Summer cycling gear essentials

29 (ish) must-haves for summer riding

Gadgets, snacks, MacGyver-worthy tools and other essentials, some things should always come along for the ride. Here’s 29 (or so) favourites for ambitious solstice epics, after work shred-fests, swimming hole missions or just riding around. Some fit perfectly into your jersey pockets, others not so much. Regardless, we’re willing to bet that most of them will tag along with you at some point this season when you’re out on two wheels.

Summer cycling gear essentials

1. Bike

You won’t get far without one of these. If you’re into carbon, the Fenix SL40 has race-ready stiffness and good clearance, while the X-Trail CR50 is ready for club rides, gravel grinders and even cyclocross when summer’s over.

2. Helmets

Ride without one of these, and you’re going to look the fool. Super comfortable, cool looking and protective. Seriously, why wouldn’t you wear one? Try the Mavic Ksyrium Pro, the Cosmic Pro or the MET Rivale.

3. Bibs

If you’re going to perch on a super-lightweight seat for hours on end, you should be comfortable. Castelli Free Aero Race and the Free Aero Women’s.

4. Jersey

Looking to carry some stuff on this list? You’ll need pocket real estate. Breezy materials and aerodynamic details are always welcome, too. Castelli Attacco and Pearl Izumi Pro Escape (men’s), or Castelli Sentimento and Elite Pursuit (women’s).

5. Shoes

What kind of committed cyclist doesn’t cherish an efficient pedal stroke and awkwardly clomping around in coffee shops? A cyclist who’s missing out, that’s who. Fizik R4B and Fizik R3B Donna.

6. Fancy socks

Absolutely crucial. Make sure they’re the appropriate height with at least seven shades of neon.

7. GPS

Training data, secret roads and Strava competitions. Yes, the reasons for donning a GPS device like the Polar M450 are numerous.

Summer cycling gear essentials

8. Multi-tool (9. Tubes 10. Levers and a 11. Pump)

Don’t leave home without ’em. Leave it to Park Tool to keep you totally prepared in case of mechanical let-down.

12. Beer

More of a recovery essential, perhaps…

13. Coffee

Coffee is an absolute essential for 98% of cyclists. For quick-out-the-door espresso slams, a tried’n’true Aeropress does the trick. Ridiculously good beans don’t hurt either.

14. Tea

Where some opt for espresso, others opt for tea. Sure, we don’t quite understand, but given how freaking fast some tea-drinkers are, it must do something.

15. Bananas

A nutritional staple of cyclists the world over, and for good reason: packable, easy to eat with one hand and chock-full of potassium.

16. Camera/phone

How else are you going to document that #goodtimesoutside Instagram gem?

17. Energy gummies

Essential electrolytes and carbohydrates that are literally candy. What more could your inner eight-year-old ask for? Cherry cola gummies or watermelon chews.

Summer cycling gear essentials

18. Chips

Maybe not the best choice for mid-ride nutrition, but few post-ride treats match such crunchy goodness.

19. Sunscreen

Long days call for skin care. Plus, spandex tan maintenance is important.

20. Bottles and electrolyte tablets

Keep hydrated, people. Camelbak happens to make an exceptional bidon, while flavour scientists keep essential hydration delicious.

21. Hats

Crucial for added Euro/pro peloton style. There’s debate about wearing cycling caps during the summer months, so make your own decision here. Regardless, just always remember to remove hats when not in kit. The rules are important, people.

22. Jacket

Yep, you’re gonna get hot and sweaty on that long climb up. But coming down? You’re in for some chills. Bring along something packable and effective, like the Castelli Superleggera or Castelli Bellissima.

23. Bars

Keep calories in the tank. Just avoid chomping on a bar when ascending steep gradients – it gets weird. Want to mix things up? Try bars stuffed with nut butter.

Summer cycling gear essentials

24. Oranges

Aesthetically pleasing and refreshing.

25. Speakers

If your planned route calls for a swimming hole or beach stop, why not bring some portable jams? Maybe not ideal for your next Zone 5 interval session, though…

26. Pineapple

Do not try to stuff one of these in your jersey pocket. You’ll regret it. Trust us on this one.

27. Gloves

Classy. Plus, a touch of cushioning keeps you comfy, and they protect your palms and knuckles in case of a spill. Featured: the MEC Bolt.

28. Lip balm

There are many documented cases of professional cyclists dropping out of races from overly chapped lips. It could happen to you, too. Be safe out there!

29. Chamois creme

Some can last without it, others swear by it. Our verdict? Absolute luxury.

Jonathan Johnson

Writer, resident coffee addict and spandex expert. Tirelessly seeking the perfect writing/riding playlist.