Embarking on the journey from being a beginner cyclist to an advanced rider is an exciting and fulfilling endeavour. As you progress, having the right tools and technology can greatly enhance your training, performance, and overall cycling experience. Most importantly, you will need these tools if you ever want to follow a structured training plan or hire a cycling coach.
In this article, we will explore a comprehensive list of must-have tools that can aid in your transition from a beginner to an advanced cyclist with specific recommendations on what product/tools to get.
Table Of Contents:
- Bike Computer
- Power Meter
- Heart Rate Monitor
- Cadence Monitor
- Smart Trainer & Indoor Apps
- Data Analytics Software
- Professional Bike Fit
- High-Quality Cycling Clothes & Shoes
- Wearable & Other Technology
1. Bike Computer
A smart bike computer is an advanced cycling accessory that provides a wealth of data and features to enhance your cycling performance. With a built-in GPS, you can track your ride distance, speed, elevation, and route. Some models offer advanced features like turn-by-turn navigation, mapping, and route planning. Additionally, smart bike computers can connect to various sensors such as heart rate monitors, power meters, and cadence sensors to provide more detailed information about your performance. This data can be analyzed in real-time on the computer or uploaded to data analytics software like Strava or TrainingPeaks for in-depth analysis. Other features may include smartphone connectivity, text message and phone call alerts, and even integration with social media platforms. Overall, a smart bike computer can greatly enhance your cycling experience and help you track your progress towards your fitness goals.
These recommended bike computers or “head units” contain features you need such as independent GPS, route navigation, and the ability to follow workouts in real-time:
- Garmin Edge 530, Edge 830, Edge 1030
- Wahoo – all bike computer models are suitable
- Hammerhead Karoo 2
2. Power Meter
Cycling power meters have become an indispensable tool for cyclists seeking to optimize their training and performance. A power meter is a device that measures the actual power output generated by a cyclist while riding. By accurately quantifying the exertion level, power meters provide valuable insights into the intensity and effectiveness of training sessions. With this data, cyclists can establish precise training zones, set specific power-based goals, and monitor their progress over time. Power meters enable cyclists to gauge their effort objectively, ensuring they train at the appropriate intensity for maximum efficiency and results. Additionally, power meters allow for real-time analysis during rides, enabling riders to make immediate adjustments to their pacing and effort. Whether for amateurs or professionals, cycling power meters have revolutionized the way cyclists train, helping them unlock their full potential and reach new levels of performance. If you ever want to get started with a personal coach, you will need a power meter.
Here are recommended brands of power meters for advanced cyclists (from most favourite):
3. Heart Rate Monitor
Heart rate monitors are essential tools for cyclists looking to optimize their training and performance. These devices measure the heart rate in real time, providing valuable insights into the intensity and effort exerted during rides. By monitoring your heart rate, you can gauge the level of exertion, track your cardiovascular fitness, and establish training zones tailored to your specific goals. Heart rate monitors allow cyclists to train effectively by ensuring they stay within their desired heart rate ranges, preventing overexertion or undertraining.
Additionally, heart rate data can be analyzed post-ride, providing a comprehensive overview of your performance and enabling you to make informed adjustments to your training plan.
Any heart rate monitor brand is suitable.
4. Cadence Monitor
Cadence monitors are valuable accessories for cyclists seeking to improve their pedalling efficiency and performance. A cadence monitor measures the number of pedal revolutions per minute (RPM), providing insights into the speed and rhythm of your pedalling. Maintaining an optimal cadence can help cyclists achieve a smooth and efficient pedal stroke, minimizing unnecessary strain and fatigue. Cadence monitors allow riders to monitor their cadence in real time, helping them establish and maintain their preferred cadence range.
This information is crucial for optimizing performance, as different cadence ranges are suitable for different riding conditions, such as climbs, sprints, or endurance rides. By using a cadence monitor, cyclists can develop a more consistent and efficient pedalling technique, resulting in improved power output and better overall performance on the bike.
Any cadence monitor brand is suitable.
5. Smart Trainer & Indoor Apps
Investing in a smart trainer opens up a world of indoor training possibilities. Smart trainers simulate real-world cycling conditions and can be connected to cycling apps like Zwift, FulGaz, and others. These apps provide structured workouts, virtual rides, and a global cycling community, making indoor training engaging, challenging, and effective. It is also a great way to test yourself by utilizing ramp tests to see how your fitness is progressing. It is recommended you buy a smart trainer that you can use with your outdoor bike. If you have an indoor bike like the Peloton and want to become a better cyclist, it’s time to replace it.
