Nothing beats the joy and freedom of riding a bike during the long, languid days of summer. However, packing for a successful bike trip requires advanced planning. All adventures on two wheels require safety essentials like hydration, a tool kit, goggles, gloves and a helmet, plus comfortable biking clothing and other items that may be hard to find at your destination.
If you’re planning on renting a bike, reserve one in advance – persistent Covid-era supply chain problems have made it increasingly impossible for manufacturers to keep up with demand. For the most comfortable fit and safe riding, contact the shop about the type of riding you plan to do and your skill level. The most reputable ones will ask you to submit body measurements: height, weight, inseam, arm span, and something called “ape index,” a comparison of your arm span to your height, which helps gauge how stretched out you’ll feel. . on a rental bike.
The better you plan and prepare for your trip, the more you can relax and enjoy the trip. Here is a list to help you plan each specific adventure with suggestions on manufacturers of the appropriate gear.
Cycling Shell: Day rides almost always involve changeable weather. Pack a light, wind- and water-resistant jacket. 7Mesh’s co-driver is hard to beat.
Backpacks: Whether you prefer to stash snacks and essentials on the handlebars, behind the seat, or on the top tube in front of the stem, Cedaro has a backpack ready to fit the size and style of your bike.
Lights: The Bontrager Ion Pro RT Rechargeable Bike Front Light has five modes to enhance safety both day and night.
Helmet: Nearly all helmets sold today offer MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) or similar technology that helps reduce rotational motion of the head during a crash, which helps protect the brain. Lazer helmets offer MIPS protection and are rated five stars by Virginia Tech Helmet Ratings.
Multi-day long-distance ride
Padded Cycling Shorts: Spandex is hard to beat when spending long days in the saddle because it’s streamlined, compressive and comfortable. Bibs are even better because they pair perfectly with a t-shirt and relieve pressure on the waist. Many women’s bibs now have dropper backs so female riders can easily relieve themselves mid-ride. The most important thing: the thickness and shape of the suede. Pearl Izumi has multiple options.
Cycling Jersey: With a full-zip front and two or three roomy back pockets large enough to hold cell phones, bananas, energy bars, or extra layers, a good cycling jersey helps regulate body temperature and keep important items in place. close. Rapha makes silky-soft long-sleeved and short-sleeved versions in highly wicking fabrics.
Panniers: Many multi-day bike trips have sag mounts, meaning a van that follows you with your luggage. But if you’re on a self-sufficient trip, you’ll need these backpacks that attach to racks on the rear wheels, front wheels, or both. The German company Ortlieb makes a variety of styles of waterproof panniers depending on the length of your trip and the type of bike you ride.
Anti-chafing cream: Long days in the saddle can lead to sores. The gold standard skin lubricant to help prevent chafing is Chamois Butt’r; The 91 percent allergen-free product washes off both the body and shorts with soap and water.
Tool Kit: Travel prepared with a multi-tool, spare tube, tire changers, extra chain lube, and master link. Build your own toolkit at REI.
Overnight electric bike ride
Sunglasses: The sun and wind combined with the speed of an electric bike make sunglasses more essential than ever. Roka offers lightweight styles, from wraparounds to wayfarer, that have non-slip nose pads, provide high-quality optics with SPF protection, and are sweat, chemical, and fingerprint resistant.
Panniers: Pack your beach gear in the Tailwind pannier from Specialized. Compatible with standard racks, the 17L waterproof package is so streamlined that it claims to reduce battery consumption by 6 percent.
Shoes: Flip-flops are not the smartest choice when pedaling in a motorized vehicle. Many companies, like Shimano, make e-bike-rated shoes that have a stiffer midsole that acts like a lever while pedaling, among other features to make a long day on an e-bike safer and more relaxing.
Mirror: If your e-bike adventure involves a road with cars, invest in a clamp-on rearview mirror like the one from Rad Power Bikes that fits any handlebar with an outside diameter between 21 and 26mm.
GPS Bike Computer: Download local maps from Trailforks, upload your ride to Strava, monitor your heart rate, and let loved ones track your ride with the smart, small, and intuitive Wahoo Elemnt Bolt.
Hydration: It’s almost impossible to drink too much water on a long, hot summer day in the saddle. Osprey makes packs and backpacks designed to maximize the ease and efficiency of hydration on the go.
Gloves: It is essential to keep your hands free from sweat, friction from the bar and dirt, sticks and rocks in the event of a crash. Giro offers a full line of protective mountain bike gloves for men and women.
Helmet: Whether worn to block out the sun’s glare, protect your face from incoming debris, or just because it looks cool, most mountain bike-specific helmets have attached “visors,” or adjustable visors. The Kortal Race MIPS helmet from Swedish brand POC has been tested at higher impact speeds than standard bike use.
Stephanie Pearson is a contributing editor for Outside magazine and frequently reviews bikes and cycling accessories for Wired magazine.