Cycling may seem like an inexpensive sport, but don’t be fooled. Entry costs can be high. I have checked prices in different shops to get an idea of how much it costs to start cycling if you are on a budget or willing to spend a few dollars more.
The minimum entry cost of cycling is $1003. If you plan on riding in the spring and autumn, the cost rises to $1067, as you need additional clothes. For mid-range equipment, the cost is $2138, and on the high side, it can reach up to $3988.
The overall cost depends on every cyclist’s preferences. Do you want a new or used bike? Aluminum or carbon? Do you need a bike computer right from the start? Individual preferences impact price, and I have tried my best to include them in the final calculation.
|Budget level||Total price||Gear included|
|Budget-focused||$1067||✔ Used aluminum bicycle|
✔ Clipless pedals
✔ Cycling jersey
✔ Cycling shorts
✔ Cycling shoes
✔ Arm warmers (optional)
✔ Leg warmers (optional)
✔ Cycling vest (optional)
|Mid-range||$2138||✔ New aluminum bicycle|
✔ Everything included in the budget-focused level
✔ Bike computer
|High-end||$3988||✔ New carbon bicycle|
✔ Everything included in the mid-range level
Table of Contents
When you’re starting a new hobby, you don’t want to spend too much money initially as you’re not sure if you’re going to like it. While some hobbies allow you to spend just a few bucks to get you going, cycling doesn’t.
New cyclists usually start at the budget-focused level. You’ll have to pay around $1000 before even starting, but the amount is not so high that you’ll be broke if you figure out cycling is not for you.
I started cycling on a budget and eventually upgraded my gear. Even now, when I know that better gear does make a difference, I suggest everybody that’s just starting to not spend too much at the beginning.
First, figure out if cycling is for you and only then break the bank.
Below is presented essential gear that every cyclist should buy when starting. Arm warmers, leg warmers, and vest are optional at the beginning, as you’ll mostly ride when the temperatures are high. Still, having them in the closet might be handy from time to time.
- Cost: $700
- Material: Aluminium
- Condition: Used (3-4 years)
- My recommendation: Fuji Roubaix; Giant Contend SL1; Trek Domane AL 2; Felt FR30
I bought my first road bike on a secondary market. New bikes cost $1500 or more, and I wasn’t prepared to spend that much. I got a second-hand bike for $750, and apart from some minor scratches, it was as good as new.
If you take just one piece of information from this article, let it be this one:
Buy your first bike on a secondary market.
It doesn’t make any sense to spend $1500 on a new bike that will sit in your garage once you figure out cycling is not for you.
Aluminum is the only choice at this price point, as carbon bikes cost much more. You may find some offers for cheap carbon bikes, but be careful as they often hide a major defect, usually a broken frame.
The price will also depend on the groupset that is installed. I recommend you to go with Shimano 105, which is a step up from the other entry-level groupsets. The price will be higher, but it is worth spending a few extra bucks as a groupset is one of the most important parts of bikes.
If you can’t find a decent-priced bike with Shimano 105, search for one with Shimano Tiagra. It’s still more than good enough for beginner cyclists. The only downside is that you will have one less speed than Shimano 105 (10-speed vs. 11-speed).
- Cost: $40
- My recommendation: Look Keo Sprint Pedal (Amazon)
Cyclists don’t always agree on whether you should buy clipless pedals straight away.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a no-brainer. They ensure the power produced is not wasted, making riding faster and more enjoyable.
There are several types of clipless pedals available on the market. SPDs are generally the choice of mountain bikers, while road cyclists choose Look’s pedals.
I recommend you buy Look Keo Sprint pedals (Amazon). They are the cheapest model of Look’s road pedals, but the quality is still there. If you become more serious about cycling, you’ll probably replace them with high-end pedals, but they are more than good enough for a beginner.
