Beginner’s guide to cycling: what parts do you need?

Taking up cycling can improve your health immensely. It is an easy form of exercise that almost anyone can take part in, and it allows you to meet like-minded people and push yourself to finish races and other challenges. But, as a beginner, it might be slightly confusing to understand the different bicycle parts that you need in order to properly enjoy cycling.

You can look online for parts that are necessary for the type of riding you plan on doing. For example, if you are going to be taking part in mountain biking, look for bike parts online such as a shock pump and handlebar tape in case of emergencies. For road bikes, opt for bicycle parts in South Africa which are geared towards thinner front wheels and rear wheels. Not sure where to start? Read on for all the parts you will need as a beginner cyclist.

A flat repair kit

Now, while this might not be a “part” of the bicycle itself, a flat repair kit is one of the most important bike components that you need to have. This is because, eventually, you will experience a flat tyre while riding your bike.

The repair kit should include an extra tube, a patch kit, tyre levers to remove the punctured tyre as well as a pump for the spare tube. Also look for extras such as a multi-tool as added help in removing the tyre as well as patches that can stick without glue, making the process of patching your tyre less messy. Invest in a saddlebag which you can use to store your kit for easy access while riding.

A well-fitting saddle

Having a comfortable and well-fitting saddle while riding is important to your comfort and physical health while riding. You will need to spend some time looking for one which fits your body properly and one which is best suited to the type of riding you will be doing.

For example, those who plan on taking part in long road races might find that a comfortable gel-filled saddle or seat cover gives more comfort. But for those who are going to be racing down hills and mountains, the basic saddle or seat that comes with your bike is a better option. You can ask at the bike parts store for advice on which one will suit your needs, and be sure to try them out before making a final decision.

Mudguards

Mudguards are essential if you will be riding your bike through wet and muddy conditions. They are used to stop the mud from splashing up and staining your back, which means that you will not have a muddy mark down your back before getting to the office or school.

A mudguard is easy to install, but you can ask for help from professional bikers if you are struggling. And it is important to find a mudguard that is made for your bike model, as some of them are not universal for all bikes. You might not think that you need mudguards if you do not ride in areas that have mud or rain, but you might find yourself splashing through an unexpected puddle. And this could cause your clothing to become wet and uncomfortable, making for an unpleasant ride home or to work.

A bike lock

Another accessory which is vital for anyone who owns a bike is a bike lock. This is because it is not always safe to leave your bike out in the open when you stop at a store for a few minutes. Bike theft is a very real issue, and nobody wants to be the victim, which is why a bike lock is crucial.

A bike lock with a Gold rating means that it has survived stringent testing from the top level theft tools and the bike was unable to be removed from where it was secured. U or D locks are popular because they stop a thief from being able to have any leverage in order to remove it. You should pair this with a cable or chain lock threaded through the tyre spokes to ensure it cannot be removed easily.

Ride off into the sunset

As a beginner, the world of cycling can seem confusing and daunting. But, once you have all the right equipment, you will soon find that you enjoy cycling more than you expected. Start off by buying the right apparel, such as a helmet, gloves, cycling shorts and shoes.

Then, you will need to move on to the essentials like a bike lock, a repair kit, mudguards and a well-fitting saddle. Be sure to ask about other important parts that you might need for the different types of cycling you are interested in.