Cycling Accessories 101: What to Buy and Where to Begin
Cycling as a sport has existed since the 1860s. For those just getting into cycling, it might be surprising to find out that there are several different categories or “specializations” of cycling. These include: road bicycle races, time trailing, cyclo-cross, mountain bike racing, track cycling, BMX, and cycle speedway.
There are even non-racing types of cycling such as: artistic cycling, cycle polo, freestyle BMX, and mountain bike trails. So, if you want to specialize, you have a lot to choose from.
With its rich history, cycling as a sport has evolved from its humble beginnings. Back in the day, in order to participate in cycling events, all you would’ve needed was your own bicycle and the ability to ride. Today, you’ll need all kinds of biking gear, accessories, and bike computers to properly train and join these types of events.
While the traditional cyclist of yesteryear may think these add-ons are just an additional expense, these new products aren’t just for show. With the proper gear and bike accessories, you’ll have an easier time improving your cycling performance and keep track of your growth as a cyclist.
Bike Gear Must-haves for Maximum Performance
Between power meters, bike computers, indoor trainers, and even radars, there’s a lot of gear that cyclists can use to improve themselves and their bike’s performance and safety. For example, with a bike computer, cyclists can track their times, top speed, distance travelled, and GPS coordinates to name just a few of its features.
With an indoor trainer, cyclists can train and simulate an actual riding experience from the comfort of home. This is especially useful to current times when staying at home is recommended. A radar, on the other hand, is an indispensable safety tool for cyclists that syncs with their phones to warn them of vehicles approaching them from their rear.
Garmin is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of biking gear and accessories in the country. The brand’s biking products feature top-of-the- line construction with cutting-edge technology.
One of its best-sellers is the Edge 1030 Plus bike computer. The Ebike computer provides important features such as GPS navigation, training status, nutrition and hydration alerts, and cycling dynamics.These biking computers boast improved battery life, with a maximum charge lasting 24-hours.
If you’re on the market for a power meter, Garmin’s Rally RS200 should be on the top of your choices. Specifically designed for off-road rides, the Rally RS200 features a superior design with sensors built right in. The sleek pedals are easy to install and can be used across multiple bikes.
All Rally power meters can be synced with Edge bike computers which allows full access to performance metrics such as cadence and total power. Linking between Rally power meters and Edge bike computers also allows easy access to data uploads and software updates.
For peace of mind and increased security while on the road, the Varia Rearview Radar RVR315 is your best bet. With the Varia radar early warning system, you won’t have to worry about approaching cars — it can track vehicles up to 140 meters away.
The radar boasts a battery life of up to seven hours on a single charge. It features multiple display options which allow for several methods to pair the radar including your phone or your bike computer. The Varia app also provides a number of useful features such as vibration and tone alerts, and graphics to indicate speed and distance of approaching vehicles.
Finally, to help boost your performance, the Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer is one of the best of its kind in the market. The Tacx boasts superior construction with improved internal air displacement which reduces vibration, allowing a near completely silent operation. It also promotes an immersive experience by simulating road conditions from inclines to accurate turning conditions for bikes. With its Bluetooth technology, you can easily sync it to your whole set of Garmin training apps for complete control and accurate measurement of your training regimen.
Tips on Choosing the Right Biking Accessories
While there are a vast amount of biking gear and accessories to choose from, cyclists should keep a number of things in mind when shopping for them.
- While many of Garmin’s products are compatible with most bikes, the same can’t be said for every single brand on the market.
- Be sure to research and test the cycling gear or accessory to see if they are compatible with your bike before you decide on your purchase.
- While the most expensive accessories provide the newest and best features, you might not need these features for your particular needs.
- For instance: the Tacx NEO 2T Smart Trainer has Bluetooth smart technology, which you might not need at the moment. If you’re still beginning, a simple indoor trainer might be a better fit for a smaller budget.
- While a fancy bike computer and indoor trainer are certainly helpful, it is very important to remember gear such as a helmet, lights, and a water bottle.
With these tips and information on hand, you’re now ready to start setting up your gear for your next cycling trip — good luck!