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Road Biking Checklist

Do you have a road biking checklist made out?

If you don’t and you’re new to road biking, you might as well create a checklist. Your checklist will help you prepare for anything you face as a road cyclist.

There is more to road biking than the basic gear. You need to be equipped with the right gear in order to be able to enjoy your ride.

This checklist doesn’t contain affiliate links or is meant to sell you something. It’s solely meant to help you get the cycling gear and accessories you need in order to make the best out of your road biking adventures.

In this road biking checklist, I’ll go beyond what all the other sites provide and actually explain each item to help you understand why you need it.

Road Biking Checklist

Road Biking Checklist

The following items are recommended to be acquired by anyone who is getting into road biking.


Main Road Biking Essentials


ROAD BIKE – You need to have a road bike in order to start road biking. Road bikes vary based on what features you want from them, but most have skinny tires and dropped handlebars. You can get road bikes made from steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium. Different materials offer different weight needs. Most road bikes are made with disc brakes, but older styles often use padded brakes. Higher-end road bikes are starting to be made with electronic shifting elements.

HELMET – You need to get a good helmet. There are helmets made for road biking that offer a more suitable and less bulky style. The helmet made this road biking checklist as an essential item because it’s an essential safety item that you need to use. People have different opinions on the use of helmets while cycling. In some areas, you’re legally required to wear a helmet on a bike. Whatever the case, it’s a proven fact that wearing a helmet is safer than not wearing a helmet. When road biking, you’ll be sharing the road with large and heavy vehicles that can hurt you. With limited protection, a helmet might be what saves your life at the end of the day.

SAFETY AWARENESS – You need to be aware of the risks and hazards of road biking. You need to always have safety awareness with you on every ride you participate in. Have a plan if something dangerous occurs. The more aware you are of safety requirements and risks in road biking, the more likely you’ll be able to prevent yourself from getting injured, and you’ll most likely have a safer ride.

Road Biking Repair Checklist


SPARE TUBE – Whether you’re tubeless or using innertubes on your road bike, you need to add a spare tube to your road biking checklist. If you’re tubeless and you get a tear or hole that is impossible to repair, you can use a tube to get you back where you started in most cases. Be sure to check your tube periodically if you never use it to make sure it hasn’t dry-rotted or anything like that. You might want to replace it here and there just to make sure you maintain a good tube.

PATCH KIT – A simple patch kit is all that you need. These usually come in a little box or small zip-lock bag. The kit might contain some patches, glue, and a small strip and sandpaper to use on the tube to smooth it out. You can also sandpaper the tire where the puncture is. Like your spare tube, you should consider replacing your patch kit after a while, as it can lose its strength over time.

AIR PUMP OR CO2 – Bring a portable air pump or CO2 pump. CO2 pumps are typically the most popular because they’re easier to pack and quicker to use. Portable air pumps can be packed or attached to where your water bottle cage is attached. It’s also a good idea to have a floor pump at home. Get a floor pump with a gauge on it so that you know when the tire has been inflated to the right psi. Most road bikes require a psi of around 100 to 120 psi.

TIRE LEVERS – Tire levers should definitely be added to your road biking checklist. These are very handy when trying to remove a stiff and stubborn tire when changing your tubes out and fixing a flat. They have plastic and metal ones. I prefer plastic because they are softer on the tube and tire and they weigh less. All you really need is about two of them.

CHAIN BREAKER TOOL – If you need to loosen or tighten your chain on the road, you’ll need to be able to break the chain apart to do it. If you use a tool that isn’t really designed for breaking a chain, you might damage the chain to the point where you can’t use it. Luckily for us roadies, there are chain breaker tools that are small enough to fit right into our little saddle bags. These will make breaking chains apart very simple. It’s a good idea to carry a few extra chain links with you, too.

MULTITOOL – A multitool for road bikes contains a variety of tools in one. They’re like the Swiss army multitool knives that have everything on the knife. There are typically metric wrenches, screwdrivers, and spoke wrenches, and some even have chain breaker tools. It’s important to get multitools that use metric, as most road bikes require this.

SPOKE WRENCH – If your multitool doesn’t have a spoke wrench, it’s a good idea to add one to your road biking checklist. These tools will help you tighten, loosen, and repair the spokes on your bike. You want to keep your spokes in good shape and fit in order to be able to ride smoothly without worry of an incident. These wrenches are small and very easy to pack on your bike.

