A Beginner’s Guide To Cycling
Essential Items To Get You Started
There are plenty of cycling adventures to be had in the Highlands! So if you’ve been thinking about taking up cycling or you haven’t been on a bike since you were a kid and you’re keen to get back in the saddle, have a look at these essential items Gabriele Loft from The Fixed Wheel in Bowral put together for us.
The guys and girls at The Fixed Wheel definitely know their stuff and can help you with everything from the bike itself (including repair and servicing), accessories you’ll need for both the bike and you, and awesome advice about where to cycle in the Highlands to build up your confidence on two wheels!
Okay, let’s have a look at what Gabriele suggests you start with....
1 // Entry Level Bike
TREK Marlin 5 $699
The Marlin 5 is perfectly suited for everyday adventures. It comes in different sizes and is a comfortable and stable ride which is great for beginners.
“It’s an entry level mountain bike but for all terrain so you can go off-road, head out on a fire trail or ride along the Bong Bong Track. It’s a very versatile bike for a beginner,” says Gabriele.
“These bikes come in some great colours and you can accessorise it as much as you want – put a basket on it to head up to the village shops!”
2 // Bike pump
Bontrager Charger Floor Pump $69.99
It may not be as sexy as some other bike accessories, but a bike pump is an absolute essential.
“This one has different attachments, so you use it on all types of wheels. It’s also handy for pumping up soccer balls and basketballs too,” Gabriele says.
And if you want to really minimise your risk, The Fixed Wheel have hand pumps you can take in your backpack when you head out for a ride. That way you’ll never be stuck!
3 // Helmet
Electra Lifestyle Bike Helmet $70
Making the right (and safe) decision when you’re buying a helmet is very important. As Gabriele points out, yes, you can buy cheaper helmets that meet Australian Standards, but if you want to have that extra level of safety and peace of mind, then spending a bit more on a helmet like the Electra Lifestyle Bike Helmet is a good decision.
“There is extra padding inside these helmets, it gives nice ventilation for comfort, you can adjust the size and there is a safety light on the back which is a fantastic safety feature,” Gabriele points out.
“I also love the colours. They come in super funky colours and have a fun retro look. It’s a great entry level helmet because you don’t need to wear a professional helmet if you’re going to jump on a normal bike and head out with the kids.”
And while we were chatting to Gabriele, she gave us some great tips about helmets.
“Many people don’t know that if you drop a helmet, it’s best to get rid of it as it’s not safe anymore. And don’t leave helmets in a hot car. That can also damage them.”
We didn’t know that - great advice!
4 // Bell
Electra Bell $19.99
We love these bells! And not just because some of them have pictures of cocktails and champers on them!
In Australia, it’s a legal requirement for all bikes to be fitted with a bell, so why not select a bell with personality?
“The Electra Bells have great colours with different sizes and pictures to suit your bike. They make a nice, big sound which is very important and they’re very affordable at $19.99,” says Gabriele.
“Another quick tip for you, don’t forget to ring your bell when you are approaching a pedestrian from behind. This gives them notice they’re about to have a bike whooshing past them. As someone who walks their dog regularly, I know it can be a bit scary when you don’t hear a bell and all of a sudden a bike is right next to you. Bike etiquette is really important.”
5 // Bike stand
Bontrager Integrated Rear Mount Alloy Kickstand $39.99
“Many mountain bikes don’t come with stands, so if you buy one for your first bike, it’s a good idea to buy a stand like this,” Gabriele suggests.
“That way if you are riding to the shops or to a friend’s place or to the park, you’re not throwing your bike on the ground when you get there, and potentially damaging it.”
6 // Lights
Echelon Sports Prism LED Light Set $99.95
Another super important safety feature to include on your bike is front and rear lights.
“When you’re out on a bike, you need to see and be seen,” Gabriele says.
The front light in this particular set is brighter than the rear, which is important if you’re out riding in the early morning or at dusk.
“These lights can be strapped on easily. We always say it’s very important to invest in your safety when you take up cycling, and lights are an essential purchase.”
7 // Bike lock
Tour Series Combination Cable Lock$29.99
If you’ve invested in a fabulous bike, you certainly don’t want it going walkabout! A bike lock can help keep your bike safe when you’re out and about and don’t have anywhere secure to keep your bike.
“These bike locks are good because they’re flexible, come in different sizes – we have a shorter one here for $19.99 – and they’re light,” Gabriele says.
“Once you’ve unlocked your bike, you can put it in your backpack and off you go!”
Fantastic! Thanks Gabriele. Plenty of great advice, tips and products to get you on your bike!
CHRISTMAS SHOPPING WISH LIST
Watch these videos and head in to The Fixed Wheel for some gift inspiration...
The Fixed Wheel is a full-service bicycle shop in Bowral. The guys and girls in-store are all cyclists themselves with quite a collection of championships, race wins and real experience under their belts. They definitely know their stuff! If you’re keen to start cycling, start at The Fixed Wheel.
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We love sharing our awesome outdoor adventures with The Fold readers and want to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy when giving our walks and rides a crack for themselves. So, always check the weather forecast before you venture out. If you’re heading into a National Park, be sure to consult the National Parks website for up-to-date information about current alerts. Prepare yourself with the right equipment, clothing, safety items, with plenty to eat and drink if you’re going on longer hikes, and always let someone else know where you’re going and what time you are expected to be back. Have fun and stay safe!