Obviously you need a bike, otherwise you’re not a cyclist. If this is your first bike, I suggest a sturdy, entry level steel bike for two reasons. First, you just don’t know yet how to properly maintain your bike. Therfore you will loose a lot of money by replacing expensive parts, if you have an expensive bike. Second, at some point in your cycling career, you will need a winter bike and steel withstands a lot of abuse. So, when you get your racing bike, the steel bike will still be there 🙂
The basics require a floor pump, a minipump, a minitool, a patch kit, chain oil, spare tubes, bottle holders and bottles. That’s enough at the beginning. But if you’re getting into it, you can improve this section by buying cable cutters, a torque wrench and a workstand.
3. Cycling Kit
Means a specific cycling short with a chamois in there and a jersey with three pockets on the back. This will drastically inprove your comfort on the bike and therefore gets you out on longer rides. Also you’ll desperately need a helmet for your own safety 😉
4. Pedals and shoes
Clipless pedals can improve your stroke by almost 30 %, especially uphills. This will make you faster for the least amount of money you have to spend.
5. Knowledge – means books
Since it’s better to improve the rider instead of the gear, knowledge is the first investment you should take. Information is king and you should get ahead of your competition by knowing how you have to train, how you have to sit on the bike and how you can repare your bike. Knowledge is timeless! You can’t loose it like fitness. Two must reads are “The Cyclists Training Bible – by Joe Friel” and “Bike Fit – by Phil Burt”.
6. The right saddle
Since you now know, what you need for your best position on the bike, you have to find the right saddle for yourself. This can take it’s time and money. But it’s absolutely worth it to have no pain anymore. Again, this will drastically improve your comfort on the bike.
7. Cycling Computer
If you didn’t bought this with your bike, no problem – in fact: better. Till this point, you can get away with using your smartphone to track your rides. But now you want something which can navigate you around and shows you metrics like heart rate, cadence and speed. It’s a good idea, to spend a little bit more on this one, so you’ll be able to use your next purchases like a powermeter with your cycling computer.
At some point, everywhere is winter. Yes, you can ride your bike in -10°C, but the winter grit will wreck it. Plus, if you don’t buy a trainer, you’ll need to buy winter clothing, which can cost more, than you think. The second advantage of a trainer is, that you can do highly specific training. This is especially useful, if you’re a time crunched cyclist. 45 Minutes on the trainer is as good as one hour outside, since you don’t have to stop for traffic and always keep pedaling. Plus, if you’re getting into Zwift (online game) it can be a lot of fun 🙂
Since you’re a road cyclist, you want to have maximum efficiency. A powermeter delivers just that. You can hit specific numbers and don’t have to worry about guessing your effort with your heart rate monitor. This is the last big purchase which improves you as a rider. And in my opinion, it’s better to get a powermeter, before you get a new bike.
10. Restart at number one.
Now you want to upgrade. Since you’re a good rider, you can get the most out of your equipment. I suggest you redo the steps again and get highly specific since now you should know, what kind of rider you are 🙂
Did I miss something? What is your next purchase?