There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting on your bike and exploring the great outdoors in all its glory.
However, kitting yourself out with a new bike and all the cycling accessories can cost you a pretty penny.
The good news is that there is an alternative route – and it doesn’t involve robbing a bank.
Here’s our budget-friendly guide on how to start your cycling journey for under £300.
First thing’s first, you need a bike. As this is the most important and expensive piece of cycling equipment, it’s essential that you find the balance between quality and price.
Here at Halfords, we recommend our exclusive Apollo range of bikes. Using the feedback from our customers, we’ve revolutionised and adapted them to be more affordable, attractive, functional and practical.
For instance, the women’s Apollo Jewel Blue now has bigger wheels available to help you roll faster, experience a smoother ride and find overcoming bumps in the road or a trail easier.
We’ve even upgraded the gearing on the men’s Apollo Phaze for crisper, smoother gear shifts. And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve added an extra splash of colour to some of the Apollo ranges as well so you can ride in style. These include:
- Jewel – now available in blue and purple
The helmet should be right at the top of your cycling accessories list. For a more expensive, but the top of the range option, the Livall MTL Bluetooth Smart Helmet combines safety and leading technology. Using a remote attached to your bike, you’ll be able to let cars and pedestrians know where you’re going with the indicator lights on the back of the helmet. And if you were ever involved in an accident, the smart helmet will recognise a sharp stop and send a text message to an emergency contact on your behalf.
Alternatively, the Ridge All Terrain Pro Helmet is cheap, comfortable and designed for safety. It can be used for a number of outdoor activities too, including cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading and more.
The beauty of cycling is that you can wear what you want, depending on where you are going. However, for practical reasons and the fact that the weather forecast often changes every ten minutes, purchasing a quality raincoat is always a smart choice.
The Altura Mens Night Vision Jacket is not only waterproof, but it’ll make you visible in the evening too. Its relaxed fit and fleece lined collar mean you can ride in style and comfort as well.
Maintenance and safety (£4-30)
To keep your bike in top condition, you’ll need to do an odd bit of maintenance from time to time as well.
Gear yourself up for the worst and pick up the Halfords Essentials Puncture Repair Kit & Tools. It includes everything your tyres need to keep the good times rolling, without costing you a small fortune in the process.
For wet wintry conditions, keep your chain in fine fettle with the Muc-Off Wet Lube Bike Lubricant. It protects your chain and components from rainy conditions and will allow you to continue changing your gears smoothly. Apply this after every ride and you won’t go far wrong.
If you’re planning on leaving your bike in a public place, you should consider getting a bike lock. The Kryptonite Original Keeper D-Lock provides good value and is a solid investment with its steel shackles if you’re leaving your bike in a moderately busy area.
The final extra to remember are bike lights. The Halfords Super Slim Bike Light Set is ideal if you’re on a tight budget and will provide you with up to 40 hours of constant lighting in dark cycling conditions.
Need some more guidance? We have a huge range of ‘Buyers’ Guides’ to help make your journey into cycling a walk (or ride) in the park.
You might also enjoy reading our previous blog: ‘7 essentials for new cyclists’.