🗳️ ELECTION 2024: THE MSE LEADERS' DEBATE Got a burning question you want us to ask the party leaders ahead of the general election? Submit your suggestions via this form or post them on our dedicated Forum board where you can see and upvote other users' questions. Please note that the Forum's rules on avoiding general political discussion still apply across all boards.

New cyclist

Options
I have recently taken up cycling again after several decades hiatus. I have done a few Breeze rides and am already learning that I need to buy various accessories.


So what to people recommend for a leisure cyclist (not going to commute) on a hybrid. Lights were a must so I have got them. Mudguards? Some kind of bag - but what sort? I've seen handlebar bags, bags that go under the saddle and bags that sit on racks. What do I actually need to carry? Money/phone obviously but what else? Do I really need to carry a pump and an inner tube? Tool set - even though I wouldn't know how to repair a flat tyre?
«1

Comments

  • Norman_Castle
    Norman_Castle Posts: 11,871 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    Options
    Unless you like pushing your bike learning how to fix a puncture would be wise. Some areas might do cycle maintenance courses which could teach the basics. A well maintained bike is much nicer to ride.
    Choose whatever bags or racks you like. I fit mudguards for the winter. Even if you don't ride in the rain you will find puddles or mud.
  • boliston
    boliston Posts: 3,012 Forumite
    First Anniversary Photogenic First Post Combo Breaker
    Options
    Having no mudguards to me seems crazy - I think we need to look at the types of bikes used in cycling countries like netherlands and denmark to see what is practical when it comes to using a bike for transport (as opposed to sport)
  • Johnmcl7
    Johnmcl7 Posts: 2,818 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    Options
    Great to see a new cyclist join the community, welcome :)

    What you carry with you depends on how long you're planning to ride for, you don't need serious bags like handlebar and frame bags unless you're doing long cycles. As a minimum I carry a water bottle, pump, inner tube, tyre levers, bike tool (like a swiss army knife but a range of allen keys and a couple of other useful heads) chain quick links (allow you to quickly repair a broken chain), a lightweight lock, a snack bar and some clothing depending on the time of year usually arm warmers and a waterproof jacket.

    Some people choose to carry that on the bike itself, a pump can be mounted onto the frame and a small saddle bag can pack in a few useful bits and pieces. If I'm doing some shopping and need more capacity I use a pannier bag.
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,228 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Options
    By far the most likely thing to go wrong with your bike on a ride is a puncture. So unless you're riding in an urban area where you can easily get a bus/taxi home and come back for the bike later (and to be honest, even then) I'd definitely recommend that you carry a spare inner tube, some tyre levers and a pump, and that you know how to use them. If you do that you'll be equipped to deal with 90% of the things that go wrong. Maybe add a pair of latex gloves or a small pack of wet wipes as changing a tyre can be a messy business, especially a rear tyre where you have to touch the chain to take the wheel off.


    It really isn't difficult to fix a puncture, especially if you have quick release wheels (as all but the very cheapest bikes do these days). You can find plenty of instructions and videos online, and it's worth practising changing a an inner tube at home if you haven't done it before.


    Inner tube, pump and levers (plus a multi-tool which I've hardly ever used) is pretty much all I carry in terms of repair equipment. Inner tubes these days are cheap enough that I don't bother with the "classic" patch and glue puncture repair kit - I just change the tube if I get a puncture. And maybe I'm not trying hard enough, but I've never had a chain snap in 20+ years of regular cycling so I don't bother with a chain tool or spare links. I keep those few bits and bobs in a small under-saddle bag which lives on the bike so that they never get forgotten.


    As for other bags, well this is a slightly controversial view but if you have a small rucksack (eg 10L size) there's nothing wrong with using it to carry an extra top/waterproof and some sandwiches - there's no need for specialist bike bags like panniers or handlebar bags. Obviously if you're carrying much more than that you won't want the weight on your back - but you don't really need a lot for a half-day ride. Some people don't like a rucksack as it makes their back sweaty but other people find that it doesn't bother them - give it a try before you splash out on panniers or similar.



    Mudguards? If you only cycle in good weather then you won't need them at all, but at this time of year there'll often be water on the roads even if it isn't actually raining. If you're riding in a group it's generally considered good manners to have them in the wet - it means that you're not spraying too much water in the face of whoever is behind you. If you're on your own it's more of a personal thing - some people are happy just to get a bit messy and shower when they get home.
  • Nebulous2
    Nebulous2 Posts: 5,158 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Options
    Welcome. I do a lot of cycling and have different setups for different circumstances. If you're a fair weather leisure cyclist you may not need mudguards for instance.

    My commute to work is only 1.5 miles and in 7 years since I got this job I haven't had one puncture. My bike has guards and a rack with pannier bags, because I carry a laptop and paper at times. I also have waterproofs, spare tube, pump and tyre levers.

    My best bike has no guards, no rack and a small saddle wedge bag with two tubes, tyre levers a CO2 pump and two spare gas cylinders. It does have punctures as it has lighter race type tyres. I don't think you need guards if you are cycling for fun and only do so in fine weather.