Recommended Smart Trainers:
Recommended Indoor Apps:
6. Data Analytics Software
Data analytics software plays a vital role in the world of cycling by providing cyclists with powerful tools to analyze and interpret their training data. These software platforms, such as TrainingPeaks, Strava, TrainerRoad, and TodaysPlan, offer a range of features and benefits.
One of the key advantages of data analytics software is the ability to track and record cycling activities. Cyclists can upload their ride data, including distance, time, speed, elevation, and power, to these platforms. This allows for a comprehensive view of training sessions and creates a historical record of performance.
These platforms also provide robust analysis tools to break down and interpret the collected data. Cyclists can analyze their training load, intensity, and progress over time, identifying trends and patterns that may impact their performance. This helps in setting training goals, planning workouts, and monitoring progress towards specific objectives.
Data analytics software often includes features for setting and tracking training metrics. Cyclists can define and monitor specific metrics such as power zones, heart rate zones, and training stress scores. These metrics provide a quantitative assessment of training efforts and help optimize training plans for better results.
Overall, data analytics software empowers cyclists to make data-driven decisions, refine their training strategies, and improve performance. By leveraging the insights provided by these platforms, cyclists can unlock their full potential, set new personal records, and achieve their cycling goals.
You can request a consultation with our coach and go through your data using WKO5 data analytics software.
7. Professional Bike Fit
Although not a tool itself, a professional bike fit can’t be forgotten on this list. Proper bike fit is essential to optimize your riding position for comfort, power transfer, and injury prevention. A properly fitted bike ensures efficient pedalling and maximizes your performance potential. Consider consulting a professional bike fitter to fine-tune your bike’s geometry to match your body’s unique measurements and needs.
8. High-Quality Cycling Clothes & Shoes
Investing in high-quality cycling apparel and shoes is essential for comfort, aerodynamics, and overall performance. Proper cycling clothing is designed to wick away sweat, provide ventilation and provide protection from bad weather. Having the right rain jacket for rain and downhills decreases the chance of getting sick from the weather. Most importantly, the right cycling shorts or “bibs” with high-quality chamois will enable you to train longer and with more comfort. Brand Assos is considered to have one of the best chamois on the market.
In the context of cycling, a chamois refers to a specific type of padding or cushioning that is incorporated into cycling shorts or bib shorts. It is designed to provide comfort and reduce friction between the cyclist’s body and the saddle during long rides.
Likewise, cycling shoes with a stiff sole and proper fit improve power transfer and pedalling efficiency. The soles from Specialized have different soles or “footbeds” for your body type. Furthermore, it is recommended you get shoes that you feel are stiff when pedalling, so get shoes you can make tight. This will reduce any power loss during pedalling.
9. Wearable & Other Technology
Recovery is an essential aspect of cycling training, and incorporating the right tools can greatly enhance your body’s healing and rejuvenation. When it comes to recovery, several tools are worth considering. A massage gun can be a cyclist’s best friend, providing deep tissue massage to alleviate muscle tension and promote faster recovery. Massage guns from Hyperice are considered to be a leading brand.
Compression socks are another valuable asset, as they enhance blood circulation, reduce swelling, and minimize muscle soreness. For optimized sleep and recovery, a smart mattress like Eight Sleep can monitor your sleep patterns, adjust the temperature, and ensure restorative rest. Wearable technology, such as the WHOOP fitness tracker, offers valuable insights into your recovery status by monitoring heart rate variability, sleep quality, and overall strain. PowerBreathe is also a great tool if you want to enhance your breathing and lungs. It’s a breathing trainer that strengthens your breathing muscles using resistance training.
By leveraging these recovery tools, cyclists can effectively support their body’s healing process, minimize fatigue, and maintain peak performance.
- Whoop – wearable fitness tracker
- Hyperice Massage Gun
- Power Breathe – breathing training device
- Eight Sleep – smart mattress cover
As you transition from a beginner cyclist to an advanced rider, equipping yourself with the right tools can significantly enhance your training, performance, and overall enjoyment of cycling. Whether it’s tracking your data, optimizing your bike fit, or if you want to start following a training plan or even hire a coach, these must-have tools will support your progression and help you reach new heights in your cycling journey. Embrace these tools, train smart, and ride with confidence as you continue to evolve as a cyclist.