Going on Holiday?
If you're anything like us here @ Wiggle HQ, you'll be making the most of the upcoming bank holidays in the UK to put in some quality miles on your bike. Whether it's at home or abroad, there are always plenty of things to remember when you're going on a cycle holiday or training camp (and several you really don't want to forget), so to take the sting out of packing we've compiled our essential holiday checklist. From saddle bags to nutrition and GPS gadgets through to camping gear, Wiggle has it all covered. All you've got to do is get on your bike and keep turning those pedals. Enjoy!
Hard Vs Soft If you're flying to your destination and plan to take your own bike, you'll need to pack it in a bike bag or box for the flight. You have two options: you can either go for a "soft" bike bag, which tends to be lighter to carry, or a "hard" bike box, which are usually more robust but far heavier. Soft bike bags worth considering include the dhb Elsted wheeled bike bag and the Evoc Bike Travel bag. The Evoc keeps packing hassle to a minimum as you only need to remove your bike's handlebars, pedals and wheels in order to pack it, plus it offers almost as much protection as a hard case. If you're looking for something really special, then look no further than the Biknd Helium Bicycle Travel Case which offers unique air protection and is the preferred choice of the Garmin Slipstream pro team. The biggest innovation inside the Helium is its network of inflatable partitions, strategically positioned on either side of the frame. They offer more stability and protection, at a lower weight, than other systems. Once you've packed your bike and accessories, you simply fill the case's inflatable protections - it's as easy a pumping up a tyre.
Packing Tips When it comes to travel bags, we have a wide selection from the likes of Deuter, The North Face and Dakine, all of which are well made, intelligently designed and will serve you perfectly whether you're carting about kit or using it as hand luggage.
It's also worth investing in a saddle bag to store spares and/or tools. If you're going to be touring, handlebar bags are ideal.
Some great options for bags to use on holiday
Stay hydrated abroad It's vital to stay well hydrated when exercising and this becomes even more important when in warmer climates. As you sweat, if you don't replace fluids you'll soon become dehydrated and you'll find it harder to keep going at the same pace. Don't forget to pack a few sports bottles or a CamelBak, which you can fill with fluid and wear on your back like a rucksack.
Requirements Remember that you shouldn't just be drinking plain water: you should look to replace electrolytes (sodium and potassium lost in sweat) with a good electrolyte drink such as Nuun or High5 Zero. These are low calorie electrolyte tablets which come in a tube and can just be dropped into a bottle of water. Simple and easy hydration!
CamelBak High 5 nuun
Stay hydrated on Holiday this year.
Food and Gels for long days, Don’t get caught out. There's nothing worse than "bonking" on the bike (the term given to running out of energy while riding), so be sure to pack plenty of your favourite tried and tested energy drinks, bars and gels, as well as recovery drinks and food. Among our favourite bars are the great tasting and nutritious Clif Bars and MuleBars (check out the MuleBar Liquorice Allsports flavour and the Pinocalada flavour for something a little different). If bars aren't your thing, why not try Zipvit's energy chews, available in watermelon or black cherry.
When it comes to gels, Squeezy gels are highly recommended and are available in a number of flavours including banana, strawberry, vanilla and peach-orange. Last, but by no means least, comes recovery. Fuelling up on high carbohydrate/high protein fluids and foods after a long ride makes all the difference the next day. A recovery shake such as For Goodness Shakes always hits the spot: not only are the no-fuss sachets easy to pack, but within moments of returning from your ride, you can have your feet up and be refuelling with minimum hassle. Your body will thank you for it the following day!
Tyres, Tubes & Tools
Puncture Kit to carry Be sure to pack a good supply of spares and some essential tools so that you're covered for most eventualities. For your saddlebag, you'll want tyre levers (these Tacx ones are excellent), inner tubes, a puncture repair kit and a decent multi-tool plus CO2 cartridges and/or a good quality hand pump.
Tools, Pumps, and Links It's also worth packing a spare tyre, more tubes, chain oil/lube, a pedal spanner and some spare chain links.
Other Spares in hotel You obviously won't want to carry these while riding, but having them stowed away in your hotel room will give you peace of mind. Back-up lights - like these Knog Frogs - are also good to have, just in case your long ride ends up being a little too long...
The importance of good baselayers Make sure you pack for all weather conditions and - aside from jerseys, tops and shorts - include base layers, a gilet, a lightweight waterproof like the dhb Minima, arm and knee/leg warmers, and mitts.
What to wear/carry on a mountain If you're going to be doing lots of climbing, remember that it'll be a lot cooler the higher you go and descending from mountain tops can often get chilly. This is where lightweight gloves and your jacket or arm/knee warmers will really come in handy.
First Aid and Suncare
Chamois cream for long rides Chamois cream is a must if you're going to be spending a long time in the saddle. The Sportique Century ride cream is superb and the Sportique range also boasts get going cream, massage cream and warm up oil. We stock several lightweight first aid kits which are ideal for your suitcase
Sunscreen – neck and ears plus exposed bits We also have a wide range of suncare products which are sweat resistant and designed for active people - check them out here. Don't forget to pile on the suncream on all your exposed skin, including your neck and ears. Not only will it protect your skin, it should also reduce the chances of you developing cyclist's tan lines. Not a good look on the beach!
Computers, GPS & Watches
GPS can make an unknown destination really easy to plan and explore GPS gadgets such as the Garmin 800 can help make unknown destinations really easy to explore. It's the ultimate touchscreen GPS bike computer for training, touring and on the trail and comes with a heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor. It has a built-in basemap and tracks your distance, speed, location and ascent/descent and is easily attached to the stem or handlebar of your bike. It's tough enough to stand up to the elements yet sensitive enough to respond to the tap of a gloved hand. Just don't forget your charger (and adaptor if abroad).
If you're looking for something simpler, we have a huge selection of bike computers and heart rate monitors too.
Camping and Touring
How to choose and pack panniers Wiggle has a wide range of high quality camping equipment and outdoor gear which offers outstanding value for money. Whether you are looking for sleeping bags for adults or children, a mini-stove and cookware set or accessories we have camping gear for professionals and families suitable for all types of camping occasions. Among our best-selling camping gear is Ortlieb, a very popular outdoor/camping brand.
Bike in perfect working order especially chain and cassette If you're off on a touring holiday, ensure your bike is in perfect working order before you leave. Perhaps consider replacing the chain and cassette. It's also worth investing in some quality panniers and don't forget good quality tyres and a pump.
Essential Camping and Touring Gear
Swimwear & Towels
Don't forget your swim gear! Whether you're going to be swim training while away or just splashing about in the pool to relax after a hard ride, make sure you pack your trunks or swimming costume. If you're after a lightweight, quick-drying towel, look no further than these Lifeventure towels.
Ladies - have you seen our Wiggle exclusive Zoggs legsuits
? And if you like brightening up the pool or beach, check out Maru's latest swimwear