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What to purchase as a new biker besides the bike

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What to purchase as a new biker besides the bike

Old 11-13-20, 05:13 AM
  #1  
Awesomeguy
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What to purchase as a new biker besides the bike

So Iím new to biking and am loving it, just got a beautiful black trek fx3, and would like to continue riding through the winter. With that said
1. what items should I purchase for winter riding? Particularly to cover the feet , head and hands? ( I donít want spandex or professional cyclist jerseys)

2. I currently use casual / running shoes , what shoes should I get , not sure to go clipless or not ?
3. Bontrager makes a speed and cadence meter that goes with my trek , but should I get something else , I would like a power meter as well and would like to pair all 3 with Strava on my iPhone

4. I want a mirror but I donít want a goofy one that sticks out the handle bar , but are the ones that go on the helmet safe? I feel like it might hurt my eye if I got in an accident and went head impact

5. I want to get a bike hat that goes under my helmet for general riding, so my helmet doesnít absorb sweat and the hat does for hygiene reasons ( canít wash helmet), what should I get?
if you could advise on each and what items to purchase , please be specific with material types/ brands and cost of each ( please be cost effective).

🙏
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Old 11-13-20, 05:48 AM
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no expert on any of those. My advice is don't go out and get everything all at once right away, that way you can be more sure of what you want and not want others think you should want.
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Old 11-13-20, 07:24 AM
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Old 11-13-20, 08:38 AM
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It would help to know where OP rides -- winter riding in Arizona ain't nothing like Minnesnowta.

Since OP is shy and doesn't want to hear about skintight clothes, tights aren't going to work. First thing then is to get some (reflective) straps so long pants won't get tangled up in the chain.

Wool socks (of appropriate thickness and weight) will help with cold feet.

Long gloves (also of appropriate weight) may help with hands. You can try things like oversized leather gloves over wool or silk inner gloves, but I've found the padding in real cycling gloves is worth the extra cost over ski gloves. Unfortunately, you really need to try them on in person, both for sizing and warmth: head to the bike shop.

Polypro ear warmer or skull cap will help with the head -- buy some while you're at the bike shop.

Two final notes. First, the Winter Cycling forum has many threads about appropriate clothing for various climates. Second, it's possible to rinse your helmet off in a kitchen sink.
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Old 11-13-20, 08:49 AM
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Why do you want a power meter? So many better ways to spend $1k unless you are training for competition, and you're not likely doing that on a FX3, even as nice as it is.

Get a good set of lights to help you be seen on the road.

Instead of a mirror, you could get a Garmin computer and Varia rear radar so you can see on the computer cars coming from the rear.

Those things will run you about the same amount as a power meter and provide you with much more bang for the buck.
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Old 11-13-20, 09:05 AM
  #6  
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The FX3 isn't a performance bike which makes a power meter a bit of an investment for this level of bike riding.
Depending on what your winter weather looks like you might not need much. Personally, due to the ice where I live, I never liked to clip in while riding, instead I liked a nice pair of waterproof hiking boots which would be faster to put down. Now that I'm on Long Island and winter isn't anything worth worrying about I'm looking at clip in waterproof winter mtb shoes which will keep warm and dry through the slush and sleet they get here. If it doesn't drop below 40 then just a thicker pair of wool socks with whatever you like to wear should be fine.
Gloves I never needed anything more then basic, full finger mtb gloves. Wind can be the biggest problem and good mtb gloves have an abrasive resistant material that blocks the wind. Below 20, I'd go to a winter glove.
Pants and top I just use an Under Armor, Adidas, Nike tighter fitting sweat pant and jacket, something thicker that hugs the body so the pant legs won't get stuck in the chain and there isn't a lot of space for air to bellow through.
A thin skull cap goes under the helmet, not much more then that works, if you ride below 30 consider a balaclava which is thin or at least a neck gator.
Warmth wise, if you start to get cold, gear down and pedal faster which will get the muscles moving faster, the heart rate up and warm you up.
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Old 11-13-20, 09:39 AM
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I concur with giving the power meter a miss. If you want it train better or simply for the geek-factor, buy it, but buy it at a later date.

