Inspired by Team GB’s haul of 8 gold medals at the 2012 Olympics, and the triumphs of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy, lots of Britons are taking to cycling. After all, it's cleaner, greener and cheaper than driving! Here are 5 cycling must-haves that’ll see you pedalling in style, comfort, and safety...
Kiddies’ bike accessories
The best cycling jackets are waterproof, lightweight, and breathable, and dozens of them are designed with a longer shaped back to avoid unwelcome draughts.
At the higher end of the market, you can expect to pay around £125 for a windstopper jacket from Gore Bike Wear. But Altura and dhb also offer stylish tops at a third of the price.
Cycling shortsYou can burn around 650 calories with an hour’s ride. Do it often enough and you’ll end up with a great pair of pins!
What better way to show them off than in a pair of thigh-skimming cycling shorts.
Rapha, Altura and dhb are good places to start for gel-padded bike pants. Finishing touches include leg grippers, so the fabric doesn’t inch up your legs, plus reflective circles for night-time riding.
Performance cyclists swear by bibshorts, too, which tuck in your tummy and are so comfy you can sit in the saddle for hours. Try the ranges from howies and Ride for size. Both are hard-wearing and sensibly priced.
Jersey topIt’s official. Since Bradley Wiggins sported the famous yellow jersey after winning the Tour de France, the cycling cover-up of choice is the jersey top. Simple but practical, they fit close to the body. Plus, they’re made from breathable, lightweight fabrics that help wick away sweat so you’ll feel cool on warm summer days, and nice and toasty in bad weather.
You can be classic in black or stand out in primary colours. The biggest decision is whether you want a cycling top that’s as easy to wear off the bike as on – take a look at the merino wool numbers from Rapha and Vulpine – or ones that have pro-rider written all over them. Sportful, dhb, Assos and Castelli are good bets in this case.
Cycling shoesWhen Bradley Wiggins became the first Briton to win the Tour de France in its 109-year history, he didn’t manage it in a pair of trainers. Instead, he cased his feet in space-age Bont Zero shoes, light as a feather and made from carbon fibre.
Don’t worry if you can’t stretch to Wiggins' budget of £250-plus, though. Look out for footwear from Sidi and Shimano instead. Both brands have cornered the more wallet-friendly end of the market with a great range of cycling shoes that are ergonomically shaped to fit like a glove for both road cycling and mountain biking.
Children’s bike accessoriesWhether it’s pink tassles streaming from the handlebars or a helmet done out in Spiderman colours, there are loads of colourful accessories to bring a bit of personality to a kiddie’s bike. Modest prices mean they make great birthday gifts!
You can pick a bicycle basket swirled with flowers, an old-fashioned hooter, or brightly coloured beads that clip on to the wheel spoke. Or why not go for bike stickers?
Designs come in all shapes and forms, from sweet butterflies and dolphins, to lightning bolts.
One thing’s for sure, they’ll bring a smile to the faces of passers-by...