Cycle kitbag Sort your cycle kit for race day

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As well as getting your mind and body ready, you need to plan your kit too.

Preparing it in advance of your event will make race day much smoother and less stressful.

Checklist for the day:

1. Your bike

You don’t need an Olympics-standard bike but you do need to make sure your bike is safe, efficient and permitted for the race you’re doing. Check if there are any restrictions on the race organiser’s website. It’s also worth going to a specialist bike shop for pre-race bike check and to get clued-up on how to sort common issues on race day.

2. Your helmet

Having a good-fitting, robust helmet is essential. Make sure your helmet fits well, is comfortable and undamaged.

3. Shoes and cleats

The more time you spend in the saddle, the more important it is to wear something comfortable on your feet:

    • Trainers are fine if you’re starting out – but if you’re a seasoned cyclist, you may want to try cleats – shoes that clip onto your pedals. Using these means you’ll need different pedals.
    • Your footwear should be snug enough that it’s held in place, but not too tight. Again, make sure you try your footwear way before the event. Race day is not the day to try a new pair of shoes! 
    • Also invest in good-quality socks that wick or lift moisture away from the foot, keeping it cool and reducing friction on your skin.

4. Cycling shirts and shorts

Investing in some good cycle wear will protect sensitive parts of your body and keep your temperature steady:

    • Cycling shirts or tops are designed to be close-fitting so they don’t drag in the wind. Go for designs that are made of wicking fabric to lock away sweat from your body and have handy pockets in the back for essentials like snacks and your mobile phone.
    • Don’t scrimp on cycling shorts: the padded seat built into quality shorts will hugely help your comfort.
    • It’s important that you get used to dressing according to the weather. A waterproof jacket is essential on wet days and long-sleeved tops, jackets and tights keep you warm on chilly day. Get into the habit of checking the forecast before your rides.

5. Gloves

Gloves are a must to protect your hands from rubbing and will protect your skin if you come off your bike. If you usually ride with fingerless gloves, consider wearing full finger gloves for colder rides to warm your hands.

Essential items for your kit bag:

    • timing chip and race number
    • anti-chafing balm
    • spare tube and inner tubes
    • puncture repair kit, including tyre levers
    • multi-tool and hand pump
    • Allen key set and chain breaker
    • protective glasses or sunglasses
    • bike computer, if you use one
    • 2 x co2 canisters
    • zip ties
    • ID with your name, home address and contact details in case of emergency
    • small change/mobile phone (make sure it’s charged before you leave)
    • 2 x water bottles filled with water or energy drinks, and energy snacks
    • sun cream
    • change of clothes for after the race – and a bag for your damp race kit.