I'm not sure what constitutes "winter" where you are, but probably get some fenders - at least to protect you from getting that stripe up your rear and from getting your legs too wet.
Also gloves. Depending on how warm you are, how cold it is, and so on, the actual type of gloves will be different (allt he way to heavy insulated bar mitts.
I'd also say that a nice (very well zipper-vented) rain jacket is nice to have - including just using it as a windshirt.
For shoes, I'd say buy some pinned platforms and use them with footwear of your choice.
A neck tube
A beanie
A cycling cap or two (say, a summer-thickness one and a winter-thickness one with earflaps - preferably wool).
A good, non-blinking tail light. A good and non-blinking, non-blinding headlight.
Reflectors - most importantly probably on your legs (shoe covers/gaiters/trousers (movement).

Get some "commuter" trousers or some slimmish MTB trousers (slim for MTB wear) if you don't like tights (I don't either, so don't own any lycra).
Get a thin fleece sweater (maybe with a hood for wearing under the rain jacket hood in winter) with a full zip for those days where you want a little more warmth, while not overheating).

If you need to wear a (button) shirt for work or just prefer them, get some from the likes of Wool & Prince (merino). You can get them in varying thicknesses/weights and they have "regular" fit and "slim" fit.

I don't wear jerseys, instead opting for actual shirts (but in merino). A proper shirt can be opened up, closed up, collar flipped up, flipped down, sleeves opened up, closed up, rolled up, depending on temperature, the sun, the wind etc. They are just about the perfect design in my book to stay comfortable.
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Old 11-13-20, 10:25 AM
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Don't bother with clipless. I like metal BMX style pedals for most of my riding. Haro Fusion 9/16 pedals are a cheap option. For layering, a poly or merino wool long sleeve shirt and lower base layer is a good start. A fleece vest and rain jacket can be paired with it as need for most weather conditions. If you are wearing normal pants, you will need to secure the cuff of your right ankle so it doesn't get caught in the chain. A set of USB rechargable lights will keep you visible. Don't bother with tracking miles or speed for a few months. Just focus on getting comfortable on the bike for an hour or more at a time.
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Old 11-27-20, 10:44 PM
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I don't know where you live, but a bike trainer for indoor rides in the winter can be bought on craigslist for less than $100. You can do the free youtube videos for ridealong, or join Zwift for companionship/competition , or use the Peloton app for a boatload of fun rides with great music and energetic instructors. Both of those are $12.99 a month. Even if you enjoy riding in the dry clear winter days, there will probably be enough bad weather than an indoor trainer will extend your bike riding for that season.
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Old 11-27-20, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
1. what items should I purchase for winter riding? Particularly to cover the feet , head and hands?
Probably gloves, shoes, and a hat.

Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
2. I currently use casual / running shoes , what shoes should I get , not sure to go clipless or not ?
Something fairly substantial for winter, maybe some Five-Ten shoes and some good Smartwool socks.

Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
3. Bontrager makes a speed and cadence meter that goes with my trek , but should I get something else , I would like a power meter as well and would like to pair all 3 with Strava on my iPhone
Suit yourself. I hate all that tech stuff when I'm riding.

Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
4. I want a mirror but I donít want a goofy one that sticks out the handle bar , but are the ones that go on the helmet safe?
All mirrors are equally goofy, and IMO unnecessary if you have a working neck.

Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
5. I want to get a bike hat that goes under my helmet for general riding, so my helmet doesnít absorb sweat and the hat does for hygiene reasons ( canít wash helmet), what should I get?
Gore-Tex or similar cycling cap. They also make winter cycling caps.

Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
if you could advise on each and what items to purchase , please be specific with material types/ brands and cost of each ( please be cost effective).
Oh, come on. You have a computer, so do your own legwork. Look at Competitive Cyclist or JensonUSA or whatever.
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Old 11-27-20, 11:50 PM
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Naturally where you live dictates what "winter" consists of. I live in Madison WI, and commute to work year-round, though not this year so far due to working from home. Here, it can get down to -20 F (-30 C) although not all that frequently.

