Throughout the season the expenditure on “all things cycling” can be quite formidable and for some almost overwhelming, with the range of available upgrades and equipment seemingly irresistible to the average avid cyclist. With the original outlay for kit and trusty steed complete and the aspiration of increasing enjoyment, comfort and of course performance gains, there is probably no time more likely to see purchases than that of the winter. This little article has been cobbled together to look at the purchases currently trending within Velo Club Iveagh.
If you are based in the UK or Ireland you will already be well aware that the winter months are hard months, requiring additional clothing and equipment to provide comfort and safety. Although most of the kit currently available is of the very highest innovative standard and durability, its mere exposure to the elements and repetitive use can often mean replacement is a necessity. However more often than not, change and replacement is sought for effectiveness, cosmetics, improved functionality and of course to keep up with current cycling trends. This year is no exception with manufacturers in every genre of cycling having flooded the market with never ending options.
So what have we as a club been buying? Apart from the usual there’s been an array of front and rear lights to assist in night time training, mudguards to keep group riding friendly and base layers to improve comfort. There has also been gloves, neck warmers, overshoes and recently added to our club clothing range a winter water proof top provided by our friends at Endura. In addition there’s been a number of winter bikes bought and a constant upgrading of components on current bikes.
Along with the more general purchases addressing immediate needs, another element to how we prioritise our winter spending has much to do with how we as cyclists plan to tackle on our challenges and personal goals within the new season. There will always be the desire to get the best “bang for your buck” and take advantage of the array of performance assisting upgrades. Sensible planning will help soften the blow to the pocket, while increasing the potential for further expenditure down the line. Key within this element of consideration for most is obtaining a cost effective path which may help build and improve performance gains. Fortunately to help us make the right choices, manufacturers go to great detail in development and advertising their products positively. Arguably more important to the buyer are the third party reviews, available from numerous sources generally in both written and video formats. Such reviews always help gain knowledge and understand the new technology. As a club we recommend such research before embarking on any upgrading path.
So what have we as a club been buying? Well, there have been rumours of more component upgrades, carbon race wheels, and even new TT bikes. These purchases will no doubt grow as the new season closes in, however there is recognition among members that an air of secrecy surrounds these possible enhancing upgrades. Like most other clubs Velo Club Iveagh has members working towards a big unveil with a shock and awe effect on fellow club mates. Well what better way is there to get a marginal advantage on the start line
Technology is another area for key expenditure. With much of what we do requiring analysis, data capturing and the recording of information is vital to most and at minimum highly important. One of the most important items right from day one of your cycling is a solid cycling computer, most of which now offer multiple functions, not least GPS. Within Velo Club IVEAGH, the club has moved strongly towards manipulating the Strava platform and thus within the club, we strongly recommend a computer with a downloadable interface. Additional technology to enhance your overall experience may be the purchase of such items as power metres and of course action cameras, to bring it all to life later.
So what have we as a club been buying? There have been several purchases of high performance power meters to assist in more detailed training, Garmin Virb X Action Cameras and a number of Turbo Trainers to help out in the more severe conditions.
So, as a club what would we advise to fellow members and other cyclists alike? With the increased costs associated with cutting edge technology, we would advise that good budgeting is a must, balanced against need, value and impact. Impulse buying is usually a fool’s folly. Very few purchases should ever be made without firstly researching the item for cost, use and its possible impact within your plans. Will the purchase suit your needs? Will it do its job? Is it recommended? Reputations are hugely important to manufacturers. As a club we would always recommend pre purchase use if possible, using internet search tools to find a competitive price, product reviews, alternative comparisons, but most importantly reliable local reviews and feedback. Luckily as in most clubs, we have several well placed members able to assist with advice through solid experience, training and working professionally within the cycling industry.
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