Josh Bean started cycling just as he was starting college as a way to get to and from his classes. In the summer before his junior year, Josh committed to bike across the country with two buddies to raise funds for the Kyle Charvat Foundation, a fund that helps provide financial aid to young adults who are struggling with cancer. After 40 days and 3,751 miles, the trio raised $27,000. Now Josh just bikes for fun—what else is there to do during a pandemic—and today he's sharing his favorite biking essentials with us in this wheelie helpful guide.... more
Seasoned cyclists know the importance of a quality pair of socks and DeFeet delivers. I have a number of different brands hanging out in my cycling sock collection, but in terms of comfort, performance and price point, I believe that DeFeet offers the best overall package. They maintain a nice balance of breathability and warmth displayed in some seriously awesome designs. I got these specific ones from Santa this Christmas, but their entire collection deserves a look.
If you've ridden bikes for long enough, you are sure to have had a number of unfortunate breakdowns. Flat tires, broken chains and broken spokes are a small sample of the mechanical issues that I have had to deal with while out riding, for this reason, having a reliable saddle bag that can carry a few tools and spare parts is essential. Ortlieb is synonymous with reliability and durability making this saddle bag a no-brainer. 1.6L is just enough to carry a small tool wrap, a spare tube (or two) and maybe a small snack.
A little bit pricey, but money well spent for someone who spends a lot of their time working on bikes (a common result of being someone who spends a lot of time riding bikes). This makes fine tuning your cable adjustments more of a precision science than a guess and check. With all the time I spend working on bike repairs this makes my life much easier.
A stellar all-around bike shop that emulates the best of what cycling culture can and should be. If you're building up a bike or just look for a spare part, Recycled Cycles has it. Not to mention their technicians and general staff are incredibly friendly, helpful and non-judgemental. As a bonus, they'll even give you in store credit if you bring in old parts/tools that you have lying around!
As a PNW cyclist, there are many days that I want to bike, I just don't want to bike outside because it would be miserable. Zwift is a great way to cope with those rainy day blues. You can hop on your bike inside (hooked up to a compatible trainer) and be zipped into a virtual world full of other cyclists. Zwift does a great job on making the riding there as realistic as possible and the platform is continuously adding new features, events and workouts. While the "smart" trainers that lots of riders use to Zwift can be fairly expensive, they are working on ways to allow users with stand-alone indoor bikes (like a Peloton) to join in on the fun.
For longer cycling outings or multi-day adventures, it's a good idea to get some additional storage space to carry spare clothes, additional food and other necessities. KaiVenture bags is a fantastic place to head for custom-made frame, handlebar and other cycling bags. Not only will they create a fully custom bag for you customizable by colors, accessories and even additional storage amenities, they are a fantastic small company to support. They are incredibly responsive via e-mail and even wrote a cute birthday message for my girlfriend when I bought her a handlebar bag for her birthday! Oh, and their products are made with solid materials and beautiful handwork, I can't recommend them enough.
Hydration and nutrition while cycling are incredibly important. Aesthetically these CamelBak water bottles are sleek looking and come in a variety of colors to match your bike/kit. Functionally they are incredibly easy to use with a powerful stream that comes out of the nozzle with a small squeeze to make sure you hit the target when cooling down or hydrating. I specifically have the insulated version which help to keep my water cool. On hot days I can still get a nice blast of cold water after a couple of hours.
As a software engineer and cyclist, I am big on numbers and data. I've used a number of speed/cadence sensors by now, and I am convinced that Wahoo make the absolute best. Other sensors can be really fidgety and irritating to setup as they rely on a magnet passing by a sensor on each rotation. The Wahoo rpm speed sensor on the other hand just attaches to your rear/front wheel hub and measures each rotation with some internal sensors. It's sleek, easy to install and works great.
Canyon has quickly become my favorite bike manufacturer. They make awesome bikes and because they're direct-to-consumer you get a better deal on a super high-specc'd bike. Comparable bikes from Specialized or Cannondale with roughly equal component builds are often 20-25% more expensive. That being said, because you're not going through a bike shop to purchase the bike itself, make sure to stop by, get friendly and use them for your other business to help make sure they're getting some love as well.
I am very particular about my sunglass choices and so I don't make this recommendation lightly. ROKA makes seriously awesome cycling glasses (and other types of sunglasses). Their frame material is durable and flexible. The glasses are extremely comfortable, and their lens replacement technology is super easy-to-use. Not to mention they have awesome customization abilities for the frames and lenses on their website so you can make a pair of sunglasses that are uniquely yours. I am currently rocking a pair from the CP series on my rides and have a few lens replacements for various conditions.