LUBRICANT – A small tube of lubricant is a good idea to add to your bike bag. You can use it to lube your chain if it needs it. You can also lube parts that you need to remove and put back on after you repair them while on the road. You don’t need much, but you should at least carry a little bit of it.

SADDLE BAG – You need a bag to put all of the supplies above in. I suggest a saddle bag. It attaches and hangs under your saddle and out of the way. A standard saddle bag will be able to fit everything mentioned above and still give you a little more wiggle room. They come in different styles and colors to help match the theme of your bike. You can get them with reflective features for extra safety and even a strap to hang your rear bike light on, which is a really good spot to put your rear bike light. Typically, a saddle bag will be the only bag you’ll need on a road bike.

Shawn Gossman

Road Bike Accessories


HEADLIGHT – A headlight is very important for road biking. You should get a bright headlight that will last for a while before the battery runs out. You should turn your headlight on during the day and night. A headlight on during the day will be one more way a driver will notice you on the road. It’s for the sake of cycling safety. Your headlight should be clear in color.

REAR LIGHT – You also need to add a rear light to your road biking checklist. Like your headlight, you want something bright that will last for a while. Turn it on day and night to add to the safety awareness of you biking on the road with vehicle drivers. Your rear light should be red in color, and in most areas, it is legally required to be that color only.

BIKE LOCK – Get a decent bike lock for your bike. If you go anywhere where you have to leave your bike unattended, a bike lock can prevent someone from stealing your road bike. Most road bikes are not cheap. Bikes, in general, are one of the most stolen items. It’s important to protect your property and use a well-rated bike lock to secure your bike when you’re not around.

BIKE COMPUTER – A bike computer will do many great things for you as a road cyclist. It will record your ride and route. It will record your speed, maximum efforts, and elevation gain, and some will also record your health information. You can use this data to better your riding and training experience. You can get dedicated bike computers that attach to your bike or something like a wristwatch that has the features built into it. Your smartphone is another option.

MIRROR – A mirror is always a good item to add to your road biking checklist. A mirror can help you see what is behind you. That is important when you want to change lanes to turn. You can look back, but a mirror makes looking back more efficient and safer. There are different ways to mount your mirror. You can attach it to your handlebars or mount it on your helmet. Mounting it on your helmet will likely give you better control of where to point it.

FENDERS – This is an optional accessory. If you plan to ride in areas with sand, dust, dirt, mud, gravel, or other loose natural debris like that, a fender can help protect your bike and keep grime off of it. Most road cyclists don’t use fenders, but the option is available for those who wish to use them. Nonetheless, you should make it a habit to clean your bike after every use, whether you use fenders or not.

WATER BOTTLE CAGES – Typically, road bikes come with two spots to attach water bottle cages. These obviously are meant to hold your water bottles. They come in different styles and different prices. If you want to reduce weight, you can buy aerodynamic carbon fiber cages. They might be expensive, but they can help reduce weight if you require it. Other aerodynamic cage options use a heavier material but are less expensive.

WATER BOTTLES – You’ll want to get a couple of water bottles to put in your water bottle cages. Hydration is extremely important in road biking. You might consider getting taller bottles that hold more liquid. Water bottles will come in many different heights. Some bottles have insulation features to help keep the liquid cold or from freezing. Many cyclists go for bottles that represent local bike shops, bike brands, or other logos and designs featured on the bottles.

BIKE BELL – A bell is a good accessory to have on your bike if you ride in areas with a lot of people. If you’re in a larger city with other cyclists and pedestrians, you can use your bike bell to warn anyone around that you’re coming at them or are behind them. A lot of people don’t pay attention to what’s around them, and collisions could occur easily. A bike bell will help prevent incidents from occurring.

BIKE CAMERA – Another optional bike accessory is a small compact camera to record your road biking experience. You can use these for many different reasons. You can record your bike rides to show other people or become a cycling vlogger. You can also use these cameras as insurance if you get into situations on the bike with road rage or illegal acts from drivers. They make all sorts of cameras for these instances. My favorite camera is a GoPro.

