Idaho Cycling Gear
Cycling in Idaho is a terrific way to commute, get in shape, spend time with family and friends and enjoy the outdoors. While riding a bike is an easy activity for all ages, it is essential to have the right gear in order to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. The correct bike is the first step to enjoying cycling in Idaho. It’s important to consider what kind of cycling will be primarily done on the bike. While there are many specialized types of bicycles, there are three general ones to consider when a cyclist is starting out:
- Road bikes are designed to be ridden on smooth pavement. They generally have skinny tires and “drop” handlebars. Road bikes are great for commuting in cities and suburbs and are unstable and uncomfortable on unpaved trails.
- Mountain bikes are perfect for riding off the pavement on dirt and rock trails. Mountain bikes have good suspension and wide tires and although they can be used for commuting and paved roads they are not as light or efficient as road bikes.
- Hybrid bikes were created to include both the advantages of road bikes and the advantages of mountain bikes. They have medium width tires which makes them good for casual riding and short distance commuting along with unpaved bike trails. They are not fine-tuned for rough off-road trails and don’t have as much suspension as mountain bikes.
Once the cyclist has the correct bike it’s important to have the necessary gear to keep the bicycle in good, functioning shape. While it can be intimidating to consider the vast amount of cycle tools, kits, and equipment, here is a list of some great basics:
- Tire Lever – It’s inevitable that every cyclist will at one point get a flat tire. A tire lever allows the cyclists to pry the flat tire off the rim of the bike without damaging either part.
- Spare Tube – After using a tire lever to remove a flat tire it’s much easier to simply replace the tube with a spare than it is to try and patch a hole. It’s essential to have the correct tube for the correct bike (i.e., a mountain bike tire tube for a mountain bike tire).
- Multi-Tool – This is a handy gadget that includes multiple tools in one. A multi-tool is essential for making minor adjustments or repairs to your bike while out on a road or trail. They can do anything from adjusting loose bolts to repairing broken chains.
After the bicycle is taken care of, it’s time to focus on the cyclist. While law-abiding cyclists usually enjoy safety on the roads, there are unexpected and often unavoidable situations that can be alleviated if the cyclist has the right self-care essentials:
- Helmet – The most important gear for any cyclist is a good helmet. Helmets protect a cyclist’s head in the case of an accident. More than 70% of fatal cycling accidents occurred to cyclists who were riding without a helmet.
- Gloves – Mountain biking gloves and road cycling gloves provide padding to dampen vibration, protect hands in case of a fall, and keep hands warm in cold weather. Riding with a pair of gloves goes a long way toward a comfortable ride for the cyclist.
- Water, Food, and Cell Phone – while these three essentials aren’t necessarily specific to cycling, they can make a huge difference in the case of an emergency. Accidents happen and bikes can break down. If a cyclist is stranded, food, water, and a cell phone can be the key to survival and safety.
For tips on where to ride in our great state, check out our Idaho cycling resources page. You’ll find information on trails, routes, races and bike shops. At Craig Swapp & Associates we truly enjoy helping bike riders across Idaho enjoy the many benefits of cycling.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a bike accident, please visit our Idaho bicycle attorney website or give us a call at 1-800-404-9000 to learn how we can help. Insurance companies can be quick to dismiss the claims of law-abiding cyclists and we are committed to ensuring a full and complete settlement to those who are victims of bicycle vs. larger vehicle accidents.