I think if you're already outdoorsy, then you know what you need to wear for your climate when doing stuff outdoors for periods of maybe an hour or two. I think you can wear the same stuff as you wear for just generally being active outdoors, with some minor accommodations. For instance you can't wear a winter hat under your helmet, but you can wear a windproof cycling cap to cover your ears. You will need enough flexibility so you can turn your head and maneuver the bike. If a freak polar vortex comes through, and you're under-equipped for it, then sit it out and make a note of what you are missing for next year.

Lighting is important, since you may be riding in the dark. I commute both ways in the dark during the winter due to time zones, my work hours, etc.

My extreme gear is a downhill ski parka, insulated snow pants, heavy mittens (warmer than gloves), boots, neck tube, face mask, and when it gets well below zero, downhill ski helmet and goggles. This is also the stuff that I have worn outdoors at subzero temps for hours. My winter bike has studded snow tires and a three speed coaster hub, so I can operate the shifter in mittens. I have bar mitts as well, they are great. Another reason for a dedicated winter bike is that road salt is not friendly to bikes.

I don't wear all of that stuff unless I need it.

One feature of our climate here, is that as we come back out of winter, we can have length periods where it's quite cold in the morning, and warms up in the afternoon. And sometimes I don't guess right and end up getting too warm. So I have a basked attached to my bike, which accepts all of the garments that I remove on the way. Riders who are more athletic than I am can work up a sweat quickly in winter gear, and have to worry about soaking their clothing which then becomes dangerous. Being a slowpoke who doesn't sweat much, it's not a huge problem for me. Your body will dictate what adaptations you have to make.

Winter riding sounds like some kind of badass thing, but it's not much worse than walking. There are people who work full time jobs outdoors in places like Alaska, so you know that humans have figured this stuff out.

Make sure you own a decent floor pump for maintaining your tire pressure at home, and whatever you need to fix a flat while on a ride. There are lots of threads about choosing those things.

Last edited by Gresp15C; 11-27-20 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 11-28-20, 01:21 AM
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Life insurance

and an under the seat tool tool bag With:
tire irons
patch kit
spare tube
multitool
a dollar bill for booting a large tire cut
pump

or cell phone with Uber ap or AAA card
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Old 11-28-20, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
3. Bontrager makes a speed and cadence meter that goes with my trek , but should I get something else , I would like a power meter as well and would like to pair all 3 with Strava on my iPhone
Cadence meters and power meters are pointless and useless unless you're a professional cyclists training for a race, don't waste your money on them....Instead buy things which have a practical application such as full fenders, lights, bell, a good strong lock, maybe a rack for carrying stuff, good clothing and maybe some basic tools.
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Old 11-28-20, 08:35 AM
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Youíll get a lot of answers Iím sure but I can relate to your questions. I recently got back into cycling and bought a new Trek Domane SL5 a few months ago. Since I live in Florida though no concerns with winter wear.
I did invest in a good pair of clip less Bontrager shoes $100 since I feel the firmer sole makes riding far more comfortable than any casual running shoe. Also got the Bontrager Commuter model $70 pair dual sided pedal with one side of pedal clip less and reverse to standard shoe. Might work for you if you prefer that choice occasionally.
Since I ride both paths and road I wanted mirrors to see car traffic, I have both drop bar end mirrors from Sprintech which are awesome $$26 for two. I also use an eyeglass mirror ďTake a lookĒ that you attach to side of glasses $14. Any other type of mirror that I bought and returned vibrated so badly they were unusable.