SMARTPHONE MOUNT – If you want to use your smartphone as a bike computer or for any other reason, you can buy a mount to put your phone on the handlebars. Most of the time, road cyclists don’t like to mount their phones because they could break or be damaged in the event of a bike wreck. However, this is totally up to you.

BATTERIES, POWER BRICK, AND CORDS – Bring any batteries you might need, such as electronic gear batteries, eBike batteries, camera batteries, computer batteries, and other required batteries. You might also bring a power brick with you with chargers and cords just in case you need to charge any of your batteries.

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Road Biking Apparel Checklist


BASE LAYER SHIRT – A base layer shirt is a great way to wick away moisture off your upper body during your ride. You can wear a long-sleeved one for cooler days or a short-sleeved one for warmer days. It’s best to use non-insulated compression type base layer shirts under your cycling jersey.

CYCLING JERSEY – Your cycling jersey is your main outer layer. You can get short-sleeved ones, long-sleeved ones, or even insulated long-sleeved ones if it’s during the colder months. Most jerseys have front zippers that are full-length or half-length zippers. A good cycling jersey has three to four pockets in the back, including three large pockets and a small zip-up pocket. The fit of jerseys depends on what you desire. You can get them tight or loose or everything in between. Many jerseys have features on the bottom opening that help keep the jersey from riding up. You can get jerseys in many designs and even customize your own design.

CYCLING VEST – Cycling vests are becoming more popular among road cyclists these days. They not only add an extra layer of clothing on cooler riders, but they’re also becoming quite fashionable in the cycling culture. This is an optional road biking checklist item, but it’s definitely a good piece of apparel to have in your cycling wardrobe.

CYCLING JACKET AND WINDBREAKER – It’s also good to have a cycling jacket to wear on colder bike ride days. They make them in different styles, colors, and insulation options. You can also pick up a cycling windbreaker jacket, which is thinner but great for reflecting the wind from chilling your bones as you bike. These are all good to add as layering options for when you bike in the colder temperatures.

CYCLING BIB SHORTS OR CYCLING SHORTS – One of the most important things to add to your road biking checklist as far as apparel goes is cycling bib shorts or cycling shorts. There are many different types to choose from. Some shorts have shoulder straps, which are called bib shorts. Bib shorts are often the most popular because they’re so comfortable. Women have the option of bib shorts that can be taken down easier for bathroom breaks. Regular cycling shorts are just standard shorts. Cycling shorts have many elements to make them perfect for road biking, including chamois (pad), leg bands, side pockets (optional), and materials. Baggy options are available, but the tight-fitting spandex material is best for road biking. There are even options for thermal cycling shorts for winter riding.

CYCLING TIGHTS OR CYCLING KNICKERS – For colder weather cycling, you can get full-length tights or ¾ tights, which are often called knickers. These tights come in many options. You can get them in a bib or no bib. You can get them with a chamois to wear alone or ones without a chamois to wear over your padded bike shorts. You can get them with pockets, reflective details, and different styles and colors. You can get them insulated or non-insulated.

SKINSUIT – A skinsuit is a full spandex suit that is padded with a chamois. Skinsuits come in different styles, including shorts and short sleeves, shorts with long sleeves, or tights with long sleeves. Skinsuits are often used for racing as the full compression gives the rider more aerodynamic elements. A skin suit is a combination of tops and bottoms as one suit. It typically has a zipper in the front to help you get in and out of the suit. Some skinsuits have back pockets, and some don’t. Skinsuits come in different colors and designs, and you can even customize your own suit if you want.

ARM, KNEE, AND LEG WARMERS – If you prefer to wear cycling shorts and short-sleeved jerseys during days that start out cooler but warm up, you definitely have options. Arm, knee, and leg warmers are available for you to make this possible. You can get them in many different colors. You can get insulated and non-insulated ones, too.

CYCLING SOCKS – Cycling socks are available in many different styles, sizes, designs, and colors. They also make them in different lengths. Most are made with a material that helps wick moisture away as you ride. Some are also made with insulation for colder months.

CYCLING SHOES – Road bikes are often customized by riders with certain types of pedals that you can clip into. Ironically, they call them clipless pedals. These pedals provide better control and stability on the bike and are well worth adding to your road biking checklist. You will require special shoes that have cleats on them to be able to clip into the pedal. You have to make sure you get the right shoe for the right pedal. There are many different styles of shoes available.

