Hitting the road and heading out into the open air is one of the best feelings you can have. But when you plan a trip on your road bike, you need to be sure that you have every aspect covered, from navigation to the right road bike tires to make sure your journey goes smoothly. Whether you’re sticking in the country or planning to get away abroad as soon as you can, there are some essentials you’ll need to make the most of your journey.
Keeping Your Bike Stored Safely
If you’re going a long distance, and flying or driving to your ride location, you’re going to need a bike box or bag. A fabric bag works well for occasional trips, but if you go away with your road bike frequently, then it may be worth investing in a hard-sided case for the ultimate in protection. These can be expensive, but they are durable - it all depends on how much you want to invest in your kit.
Selecting Road Bike Tires
Choosing the right tires for your ride can also improve your experience, ensuring comfort, safety and great performance. Road bike tires are specially geared to perform when on smooth, paved surfaces, but there are lots of different widths, materials and tread patterns out there to select from. When choosing consider the width of your wheel rims, and the size of your bike frame - while also ensuring enough clearance for steady rotation. 25mm road bike tires tend to be a good all-round choice, but if you are expecting especially rough roads, you may want to opt for 28mm for better surface contact.
GPS for Bike Touring
Of course, for longer rides, a decent GPS system is also a must. This technology can come in two forms - some riders opt for a handlebar-mounted device, while others prefer a wearable GPS watch to keep them on track. There is a huge variety available, from simple entry models to hi-spec - but very costly - editions, so it all depends on your budget and how much you want to invest. The Garmin Edge is a model favored by many riders, while the Mio Cyclo is adapted especially for bike tripping.
Packed Saddle Bags
Choosing strong, durable saddlebags that can fit a lot in enables you to make sure you have all those critical items to hand. These can include:
• Puncture Repair Kit - The last thing you need is to have to halt your trip because of a flat. So always carry an emergency puncture repair kit to get you back on the road as quickly as possible.
• Saddle Balm - It’s not nice to think about, but chafing can and does occur when you’re putting in a lot of time in the saddle. Pack some balm to soothe your aching thighs and you’ll be glad you did!
• Waterproof - The weather can be unpredictable, even if you’ve flown to sunnier climes, so make sure to back a lightweight waterproof to keep you dry if the heavens open.
• Water Bottles - Staying hydrated is hugely important on the road, so make sure you have a refillable metal water bottle with you for the ride.
• Bike Lock - You need to keep your bike safe when you come to park up. A good quality u-lock and cables can stop your trip ending in disaster.
• Power Bars - Access to quick-energy foods can be vital for powering you up that final hill - so make sure to back some energy gels or protein bars for a quick energy hit when needed
With a little preparation, you will have your dream trip and be out on the open road as soon as possible.