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With the rise of smartphones, so too has the cycling app market expanded, as well as other notable things such as cycle route planners , and a good old fashioned tool kit is also essential. Let’s have a look at the best of the accessories.
Strava is a handy little app that records and stores your progress on your device, ready to be uploaded to the website. The app is also unsurprisingly social-media compatible so that you can challenge your friends and brag about your latest ride. A premium option is also available that offers lots of extra features, but there is a free version that will do all of the basics very well, such as route planning. Strava uses GPS technology and is the cycling equivalent of the plethora of running apps.
MapMyRide is a similar sort of app that allows you to plan routes, log your progress and even keep track of your diet. This app also has social media integration and the route planning is simple and transmitted from a reliable and large network. Options include free and paid for versions.
Fill That Hole
This is a quirky little app that can inform cyclists of pot holes along a planned route to avoid any accidents. It works through user-based notifications that are passed onto the local authority to carry out repairs. It’s also free to use.
As the name suggests, this app lets you find hire bicycles in your area, notably ‘Boris Bikes’ from London’s cycle scheme. It has a simple to use interface and can be very useful if you need to quickly find a bike. This app costs 69p.
This is essential, especially in more remote areas where a flat tyre or other malfunction could leave you completely stranded. It doesn’t have to be an expensive expenditure and you don’t need hundreds of tools, but a good foundation for your toolbox would be:
An inner tube (or 2 if you have room)
A multi-tool with attachments such as Allen keys, screwdriver and chain-link extractor
Spare chain link
Gear cable (if you have room)
Water Bottle and Cage
Another vital and very simple bit of kit that could really improve your enjoyment of a cycle ride. Without sufficient water you’ll suffer from dehydration and all the side effects of that. It’s also the cheapest possible cycling-related item you can buy, and is certainly the best in terms of value for money. Any water cage should fit any bike’s bottle bosses so there’s no excuse!
Lights are the best possible way to make sure you’re seen by the other inhabitants of the road, and it’s plain dangerous to not ride with them on. Once again you don’t have to break the bank as anything that’s bright and reliable is fine, but there is plenty of choice.
Cycling is great exercise and a really effective way of staying healthy, although all your effort can go to waste if you don’t eat properly. There are hundreds of vitamin and energy supplements available and you don’t have to go crazy with them but they’re a great addition to any balanced diet. There are also loads of apps that can help you track and regulate what you eat to help you keep your body in the condition needed for optimum cycling.
Mudguards for winter cycling
Heart rate monitor
So there’s your ultimate guide to all the accessories that you’ll need when cycling, and that ends the Ultimate Gear Guide altogether! I hope that there’s enough information throughout for any experienced or budding road cyclist to find that bit of kit that was missing or needed improving.
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