The road to winning a cycling race starts with the procurement of the right equipment. The most appealing thing about shopping for gear is that once you get the idea of what works for you, the next time will be a breeze. The experience of buying a bike at first seems a very simple one, just go to a shop the one that catches your eye is the one you buy. This is a sure tactic to get you screwed over by unscrupulous merchants who want to get rid of their junk fast. Lets start off our adventure. Ready?
SHOULD I BUY A USED BIKE OR NOT?
Great question. The choice comes down to longevity. If you want the cheaper option then a used one may be right up your alley. But in terms of how long you will use the bike, its a bit of a gamble. How do you spot a used bike? For starters look at the chains. If you see the chains not tightly fitted on the chainring then you know the bike has been around the block a few times. On test riding the bike, check for any sounds coming from it as you paddle. A squeaking sound mean that the baring is dirty. This by no means does not mean a used bike is not worth the investment. You could put aside money for fixing the niggly problems. For example I recommend that at the very minimum the tyres need to be in decent condition. One thing to look out for on that aspect is the threads on the tyres. If the lining is visible they still have grip so that when you break they stop at a shorter distance avoiding an accident.
WHAT ABOUT BIKE CLOTHES?
The modern cyclist jersey is a mixture of synthetic and natural fibres. The synthetic fibers alone can be great to absorb sweat. One should look for water absorbing jerseys especially i fyou plan on competing in the northern hemisphere this time of the year. Myself I am a natural kinda guy. I like the old woolen jerseys which have the advantage of making the body stay warm in cold conditions. They are easy on the skin too so if you are allergic to synthetic fabric they could be just for you. The jersey should be tight fitting similar to ones used by athletes. This is for obvious reasons of flexibility. Heavy clothing kinda gets torn off if you are in a final 100meter sprint in the final stage of the Tour de France if you see the picture. All the above applies to shorts as well. I have sampled my best jerseys and shorts below. Right I am off, on my bike I go.