Becoming a Touring Cyclist: What You Need

Looking to take your rides to the next level?

Step up from the commute and hit the road for a long tour.

If you’ve not noticed it yet, cycling is considered by many to be quite the addictive sport. Whether it’s the thrill of propelling yourself at high speed or the feeling of accomplishment that you get from stepping off your bike after you’ve covered a huge distance – cycling is widely considered to be a very moreish pastime. Thanks to the low-impact nature of the sport it’s the perfect activity for overweight or older people to use as an introduction to cardiovascular exercise; plus, once the rider’s been bitten by the cycling bug they’ll find that their fitness improves exponentially.

At first, novice cyclists will not have the confidence to tackle longer distances, usually staying within their local neighbourhood. As such, they won’t need to worry about investing in any serious touring equipment, however once they feel up to expanding their horizons, it’s important that the right equipment is purchased so that the cyclist is prepared for the unpredictable nature of the road.

If you’re looking to really push yourself (as well as your bike) then it’s time to take the plunge and invest in some touring gear:

Pannier Racks/Panniers

For a one-day cycle or a simple commute you’ll not have to worry about taking more than a good-sized rucksack with you, but as soon as you plan hitting the road for longer than this you should consider fitting a pannier rack to your steed. Thanks to the competitive online market there are so many options when it comes to the style/capacity of pannier system that you opt for, if in doubt you should spend more as you’ll inevitably regret going cheap. Road.cc breaks down your options here.

Lycra Base Layers

There was a time when donning lycra was something that only professional sportspeople took part in. Understandably, the idea of pulling on skin-tight material is the last thing that many overweight people would want to do, but if you’re planning on tackling a long distance they really are a necessity. Chafing is one of the most uncomfortable and unexpected results of long-distance cycling and not something you ever want to encounter. You can buy discontinued Nike wholesale gear through a number of sites, instead of paying full price.

Road Quality Lights

You might be able to get away with a cheap set of LED lights on shorter distances but if you’re thinking of spending more time on the road and potentially riding at darker times of the day then it’s a smart idea to invest some real money in lights. My recommendation when it comes to purchasing some serious lights for your bike is to avoid buying online and head to your local cycle shop to check out their selection. You should consider what light you’ll be cycling in, whether you need them to see the road ahead of you or simple be seen by other road users.

Pump & Tools

Finally, regardless of how new your bike is you should always carry a decent set of tools, as well as a pump that will be able to hack a rough journey. Skimping on these touring essentials is a bad idea, spend good money on them and you’ll be rewarded with equipment that will mostly likely outlive you and any offspring that you choose to bequeath it to. Whilst your local cycle shop will no doubt stock everything you need, it’s worth checking out Tom Allen’s excellent blog post detailing all the gear that he takes with him on his touring adventures.