Essential Gear to Keep You Safe This Summer
Winter is finally on its way out the door for those of us in the northern hemisphere. The potholes are finally getting patched and the trainers can finally be moved back to storage. That means two things: it’s finally time to start logging some miles, and summer is just around the corner. If you’re in the southern hemisphere the warm days are dwindling so its time to squeeze in every last ride.
We here at earHeroes want to make sure you stay safe. So here’s our list of the essential cycling gear you’ll need to stay safe this summer.
Reflective Sleeves – Cyclists typically excel at a lot of things: leg strength, endurance, pain tolerance. One thing cyclists almost always suck at: sunscreen. We’ve all seen the pictures. Cyclists love to show off the bright red skin that runs right up the the sleeve line. Cherry colored skin after a day on the bike is a right of passage. It shouldn’t be. Repetitive exposure to sunburn can lead to serious problems like skin cancer later in life. No one wants that. So avoid the burn with these sleeves by RecoFit. Not only do they provide SPF 50 sun protection, they’re also made with materials that will cool the skin up to 5 degrees on those hot, summer rides. As an added bonus they’re highly reflective which adds to visibility in low light conditions.
Tire Repair Kit – You’re 15 miles in to a 30 mile solo ride when you hear the hiss. Your tire is riding on the rim and you’re in the middle of the country with no help in sight. You could call someone to pick you up. Or you could just hoof it back home. Even better, you could pull out your handy tire repair kit!. You’ll never get stranded by a flat tire again. This kit from Genuine Innovations presents a great value by including a C02 pump, tire levers, and tube patches. The kit easily fits in your saddle bag or jersey pocket too. Keep one of these on hand and you’ll be back on the road before the bears find you.
Multi Tool – As with the tire repair kit, these easily fit in your jersey pocket and can be a real lifesaver on the road or trail. The best models are under $30 and include hex wrenches, star drives, screwdrivers and wrenches. Some models even integrate chain tools and tire levers. Maybe your chain broke, or a bolt came loose, or your derailleur needs tuning. Multi tools can handle just about any minor repair and get you back to pedaling. This model from Topeak was a top pick by Cycling Weekly. The Mini 20 Pro retails for under $25, includes 20 different tools and weighs less than half a pound. For that kind of value, you can’t afford to get stranded without one.
Bike Light – If you ride anytime other than mid-day or in any condition other than sunny, you should have a bike light. Whether riding at dawn, dusk, midnight or midday in the rain, a good bike like will both shed light on your path and announce your presence to anyone nearby. The best models produce 300 – 800 lumens and will last 1.5 -2 hours on a single charge.
NiteRider produced the Lumina 750 which provides 750 lumens and features a battery life of 1.5-5 hours depending on brightness level. Bike Radar gave the Lumina 750 4 out of 5 stars and praised the light’s power and versatility. Retailing for under $120 you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal.Don’t forget to add a tail light as well. The best models here feature multiple flash modes and ensure visibility long before that big diesel pickup catches up to you. Topeak also makes a great entry in this field with the RedLight Mega. Garnering 5 out of 5 stars from Bike Radar, RedLight Mega is durable, provides wide angle visibility and proves to be quite affordable at around $40.
earHeroes –You didn’t think we’d leave ourselves off the list did you? Of course not! Cyclists want to listen to music while they’re training. If nothing else it distracts from the blood curdling scream from your legs during those 5 mile hill repeats. Regular earbuds are dangerous since they block out sound from traffic and other external sources. Bike mounted speakers are more hassle than they’re worth. What’s a cyclist to do?
earHeroes that’s what! These revolutionary earphones allow you to listen to music without missing a single sound in your environment. That means you can still listen to the soundtrack that keeps your effort level high without missing the sound of approaching cars, charging dogs or screaming fans. You have those right?
Whenever and wherever you ride, we here at earHeroes want you to be safe. We want you to enjoy countless hours on your bike, pursuing the passion we all share. If you haven’t already, consider this list of essential gear as you prepare for your summer riding season.
Is there something we left off our list that you just won’t leave home without? Let us know in the comments below.