Shopping for Success: Endurance Cyclist Gear and Accessories
Endurance cyclist gear and accessories are mandatory to support good results. Cyclists will be shopping for the right gear which can support ultra-distance efforts. Some of the purchased products have remained unchanged since the early stages of the sport. Others have evolved as technology and mobile solutions increased their presence in everyday life.
Cyclists usually prefer to carry the basic gear and accessories to keep the overall weight as low as possible. But even with these choices, you always want to look for quality products which can truly make your life easier with endurance cycling.
The essential gear and accessories for the endurance cyclist
The essential gear is more fine-tuned than ever before. Cyclists seem to always find lighter or improved alternatives to most products or versatile gear which can perform multiple functions. Here are the top choices for the modern cyclist:
Heart rate monitor
Monitoring your heart rate is the best indicative on performance. The readings can be made with multiple devices starting from the chest strap or included in a smart watch.
A study published by University of Cape Town in 2009 found that coaches should use training methods based on the heart rate of the cyclists. This has been proven to be superior to training routines based on power.
It becomes increasingly important to monitor your heart rate and check for progress every week. The more you can improve the results the better you will become at endurance cycling.
ENDURANCE NATION NOTE: We recommend grabbing your HR monitor from Trisports.com – not only are they a fantastic sponsor of the team, they also have a points system, so the more you spend – the more points you accumulate to redeem for rewards.
Hack: Garmin HR monitor with a Polar strap = no chafing! You’re welcome!
Clothing plays an important role in your performance and comfort. Since there are so many options to choose from it might be difficult to pinpoint the best choices for your situation. Choosing the best type of clothing involves layering. For example, cyclists can use three different layers for optimum results.
A base layer which is the one closest to the skin, can involve long underwear which doesn`t retain moisture. The second layer can insulating-oriented while the third layer should protect against the elements. You can choose between bike jerseys, shorts and jackets to prepare even for different weather conditions. The good news is that modern cycling clothing doesn`t take too much space and dries fast, making it perfect for endurance use.
Endurance Nation Note: You can’t go wrong with Castelli – their gear is hands down the best on the market. They are constantly evolving their gear to meet your needs. From the new Inferno Bib Shorts for staying cool while riding in the heat to the most aero dynamic material on the market — you most certainly have an unfair advantage!
Since you will be covering long distance it might be useful to consider investing in at least one emergency device. Such devices can report your location in case something goes wrong. There are many types of devices which can do this for you.
A professional tip is to use a satellite messenger. This might even prove more useful compared to smartphones since you might be experiencing signal problems with your mobile network in certain remote areas. Some cyclists couple this high-tech device with an analog alternative in the form of a bracelet. You can include your contact information or ID in case of an unlikely event.
Endurance Nation Note: Don’t forget your RoadID
Food and drinks
One of the basic approaches to endurance cycling involves performing with optimal hydration levels. You always want to stay hydrated to replenish the water you lose through sweat. But water can also help you stay more focused and avoid headaches or other unpleasant symptoms.
Since our bodies are mostly made from water, you need to find the right methods to stay hydrated. From the classical water bottle to gels, there are plenty of options to choose from. And since you will be shopping for such products you can also add energy bars as a quick snack alternative. You can check calories to see the ratio of fats, protein and carbohydrates of each product for complete energy replenishment.
Endurance Nation Note: One of our favorite is NUUN especially with their addition of a higher performance line – you can’t go wrong with NUUN – anything from short training to long endurance rides.
A good GPS system is essential for endurance cyclists. There are many types of devices available on the market. You can start with the basic device with a digital display or work your way up to an LCD GPS with pre-loaded maps.
Whichever device you choose, you need to consider its weight as you`ll carry it around. You also need to consider its mount. If you`ll place it on the bike you will need to find the best spot to do so without any inconvenience. But you can also find jackets with pockets for all types of devices.
Shopping for a high-tech helmet should be among the top priorities of any cyclist. Since there are thousands of options to choose from it might be difficult to establish a single model right for use. This is where you need to factor the balance between weight and protection. Modern helmets can weigh as low as 200 grams but the more accessories it will have the heavier it will be.
Some newer helmets involve experimental technologies such as air protection. Such helmets are already sold in Europe and protect your head similarly to an air bag. Although this design can, apparently, slow you down, it is a certain signal of what we can expect in the future.
Endurance Nation Note: One word – Rudy
Endurance cyclist gear and accessories can easily be found today. There are many other options to choose from but it is always advisable to start with the basic product you need. It`s also worth noting that modern devices will start to replace many of these products. However, a good heart rate monitor is a good starting point as it calibrates your efforts and it tracks your performance.
High-tech clothing is essential for endurance cyclists as they can make the difference between good results and great results. Hydration and food is also important as it represents the refueling during long routes. Emergency devices and a GPS are also increasingly important since many cycling routes take place in remote locations. And finally, investing in a premium quality helmet is always advisable. Protecting yourself is a top priority as head injuries occur more often in cycling than in any other sport.
About the Author: John T Lyons grew up riding the canyons of San Diego on his single speed Huffy. After a stint working for Shelby American in automotive and then in the Aerospace industry, JT started Moment Bicycles. He developed a “better way to buy a bike” using his engineering problem-solving skills. Learn more at http://momentbicycles.com