You have a bike, now what?

A guide to help make bicycling fun and safe.

Safety Rule #1: Always wear a helmet!

Helmet – $40 – $125
Helmets have come a long way since 1982; they have become very light weight, comfortable and in some cases, fashionable. All bicycle helmets are required to pass the same safety standards.  More expensive helmets are lighter and have more ventilation while still maintaining safety standards.  Proper size and fit are important.  Let our qualified staff help you choose the right helmet.  The life expectancy of a helmet is 3-5 years depending on several factors, primarily: if it has an impact, it has done its duty and needs to be replaced! Upgrades include lighter weight, specific sizes, ventilation, aesthetics.

If you happen to have to use your helmet, bring in the broken helmet with a story of how it saved your life and receive a 20% discount on its replacement!

Additional items to consider to help ensure your comfort and safety…

Gloves – $15 – $45
Gloves will cushion and protect your hands while allowing you to maintain a solid grip when they are sweaty or wet from rain.  Specific gloves for riding in cold weather will help your hands stay warm on wintry rides.  Padded gloves help absorb shock and prevent numbness. Upgrades include better padding, ventilation, warmth, durability, and finger protection.

Shorts – $50 – $180
Padded cycling shorts make long rides more enjoyable and have come a long way in the fashion department.  Many shorts come with a loose outer shell and have a removable liner. They look casual but are designed to provide a comfortable ride.  If you ride more than 1 hour at a time or more than twice a week, you might consider 2 pairs of riding shorts so you are not stuck without while one pair is in the wash.  You (and your backside) will love them.  Really! Upgrades include taped or seamless comfort, different padding thicknesses and shapes, breathability/wicking, and color choice.

Hydration – $10 – $120
Staying hydrated is essential and there are two methods for doing so.  One is to carry a water on your bike using a bottle and cage ($10 – $20). Most bikes carry at least 2 bottles.  The other method is a hydration pack – a small backpack fitted with a water bladder and a long tube that clips to your shirt making water easily accessible.  Hydration packs ($40 – $120) usually have room for carrying gear and repair kit/tools as well.  Upgrades go for water volume, pack volume, pack suspension design.  Whether you go with bottle or pack, think about electrolyte supplements; see the Fueling section towards the end of all this great info.

Mirrors – $6 – $25
Many riders like to see what is behind them, and constantly craning your neck around can get tiring.  There are many types of “rear view” mirrors variously mounting on handlebar mount, eyeglass mount, and helmet mount mirrors.  All will enhance your safety.

Clothing – $10 – $150
Cycling specific clothing like shoes, socks, shorts, rain pants, jerseys, gloves, hats etc. is a good investment for whatever kind of riding you do. Bike apparel will have features such as long jacket tails, ankle cuffs, reflective piping, and water bottle pockets. The right clothing can make or break a ride.

Lights – $12 – $350
Not only is it the law, but you will gain peace of mind knowing that you are being seen and that you can see when riding in the dark or inclement weather.  Tail lights usually flash to catch the eye of others on the road.  Most lights use LED technology and have USB recharge options so maintenance is very low.  Upgrade options include more light, more mounting options (helmet vs handlebars) USB rechargeability, durability.  Idaho and Washington require a front white light visible for 500 feet and a rear red reflector; it is a good idea have a blinking red light in addition to the reflector.

Repair kit – $20 – $120

A full repair kit consists for a spare tube ($7), patch kit ($5), tire levers($2 ea), multi tool ($10 – $50), CO2 or pump ($15 – $30) and a bag ($20 – $40).  With a repair kit you can fix or replace a flat tire, make a repair or adjustment to your bike, or help a fellow rider in need on the road or trail.  Items for a repair kit are typically purchased a-la-carte so you can choose specific items to suit your bike and needs. Upgrades include lighter weight tools, bigger seat bags, the number of tools offered, easier to use tools.

Know your tires…

Tire Inflation – $20 – $100

Regardless of the type of riding you do, you will need to inflate or repair your tires periodically due to maintenance or emergency.  One way is to use a mini pump (also called a frame pump).  These handy pumps are reliable, portable and great for emergencies; however, they take a much longer time to inflate the tire and they can damage your tube valve if used daily for maintenance (look for ones with a flexible hose to avoid this issue).  Another method is to use CO2 cartridges to fill your tires.  You will need to be familiar with how to use your CO2 inflator and remember to always carry 2 fresh CO2 cartridges.  They are terrific to have in an emergency, but are cost prohibitive for daily use at $4 per cartridge.  Since most tires lose 1-2 lbs of air per day, a floor pump ($20 – $100) for daily airchecks is probably the most important maintenance item you can buy.  It will make the biggest difference in the way your bike rides and feels.  A floor pump is the fastest and easiest way to keep inflation pressure correct so the wheel is protected from accidental low tire pressure flats. Proper inflation also keeps your bike rolling as fast and efficiently as possible. You pay for durability and air volume in a pump.

Flat Protection

Flat tires happen when you ride;  here are a few tips to help you improve your odds.  Heavy duty tubes ($10 per tire) are 6 times thicker than a regular tube. Another good option is liquid sealant ($10 per tire) which is injected into the inner tube and will seal small punctures from goat heads and glass, over and over.  A third option is tire liners ($20 per tire).  Tire liners are thin dense strips of material placed between the tube and tire.  These days, many tires (starting at $25-$35 per tire) are available with a flat protection belt built into the tire.

Don’t forget…

Security – $15 – $70
The best security is not letting your bike out of your sight.  When you do have to leave it out of sight, lock it!  While there are many locks to choose from, choose a lock you find easy to use with the most security.  Many bike locks use combinations and usually let you program a combination with a number you can remember, like your mother’s birthday.

Transporting your bike – $50 – $500
A nice bike rack will allow you to take your bike wherever you go- vacation, a new riding spot, across town when you leave your car for repair, or picking up your kids with their bikes.  There are several reasons to carry bikes on a car.  Rear mount racks attach by strap to the rear of  most vehicles ($50 – $250) and range from 1 to 4 bike capacities.  You pay for automobile diversity, the number of bikes the rack will hold and durability.  Hitch Racks ($125 – $500) require a receiver hitch and are the most convenient for installation.  You pay for trunk or tailgate accessibility, security, number of bikes, anti sway and durability.  Roof mounted racks ($300 – $500) are the best for complete access to the vehicle and for keeping the bike secure when you stop at your local bike shop for advice.  They are the most expensive and you pay for diversity, security, stability, ease of use, and color.

Fueling – $1.40-$5
If you’re going out for an extended ride, be sure to put some fuel in your tank! Options range from a banana and bag of your favorite trail mix through gel packs and bites on to specially formulated endurance drink mixes. A vital part of keeping your engine firing on all cylinders is enough electrolytes in your system, especially on hot Palouse summer days, so consider electrolyte drops, pills, or drink mixes.

“The List” goes on.

This guide is intended to help you get the most from your Paradise Creek experience making cycling a safe and enjoyable part of your daily life.  There are a lot of options out there so the knowledgeable Paradise Creek Bicycles staff is happy to assist you in making choices that will best suit your needs and budget.  Let them know if you need help with anything else, such as:

Baskets Saddles Eyewear
Grips Bells Fenders
Cycle Computers Child Trailers Racks, Bags, and Cargo Trailers.


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