- Cost: $70
- My recommendation: Giro Savix (Amazon)
Cycling shoes come in the package with clipless pedals. You either buy both or neither. If I recommended buying clipless pedals, then obviously, I also recommend buying cycling shoes.
What advantages do cycling shoes have? Well, first and foremost, you can clip into pedals, so your feet can’t slide off. Therefore, every pedal stroke is as efficient as possible.
When buying shoes, you need to make sure they are compatible with pedals. Road pedals require road shoes, which have three holes on the sole. Shoes with two holes are not compatible with road pedals, they are made for SPDs.
Obviously, the price range is enormous. You can get the cheapest models for $30, while the most expensive goes for $550. I don’t recommend buying one or the other.
My choice is the Giro Savix (Amazon), which is a cheaper model but still has some of the features of the higher-end shoes. BOA System is a great advantage and one of the main things I was looking for when buying my cycling shoes. They are also compatible with recommended road pedals.
- Cost: $60
- My recommendation: Giro Isode (Amazon)
Beginners often want to save money on a helmet. It’s all fun and games until you crash and the helmet explodes on first contact with the ground.
A helmet is the most important cycling accessory. Riding without a jersey or shorts is not a problem. Even cycling shoes are not necessary but NEVER ride without a helmet.
You only have one head, so protect it appropriately. Save your money on pretty much anything else but a helmet.
The helmet saved my life when I was eight years old. Thankfully my parents didn’t save money on it and I’m still around.
The market is full of helmets for under $30, but frankly, I don’t trust them. I always choose a helmet made by a trusted brand, and I recommend you do the same.
You can find proper helmets on Amazon. My pick for a budget helmet is Giro Isode (Amazon). It’s made by one of the most popular cycling brands, so you can be sure it will protect your head well in an accident.
- Cost: $20
- My recommendation: Weimostar Short Sleeve Jersey (Amazon)
A jersey is not necessary at the beginning of your cycling journey, but it will make the overall experience a bit better. All the little things you need on a ride, like a phone, money, and a spare inner tube, can be stored in the back pockets, so there’s no need for a backpack or saddlebag.
There isn’t much to tell you as far as cycling jerseys go. High-end brands offer more expensive jerseys made from quality materials. They breathe better, so you sweat less. However, even some cheaper jerseys do the job just as well.
You can get a decent jersey for $20 or so, but the material might not be the best. There are many different jerseys on Amazon, so definitely check them out and choose the design you prefer. My suggestion would be to go with something bright, so you’ll be visible on the road.
I also advise you that you pick a jersey with a full-length zipper. That way, you’re able to unzip completely when you are hot.
- Cost: $25
- My recommendation: qualidyne Men’s Cycling Bike Shorts (Amazon)
If a jersey is not necessary, shorts are!
Cycling shorts have padding that makes long rides more comfortable. When you’re in the saddle for a few hours, your bottom starts to struggle, and good padding makes the difference between a comfortable ride and a living hell.
If you plan on riding for more than 30 minutes, then shorts are a must. Get one that has good padding. At a budget level, you’ll get foam padding, while more expensive shorts often have gel padding.
The price range is huge due to different types of padding. When on a budget, buy qualidyne Men’s Cycling Bike Shorts (Amazon). The padding is good, and they look OK.
- Cost: $20
- My recommendation: Giro Jag (Amazon)
Cycling gloves prevent sweating of the palms. That makes your ride more comfortable and safer, as there is less risk of the hand slipping from the handlebar.
Most gloves are padded, which increases comfort by absorbing vibration. Some riders like the padding, others don’t as they feel less control on the handlebars.
As a beginner, get gloves with some padding. It will make your first rides more comfortable and, therefore, more enjoyable. And don’t worry, you will have more than enough control over your bike.
Once again, I will recommend you the Giro brand. Their products are high quality, but not too expensive. My choice is Giro Jag, available on Amazon. They are padded and have a lycra upper part so that you can wipe the sweat in them. Not all gloves can do that.
