The Gear You Need to Stay Safe on a Road Bike
Team USA cyclist Coryn Rivera on the stuff she does't ride without
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Accidents happen, which is why we all wear helmets. (Right?) But a few other road-cycling essentials for your bike and body will give you added protection against oncoming traffic and the elements.
Team USA cyclist Coryn Rivera, who has 71 national titles to her name, rides her bike all over the world. Most of her kit, including her bike, shoes, apparel, and helmet, is provided by Team USA, but here are the extra essentials she never rides without.
Knog Blinder Mob Kid Grid Twinpack ($85)
Whether you’re on back roads or a busy urban thoroughfare, you need to see and be seen. Rivera recommends bike lights from Knog, an Australian company founded in 2002 by a designer and an engineer to make “urban-flavored” tech for cycling. Knog’s bike lights are 100 percent waterproof and USB rechargeable. Drivers can see the Blinder Mob headlight from 750 feet away. With 80 lumens and 16 surface-mounted LED lights, the headlight is designed more to make you visible than to increase your vision on dark roads. A single charge lasts up to 59 hours in the headlight’s energy-saving flash mode. “I charge it once a week,” Rivera says. “It’s just big and long lasting and it blinks. It’s nice to have extra awareness with drivers on the road.” The red taillight version boasts a super-bright 44 lumens.
DermaQuest Peptide Vitality SunArmor ($60)
Road riding can be harsh on your skin—tiny bugs hit your arms, and mud cakes onto your calves. Rivera’s sunscreen of choice offers SPF 50 and protects against more than sun damage—it also helps reduce signs of aging. SunArmor is infused with peptides, which encourage production of wrinkle-reducing collagen in your skin and feel extra rejuvenating after a long ride. “It’s something a little bit more than sunscreen for when I’m out in the elements,” Rivera says.
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly ($4)
You don’t win as many national championships as Rivera has by taking an off-season. She rides her bike religiously year-round, even when weather is harsh and cold. In the worst weather, her skin needs extra protection, so Rivera thumbs Vaseline onto her face, fingers, toes, and ears to protect her appendages from cold temperatures, wind, and rain. “It repels water and helps keep your body heat in,” Rivera says. Just remember that a little goes a long way—a thin layer is all you need.
Road ID Necklace ($40)
In 2011, Rivera crashed during a race in Qatar and was knocked unconscious. “I don’t know what happened. Luckily, my team was there,” she says. Now Rivera wears a Road ID Necklace that displays her emergency contact information and crucial details about medical records or allergies in case she’s ever incapacitated while riding alone. The stainless-steel plate can display up to four lines of text and hangs comfortably from an 18-inch chain.
Knog Oi Bike Bell ($20)
“When I’m racing, I live in Holland, so there are a lot of commuters on town bikes. When you pass, you don’t want to buzz them and freak them out,” Rivera says. “I use a nice, friendly bell.” Knog makes a low-profile bell designed to wrap around the handlebars. Bonus: The circular mount can also contain your brake and gear cables, so you can keep them out of your way.