Having been cycling properly for over a year now, one thing has stood out to me as the biggest problem I’m going to face as a teenager trying to race. Trying to balance cash flow with the constant need for new pieces of clothing and new kit on the bike is a struggle at the best of times but for a student with no steady income, it’s even harder.
I started out buying cheap kit from lidl/aldi and such like. But after a few rides I decided that it just wasn’t good enough quality and clothing wasn’t an area where I could save money. I then moved onto decathlon clothing. Of which I have bib tights, shorts and a winter jacket. All are great quality and value for money and will last a fair few seasons. Having joined a club towards the end of last year, I decided that it was about time I got some of the club kit, seeing as I’d be racing for them anyway. £40 for a jersey seemed a bit steep at first but I’m a total convert and the jersey further cemented the idea that actually spending a fair bit of money on kit was a good idea. Higher quality kit does make everything so much easier anyway so it’s not like I’m wasting money.
The same goes for bike parts too. After the club’s yearly sportive, my bottom bracket began to creak. That’s really what I needed, so I have to spend Tuesday this week trying to find a new bottom bracket in stock somewhere. I attempted to fix it just by oiling, that worked for a couple of days but the creaking came straight back. It’s only Shimano 2300 so shouldn’t be too expensive but I can’t help thinking if I had a better groupset, it wouldn’t be creaking after 8 months.
Anyhow, my search for quality kit for good prices continues, I may even post good deals as and when I find them. I’m sure Ant will add his thoughts onto here too. /cough