The exhilaration of a mountain descent, the freedom, the ability to experience something few people will; These are only a few of the amazing things you will experience as you embark on your quest to become a cyclist, but many people are so lost when it comes to all the lycra, clip-less pedals, and expensive bikes they don't even know where to start. In this article I hope to give you a great guide and starting point for your journey in to the cycling world, and more specifically the world of cycling equipment!


     It's certainly easy to get lost in the sea of expensive equipment used in the sport of cycling, but really it's very simple. First of all, you're going to need a bike, road bikes are specially designed for riding on the road for long periods of time,a walmart mountain bike isn't going to cut it if your going out for a ride of longer than about 20 minutes. Typical components of a road bike include drop handlebars, skinny tires, thin saddles, and lightweight. An entry level road bike will run you around 600-800 dollars new but the investment in a quality bike is certainly worth it and will pay dividends while it serves you for years to come.

     The next piece of cycling equipment you're going to need is your clothing. Clothing worn during cycling typically consists of shorts and a jersey. Cycling shorts are most commonly found in the "bib" form, which is generally the most comfortable and popular type of short, these shorts are very lightweight spandex that wicks sweat off your body keeping you cool and comfortable. Biking shorts also include something called a "chamois" (shammy) which is padding around the buttocks, chamois are critical if your riding for any remotely long period of time and the quality of chamois will make or break your comfort on the road. Jerseys are important but much less critical than your shorts, jerseys are made of a similar spandex material shorts are made of and usually include pockets in the back to store items such as a cell phone, mp3 player, or extra food. Good shorts and a jersey are critical if you want to stay comfortable on the road.

     While your bike and clothing are two of the biggest purchases you will make as you fill your closet with cycling equipment, there a few miscellaneous items you will want to enhance your experience out on the roads. Clip-less pedals are pedals that clip into your shoes. Clip-less pedals allow you to pull up on the pedal as well as push down, greatly increasing your efficiency as you ride, if you ride on any regular basis, you will want clip-less pedals. An important point for buying clip-less pedals is that you need to make sure the cycling shoes you buy are compatible with the pedal you buy, if you're unsure just head down to your local bike shop. You will also want to wear a helmet for obvious reasons, and a good pain of gloves can cut down on the vibrations absorbed by your hands on rough roads.

     I hope this article gave you a good starting point for getting an idea of what cycling equipment you'll need to start riding, and while a lot of information is included here, there is certainly much more to learn!