Of course, there are always ways to borrow, buy second hand and do things cheaper but for me, I have learnt there are times when quality counts.
Since the first bike I road was a loaner and my brother had given me a spare tube and a tool kit (which hangs in a small kit bag just under the back of the seat), I needed a few other things and there were a couple of bike shops nearby which found me browsing there a number of times, usually followed by forking out some cash.
First, in Australia and New Zealand you are going to need a helmet. It’s law and nearly everyone follows the law without complaining. But, the helmet is going to get hot, sweaty and make your hair look weird, so if you are hitting the town and want to look a million bucks – taxi is a better option. For cycling though, better to have protection and look a bit different, than having you head spread all over the road. Since I am a city and suburban cyclist, the risks of an idiot (non attentive) driver cleaning me up is real. So there is no decision – helmet on.
I bought the helmet before I got the bike from my brother. I spent $35 and got the cheapest in the shop, so it was nothing special but did the job. If I was to keep cycling, the plan was to upgrade later and if I didn’t continue cycling, I wasn’t going to have a $250 helmet in the cupboard. At this stage in my cycling trial I wouldn’t know the difference.
In Sydney, I live in a block of units and this bike wasn’t going to be stored inside, so the next thing I bought was a lock to secure the bike when it arrived. As you will see in the picture above, I chose a long one so I could lock the bike and both wheels to a pipe in my garage. I also chose one with a combination (which meant I didn’t need a key) and also one that lit up which ended up being a fabulous feature because at any time of night, I could see the numbers easily.
Lastly, I bought some chain oil (aka lube). My brother told me to oil the chain every couple of weeks or after it rained. I bought wet lube (I don’t know why) and I bought Finish Line (no idea either). Again, it did the job for now.
At this point in my cycling career, of the three items I purchased, I replaced two and don’t need the third one for now. I upgraded the helmet recently and changed the lube (that’s another blog) and since I have a new bike, it lives in the unit for now but no doubt one day, it will be relegated to the garage, hung on a rack (which I am yet to buy) and chained to the wall. For that purpose, the lock I bought was the correct one in the first place.