To go hand in hand with my last post celebrating my crazy cycling anniversary I thought I'd put together some of my opinions on cycling myths. There are some things you don't need, even if they would be great to have

  • Lycra (or cycling specific clothing) - The whole past year has been done without any lycra whatsoever. I'm quite sure my rear end would welcome some padding, but I've got by ok with tracksuit bottoms in the winter and some 3/4 length cut offs (I got for holiday 6 years ago) in the summer. Same goes for jersey's. Whilst I'm quite sure a £75 jersey would be nice, A normal t-shirt will do the job just fine. You are going to sweat and get soggy - there's no avoiding that whatever you wear. The only thing you really do need are gloves (and those over a helmet - I do wear a helmet though).
  • Foot Retention - You don't need clipless pedals and shoes. The ye-olde traditional toe-strap is fine. And you don't desperately need foot retention of any kind even when cycling fixed gear - whatever people might say (I don't use any in winter) - as long as you have brakes that is. But toe-clips are a very cheap nice-to-have off eBay, since everyone goes clipless.
  • An expensive bike - Mine was £199 from Halfords. Ok, it's had a new rear wheel, a new set of bearings in that wheel, two bottom brackets and countless spokes. But most of those bits need replacing anyway on whatever bike you get.I'm sure a £1000 bike would be nice, but you certainly don't need it.
  • Gears - Well, that almost goes without saying. Unless where you live is very hilly, turns out you actually don't need gears. Although I really hope at minimum I can afford to do a summer/winter ratio. 42:16 is fine for summer, but I need a little less for those winter tyres.
  • Wider rims for wider tyres - Perhaps a more risky experiment, but I ran 35c tyres on 13c rims for months with just one issue.