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  • FIRST POST
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 15th Nov 19, 6:59 PM
    • 4,770Posts
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    bouicca21
    New cyclist
    • #1
    • 15th Nov 19, 6:59 PM
    New cyclist 15th Nov 19 at 6:59 PM
    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?
Page 1
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 15th Nov 19, 7:46 PM
    • 8,853 Posts
    • 7,769 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    • #2
    • 15th Nov 19, 7:46 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Nov 19, 7:46 PM
    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.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • boliston
    • By boliston 15th Nov 19, 8:19 PM
    • 2,907 Posts
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    boliston
    • #3
    • 15th Nov 19, 8:19 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Nov 19, 8:19 PM
    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
    • By Johnmcl7 15th Nov 19, 11:27 PM
    • 2,607 Posts
    • 1,734 Thanks
    Johnmcl7
    • #4
    • 15th Nov 19, 11:27 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Nov 19, 11:27 PM
    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
    • By Aretnap 16th Nov 19, 9:44 AM
    • 3,525 Posts
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    Aretnap
    • #5
    • 16th Nov 19, 9:44 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Nov 19, 9:44 AM
    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
    • By Nebulous2 16th Nov 19, 12:59 PM
    • 2,549 Posts
    • 1,706 Thanks
    Nebulous2
    • #6
    • 16th Nov 19, 12:59 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Nov 19, 12:59 PM
    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
    • By Belenus 17th Nov 19, 5:28 PM
    • 944 Posts
    • 2,092 Thanks
    Belenus
    • #7
    • 17th Nov 19, 5:28 PM
    • #7
    • 17th Nov 19, 5:28 PM

    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?
    Originally posted by bouicca21
    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.
    • Manxman in exile
    • By Manxman in exile 17th Nov 19, 7:02 PM
    • 3,274 Posts
    • 3,209 Thanks
    Manxman in exile
    • #8
    • 17th Nov 19, 7:02 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Nov 19, 7:02 PM
    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
    • By Aretnap 18th Nov 19, 10:36 PM
    • 3,525 Posts
    • 3,140 Thanks
    Aretnap
    • #9
    • 18th Nov 19, 10:36 PM
    • #9
    • 18th Nov 19, 10:36 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by Belenus
    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
    • By Belenus 19th Nov 19, 5:59 PM
    • 944 Posts
    • 2,092 Thanks
    Belenus
    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 -...
    Originally posted by Aretnap
    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.
    • Tobster86
    • By Tobster86 20th Nov 19, 12:19 PM
    • 753 Posts
    • 473 Thanks
    Tobster86
    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.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 20th Nov 19, 2:28 PM
    • 2,607 Posts
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    Johnmcl7
    I don't get punctures that often and prefer to simply use another inner tube as there's no guarantees a sealant will correctly be able to seal the damage.

    After starting out with a belt drive I wouldn't recommend one. To begin with it seemed great as it was quiet all the time and didn't need frequent cleaning and oiling despite cycling through the rain and poor conditions in winter. However the first belt failed prematurely at just two years old and around 2,000 miles, I wrote to Gates to find out this was normal as when I bought the belt they were claiming it would last the life of the bike. They replied stating that since I had used the belt in wet conditions regularly I had shortened the life of the belt despite them promoting the belt for all weather use.

    There's many downsides to the belt drive in addition to that, the belt is far more expensive than a chain, the belt can't be repaired on the fly like a chain can with quicklinks, you need to have a gap in the frame to fit the belt, you can't use derailleurs and the belt parts are not easily found in bike shops. As a result all my bikes are chain drive now and even thought I ride in horrendous conditions off road through the winter, the chains hold up fine and managed better life than the belt did. They do need a bit more cleaning and oiling but not that much and worth it for the many advantages.
    • Tobster86
    • By Tobster86 21st Nov 19, 1:40 PM
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    • 473 Thanks
    Tobster86
    After starting out with a belt drive I wouldn't recommend one.
    Originally posted by Johnmcl7

    Which generation out of interest? The research I did before buying suggested several major design iterations over the years that radically solved a lot of issues, mostly with the sprocket guide mechanisms, that's taken their suitability for wet mud and snow from non-existent to "arguably preferable".
    • Kojak12
    • By Kojak12 21st Nov 19, 4:06 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    Kojak12
    You can get some decent backpacks. As they are not on your bike there are no balance issues or security issues if you leave your bike. You can fit tonnes into them, puncture repair kit at the bottom with your lunch and water, a rain mac, wallet, phone... and that still leaves some room for a flare gun if you want to be super prepared!

    I got a foam Qbag motorcycle backpack as the straps and fit were much better than a generic sports backpack. Just found my bag at a massive discount if you are interested bike backpack 12.99! I can recommend it.
    • Johnmcl7
    • By Johnmcl7 21st Nov 19, 7:20 PM
    • 2,607 Posts
    • 1,734 Thanks
    Johnmcl7
    Which generation out of interest? The research I did before buying suggested several major design iterations over the years that radically solved a lot of issues, mostly with the sprocket guide mechanisms, that's taken their suitability for wet mud and snow from non-existent to "arguably preferable".
    Originally posted by Tobster86
    The improvements relax the tension and alignment requirements which initially were strict, the modifications add a central line to the belt which helps keep it in place but it doesn't improve the long term durability aside from making it slightly less vulnerable to premature wear. They're definitely not "arguably preferable" for wet mud and snow (unless you're going by the Gates' own information in which case they've always said that) where they're vulnerable to snapping.

    Furthermore the improvements to the system don't improve most of the other issues I've mentioned above. I think it's a great idea on paper and possibly still fine for drier countries but after using the system myself and initially being a fan, I couldn't recommend it with all the downsides.
    • parking_question_chap
    • By parking_question_chap 22nd Nov 19, 6:38 AM
    • 2,477 Posts
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    parking_question_chap
    You can buy a mini pump that will attach to the bike and keep an inner in a light backpack. Walking with a bike isnt much fun.
    • Afourteen
    • By Afourteen 27th Nov 19, 12:00 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    Afourteen
    No1 - a Proper Bike Helmet! get one that fits comfortably. If possible buy one with a rear light included.

    No1a - a 'Neck gaiter' e.g. search Neck Gaiter or Head Tube - keeps your head and neck warm without restricting vision etc. Make sure your helmit fits comfortably where wearing both.

    Mudgards - definately.

    No2 - A Cycling Jacket - Bright coloured, hopefully waterproof with a pocket for 'phone'. Make sure it fits closely. Carry some cash with your phone.

    I'd go for 'Frame Bag' or a 'Tool Bottle' (fits in the bottle holder). In that carry

    3 Tyre levers.

    A 'Box' spanner to fit wheel Nuts (and before you ride , make sure you can undo and do the nuts up)

    At least one inner tube and a puncture repair kit,If you finding using a small hand pump to difficult (and the new ones arn't really efficient enough IMHO) then a CO2 inflator and cartridges - search co2 inflator for bikes.


    Lights LED ones can cheap (under a fiver) or really expensive. Flashing ones help you to be seen. If you do a lot of night cycling one fairly bright on continous and one, not as bright 'Flashing' At rear one really bright flashing light. And use the flashing ones during the day for own safety (most police prefer you to be safe rather than following the rule of law).



    Finally, a 'cheap' Action cam to record your rides.
    • CarolynRach
    • By CarolynRach 3rd Dec 19, 12:19 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 397 Thanks
    CarolynRach
    Get a decent lock - ideally a D-lock which fits onto your frame so you never forget it. Even just for short stops - lock it! Opportunistic thieves can work quickly.
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