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What's the essential starter kit?

mcskivermcskiver Posts: 26
edited February 2009 in Road beginners

I'm just about to purchase my first roadie (from Halfords i'm afraid - it's the £250 quid Carrera which seems quite well regarded for the price), but i'm not sure what the essential non-bike kit is.

I've gone through Wiggle, and based on my previous experience (just knocking about on an old road bike and MTB years ago), i've put together a list of what seems essential. I'd love some feedback on a.) whether i'm spending more than I need to, or b.) if i'm missing anything.

I've gone for undershorts because i've got some running tights which I assumed would do the trick for now, so any thoughts on that would be good too. Also can anyone confirm these shoes and cleats match the pedals i've chosen?

Shimano 105 5610 SPD-SL Pedals £38.75
dhb R1 Road Shoes £42.29
Altura Tempo Under Shorts £17.60
Endura 8-Panel Xtract Shorts £26.99
Pearl Izumi Zephrr Jacket £36.99
Rudy Project Actyum Helmet £53.99
dhb Hunston Windproof Gloves


  • You're doing pretty well there... I'd add a saddlebag and multittool, tyre levers and spare tubes... not sure whether the dhb shoes are SPD or SPD-SL, probably both...

    Go to a shop to get the helmet, you need to make sure you get one that actually fits your head, they tend to vary in shape by manufacturer.

    I wouldn't bother with the undershorts, you can wear the shorts under the tights.
  • Great advice, thanks.

    I've actually got a multi-tool that I use with my MTB, forgot about that. Good points about the helmet and undershorts.

    The pedals are SPD-SL, and the shoes don't specify that. Is SPD-SL different from SPD then? Seems like a bit of a maze!
  • carefulcareful Posts: 720
    What you have seems like a good start. The R1 pedals will be fine with your pedals and SPD SL cleats although IMHO they may be a bit race oriented for everyday and club riding (fine for riding in but a bit awkward for walking other than very short distances. Unless you are a real hard case you will need some bib-tights for cooler weather such as dhb merston from wiggle:
      A couple of jerseys (long and short sleeve or short sleeve plus arm warmers a couple of warm base layers a multi tool and pump spare tube(s) + repair kit seat bag or similar to carry the bits in helmet or other headwear sunglasses
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    In order I'd get - taking into account the time of year.

    Decent frame fit pump, spare inner tube(s) and patches, couple of tyre levers.
    Decent gloves.

    If you are used to these you'd probably say essential - though lots start without them and make do with a tracksuit or similar.
    Tights and shorts if the tights don't have a pad.
    Long sleeved cycling top.

    Nice to have but I wouldn't let the lack of them stop you starting out.
    Proper base layers
    Second pair of tights or shorts and legwarmers, second decent top.
    Shoes and clipless pedals
    Track pump

    I've missed out helmet as some people will have that right at the top of the list and others wouldn't consider it necessary unless they are competing in events where one is compulsory.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • Ah yes, the pumps of course, a good floor pump is one of the most time and effort saving things imagineable.

    The pedals and shoes will be fine, I was getting confused myself earlier. SPD-SL are shimanos road cleat, they are like the old Look cleats if you've ver seen then, triangular and plastic and fit in the palm of your hand. They have a much more positive feel than mountain bike SPDs at the expense of being a little harder to clip in and out (and the shoes don;t have much grip for walking, but I've never found this to be an issue).

    I'd start by just making sure you have the essentials so you don't get stuck out on the road and some clothes that you are comfortable riding in, then work upwards...
  • Thanks for the replies everyone, I just hope after all this I find I can keep it up. Otherwise it'll be an expensive endeavour!
  • nferrarnferrar Posts: 2,511
    I'd get some neoprene overshoes to if you intend cycling in the next few weeks (can recommend the Pro Tarmac ones). There's quite a few sale offers going around on clothing so IMO don't jsut assume the DHB stuff is the best value (I have some and it's decent but not great). Two offers I've taken up recently are: ... x?&id=7880 and ... &p_id=3831 these shorts ... &p_id=3340 aren't bad to but are pretty see-through so only really good for underneath tights :p

    My general advice would be to spend decent money on contact points (shoes, gloves, shorts/tights, saddle) and a decent helmet and go budget on the other stuff and buy better when you can.
  • MettanMettan Posts: 2,103
    Get one of these: £7.83 ... 360026001/

    Powerful 1/2 watt rear light for under 8 quid - vital.
  • ukracerukracer Posts: 421
    Where you getting the Rudy Project from?
  • ducksonduckson Posts: 961
    Mettan wrote:
    Get one of these: £7.83 ... 360026001/

    Powerful 1/2 watt rear light for under 8 quid - vital.


    Got one on mine and a Cateye, puts the Cateye to shame.....hell at that price i think i may get another! :wink:
    Cheers, Stu
  • Hehe, I just ordered my second smart, going to start commuting in the dark and thought a backup would be a good idea. They are great, looks like Preston is going to be a much brighter place soon!!! :wink:
    One day, I'm going to buy a cottage in a small village and become its idiot!
  • @Ukracer - The Rudy Project helmet is on Wiggle, but based on the feedback from here i'm going to pay a bit extra and go to my LBS to check out helmets for size.

    I think i've picked the worst week to decide to get back into cycling....I have no intention of trying my first real road bike & roadie clip-less pedals this week!
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