CYCLING SHOE COVERS – For cycling in the colder months, you’ll want to get toe or shoe covers for your cycling shoes. These are usually made of neoprene or other types of related materials to help make them water and wind-resistant. Keeping your feet warm during winter rides is very important.

RAIN GEAR – It’s a good idea to buy and pack some rain gear with you during rides where rain is expected. Your cycling jacket or windbreaker might already provide rain protection. Some riders use rain pants while others just use a rain jacket. That part is up to you.

CYCLING GLOVES – Cycling gloves are a very important item to add to your road biking checklist. These gloves typically offer padding in the hand to help prevent numbness, chaffing, or injuries to the hand. However, some road cyclists actually prefer gloves without padding. It depends on your situation. Summer gloves have the fingers cut out to help cool your hands and fingers. Winter gloves come in many different styles and insulation features to help keep your hands warm during the coldest of bike rides.

CYCLING FACE MASKS – There are many different types of cycling masks. I’ve found that paper germ masks are great to help keep bugs out of your mouth during evening rides. You can wear a balaclava when it’s colder outside to help keep your face warm.

CYCLING CAPS – A cycling cap can be worn during the warm and colder months. It can protect your head from the sun, keep your head warm, and also add to the cycling culture fashion as many riders like to wear them. During the colder months, you can opt for cycling beanies to help keep your ears warm in the process.


Personal Items Checklist


SUNGLASSES OR SAFETY GLASSES – It’s always a good idea to add sunglasses and safety glasses to your road biking checklist. Protecting your eyes from the sun, bugs, and flying debris on the roadway is important.

SMALL FIRST AID KIT – Consider bringing a small first aid kit. You can put some very basic supplies in a small zip-lock bag. Kit items might include a few band-aids, triple antibiotic ointment, some pain pills, and anti-septic wipes. Not all road cyclists carry a first aid kit, but it might be a really good idea just in case you need it.

EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION – Carry emergency contact information on you in some way. I use a RoadID and have it attached to my watch. It has my name, where I live, allergies, and emergency contacts and their phone numbers.

SUNSCREEN AND LIP BALM – Take a travel-size bottle of sunblock, bug spray, and lip balm. These items come in handy when you need them the most. They’re all small enough to put in your jersey pocket.

CHAMOIS CREAM – Bring a few travel-size packs of chamois cream. This is a lubricant you smear on the pad in your cycling shorts or tights to help with chaffing. You may never need it, but it’s a good idea to have it on you just in case you do need it.

SOME TOILET PAPER OR WIPES – Consider bringing a few finger rolls of toilet paper or some wet wipes. If you have to take an emergency poop, it’s nice to have something to wipe with instead of leaves. I’m being blunt here to make sure you are prepared because it happens.

SNACKS AND GELS – Make sure you bring plenty of snacks with you on the bike. You can bring waffle bars, energy bars, gels, chews, jerky, and other items that don’t require a certain storing temperature. It’s best to get snacks that have energy, carbs, and calories in order to refuel yourself as you bike.

HYDRATION POWDER – Bring plenty of water with you on your bike ride. You should also bring hydration powder to add to your water. As you sweat from cycling, you’ll lose sodium, which you need to replenish. Hydration powder gives you electrolytes back to help you refuel and not feel sluggish.

MAPS OR APPS – Bring your map or have an app on your phone for navigating your bike route. Popular apps among road cyclists include Strava, Ride with GPS, Map My Ride, and more.

CELL PHONE – Bring your cell phone in case you need to make a call or if your recording app is on it.

CASH AND CREDIT CARD – Bring some spare cash and a credit card just in case you need to stop and purchase more hydration, snacks, bike stuff, or whatever else.


Road Biking Checklist Final Thoughts

The items above should complete your road biking checklist. However, you might discover more items that need to be added to your checklist. Now that you know what to bring, you need to get off this blog and start road biking.

Thank you for reading my article. If you want to support me in writing it, you can share this article with other people you know who would enjoy reading it.

Be sure to follow me on X for more daily cycling tips and resources.

Shawn Gossman

About Shawn Gossman

Shawn Gossman is the author of this post and founder of the Beginner Cycling Tips Blog.

Shawn has been an avid cyclist for around 12 years. He road, gravel, mountain, and trail bikes. He likes adventuring more than racing.

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