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Beginner Rider's Handy Hints 

January 30, 2014
Beginner Rider's Handy Hints

This guide is designed to provide a one stop location for all the essentials you will need to get started pedalling. The bike selection process can be daunting, that’s why BikeExchange is here to help make getting on the bike easy!

What, where, how?

First of all if you haven’t already decided what style of bike riding you’re interested in you should check out this page to help you get on your way. Depending on your chosen bike and preferred riding style will determine what gear is best suited to you. Below is a rough breakdown of popular riding styles and what gear is suitable.

Road Bike Riding

Wether for fitness, commuting or racing we recommend the following items for all road riders.

The essentials;

  • Comfortable helmet with plenty of breathing vents.
  • Lycra jersey and shorts (yes it really does help).
  • Saddle bag kit. Including tyre lever, multi-tool, patch kit, spare tube and a Co2 pump.
  • Bright bike lights. Even if you don’t plan on riding at night being highly visible never hurts.

The nice to haves;

  • Sunglasses are pretty much essential but you can get away without them.
  • Clip-in Pedals and Shoes. Again not essential but once you get used to them you will never go back.
  • Cycling computers. Handy to know cadence, speed, and distance travelled and access GPS maps.

Mountain Bike Riding

Mountain biking is a great way to explore nature and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Mountain biking comes in a variety of disciplines with an even larger range of accompanying bikes. Check out this article to learn the basics and help you decide what discipline best suits you. Check out our recommended essentials to get you pedalling.

The essentials;

  • Snuggly fitted helmet preferably one designed for mountain biking.
  • Bike gloves with tough palm material.
  • A spare patch up kit with tools and a pump is an absolute must have!
  • First aid kit.
  • No fear of mud or dirt.

The nice to haves;

  • Sunnies to protect eyes from branches and debris.
  • Full face helmet and body armour for more extreme MTB disciplines is strongly recommended.
  • Hydration bags for extended biking sessions.

Urban & Commuter Riding

Commuter riding is all the rage in European countries and is definitely becoming super trendy in Australia. With roads ever more congested and sedentary jobs a breath of fresh air is often welcome. Commuter bikes are comfortable, light on the wallet and great for general fitness not to mention a convenient way to get to the local store. Make your statement with some awesome commuter gear!

The essentials;

  • A certified bike helmet with a cool design on it.
  • Bike lights, visibility is always important.
  • Bike lock, to secure your bike whilst visiting a trendy café.
  • Basic patch kit with tyre lever and spare tube.
  • A bell to alert pedestrians of your approach (and coolness).

not so essential;

  • Bike bling in all it’s swagger; custom grips, saddles and pedals are a good place to start.
  • Pannier racks to store goodies from op shop bargain hunting.
  • Mudguards/Fenders to stay brown line free.
  • Coffee (beverage) cup holder for travellers from the trendy café.

BMX Riding

BMX riding is great for kids and even adults, the entry level costs are low and BMX’s are heaps of fun. Much like mountain biking BMX riding has distinct genres of riding be sure to check our BMX guide to help you get started.

All you will need to get started is:

  • Crash bucket (BMX style helmet).
  • Comfortable clothing (often loose fitting).
  • Sturdy runners or skate shoes.
  • If you’re into air time some elbow and knee guards are a welcome addition.
  • As BMX bikes aren’t intended to be ridden over long distances carrying around spares and tools is not essential especially if where you ride is local.
  • If you choose to ride in low light, highly visible or reflective gear or even lights are recommended no matter the riding style.

Beginner Kids Riders

Bike riding is excellent for kid’s motor skills and a great family weekend activity. Ensuring that their introductory experience is safe and fun is essential! It’s always tempting to purchase items for kids for them to grow into, using this approach when purchasing bikes and equipment can be uncomfortable and/or dangerous for the rider. Always stick to recommend age guides when purchasing kids bikes and apparel.

Must haves;

  • Australian certified helmet appropriately sized and fitted for children.
  • Closed toe shoes with ankle support.
  • Training wheels, everyone has to start somewhere!
  • Bells and lights (mainly for teaching the use of safety equipment).
  • A friend to ride with! (Mainly for safety)

Fun items

  • Colourful spokes and streamers.
  • Baskets or trailers (for transportation of important toys).
  • Pegs for young BMX bandits.
  • Drink bottle cage.

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