With warmer, lighter days ahead of us, it’s time to start planning for those longer bike rides. Comfort, safety and practicality are key to having a successful day on the road. From repair kits to sun cream, here’s a round-up of our top cycling essentials for long bike rides.
The Right Cycling Gear
We’re not suggesting mandatory head-to-toe lycra (unless you’re into it!) but wearing the right gear is pretty important for comfort as well as safety during longer bike rides. We suggest padded cycling shorts or tights, gloves, a light jersey, a sun hat or cap, a waterproof and a windbreaker to cover all bases!
Wearing the correct cycling shoes for your bike’s pedals is also a big one. Check out REI’s range of cycling shoes to find ones that fit your bike and style.
Plenty of Food and Drink
Lots of water and high energy snacks are your saving grace when you feel your energy lagging. It’s really important to stay fed and hydrated when you’re burning extra calories.
Have lots of water on you (you’ll get through around a bottle an hour) and pack things like bananas, energy bars and nuts to snack on every 30-45 minutes or so.
There’s no feeling more sinking than discovering a puncture or a flat tire miles into a bike ride and realizing you have nothing to fix it with. We recommend packing:
- Spare tubes, and/or patch kit)
- Tire levers
- Cycling multi-tool. We love the lightweight I-beam multi-tool. It has 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm hex wrenches as well as a flat blade screwdriver to solve any minor issues and keep your bike in safe, working order.
Safety is paramount to bike rides of any length. Helmets are an obvious essential, but riders should also kit themselves out with a headlight, as well as bike lights, in case the sun sets while you’re riding. One of our favourites is the NiteRider Lumina, which has a great battery life to keep you visible long after dusk.
You can also fit your bike with reflectors on the pedals, spokes or handlebars, and invest in hi-vis or reflective cycling gear so you can’t be missed.
Bike gadgets are the modern cyclist’s new best friend. Check out the SmartHalo 2, which provides navigation help, anti-theft tech, cycling metrics, lights, or communication with your friends and family. It’s super handy for long-distance rides, where light packing and simplicity take priority.
Now we’ve covered the basic gear and safety essentials for long distance cycling, there are certain bits and pieces that will really come in handy for long distance rides.
For summer trips, a tube of sunscreen and insect repellent (or bear spray, depending where in the world you are!) go a very long way in keeping your cycling experience a positive one. Don’t forget eye protection (sunglasses or clear lenses will usually do the job), a camera and a paper map, in case your phone or gadget runs out of juice.
Finally, if you’re heading on a long ride or bikecamping, you’re going to need somewhere to store all of the above!
Our bags complement anything from a day commute to weekend bikecamping. Check out our post, Our Five Most Popular Bike Bags (and Who they Are Designed For) to get an idea of what would work for you.
Remember, all of our bags come with a two year warranty and 30 day guarantee! For more information, check out the FAQs section of our website.
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