Cycling: kit and equipment listRace reflected in glasses

With so many products on the market, it can be hard to tell what you’ll actually need for your cycling challenge. Our checklist will help you select everything you need.

The essentials


Bike

You’ll need a well-maintained, reliable and safe bike for your challenge. There are so many different types of bike at a range of prices so it’s worth going to a specialist bike shop and getting fitted. They’ll be able to advise on which is the right type of bike for you, within your price range.

Helmet

There’s no excuse for not wearing a helmet - they’re lightweight, comfortable to wear and cheap.

Lights

 

It is illegal to cycle in the UK at night without proper bike lights. At the very least you should have:

  • One steady, fixed white light that conforms to BS6102/3 mounted centrally or offside (closer to the middle of the ground) and no higher than 1500mm from the ground. It should be visible from the front and aligned in that direction.
  • One steady, fixed red light that conforms to BS6102/3 or BS3648. This should be mounted centrally or offside at the rear of your bike and should be between 350mm and 1500mm from the ground. It should be visible from the rear and aligned in that direction.
  • Four reflectors, coloured amber that conform to BS6102/2. These should be fitted to each pedal so that one is clearly visible from the front and one is clearly visible from the rear. If you cannot fit reflectors to your pedals, then you can use a reflective trouser clip or band.

Check lighting packaging or the manufacturer's website to see if their bike lights conform to the Department for Transport's regulations

Top tip: If you're taking part in one of our Night Rides, make sure you build in cycling at night into your training. You can use these rides as an opportunity to check the intensity of your bike lights and also your light's battery life. See how long your lights will run on a new set of fully charged batteries - this will help you work out if they will last long enough for you to complete the ride.

High Visibility

In addition to lights, we strongly recommend that you wear bright clothing when cycling at night. Preferably something fluorescent and reflective so that you are more visible to motorists like:

  • high visibility vests/jackets
  • high visibility belts
  • high visibility trouser bands and arm strips
  • reflective rucksacks.

Shoes

The type of shoe you’ll need depends on your bike.  If you have a road bike which has ‘clip in’ pedals you’ll need bike shoes with ‘cleats’ that fit into your pedals.

Cycling shirt

These ‘close’ fitting shirts to eliminate ‘drag’ from the wind.  They’re also made from a technical fabric, which will keep you dry by ‘wicking’ away the sweat from your body and helping it to evaporate.  They also have several handy pockets in the back to carry all your essentials. Why not purchase one of our cycling tops and show everyone you are part of the team.

Cycling shorts

The padded seat will help you feel more comfortable on those long rides!  These shorts are also made of a technical fabric which will keep you dry by ‘wicking’ away sweat and helping it to evaporate.

Water bottles

It’s important to make sure you stay hydrated on the road. Most road bikes will have a holder for two water bottles. For detailed information on how to keep hydrated please read our nutrition section.

Tyre pump

It’s really useful to have a free standing hand pump which allows you to fully inflate your tyres easily.  If you’re training or going on relatively long rides, (2 hours plus) it’s worth having a lightweight pump with you.

Spare tubes

Carry spare inner tubes on longer rides in case you get a puncture.

Eyewear

It’s always useful to wear glasses to protect against wind and debris.  Sunglasses, clear glasses or ones with inter-changeable lenses are ideal.

Vaseline

A quick smear of Vaseline in the right places will help to avoid chafing– essential for long rides!

Chain lube

Although you won’t need to take this on rides, it’s an essential bit of kit as it helps to keep your chain lubricated to so that your gears transition smoothly.

Nice to have

Bike computer

These gadgets can tell you all sorts of information about your performance including speed, distance, cadence (pedal revolutions) and calories burned.

Multi-tool

These are like 8 spanners in one with fold out Allen key type tools which fit nearly every bolt on the bike. They are really useful if you want to change your riding position.

Gloves

Cycling gloves tend to be fingerless with slight padding on the palm area, which help protect your hands from blisters and soreness.

Arm warmers

Most cycling tops are short sleeved and so arm warmers will help keep you warm without changing your wardrobe! Just pull on to each arm to help keep them warm.