- Cost: $15
- My recommendation: BOLLFO Cycling Sunglasses (Amazon)
I bought cycling sunglasses almost one year after I started cycling. I’m not too keen on glasses of any kind, so I thought I could ride without them. I was wrong. A bug flew into my eye on my first ride, and I had to stop to remove it.
Later I realized that descends are near impossible without glasses. After a few seconds of descent, I had teary eyes, which was dangerous as I couldn’t see properly. I realized that glasses are absolutely necessary.
I wore safety glasses on rides for a year, but since they had transparent lenses, they were not very efficient in the sun. When I finally got sunglasses, I realized what I was missing.
Don’t think if you need sunglasses or not. You do. They will protect your eyes and help you be safer cyclists. They will also help you avoid bee stings, about which I have written an extensive article. Be sure to read it.
You can always wear your regular sunglasses on your rides, but know that glasses are one of the first things that get destroyed in a crash. If you own expensive ones that you don’t want to break, investing $15 in new cycling glasses might be a better idea.
I recommend buying BOLLFO Cycling Sunglasses (Amazon). They are not the best sunglasses on the market, but you can’t expect them to be at that price point. Still, you’ll get a lot of value for your money.
- Cost: $13
- My recommendation: Skylety Arm Warmer (Amazon)
Some of the best rides I had were in the spring. The traffic on the roads is still low, the sun is out, but there is one downside – low temperatures. If you want to enjoy what spring offers, you need to dress appropriately.
Arm warmers are the perfect solution for days when the temperature changes quickly. When you’re riding in the sun, you won’t need them, but the minute you’re in the shadow, you better pull them on.
Quality arm warmers cost over $50, but even cheaper ones will do the job. They usually get stretched quicker and start to slide down mid-ride, so you need to replace them sooner.
Some cyclists rather buy jerseys with long sleeves. I don’t recommend doing it. I prefer short sleeve jerseys with arm warmers. I actually wrote an article about your jersey needs, so definitely check it out.
Amazon offers millions of arm warmers, but most of them are not warmers at all. Be careful when buying yours, as you might end up getting arm coolers. They look similar but have an opposite function.
My pick is Skylety Arm Warmers (Amazon). They will indeed keep you warm, and you’re actually getting two pairs, so even if one gets stretched, you have the other.
- Cost: $16
- My recommendation: qualidyne Leg Warmers (Amazon)
Leg warmers serve the same purpose as arm warmers – keeping you warm on a cold day.
Most of the time, you’ll be using them simultaneously. However, I realized that I use arm warmers more than leg warmers. Even if I use both, I often remove leg warmers on a ride while keeping arm warmers on.
There are two types of leg warmers – short and long. Short extends over knees, while long goes to the ankles. Buy the long ones! They will be useful many times more than short.
Qualidyne Leg Warmers (Amazon) are my preferred budget choice. They are made of thick fabric that will keep you warm, and their elastic band is strong enough that they won’t get stretched too quickly.
- Cost: $35
- My recommendation: CATENA Windbreaker (Amazon)
The wind is your enemy when your biking. Not only does it slow you down, but it also cools you. That might be welcome when the temperatures are high, but we must protect ourselves from the wind once the temperature drops.
Keeping the core of the body warm is the main priority. You can do a lot just by wearing a vest. Its thick fabric will fight the wind and help you keep a normal body temperature.
A vest is a wardrobe item where the price difference also makes a big difference in quality. Cheaper vests won’t be as efficient at protecting you from wind and usually don’t have any water resistance.
I found Catena Windbreaker on Amazon that I would buy if I just started cycling. It’s reasonably priced and offers good wind protection. Water-resistance is questionable. However, if you’re a beginner, you probably won’t be riding in the rain, so that’s not a problem.
- Light: $13
- Multi-kit: $20
- Mini pump: $20
- My recommendations:
Many bike accessories are on the market, but you don’t need most of them when you’re only starting cycling.