    My long distance bike has guards, a hub dynamo and a large seatpack bag which carries the kitchen sink; 4 tubes, spare tyre, tyre boot, multi-tool, small bottle of oil, chain tool, chain link, head torch, spare lights, battery pack, batteries, wipes, spare clothes, food etc. One of the main reasons for all of that is that I'm generally doing events on that bike where it is very important to me that I finish, I really dont want to bail and get a train or lift home.

    So I guess I'm saying it depends what kind of riding you are doing. We used to have two cars and I knew if the weather was terrible I could take a car to work. Getting rid of one of the cars was a big psychological barrier. In practice it made very little difference, but in my mind it meant I now had to cycle to work whatever the weather was like and it put a lot more pressure on me -knowing the option to jump in a car had gone.
  • Belenus
    Belenus Posts: 2,554 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Options
    bouicca21 wrote: »

    So what to people recommend for a leisure cyclist (not going to commute) on a hybrid. Lights were a must so I have got them. Mudguards? Some kind of bag - but what sort? I've seen handlebar bags, bags that go under the saddle and bags that sit on racks. What do I actually need to carry? Money/phone obviously but what else? Do I really need to carry a pump and an inner tube? Tool set - even though I wouldn't know how to repair a flat tyre?

    I'm retired and a leisure cyclist.

    The best investment I made was to fit Schwalbe Marathon Plus puncture resistant tyres as that means I don't have to carry puncture repair kits, pumps or spare tubes etc.

    Other brands of puncture resistant tyres are available. Some people say the rolling resistance is higher than normal tyres. I don't notice that and, in any case, as I cycle for fitness and weight control as well as pleasure I don't care about using extra calories.

    I have a very small pouch that fits to the crossbar that has room for a mobile phone, house keys, credit card and a few banknotes. That is all the extra weight I need to carry.

    If you are going on a long ride you may want to fit a water bottle holder.

    Enjoy your cycling. :beer:
    A man walked into a car showroom.
    He said to the salesman, “My wife would like to talk to you about the Volkswagen Golf in the showroom window.”
    Salesman said, “We haven't got a Volkswagen Golf in the showroom window.”
    The man replied, “You have now mate".
  • Manxman_in_exile
    Options
    I agree about puncture resistant tyres and I also don't mind about using extra energy for the same reason.


    (I'd still recommend knowing how to repair a puncture and having a repair kit though).
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,228 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Options
    Belenus wrote: »
    The best investment I made was to fit Schwalbe Marathon Plus puncture resistant tyres as that means I don't have to carry puncture repair kits, pumps or spare tubes etc.

    Other brands of puncture resistant tyres are available. Some people say the rolling resistance is higher than normal tyres. I don't notice that and, in any case, as I cycle for fitness and weight control as well as pleasure I don't care about using extra calories.
    I have those on my "less sporty" bike. They're very good indeed, but keep in mind that they're puncture resistant, not puncture-proof. I have managed to puncture them a couple of times - I vividly remember removing a blackthorn spike which seemed long enough to slay a small dragon with. So I still carry a tube and a pump.

    That said they've saved me a lot of time standing by the side of the road in the cold and the wet cursing my numb fingers as I fiddle with the tyre levers, so they were a great buy. They do mean a little extra resistance, but it's not really noticeable unless you're pushing yourself hard and/or obsessively monitoring your times on Strava (guilty as charged, m'lud ;) ).
  • Belenus
    Belenus Posts: 2,554 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Options
    Aretnap wrote: »
    I have those on my "less sporty" bike. They're very good indeed, but keep in mind that they're puncture resistant, not puncture-proof. I have managed to puncture them a couple of times -...

    Yes, you are right, they can be punctured but fortunately that has yet to happen to me.

    I carry a mobile phone so I can contact my wife to rescue me if I do have a puncture. If she isn't around I suppose I would walk home pushing the bike. I rarely go further than about 5 miles from home so that wouldn't be a disaster.

    I'd probably prefer that to trying to repair a puncture.

    Sod's law means I will probably get a puncture soon. :D
    A man walked into a car showroom.
    He said to the salesman, “My wife would like to talk to you about the Volkswagen Golf in the showroom window.”
    Salesman said, “We haven't got a Volkswagen Golf in the showroom window.”
    The man replied, “You have now mate".
  • Tobster86
    Options
    Random lurky interjection in response to the many references to remotely repairing tyres: What do people think of aerosol tyre repairs?

    I've carried them in a small saddle bag (along with a multifunction tool) for years, and have used them twice - Pull the thorn out, reinflate the tyre with latex foam stuff, off you go again in seconds. Reinflate to proper pressure when you get home.

    I can only strongly recommend them based on my experiences.

    I can also recommend belt drive bikes. Although more expensive, the maintenance cost & effort (and needless to say, things you need to carry) drops radically.


    Context of all the above: Longish distance commuting.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 7 Election 2024: The MSE Leaders' Debate
  • 343.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 236K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609.1K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.4K Life & Family
  • 248.6K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards