Cycling Gear: Prepping like the Pros
With many of us being inspired by the Tour de France, Twenga has created a cycling gear shopping guide so that you can also be dressed head-to-toe like a pro and make the most of your cycling trips whilst staying safe!
If you’ve decided to take up cycling, you should think first and foremost about buying a helmet. It will be your first form of protection in case you fall or collide and will protect your head from sunburn.
Choosing a good bike helmet is therefore essential and should be adapted to the type of cycling you are doing and the size of your head. Essentially, a helmet which is too big or too small becomes defunct and will not protect you effectively during a collision.
However, if you place an order online for example, it’s not always possible to try on your helmet before you purchase it. So to be sure that you don’t accidentally pick the wrong size, it’s worth measuring the circumference of your head. To do this, make sure you have a flexible measuring tape and wrap it around your head at the widest part, generally around the forehead. Then refer to the table below to determine your size and choose the best helmet for your head!
Now that you know the correct size for your bike helmet, you still need to choose the shape and characteristics. That will depend essentially on your cycling practices and the level of comfort you’re looking for…Follow the guide!
City & hybrid helmet: Lean towards round helmets with plenty of fitted air vents. The city and hybrid helmets tend to be fully washable, but it’s worth double checking and looking at the CE marking which validates the quality.
Road helmet: For this type of cycling, choose the lightest helmet possible with an aerodynamic shape. So as not to reduce comfort and practicality, you should opt for a model equipped with vents which is easily washable.
Mountain bike and freeride helmet: If you go conventional mountain biking but with little commitment, your helmet will be similar to a city helmet, still with the vents and ideally light. You can also improve it by adding a small visor; practical in case it rains to protect you against splashes of mud. For the fans of more extreme mountain biking, you can directly opt for a full face helmet. The same style as a motocross one but not as heavy, it will protect your head entirely, jaw included. A helmet like this will be incredibly important when you consider the danger of collisions which mountain biking can result in!
BMX helmet: You have the choice between a full face helmet, identical to that of extreme mountain biking and freeriding, or a motorcycle half helmet. The latter has a bowl-like shape and is generally preferred for BMX cycling in cities or skate parks. A full face helmet will protect you more but will also be more of a nuisance because of reduced visibility.
It’s important to remember however that even the best helmet in the world will not protect you if it’s not properly attached or secured. It should be placed so as to cover your entire head without there being free space. Make sure it’s securely tightened otherwise the headwear can be even more dangerous than not wearing it at all. Finally, it’s important to consider changing your helmet straight after a crash, whether it appears visually damaged or not!
It’s now time to think about other necessary gear to make your experience as comfortable as possible:
Choosing the right gear will of course change depending on your cycling habits, but also in terms of your expectations with regards to comfort. It should primarily offer plenty of freedom of movement and strength, while being warm and breathable.
Similar to the helmet, it is essential you pick the correct size. For both men and women: measure your hips and chest at the fullest part, rather than the waist which is much narrower.
Which material to choose?
Natural fibre: cotton or wool? Cotton has the ability to easily absorb sweat but struggles to let it out. Wool keeps in the heat more than cotton, but doesn’t absorb sweat so effectively. Both materials can be mixed with synthetic fibre to increase their efficiency.
Synthetic fibre: This is ideal for sportswear. It’s breathable, as well as being waterproof according to its make. It mainly includes polyester and polyamide, or even lycra which is renowned for its incredible flexibility. It’s very common to find these materials for sport jerseys, shortsor cycling vests.
Additional cycling gear
You’re finally dressed for the road, but don’t forget the additional cycling gear before climbing on your saddle. It’s important to be aware of some top-notch equipment that can be very useful in case of unexpected setbacks … Here is a small selection of our essentials:
1. Bike water bottle: stay hydrated when cycling!
2. Bicycle repair puncture patches: Be prepared if a nail, thorn or other sharp object pierces your tyre.
3. Bicycle tyre pump: For when you need a quick top-up of air.
4. Bicycle helmet liners: Ideal to stop sweat dripping into your eyes, or to protect your head from the sun if you don’t have so much hair.
5. Bicycle sunglasses: to protect your eyes from the sun (and flies!).