Must-Haves On The Bike
The three most important body parts to be sure are comfortable on a road bike are your feet, sit bones (yes, your butt) and hands. Think of these three body parts as a three point comfort system, as they are the three contact points of a rider to his or her bike. These are areas to take care of, especially on long rides.
-SCHEELS Cycling Expert: Mike Ritzer
First, let’s talk feet. Clipless pedals should be one of your first and most necessary purchases. Clipless pedals are an adjustment and may seem frightening to new riders but having the ability to connect your shoes to your pedals will not only improve your performance and efficiency over time, but will also improve your comfort level. There are many different types of shoes and pedals out there, making it easy to find a set to fit your specific needs. Also, be sure to compliment your new shoes and pedals with the perfect pair of socks! Your feet are doing a lot of work down there; provide them with a moisture-wicking sock. Cotton is not a recommended choice; typically a merino wool or polyester blend is a good choice. SmartWool is a favorite of mine.
Next, let’s talk about sit bones. Investing in a couple pairs of padded biking shorts is must! This is probably the most important part of the 3-point comfort system as this is what typically hurts first and the most. Bike shorts play a critical role in the comfort of riding a bike. Bike shorts are typically made of a nylon/spandex blend and have a chamois pad on the backside. The chamois is there for added comfort and protection with the contact point on the bike saddle. The nylon/spandex material conforms to your body to prevent chaffing while moving and stretching with your leg muscles. Again, there are many different types of biking shorts, including bibs, to fit your needs on the bike.
The last contact point on the bike is your hands. A pair of biking gloves will go a long way in adding comfort to your next ride. Biking gloves are typically fingerless and have gel or foam pads on the palm area where your hand and handlebar make contact. The pads help alleviate pressure from when your hands make direct contact with the handlebars.
Whether you are riding 10 miles or 100 miles, having the proper gear for your next ride is a must. Not only will the right gear improve comfort, but also performance. Just remember the three most important body parts to keep comfortable and what gear you need to ensure it stays that way.
- Feet/Clipless Pedals
- Sit Bones/Padded Biking Shorts
- Hands/Biking Gloves
SCHEELS Cycling Expert: Mike Ritzer