I use a headband cap from Poshei which is perfect for me and wick away moisture better than anything else Iíve used with four pack at $13. No power meter yet but did buy Garmin cadence sensor for $40 along with Garmin Edge 520plus GPS for $225 which is working well for me. The Bontrager duotrap is expensive to me at $70 and unless you use a cell phone no idea what your speed would be. I tried using my Apple X phone with various mounts and just wasnít satisfied.
Iím up to about 15 miles of riding per day now and feel this set up for me is perfect.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Sstone512; 11-28-20 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 11-28-20, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
I want to get a bike hat that goes under my helmet for general riding, so my helmet doesnít absorb sweat and the hat does for hygiene reasons ( canít wash helmet), what should I get?
Sure you can wash a helmet.. it wont melt.

Front and rear lights for safety.
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Old 11-28-20, 11:33 AM
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1. what items should I purchase for winter riding? Particularly to cover the feet , head and hands? ( I don’t want spandex or professional cyclist jerseys)

You can get covers for your shoes and helmet. Ski gloves work pretty well when it's cold. Where it's really cold the people who want to keep riding use snowmobile pogies and wear boots.


2. I currently use casual / running shoes , what shoes should I get , not sure to go clipless or not ?

They enforce better form but on a hybrid it's really not crucial. Save it to try later.


3. Bontrager makes a speed and cadence meter that goes with my trek , but should I get something else , I would like a power meter as well and would like to pair all 3 with Strava on my iPhone

Get the speed sensor for now. Power meters are expensive like >$500. Depending on how you set up you need something to read the power that's also expensive like a fancy GPS. By the time you are done you are looking at around a grand, most likely. They are really not in the same league as the speed sensor.


4. I want a mirror but I don’t want a goofy one that sticks out the handle bar , but are the ones that go on the helmet safe? I feel like it might hurt my eye if I got in an accident and went head impact

I don't like bar-end mirrors either but I've got reasons. If you go into bike stuff thinking "that's goofy" you are going to miss out.

It's a pretty small sub-set of accidents where the helmet saves your life and the mirror pokes you. Most likely you aren't going to crash and if you did it's more likely you are going to break your collarbone.

There's a helmet mirror that uses the bendy friction tubing that is used on machine tools for oil feed. I can never remember the brand name, though.

5. I want to get a bike hat that goes under my helmet for general riding, so my helmet doesn’t absorb sweat and the hat does for hygiene reasons ( can’t wash helmet), what should I get?

Most bike helmet liners come out with Velcro and wash just fine. Under your helmet you can wear any old bandana or Buff.
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Old 11-28-20, 11:34 AM
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My winter list for Chicago traffic riding:

Helmet liner: either a thin biking skullcap, or in worse weather a tight wool stocking cap. Or both.If I'm wearing a jacket with a thin hood, and it fits, I put that under the helmet if necessary.

Mirrors: I have used a Third-Eye Pro for years and love it. Chicago riding in traffic, I'm looking "backwards" half the time and can't afford to turn my head and miss what's in front, so it's a great accessory. Does vibrate a lot as Sstone512 says, but I also am fussy about things too near my eyes.

Eye protection: Pyramex safety glasses. Z87+ protection. Keeps the mirror out of your eyeball, available clear (night), yellow (dusk), sunglass grey. Buy anti-fog! Cheap enough to buy all three. These in particular look good off the bike, too, https://www.amazon.com/Pyramex-Rende.../dp/B002PINHTG Read the reviews!

Gloves: I ride with ski gloves for two reasons: they come in many thicknesses, so you can pick by temperature, and they have traction on the palms. I often carry a lighter pair for when I warm up.

Clips: I ride with plastic toe cups. Best of all worlds for city riding. You can ignore them and ride with them down, or use them. Hiking boots fit. Handy in the city for jumping potholes, not too confining. Zefal Cristophe Mountain Bicycle Half Toe Clip--Amazon again.

Shoes: I wear Columbia Newton Ridge hiking boots in the winter. ***Very light***, very warm. Don't notice them. Good when you have to get off and walk.

rsbob's tool kit, for sure!

The best lock you can carry.

Lighting: in the city, something that flashes is more important than brightness. Don't skimp, whatever.

