Cycling regularly, for example as part of a daily routine, can not only remove or reduce the need to use a car, but also helps to get you fit, strengthens your immune system and have positive effects on how you feel. For example, regular exercise on your bike can help reduce the chances of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. There are no real age limits to cycling and acquiring the necessary equipment is, for the most part, inexpensive. For those who want to cycle longer distances or even competitively, the right equipment can, however, be crucial to performance and comfort.
Generally, it can be unpleasant to cycle further than a few miles in street clothes, particularly work clothes. Apart from the obvious danger of getting items of clothing such as trousers or skirts caught in the spokes or chain, you will find comfortable, stretchy clothing made specifically for cycling of great benefit. Often, it will come fitted with reflective stripes to help avoid accidents on the road and release your body heat in order to keep your body at the ideal temperature for physical activity.
A good cycling jersey with a full zip will keep you comfortable and look the part. You can match it up with cycling shorts or lycra leggings to complete your look. Most importantly, you will need shorts that are at least above-knee length to avoid chafing. Some good quality sports socks made of breathable material are also important to avoid getting sweaty feet inside your shoes. Shoes, as it happens, are one area in which you may be able to save some money if you are not intending to cycle professionally. For a daily cycle routine or the odd trip out to keep fit, a pair of well-soled and robust trainers will be perfectly sufficient.
The most important criteria when choosing cycling shoes is grip, so pay close attention to the sole of your trainer. If you cycle on a more professional basis or simply want to look the part, a wide range of specialised cycling shoes is available by well-known cycling brands such as Shimano and Forte. Caution is advised here since it is very important that these shoes fit perfectly, such that buying such equipment online or without trying them on might be a very costly mistake.
In the autumn, long winter months and early spring, cover up with a long-sleeved cycling jersey or a padded windproof jacket. Established cycling brands such as BioRacer, Ms Tina, Santini, Canari and Inverse issue professional-looking and comfortable cycling gear suitable for all climates and weather conditions.
In addition, accessories such as fitted cycling gloves and socks can significantly improve the quality of your cycling, be it to work or competitively. A helmet is a crucial part of cycling equipment nowadays, since it is proven to reduce the impact of head injuries during an accident. During the cold winter season, you will even be grateful for knee and arm warmers to avoid you catching a cold while out cycling.
Good quality equipment is fundamental to cycling, although it does not need to cost a fortune. Exactly what equipment is most suitable for you depends on whether you want to get fit, cycle to work or whether you intend to compete at a near professional level.
Finally, buying some front and rear bicycle lights is unavoidable in order to keep within the law and significantly reduce the risk of having a serious accident when dusk falls.