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Everything but the bike

The pleasure payback from you gear investment can vary widely.With some items, spending a little more yields tremnedous increases in speed and comfort., while in other spots improvement comes in tiny, expensive increments. Here are the 5 best ways to spend you money.

Save on : Pedals

Pricey pedals ar a bit lighter thanks to techy materials such as carbon and titannium. But you ‘ll notice little or no performance bump compared wiht midrange models of chromoly and glass fiber.

Clipless or flat pedals ? Flat pedals make sense at both ends of the spectrum. Pedaling to the ice cream stand in loafers ? Flat pedals. Launching no-footer off a monster dirt jump ?Falt, too, for the same reason : quick, straightforward dismounts. For everyone else, there are the vastly more efficient clipless pedals

Splurge on : Shoes

Inexpensive shoes disappoint, with poor closure systmes that won’t cinch your feet comfortably and filmsy uppers that wear quickly.Quality footwear includes feature such as ratcheting buckles and stiff carbon soles. Spend what it takes ot find the proverbial shoe that fits, and don’t order online just to save some money.  Buy form a shop so you can try multiple models and sizes.
Road or mountain shoes ? Road shoes are lighter and have a stiffer sole for better power transfer; however, doing anything besides riding in them is like walking on ice with buttered feet. Softer-soled mountaine bike shoes can be more flexible and have botooms with treads for easier walking. Are you a high mileage, road-only rider looking fot hte ultimate in weight and efficiency ? Opt for road-specific shoes. Like to linger at stops ? Choose the convenience and comfort of moutain shoes.

Save on : Jersey

The fit anda feel of a finely made jersey os a worthy treat for long, special days in the saddle. But for everyday squak-in-an-hour-after-work rides, most any synthetic, snug-fitting top wuth back pockets will suffice. One way to get a high end jersey for chealp : look for replica jerseys of now-defunct pro teams, whicj often populate the closeout racks shops.

Splurge on : Shorts and Bibs

The best shorts are constructed wiht multiple panels for a more conforming fit. And they use vastly superior padded inserts. You can spend a bit more for shors that boast multilayer or multiple density, strechable, smotth-seamed, gender-specific padding. Your bum will thank you every ride !

Save on : Tubes

A generic innertube is all that your bike ever needs. Spending more get you either special thin, lightweight tubes, which are less weighty but more prone to punctures, or a brand-name box that contains a generic tube.

Splurge on : tires

Better tires have superior puncture resistance and wear, and reduced weight a,d rolling resistance, so you go faster. Look for supple casings -sidewalss flexible like a leather glove, not rigid like a car tire- and theards copunts of 60-plus threads per inch. Tiers wiht folding beads, rather wire, are often lighter and easier to mount?

Save on : Helmet

All helmets sold must respect security standards, so in terms of efficiency  a cheap one is equally good at protecting your head as the most expensive one. Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to buy a new helmet every time you crash.

Splurge on : Sunglasses

Quality glasses offer 100 % UV protection claimed and thye’re more scratch-resistant. Sport glasses also have pliable ear-and-nosepieces that keep them stuck to your face, even on descents or choppy trails.

Save on : Rain Jacket

Except for hardcore commuters or racers, few of us really ride in the rain much.  For the rare occasions you do get caught in a shower, you will get wet eventually enven with the most exepensive jacket. A simple plastic jacket, still the choice of coutnless pros, does the jobn too.

Splurge on : Vest ans Base layerÂ

The vest allows more versatility thant any other piece of cycling clothing. In cold and windy conditions, it protects your core, and it packs small to stow in your pocket. A quality base layer, which fits like a second skin and wicks sweat, will keep you cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

This article is an extract from : « The Big book of Bicycling » Emily Furia

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