General clothing: I wear multiple thinner layers, sometimes as many as six. Tech fabric next to the skin. I ride with one saddlebag and shed layers as necessary. Sometimes I see people plugging along in four inches of feathers, and I can't see it--I'd be sweating to death.

The one thing I haven't figured out yet is rain gear. Eurostyle is a rain cape, out over the handlebars, and I like the idea, so I bought a cheap poncho to try this year. Last winter on foot I got caught out in a sleet storm without a hat----never again!!!

Last edited by mdarnton; 11-28-20 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 11-29-20, 12:15 PM
  #18  
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You can buy an inexpensive no-name speed or cadence sensors for less than $25 each on Amazon, Wahoo sets for about $70. I have both and find that the no-name are difficult to keep paired to an iPhone (using a GPS and/or fitness app) if using a heart rate monitor. Either way, for less than $75 you have have speed and cadence sensors so I don't quite understand the negativity here in this thread. Add a heart rate monitor for $60-70 . For someone interested in pushing themselves for for increased fitness, getting all three of these sensors makes total sense to me. Of course I'm no genius so consider the source.

Consider getting a decent wireless GPS computer such as the Wahoo Element Bolt or the Garmin Edge 530. If you get a package with speed. cadence, HRM and the head unit you are looking at about $400-500 Personally and this is not a recommendation but I use the Wahoo sensors and the Wahoo optical HRM and the Garmin Edge 530 computer head, all are uploaded to Strava. I'm a numbers guy and looking to increase fitness with the least amount of fuss.

I agree with those that say that power meters are an expense that might be better put off for a more advanced rider. I do not agree that they are only useful to those training for races or pros. If you are just riding around the neighborhood to get some fresh air then none of this (computer and sensors) are necessary. But if you are looking to increase fitness and do so without hiring a coach or spending a lot of time trial and error figuring out where your threshold is then some of this will be very useful to you. However as a beginner none of the data will make sense and if you are pedaling your heart out and looking at a less than 3" screen under stress (avoiding traffic, potholes and breathing heavy) then you are not going to get much if any benefit out of it.

Not because I'm smart but in spite of it I started using an indoor fluid trainer and Zwift. Over winter months I was able to determine my ftp and lean how to use that information to ride smarter outside, making mental calculations on the fly as to what power I have available for a hill climb or how long can I sustain a particular speed/cadence.

I'm too old and too dumb to ever be a pro on a bike but I recently added power meters to my road bike and really love them. Yes very expensive, I have way more money in my PMs than the bike they are attached to but mine are power meter pedals so easy to put on another bike.

In summery my opinion is get a good gps computer, speed and cadence and HRM in that order then determine your baseline if you are looking to increase fitness. Where that falls in the priority list is probably behind safety gear (helmets and lights and so on) and clothing (good cycling pants with shammy, good jersey(s), cycling shoes and gloves and other weather related clothing), and repair (tools pumps) plus knowledge and spare parts and a good repair stand which will make your life so much easier. An indoor trainer unless you have loads of time to ride outside in poor weather and in the dark. If you think riding bicycles is a cheap way to get fit or have fun or to get around town then you are in for a surprise.

Last edited by Thomas15; 11-29-20 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 11-29-20, 04:19 PM
  #19  
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An FX7.3 is hardly the sort of bike you want to go all out on. So,

1. Clipless pedals (suggest the cheaper version of the Shimano SpD mountain bike pedal. The lower level ones are easier to get out of and one of the prime reasons for falls for a new rider is coming to a stop and not getting your feet out of the pedals before falling over.

2. This also means that you must get shoes, At first the softer sole ones are fine because you won't be pushing hard enough on the pedals to need stiffer shoes. (This is the kind of thing. Five Ten Kestrel Lace MTB Shoes - 44 EU/10.5 US | eBay)

3. Speed and distance are nice but don't bother one second for cadence. When you are first getting used to riding a power meter is a HUGE waste of money that would be meaningless anyway because if you could produce 300 watts you couldn't do it for long enough to be of any significance.

