test will help you determine if you pack too many things that can affect your speed and control.
Nick Soros has been tried many different road bikes and become an cycling enthusiast for a 10 years. He collected many top and affordable road bikes on the market that can help you choose the most suitable one. They’re basing your budget as well as your demand. So it would be useful if you check his informative advice before give your final decision. Not only for first riders, but experienced ones.