I would recommend buying only three – lights, multi-tool, and mini pump.
Lights are primarily used for other drivers to see you, not illuminate the road. Therefore you don’t need extra bright light, which costs a lot. A cheaper model from Amazon, such as Teshudi Bike Light, is sufficient.
Multi-tool is an accessory that you don’t need until you do. It’s great to have it with you all the time, even if you won’t use it on most of the rides.
I was once on a ride when my seat screw loosened. I didn’t have multi-tool, and it was the most uncomfortable ride back home that I have ever experienced. When I came home, I immediately bought it, and it’s been with me on rides ever since. Needles to say, it saved me a couple of times.
The last accessory that I recommend is a mini pump. When you have a flat, you’ll be able to inflate the new tire and continue the ride rather than head back home.
I once had a flat tire, but the air came out gradually. I could inflate it every few miles with a mini-pump and get home safely. If I hadn’t had the mini pump, I would have to call someone to pick me up, and both of us would have the day ruined.
If you can initially spend more money on gear, I recommend doing some upgrades. The bike is the most obvious, but even pedals, helmets, and shorts are worth considering.
By investing a couple of dollars more, you ensure your gear will last longer. Therefore, you’ll actually save money in the long run, but you need to be sure that cycling really is a sport for you. If you’re just figuring that out, then the budget level is a better choice.
- Cost: $1500
- Material: Aluminium
- Condition: New
- My recommendation: Cube Attain Race; Cannondale CAAD OPTIMO 2 ; Lapierre Sensium 3.0 Disc; Giant CONTEND AR 1 (Shimano 105)
The bicycle will get the biggest upgrade if you’re starting at the mid-range level. Instead of buying a used bike on a secondary market, you’ll walk into a bike shop and get a new one. Not many things can beat that experience.
At this point, we’re still talking about entry-level bikes. They are pretty much the same type of bikes you would search for on a secondary market, the only difference is that they are new, so the price is higher.
Our range is still just an aluminum frame. Carbon bikes are much more expensive, so don’t expect to get a good one for $1500.
You might actually find some cheaper carbon models but run away screaming. They will cause you more problems than you’ll gain from them.
As mentioned previously, the recommended groupset is still Shimano 105, but it might raise the overall price. I recommend paying more, but if you don’t want to or can’t afford to, then choose Shimano Tiagra.
However, avoid Shimano Sora or Claris, as they have even fewer speeds, which will hurt you when riding uphill.
- Cost: $65
- My recommendation: Look Keo Classic 3 (Amazon)
If there were some doubts about buying clipless pedals at the budget level, there really shouldn’t be any second thought at the mid-range level.
At one point in your cycling career, you’ll have clipless pedals. If you invest in a new bike, why wouldn’t you ride it as it’s meant to?
I still recommend Look’s pedals, as they are the best. However, you might want to upgrade to Look Keo Classic 3 pedals (Amazon). They are more suited to recreational cyclists, as unclipping is slightly easier due to lower spring tension.
- Cost: $120
- My recommendation: Fizik Tempo Overcurve R5 (Amazon)
The quality of cycling shoes is mainly reflected in the sole’s stiffness. The stiffer it is, the better the quality. More power is transferred directly to the pedal, so pedaling is more efficient.
High-end shoes have carbon soles, while lower-end have carbon-reinforced nylon sole.
Cycling shoes that cost around $120 usually don’t have a full carbon sole, but it’s still stiff enough that the pedaling is fairly efficient.
The material used in other parts of the shoes is also more quality, so your foot can breathe better. They are also lighter than lower-end shoes, but let’s not focus on weight gains when we’re just beginning our cycling journey.
This time I will sway away from Giro shoes and recommend a different brand. Don’t get me wrong, Giro makes good shoes even at that price point, but we’re entering a price range where even some bigger brands are present.
