Cycling – Equipment
Cycling race though looks much simpler but there is a huge list of equipment to be ready with for the rider. This sport is held on a racing bicycle or also known as bike so the most important of all is the bicycle and the bike gears. Apart from the racing cycle the rider’s safety gear, shoes and clothes to suit the weather and avoid any discomfort are quite essential.
Bicycle or Bike
A racing bicycle or bike is manually driven by the rider by pedalling with no mechanical or electrical machinery attached. It is completely human powered and is the most important equipment to begin the cycle race. The racing bike driven by the cyclist should meet all the UCI standards before starting the race. The UCI has standardized the important characteristics of racing bike in order to easily determine the winner and recognize the efforts of the cyclist. The characteristics of the racing bike are as follows −
The maximum length of the bicycle – 185 cms,
The maximum width – 50 cm,
The total weight should not be less than 6.8 kgs,
The diameter of both the wheels should be equal, ranging between 55 cm to 70 cm with minimum of 12 spokes in each wheel,
The seat saddle position should be between 24 cm to 30 cm,
The bicycle frame must be built around a triangle with tubular elements enclosing in a straight line. The height of the frame should be 8 cm to 16 cm with maximum thickness of 2.5 cm.
In all the formats and categories the riders need to put on some basic clothing layers as listed below −
Bib Shorts − The light weight, colored and skinny shorts made out of lycra material with additional seated padding to avoid discomfort while being seated till the completion of race.
Base Layer Suit − In order to maintain the body temperature and manage moisture due to change in the weather condition, the rider has to wear a thermal base suit layer made up of fine fabric. The base layer suit is designed for men and women which is worn by the cyclists on top of the bib shorts.
Jersey − The short sleeved skin tight nylon made, colorful jerseys are ideal for the cycle racing conditions. The color of the jersey represents the identity of the rider and the nation he/she comes from.
Gloves − The hand gloves help to hold the handle bar with proper grip. According to UCI standards, the cyclists are not allowed to cover their fingers during road races. To cover the fingers mitts are used. Hand gloves provide the rider an aerodynamic advantage of speeding up the bike.
Socks − Depending upon the weather, there are two types of cycling socks. The thermo lite fabric socks for chill weather and air mesh socks for enhanced breathability in hot temperatures. They are specifically designed to avoid pain and fatigue from the rider’s feet while doing the leg work.
Cycling Shoes − Pedalling shoes are specially designed foot gear with custom made soles just apt for pedalling. The thick soles help to hold on the pedals providing proper grip and comfort to the cyclist. Other athletic shoes do not give a grip on the pedal which ultimately leads to injuries and accidents.
Helmet − Out of the entire rider’s safety gear the helmet is the most important safety gear to help reduce the risk of head and face injuries of the rider. The cycling helmet has an EPS foam inner layer to manage the crash or absorb a shock while cycling, the outer shell is made out of high quality plastic material and is layered with special fiber to give extra protection to the rider.
Glasses − The single lens glasses are ideally used during road races to protect rider’s eyes from all the weather changes of rain, sun, wind, dust and any foreign particles. The cycling glasses are designed to resist the movement of the rider.