Are you planning on doing any serious cycling? Do you want to use your bicycle to get to work, or you want to go on vacation with it? Then you should make sure you and your bicycle are prepared to travel longer distances. Thereâ€™s nothing worse than ending up with a flat tire, broken chain or your luggage driven over by a passing car when youâ€™re miles away from home.
First off, you should start by preparing you bike for heavy duty cycling. Make sure there are no rattling parts, fix everything thatâ€™s loose. You should also make sure every moving part of the bicycle runs smooth as butter. Put some grease on your chain and in your wheels and pedals (not too much or dirt will stick to it).
Then you should make sure you have enough space for luggage. Most regular bikes have a baggage carrier on the back, but many bikes such as racing bikes or mountain bikes donâ€™t. Thereâ€™s always the possibility to mount a standard baggage carrier on your bike. There are types for sale that fit on pretty much every bike. Make sure to get a decent one with the ability to load at least 20kgâ€™s. Also make sure you can fasten you items tight so it wonâ€™t bounce or fall off while cycling.
Having protection against puddles and rain is important if you donâ€™t want your clothes to get all wet and dirty. Again, make sure theyâ€™re solid and donâ€™t bounce around while cycling. If theyâ€™re not included with the bicycle, then you can get a standard set for just a few bucks.
Another important thing is your saddle. While most racing bikes have a tiny saddle, this will be a pain if you intend to travel at long distances. There are many gel saddles out there that fit on every bike. If you donâ€™t have one, you should seriously try it! Great relief for your butt 😉
Have you got some decent lighting? If not, this is quite important to be seen and see for yourself. You can use a standard LED for your rear light, but I would recommend getting a decent strong light in front so you can see holes and stuff on the ground as well. You can get one using a dynamo or batteries, whatever you prefer.
When youâ€™re out cycling you should always carry a tire repair kit including tire pump. Also, you should know how to use it 😉 Try removing your tire and putting it back on the wheel at home. Finding a leak and using a patch + glue is the easy part. Also try to bring at least a few standard tools used for bicycle repairs with you. You might want to adjust your brake or gears on the road.
After these precautions you should be good to go for miles and miles. Have fun!