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Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

New Bike...Now I need the gear..help!

Old 06-19-19, 07:42 AM
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wiscobadger
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New Bike...Now I need the gear..help!

Hi all! I posted a few weeks ago that I was looking for a road bike. I ended up coming across a new 2017 Trek 1.2 so I'm set on that front. Now I am in the market for a jersey, shorts, shoes and pedals. I've been looking on REI and Trek, but am not sure if there's another place that would be better to look for these items. I know both REI and Trek run sales around the 4th of July, but I'm itching to get everything ASAP. I am new to cycling so I don't know if there's a recommended brand, style, etc for any of the above. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 06-19-19, 08:08 AM
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Sounds like a nice bike
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Old 06-19-19, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by wiscobadger View Post
Hi all! I posted a few weeks ago that I was looking for a road bike. I ended up coming across a new 2017 Trek 1.2 so I'm set on that front. Now I am in the market for a jersey, shorts, shoes and pedals. I've been looking on REI and Trek, but am not sure if there's another place that would be better to look for these items. I know both REI and Trek run sales around the 4th of July, but I'm itching to get everything ASAP. I am new to cycling so I don't know if there's a recommended brand, style, etc for any of the above. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
I would try to buy the shoes locally, because fit is very important. It's almost impossible to get the fit right the first time, if you can't try on the shoes. Clothing can be tough to get right the first time too, but it's easier to exchange for a different size if you get it wrong.
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Old 06-19-19, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
I would try to buy the shoes locally, because fit is very important. It's almost impossible to get the fit right the first time, if you can't try on the shoes. Clothing can be tough to get right the first time too, but it's easier to exchange for a different size if you get it wrong.
Would REI be a good place to go?
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Old 06-19-19, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by wiscobadger View Post
Would REI be a good place to go?
Not in my opinion. Iíve never noticed much cycling clothing at REI. With the demise of Performance Bike you should try a local bike shop.
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Old 06-19-19, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by wiscobadger View Post
Would REI be a good place to go?
It depends on where you live. It's difficult for Mom & Pop bike shops to carry a large selection of shoes, but if you live near an REI it's likely that you also live near some larger bike shops too.
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Old 06-19-19, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
It depends on where you live. It's difficult for Mom & Pop bike shops to carry a large selection of shoes, but if you live near an REI it's likely that you also live near some larger bike shops too.
I have a trek store by me that I generally go to. There are a lot of other bike shops too.
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Old 06-19-19, 10:07 AM
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Our local REI has a fair selection of bike clothing, but not as much as the nicer local bike shops. Definitely better to try stuff on as the sizes can really vary from manufacture to manufacturer.

Don't forget gloves, eye protection, helmet, water bottles, spare tubes, bike tool, tool bag, lights...the list goes on.
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Old 06-19-19, 06:08 PM
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First thing to buy is SHORTS: don't waste time/money buying "shorts" and go straight to a pair of BIB SHORTS. Pearl Izumi makes a range of them running from $50-$200 via Amazon and whatnot. I would suggest buying your first pair at your local bike shop to get the right size.

Beyond that, see above for the rest of your shopping list: helmet, a tight fitting jersey (flapping in the wind is annoying/slowing!), gloves, glasses, shoes, pedals, repair kit, bottles, bars, gels, tubes, CO2 thingie, etc. etc. etc. There's a whole range of price/quality on all of these things and it'll take some research/Trial-and-error to figure it all out.
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Old 06-20-19, 02:00 AM
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I think if you plan on walking or taking breaks during a ride a good set of mtb shoes for road cycling is a good idea. An LBS is gonna sell you on some typical road carbon fiber shoes that will have you walking like a duck when you decide to stop and possibly get some coffee or enjoy the views. I'm sure he will say the "stiffness improves efficiency." I'm sure it might a tad but really, you aren't racing in the tour. I personally don't like the sole that stiff either on some of these carbon shoes, I find it makes my toes go numb. Switching to mtb shoes that allow for a tad more flexibility helps me personally in that regard. You will find what works for you, just don't go all pro TDF on the gear right away lol.
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Old 06-20-19, 02:16 AM
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Definitely check out your local LBS options first. Shoes are very tricky; see what they have and what they can order for you.




Personally, i like bib shorts, but that's a personal thing. I purchased a pair of Pearl Izumi bib shorts from my LBS for about $70-$75, bottom of the line offering. The padding is flat, not 3D design to it, and it's uncomfortable to me. I have gone to better padding on my latest bib short purchases. The brand i'm currently hot on right now is Pactimo, out of Colorado, but their stuff is expensive unless you catch a great sale. Great = $200 bib shorts for $75.