My choice is Fizik Tempo Overcurve R5 (Amazon). Fizik is one of the most respected cycling brands that make higher-end products. Getting their shoes at a “normal” price is always a welcome gift that you should take without too many questions asked.
- Cost: $100
- My recommendation: Giro Agilis MIPS (Amazon)
More than anything, I recommend upgrading the helmet. You’ve probably already figured out that I’m a big advocate of helmet use, especially quality ones.
For me, a $100 price point is spot on for a helmet. If you get the more expensive ones, you’re mostly paying for improved comfort or any special features. Safety-wise they are not much better than helmets in a $100 price range.
Giro Agilis MIPS (Amazon) is one of the most popular helmets amongst recreational cyclists. Go on a ride, and I guarantee you’ll meet at least one cyclist with it. You can’t go wrong with it, and I highly recommend buying it.
- Cost: $35
- My recommendation: Santic Cycling Jersey (Amazon)
If you spend more on a cycling jersey, the fabric will be more quality, breathe better, and won’t stretch as fast. However, the design of a cycling jersey is one of its most important and often decisive aspects, so the final choice is up to each cyclist.
I suggest you buy two jerseys initially – one better and one cheaper. Most of the time, you’ll be riding in a better one (this one), but if it’s just washing when you want to get on your bike, you have a spare.
I wrote a whole article about how many jerseys you need, where you even find a mathematical formula for getting the correct number.
My choice is the Santic jersey. They are a well-known brand, equipping teams at the highest professional level. If it’s good enough for a professional cyclist, then it’s good enough for you as well.
- Cost: $40
- My recommendation: Sponeed Cycling Shorts (Amazon)
Like the jersey, the more you spend on cycling shorts, the more quality they will be. The difference will not only be felt in the quality of the fabric but also in the padding. The latter is particularly important as it ensures your comfort while riding.
The padding is still foam at this price range but much more quality than shorts recommended at the budget level.
Choosing shorts is a very personal decision. There is no point in saying that one pair will suit everyone. You need to try them on and then decide for yourself which is the best fit.
I recommend you Sponeed Cycling Shorts (Amazon). They are one of the most popular shorts available on Amazon, and generally, people speak well about them.
- Cost: $25
- My recommendation: Pearl Izumi Cycling Glove (Amazon)
Gloves don’t differ much at different prices. Lower-end will have foam padding, while the higher-end will have gel padding. But that’s pretty much the only difference there is.
The gloves must fit your hand perfectly. At first, they might feel small, but they are supposed to be as tight as possible. Try them on, have them on your hand for a few hours, and then see if you choose correctly.
I own Pearl Izumi’s gloves (Amazon), and I do recommend them to you. They are not the fanciest gloves on the market, but I don’t need them to be. Comfort-wise I don’t have any complaints, so I’m buying the same pair when the current one wears out.
- Cost: $30
- My recommendation: X-TIGER Polarized Sports Sunglasses (Amazon)
There isn’t any need to do big upgrades on sunglasses initially. They need to protect your eyes from wind and insects, which even cheaper models will do just fine.
The most obvious difference between cheaper and more expensive models will be how well they handle sunlight.
Expensive photochromatic sunglasses are the best at it, as they adjust lens darkness based on the amount of light. But even sunglasses with polarized sunglasses will be more than good enough at the beginning. The only downside is that you’ll have to remove them when riding in the shadow, as it’s too dark to see well otherwise.
An absolute winner is X-Tiger Polarized Sports Sunglasses (Amazon). Not only do they not have real competition at this price point, but they’re also better than some more expensive sunglasses.
- Cost: $35
- My recommendation: PEARL IZUMI Elite Arm Warmer (Amazon)
If you’re spending big at the start of your cycling career, arm warmers are not as optional as at the budget level. You will ride even when temperatures are lower, so owning them is a must.
