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Few modes of conveyance are as economical, as health-conscious, and as endlessly customizable as a bicycle. But getting a new bike after years of not riding one may be stressful, as you may not know exactly what you will need.
Thankfully, getting back into biking isn’t as stressful as you’d expect. If you take some time to determine what you want in a bike, you will find that getting everything you need to hit the streets is within your power.
#1: Determine Where You’d be Riding.
While it may be attractive to choose the prettiest and most expensive bike you can, you should decide how you plan to use your bike, or more specifically, where you plan to ride it.
If your plan is only to ride through the streets, you should focus on getting a road bike, with thinner wheels and a faster, smoother ride on pavement.
If you plan on taking your bike off the road, you may want to consider a mountain bike instead. While they aren’t quite as fast, mountain bikes can handle multiple terrains.
You could also consider a hybrid bike, which has the ease of maneuverability of a mountain bike but is lighter, like a road bike. This would work if you don’t plan on hitting the trails but do plan on riding on more than just the city streets.
And, while a new bike may be tempting, used bikes can provide the same level of utility and satisfaction while coming at a fraction of the price. Using a website like https://www.theproscloset.com/ can allow for secure purchasing of a pre-owned bike.
#2: Get Dressed
Before reading this section, understand that you could ride around on a bike in whatever clothing you want. Much in the same way that you could run in jeans if you wanted, you could do the same with a bicycle.
But if you plan on using your bike for any amount of exercise, you will almost certainly want to be dressed in clothing as comfortable as possible. You can use any comfortable workout clothing that you have, but you will want to add some reflective material to your clothes, to ensure that drivers can see you from any angle.
For a more comfortable ride, you will want to invest in a pair of biker shorts. These will often contain a chamois, a piece that prevents friction and wicks away moisture.
Perhaps the most important thing you’ll want to purchase is a bike helmet. In this case, you will want a helmet that fits well. While this goes without saying, if your bike helmet gets damaged, you will want to buy a new one. You should not even go out on a bike until you have a helmet.
Other accouterments you will want to purchase include a bike jersey, a wicking shirt, sunglasses, leg warmers, bike shoes, and bike socks. But, with the exception of the helmet, all of these are more useful than necessary.
#3: Be Ready for Anything
While you will hope to not have any sort of accidents, you should be prepared for the worst just in case.
A first aid kit is vital, with plenty of bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial gels, blister treatment, and ibuprofen.
You will also want to have plenty of gear to fix your bike in case you spring a leak. Important bike repair items include an air pump, spare tubes, a tire lever, and a bike multitool.
If you’re going on an extended bike ride, be sure to bring some portable food with you. Granola bars, energy gels, even jelly beans can work. Consider getting foods that are high in carbs, for the easy-to-access fuel you may need for cardio.
This may seem like a lot to buy, but you don’t necessarily have to purchase everything on this list at once. As long as you have the most important things (a bike, a helmet, comfortable workout clothes with some reflective gear, and basic first aid), you should be able to ride without too much fear.