ROAD CYCLING KIT LIST
This is a mountainous area so having a road bike with gears adapted to climbing mountain passes is essential!
E-bikes offer a great compromise if you are not a super fit roadie but still want to explore the Alps on two wheels! You can bring your own bike or hire one here.
For personal clothing and other items that you might find useful on any of our road cycling holidays or e-biking holidays, here is what we recommend you bring.
Note that in the mountains, especially on the high mountain passes the weather can change quickly and dramatically. For every 1000 metres of ascent you lose 6.5 degrees celsius in temperature. Add to that windchill factor and a passing storm and suddenly you have gone from summer riding to winter conditions.
- Helmet A helmet light in colour with large aerations is best for hot, sunny conditions. Otherwise bright colours for visibility are recommended! Our hire bikes come with helmets but if you have your own helmet, it is worth bringing this for comfort.
- A thin skull cap or head band that fits under your helmet to cover your ears as well as a neck buff is good for keeping the cold air out on descents or on early morning cooler starts.
- Cycling jerseys made from a wicking fabric. If you burn easily wear a t-shirt rather than a vest and choose light colours as the sun is stronger at altitude. In the autumn a choice of short and long sleeved jerseys is good so you can adapt according to the weather. Pockets on the back of your top are really handy for keeping your puncture repair kit, phone, or leg / arm warmers in. If you are climbing the big passes, it is worth taking a spare jersey to change into at the top for the descent, especially in autumn, as the cool air on a wet body will quickly be very cold with the wind chill factor.
- Lightweight windproof waistcoat or long-sleeved shell that will scrunch into your back pockets to put on for the descents.
- If you are doing long journeys consider a seat post bag or small rucksack for supplies.
- Cycling shorts or tights for spring and autumn.
- Leg and arm warmers are a great little extra to have with you in your back pocket, just in case that cloud stays a little bit longer than planned and for descents
- Waterproof jacket - breathable waterproof materials like GoreTex are much more comfortable than non-breathable materials which can end up being just as wet inside due to your sweat not escaping!
- Short finger cycling gloves, for the summer and long finger warmer ones for spring and autumn.
- Good sized water flask or a plastic water bottle. A Platypus or similar water system is handy if you are carrying a rucksack.
- Cycling shoes and pedals - if you like clip in pedals and are hiring a bike, it is best to bring your own shoes and pedals and we will fit them on to your bike. Otherwise hire bikes come with flat pedals as standard.
- Tool kit and pump Our support car will have one, but if you are going it alone then you will need to bring your own
- Sun glasses suitable for cycling - interchangeable lenses are good if you have them.
- For long road cycling routes bring your own gels and isotonic drinks if you are used to a particular brand
- A GPS navigator (like a Garmin) with screen or a phone holder to attach to your bike so you can see the route on your phone as you ride is very useful and easier than paper maps, especially for self guided biking and non-waymarked routes. Beware of battery life for these gadgets, especially on long routes if you are using geo-localisation.
- A paper map of your route is also useful as a back up.
- A lightweight back and front light to attach to your bike (for tunnels or cycling at night)
OTHER USEFUL THINGS
- Sun screen - even in winter
- Lip salve with sunscreen - even in winter
- Swim suit please note that boxer short style swimming trunks are not allowed in French pools.
- Sun hat or cap in summer if you use one.