There’s a big price jump when looking at more quality arm warmers. However, for $35, you can find some fantastic cycling-specific models. They warm much better than cheaper models, don’t get stretched so quickly, and stay in place when riding.
Pearl Izumi is a trusted brand, but they don’t consider themselves to be premium, so their prices are not overblown. Buy their arm warmers (Amazon), and I guarantee you’ll be satisfied.
- Cost: $45
- My recommendation: Louis Garneau Cycling Leg Warmer (Amazon)
What I wrote about arm warmers also applies to leg warmers. You need them if you’re planning to ride even when the temperature drops.
Some leg warmers have a zipper at the bottom that helps you take them off with shoes still on. However, I’m not a fan of a zipper.
Leg warmers usually are stretchy enough that you can pull them over a shoe anyway, so there really isn’t any need to have a zipper.
The decider at my pick was the zipper. Louis Garneau Cycling Leg Warmer (Amazon) doesn’t have it, so I recommend them over Pearl Izumi leg warmers with the zipper (Amazon). Both are equally good at keeping you warm, so it’s up to you if you prefer the zipper or not.
- Cost: $45
- My recommendation: YKYWBIKE Winter Cycling Vest (Amazon)
If you’re buying arm warmers and leg warmers, you should buy a cycling vest as well. It will protect you from wind and help you keep a normal body temperature.
Make sure that the vest has at least two back pockets. If it has three, that’s even better. They are necessary as the vest covers back pockets on the jersey, so you can’t access them.
YKYWBIKE Winter Cycling Vest is one of the warmest cycling vests you can get on Amazon. So not only will it protect you from wind, but it will also keep you warm.
- Cost: $45
- My recommendation: CATEYE Wireless Bike Computer (Amazon)
The bike computer is the only extra item you will buy compared to the budget level. Apps such as Strava measure most ride metrics for free, but when your riding, you have your phone in your pocket, so you can’t see the speed and distance at every moment.
Having a bike computer on a handlebar solves that problem. Key metrics are suddenly available all the time.
There are simple bike computers and sophisticated bike computers with GPS and stuff. At this point, you need the first one. It will show you your current, max, and average speed along with trip distance.
I recommend buying Cateye Wireless Bike Computer (Amazon). Let me tell you why. Cateye is a quality brand with years of experience in the cycling industry. Many cyclists choose their bike computers before they switch to high-end computers with GPS.
I like their product also because it’s wireless. When you’re buying your first bike, there’s a real chance that the cable routing will be external, so you’ll already have too many cables in the front. If you can eliminate one (the bike computer), I recommend you do so.
- Light: $13
- Multi-kit: $20
- Mini pump: $20
- My recommendations:
My accessory recommendation is the same at every budget level.
There’s no point in spending more. The only upgrade you can make is with lights, but if you’re not riding in the dark, there really isn’t a need for better lights.
- Cost: $2800
- Material: Carbon
- Condition: New
- My recommendation: Giant TCR Advanced 2; Lapierre Pulsium Sat 5.0 Disc; Fuji Transonic 2.3
Welcome to the world of carbon!
Every cyclist wants to own a carbon bike at one point. That’s just the trend the cycling industry is going in. A carbon bike will be the second or third bike for most of us, but if you can afford it right from the beginning, then go for it.
Even with carbon bikes, there is a huge price range. The best bikes cost over $15.000, but I assume you don’t have that much money available when you’re just starting out.
Here, we are still talking about entry-level bikes, but with carbon frames. You will find some aluminum bikes that cost more, but we’ll stick with carbon for now.
Most bike brands have entry-level carbon bikes, but more prestigious brands like to wind the price up to maintain their status. Go with a brand that is making a bike for the general population, as their bikes are much more affordable but still more than good enough for us.
If you’re spending almost $3000 on a bike, make sure it has Shimano 105 installed. At that price point, anything less than that is a deal-breaker. Most of them already have Shimano 105, but from time to time, you’ll stumble upon a bike with Shimano Tiagra.