Another brand that's worth looking into for starting out is Voler, out of California. Both companies (i believe) mention fit is always chancy, and they both fully understand you may exchange for a different size.




eric/fresno, ca.
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Old 06-20-19, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wiscobadger View Post
I have a trek store by me that I generally go to. There are a lot of other bike shops too.
Maybe try Sierra trading Post they always have clearance pearl pearl izumi stuff at half price or lower and very easy returns if stuff doesn't fit right. Also try the England sites like wiggle or Merlin cycles for your tires bottle cages and tools for the seat bag .enjoy all the cycling ahead
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Old 06-20-19, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by MSchott View Post
Not in my opinion. Iíve never noticed much cycling clothing at REI. With the demise of Performance Bike you should try a local bike shop.
This.
I like REI but feel they are lacking in the apparel department for all sports.
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Old 06-20-19, 05:21 AM
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Go to your LBS(s) and get something that fits...avoid the temptation to save a few bucks on the internet until you have some experience on how things fit.

MTB shoes with SPD pedals are a good way to be clipless and be able to walk with minimal issues...Shimano makes a cleat that breaks out easily/either way for those of us less coordinated.

Buy a good/bright red strobe for the rear of your bike...a white for the front would be good as well, but are sometimes pricey.
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Old 06-20-19, 06:21 AM
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Get some combo platform/SPD Shimano pedals, online. Nothing special there. They're the SPD model that looks like it has a little additional rectangle around it. It gives a little extra if commuting or learning to ride.

Shoes to match. Probably go with a mtb or cyclocross style shoe at first. They have a walking tread. If you aren't racing or in the A-group, the weight penalty of a good walkable shoe that doesn't collect as much trash in the cleat is nice. I still own a pair.

The bibs/shorts. I'm a bib fan, the ones with suspenders. I find that some shorts only tend to dig into your waist to avoid slipping down. The suspender style holds itself up. I find that a good LBS will carry nice bibs and the REI style places carry generic stuff that isn't as good. I own some REI bibs, and they suck. The leg grippers are so loose I can fit my finger under them, the pad has gotten really thin over time, and it's not aging well.

Lights. Go ahead and make sure you have at least a good $50 or so red rear flashing light. If you ever plan to ride in lower light conditions, a solid $50+ front light also.

Next, saddle bag. Get a decent one, the Specialized ones are good. The velcro on the cheap ones wears out too fast. Fill that saddle bag with a basic multi tool, two tire levers, and a tube. Next, get a compact pump or your CO2. And by the love of God, don't get a cheap clip on frame mounted one that's going to bounce off into riders in the middle of a group ride. Either a CO2 in the saddle bag OR the compact hand pump in a jersey pocket. IMHO, the poorly mounted frame pump is super dangerous and a "spot a Fred" kind of thing.

Another comfort item for learning.........decent fingerless padded gloves. I don't wear them now, I should, but I've done enough miles that I'm not bothered any longer by the beating. Just learning, you'll appreciate them. A LBS item like the shoes as you need to try it on.

Make sure you wear your sunglasses or clear eye wear, bugs or debris in the eyes can be painful and make you crash.

Your bike likely didn't come with bottle cages. Don't cheap out. Get something like the Specialized "rib cage" or something that holds it well. Not the cheap wire metal ones you can bend around. And get bottles you can drink through by just squeezing, not having to bite and pull a stopper. Sometimes Phil Gaimon gives them out free after a fondo if you pay shipping. I recommend either the Specialized bottles or the Camelbak Podiums.

Some folks ride just to ride and don't care about data. If you do want to track your rides your options are either the computer OR a mount for your phone. I went the phone-mount way when starting riding. I found the cheap ones to not hold it securely and dropped mine once. Then I had wound up buying two phone mounts totaling nearly $30 to $40. You're a 1/3 of the way to a $100 Elemnt Mini or Garmin Edge at that point. If you need turn by turn directions, that eats up a phone battery. Learn to memorize your routes. I own a computer with GPS and maps and don't use the map unless it is the first ever time taking a few turns I don't know about. Even then you could pop your phone out of your jersey pocket for 30 seconds and check, then move along.

Own a track (floor) pump? Need that.

Get a bottle o' lube. Research online your cleaning options. That's a wickedly tribal topic that causes lots of anger among forum users, so just research that on Google and make your own call.