4 Mirrors are good but they are tricky to use. The sort that connect to your sunglasses are the best. Sunglasses are a bit tricky. They have to be the right density so that you aren't blinded by the light but you can see potholes in the shadows. Amber or blue are generally best and light, not dark. They also have to fit properly or else as you coast down from some overpass the air will get around the lenses and blind you. Not fun at all. I have to buy expensive ones but I'm unusual and many people can get along fine with Chinese cheapies. TAT-3001 Polarized Cycling Sunglasses Eyewear Bike Riding Goggles Sports Glasses | eBay

5 Cycling caps are available on Amazon or Ebay. This one, Team BMC Cycling Cap, Made In Italy | eBay has the correct shaped brim for wearing under a helmet and with sunglasses on at the same time. The original cycling caps were made for not wearing under a helmet and without sunglasses and the brim is in the way of your sight. With all the cars around this isn't a good thing.

6. As for clothing. - GET CYCLING SHORTS. Either that or learn the very hard way what saddle sores are. Do not get cheap shorts. But the Chinese make very good cheap clothing. I like to American made. But thermal tights going for $150 when I can get functionally the same thing from a Chinese supplier on eBay for $20 isn't a choice. They have to have the best padding in them which is usually tan. You think you have ugly hairy legs? Join the crowd. Also, you soon learn that team jerseys and heavier winter jerseys are made for a reason and cycling rapidly loses all pleasure when you are sweating to death or freezing. Welcome to the group and as you go along you will gain both appreciation for the traditions of cycling and just what advances you need to make. As an alternative you could get MTB baggy shorts and passed underwear but they simply don't work as well.

7. You will find that your butt doesn't get along with most saddles. DO NOT get heavily padded saddles. It will probably take a lot of saddles to find the one that works for distances of more than 20 miles so that is just something that you will have to put up with. Though that Trek Saddle is pretty good and you might not have any problems at all.
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Old 11-29-20, 08:33 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Awesomeguy View Post
So Iím new to biking and am loving it, just got a beautiful black trek fx3, and would like to continue riding through the winter. With that said
1. what items should I purchase for winter riding? Particularly to cover the feet , head and hands? ( I donít want spandex or professional cyclist jerseys)

2. I currently use casual / running shoes , what shoes should I get , not sure to go clipless or not ?
3. Bontrager makes a speed and cadence meter that goes with my trek , but should I get something else , I would like a power meter as well and would like to pair all 3 with Strava on my iPhone

4. I want a mirror but I donít want a goofy one that sticks out the handle bar , but are the ones that go on the helmet safe? I feel like it might hurt my eye if I got in an accident and went head impact

5. I want to get a bike hat that goes under my helmet for general riding, so my helmet doesnít absorb sweat and the hat does for hygiene reasons ( canít wash helmet), what should I get?
if you could advise on each and what items to purchase , please be specific with material types/ brands and cost of each ( please be cost effective).

🙏
to cover your head you can get a skull cap. Go to eBay and search ďcycling skull capĒ. They have both for winter and summer. You can also find gloves by searching ďwinter cycling glovesĒ
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Old 11-30-20, 08:21 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Make sure you own a decent floor pump for maintaining your tire pressure at home, and whatever you need to fix a flat while on a ride. There are lots of threads about choosing those things.
Absolutely. Gone are the days when every gas station had a free air hose available 24/7 like how it was when we were kids.
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Old 11-30-20, 09:05 AM
  #22  
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Focus on being very visible to drivers, as many have said. That means lighting, clothing and road positioning. "Space and visibility" is what keeps you on the road for years to come. The rest is just fun stuff. 'Cept maybe cycling shorts - mandatory.
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Old 11-30-20, 01:06 PM
  #23  
Gresp15C
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I'm disappointed that nobody mentioned the most important thing:

Another bike!
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Old 12-01-20, 04:09 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
I'm disappointed that nobody mentioned the most important thing:

Another bike!
See Post #3.
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