- Cost: $100
- My recommendation: LOOK Keo 2 Max (Amazon)
With a better bike comes better pedals. Look is still the brand to go with, as their pedal are a step ahead of the competition.
This time I suggest getting Look Keo 2 Max (Amazon). They are probably the most popular model on the market, as they offer great value for the price.
They have a metal contact area, making them much more durable than cheaper models with plastic. That also affects the shoe’s cleats, which wear out less with a metal.
Overall it’s a better pedal that is worth buying if you can afford it right from the start. They will stay with you for a long time and probably even outlive your bike.
- Cost: $160
- My recommendation: Fizik Tempo Overcurve R4 (Amazon)
We are entering the world of higher-end models. As mentioned previously, Fizik makes one of the best cycling shoes, so it should come as no surprise I picked their shoes again. This time I recommend you Fizik Tempo Overcurve R4 (Amazon).
The sole is still carbon-injected nylon at this price point, but it’s stiff enough to help you transfer all the watts you’re producing directly to the pedal.
One thing to have in mind is that higher-end models are normally tighter. The foot is thus completely enveloped, which again gives an advantage when transferring power to the pedals. However, some cyclists like to have some room inside the shoe.
- Cost: $130
- My recommendation: Giro Syntax MIPS (Amazon)
By now, you’re probably already annoyed about my helmet lectures. I will try to keep it short this time, but no promises. OK?
As far as safety is concerned, we have already entered safe waters with our first helmet. From there on, the price goes up in terms of comfort, appearance, and breathability.
Giro Syntax (Amazon) is the fastest helmet of all three I recommended. It has a more aerodynamic design, making it also the best looking, though Giro Agilis seems pretty similar.
Syntax also has more vents, which is another important helmet feature. The more vents it has, the more breathable it will be. Therefore you will sweat less.
In the end, it’s up to you which you will choose. You won’t go wrong by picking one or the other.
- Cost: $60
- My recommendation: Castelli Entrata V (Amazon)
My favorite jersey cost $60, and the moment it wears out, I will look for jerseys at the same price range.
The quality of jerseys in this price range is significantly higher than cheaper jerseys. You can use it for several years, and it will still be as good as new. I rather spend a few extra bucks and don’t have to worry about buying a new jersey for a few seasons.
Castelli is one of the most prestigious cycling brands, equipping many teams of the highest rank. If you buy their jersey, you know it is quality.
While most of their jerseys cost $100 and more, some models are still affordable to cycling beginners. Entrata V (Amazon) is one of them, so definitely check it out.
- Cost: $70
- My recommendation: Castelli Cento (Amazon)
The quality of cycling shorts raises with the price, the same as with jerseys.
The most noticeable changes are in the quality of the padding and elastics. Good padding will make your rides much more comfortable, and good elastic will make sure the shorts stay snug for a long time.
Once again, I recommend Castelli (Amazon). It’s hard to find better and higher-quality cycling clothing than theirs.
- Cost: $30
- My recommendation: Castelli Entrata V Cycling Gloves (Amazon)
Gloves are gloves; there isn’t much difference between them. The more expensive ones will last longer than cheaper ones and should be more comfortable, but that’s up to each individual. Some will find cheaper models more comfortable, and that’s fine. Buy whatever suits you!
This time my preferred gloves are Castelli Entrata V (Amazon). It’s the quality of the brand that is again the decisive factor. However, if you prefer more or less padding, you can still get the Giro or Pearl Izumi gloves that I recommended previously.
- Cost: $80
- My recommendation: Tifosi Optics Sledge (Amazon)
We’ll make a big jump in price. If I recommended sunglasses for $20-$30 before, now I recommend spending $80 on them. Why? You’re obviously serious about cycling if you’re looking at higher-end products, so getting more quality glasses makes sense.