You should be pretty close to comfortable and happy at that point.
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Old 06-20-19, 11:23 AM
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Good tips on here so far. My two cents:
  • Shoes: I agree that most people do best buying shoes in person. You will want to decide whether you want shoes you can walk in (MTB/touring style; two bolt) or pure road shoes (stiffer, not fun for walking; three bolt). Most shoes are going to be compatible with one system but not the other.
  • Pedals: Just make sure they're compatible with your shoes (two bolt or three bolt systems). Pedals are easy to install and you can find deals online, though it's not a bad idea to have some grease on hand for greasing the threads.
  • Jerseys: What is your preferred fit? Many jerseys come in different cuts, with labels like 'club' (looser, relaxed fit), 'race' (tight fit), and 'pro' or 'aero' (skin tight fit, like a second skin). Tighter jerseys also tend to have features that keep them from moving around, like silicone grippers. Sizing is more forgiving in looser jerseys. Cycling apparel in general runs smaller than American sizing, especially with non-American brands (incidentally, this is also true for non-American brands of street clothes.) I've personally not had a problem buying jerseys online...but it requires reading a size chart with measurements in cm and making good decisions, knowing that I might wear a medium cycling jersey even though my favorite band T-shirt is an XS.
  • Shorts: Like others, I recommend giving bibs a go. You probably will not develop a preference for chamois/padding until you get some miles in, and your preferences may change over time. I personally recommend not going cheap. If you buy online, same deal as for jerseys (non-American brands use non-American sizing), and a good return policy is helpful.
As others have mentioned, other gear you should probably get includes:
  • Front/rear lights, even just for daytime visibility
  • Floor pump with PSI measurement
  • Equipment for fixing a flat and a place to store it on the bike or in your jersey
  • Eye protection (dragonfly to the face at 40MPH is not a good time)
  • Arm sleeves and/or a wind jacket, assuming you are in Wisconsin
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Old 06-20-19, 12:21 PM
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Yeah clothing size can depend on cut and brand. Just because a Large jersey fits you in a LBS doesnít mean you wear a Large in all jerseys. For bibs and jerseys you can purchase online, just make sure to go by the size chart which means you will need to measure your chest for jerseys and your waist and hips for bibs. The size chart will have associated measurements for each size.

Now the question whether you should buy at a LBS vs online is up to you. Personally I have found that I get way better value purchasing brands that I like on the web over what a LBS may have in stock. LBSís around here carry Bontreager and Pearl Izumi, and maybe Primal Wear, which are priced between $120-$200.

A pair of Rapha Core Bibs go for $115 with free shipping....and the Core bibs are superior in every way to what I have seen in my LBSís for less cost. A proper set of bibs are more than just Lycra and a Chamois. A proper set of bibs will also have the proper mix of materials and cut to support you in all the right places - in your riding position. The difference in feel is quite remarkable in comparison to run of the mill bibs when you put them on.
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Old 06-20-19, 12:36 PM
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Here in Atlanta, REI has been replacing stock in their brick and mortar stores with Bontrager gear.

Giro gloves are all but gone, replaced by Bontrager gloves. Several models of lights, helmets and arm/leg warmers from other manufacturers have been supplanted with Bontrager products. The store near me has removed Light & Motion products from display entirely and replaced the endcap display with Bontrager Flare lights. Now you can't touch or feel the Light & Motion products at all without opening a package. Pearl Izumi stuff too, replaced with Bontrager. It is starting to look like the accessory department at a Trek store.

LBS around here are dismal in terms of selection and eye watering in terms of price. $19 for a brake cable? "No, but we can order it" is the default answer for all questions, or they want to have a fifteen minute technical discussion, "understand your needs" and recommend an appropriate product when trying to buy a seven dollar bottle of chain lube. Maybe it is different elsewhere. I have better luck at Triathlon shops than bike specific stores.

Meanwhile, Backcountry.com gives free two day shipping on everything and free returns if you work with one of their "gearhead" account reps. Really can't go wrong. They provide a UPS return label if you don't want to keep something.


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Old 06-20-19, 12:51 PM
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In the beginning I only bought used gear until I could figure out what I liked. When I buy new items, I like aerotechdesigns.com, especially their wild spandex print shorts. I can even wear a kiddie size!
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Old 06-20-19, 01:06 PM
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I havenít seen a mention of tools other than a floor pump. At minimum get a bike stand, pedal wrench and one of the hex tools with 3 sizes. A chain tool is helpful if you want to replace one yourself.
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