Although we are lucky enough to ride year round here in California, cycling season always ramps up in early summer. On the average Sunday, you will see thousands of cyclist making the pilgrimage over the Golden Gate to enjoy the hilly and scenic roads of Marin. As stated before, the following essentials list is by no means comprehensive, but these ten items accompany me on pretty much every ride.
1. Café du Cycliste (€120-€180): On top of being incredibly good looking, this cycling kit is extremely well made. The Antoinette bib short with tank style top can be worn on its own or together with a jersey. Silicone grippers and an extra wide leg band eliminate sausage legs and ensure even tan lines at the end of the summer. The bib shorts add a nice base layer for downhills, meaning you can often leave the vest at home. Plus, the stripes provide a great hit of style when you unzip in preparation for that endless uphill segment. The Italian made, women’s specific Cytech chamois remains comfortable even after hours on the bike, while mesh cutouts in the tank help with venting on those super hot days. Created for French Riviera summers, the Fleurette jersey is made from a super lightweight, moisture wicking fabric. Design details include a silicone gripper hem and a tiny zippered pocket on the back right for securing keys or money, with the other pockets roomy enough to store all the ride essentials. I love this kit and feel so French wearing it.
2. Waxed Canvas Hugga Tool Roll ($40): With my new bike, I now carry all my tools in my jersey pocket. The waxed canvas tool roll from Bike Hugger holds everything you need, neatly stored to move from bike to bike. No more ruining your bike shorts on unruly saddle bags. Although currently out of stock, keep an eye on Amazon for more.
3. Rapha Cycling Cap ($50): Every self-respecting cyclist needs a cap. This classically styled Rapha cap is made from windproof, water resistant cotton and finished off with anti-bacterial tape.
4. Mio Alpha ($199): I am not a fan of wearing a chest strap, so being able to optically measure heart rate data from my wrist is much more ideal. The latest Mio version-the Link-ditches the display and offers both Bluetooth and ANT+ connectivity.
5. Moving Comfort Maia ($56): Finally a sports bra for the, shall we say, more well endowed women. This bra not only offers great support, but gives you nice definition. No more looking like one giant stuffed tube top.
6. Wahoo RFLKT+ Bike Computer ($129.99): I record all my rides on Strava, but want to be able to see my ride data when on the bike. The RFLKT+ bike computer connects to your phone via Bluetooth 4.0 in order to display any data being recorded in the phone app and best of all, acts as an ANT+ bridge to connect your sensors to your phone. A built-in thermometer and altimeter makes for better real time elevation and temp data.
7. Ryders Saber Photochromic Sunglasses ($79.95): The Saber are lightweight, wrap-around style shades with photochromic lenses that adjust to the changing light conditions. Hydrophilic nose and temple pads keep the glasses from falling off your face during an all out, sweaty effort.
8. Ice Dot Crash Sensor ($149): Coming standard now in many POC bike helmets, this small sensor mounts to any helmet and detects critical impacts. When paired with an app on your phone, it will alert your emergency contacts in the event of a crash, complete with your GPS coordinates. Not a bad backup safety device to have on your helmet. Just make sure you turn off the alarm if it should go off and you are ok.
9. TheBikeFit ($1.99): This app by no means replaces a professional bike fit, but if you want to make tweaks here and there, compare fit between your n+1 bikes in the garage, or want to properly set up a rental bike, it can sure come in handy. A you video yourself cycling on a trainer, the app calculates and stores all your body measurements and angles.
10. The Feed ($34.82/month): Unless I am specifically training for something, I generally grab whatever is available to fuel me on my weekday rides. The Feed takes all the guesswork out of nutrition planning by delivering you a monthly box of various products for hydration, recovery, pre-workout, workout, and even supplements. With the pro plan, you get access to a personal nutrition coach who can help you plan for specific goals, races, or events. The box includes some of the regulars such as Clif Shots and Nuun hydration tabs, but others I had not heard of before like the Giddy Up Bar.