Tifosi’s sunglasses (Amazon) are a rank or two above the previously recommended glasses. They fit the face well, are comfortable, and most importantly, they protect you from the sun perfectly.
- Cost: $50
- My recommendation: PEARL IZUMI Elite Thermal Arm Warmers (Amazon)
I would recommend spending at least $50 on arm warmers right from the beginning, as they are much more quality. However, if you’re on a budget, spending so much on a non-essential piece of clothing is not necessary.
With higher-end arm warmers, you can expect two things – 1. they don’t stretch over time, 2. they are hydrophobic.
Let’s talk about stretching first. Most cheaper models use cheap elastics at the top. Once it gets stretched, and believe me, it will, arm warmers become pretty much useless and quite annoying, as you have to pull them up all the time. Therefore investing in a quality model is absolutely worth it.
The second improvement is a hydrophobic treatment. Lower-end models don’t have it, so expect them to get wet if the rain catches you.
High-end models repel water, so any rain slides of them, and they stay dry. That’s a significant advantage as wet arm warmers are cold arm warmers, and as you can see, they don’t serve their purpose anymore.
My recommendation has both mentioned features. Strong elastic at the top won’t get stretched anytime soon, and hydrophobic treatment will make sure you stay dry. Definitely check them out at Amazon!
- Cost: $70
- My recommendation: Castelli Nano Flex 3g (Amazon)
Leg warmers share the same story as arm warmers. I would recommend getting quality one from the beginning, but that’s not an option for most.
The same principles apply to leg warmers as for arm warmers, so I won’t repeat myself. Quality elastic and hydrophobic treatment are a big plus, but I understand you’re not prepared to spend so much when you’re just starting out.
My choice is Castelli Nano Flex 3g (Amazon). It’s on the high side of the price range, but they are worth it, in my opinion.
- Cost: $80
- My recommendation: Castelli Pro Thermal (Amazon)
If you’re prepared to spend some extra money on a cycling vest, you will enter the world of premium cycling brands that don’t disappoint.
More expensive vests first and foremost protect you from the wind, but also make sure you’re not sweating under them. The material used makes the vest breathable, and once you experience it, you can’t go back to cheaper models. The difference is too noticeable.
More expensive vests are also water-resistant, so light rain is not a problem. But if you’re caught in the middle of the storm, then even vest can’t help you.
I recommend you buy Castelli Pro Thermal (Amazon). I already talked about what Castelli represents in the world of cycling, so I won’t repeat myself.
- Cost: $300
- My recommendation: Garmin Edge 530 (Amazon)
Finally, let’s talk about bike computers. I already included it at the mid-range level, but only at the high-end level we’re talking about proper and most used cycling computers with GPS.
A bike computer is awesome. With it, you have all the data about your ride in front of you all the time. This is always welcome, especially if you are doing workouts where you need to pace yourself.
Top-of-the-range cycling computers also come with GPS. You can preload a route on it, and it will guide you to your destination. So you’ll never get lost again, and you won’t have to get off the bike to see where to go.
Garmin makes the best bike computers. A few new brands have emerged in recent years, but Garmin is still one step ahead. Their Edge 530 (Amazon) is an entry-level model but has all the features you need and want. I own it, and it’s the best thing in the world.
- Light: $13
- Multi-kit: $20
- Mini pump: $20
- My recommendations:
Nothing new here. My recommendations remain the same.
When you start cycling, there are a lot of things to learn. You don’t know what you actually need and what is just a trend that you don’t have to follow. I tried to help you with some guidelines that prevent you from spending money on unnecessary stuff.
So, what are key takeaways:
- Buy your first bike on a secondary market
- Invest money in a good helmet
- Cycling shorst are necessary, while jersey is not, but it’s a welcome addition
- For better and more enjoyable rides buy clipless pedals
- You don’t need bike computer initally
- If you plan on riding in the spring and autumn, get yourself arm warmers, leg warmers and cycling vest