TOO-SMALL THREADBARE THRIFT STORE CASHMERE SWEATERS
Budget conscious, luxurious cold weather base layers
NEW YORK TIMES BAGS, WEEKDAY (Blue)
The best semi-permeable cool weather toe protection. Slide between thin wool sock and front of shoe.
PEARL IZUMI LOBSTER MITTS
These space age mittens will last for years, and enable even those of us who suffer from Raynaud's to enjoy riding in the darkest days of winter.
UNIQLO AIRISM MESH
Base layers are just as important in the hot and humid days of August as they are in the winter. These are cheap and cheerful and devoid of logos. Size down.
SHORT SLEEVE WOOL JERSEYS
Don't knock it until you've tried it! Thin wool wicks away sweat and modern blends won't itch at all. Best of all, you can ride for hours and hours and the fabric's natural antimicrobial powers will keep you smelling like a rose.
SIDI GENIUS 7 SHOES (Black)
Factoring in total cost of ownership, these will cost you somewhere around seven cents per day. And over that span, they'll look great, feel great, and nobody will know whether you purchased them in 2019 or 1996.
On the Bike
De rigeur for rouleurs and grimpeurs alike, bananas should be carried in the right rear pocket and consumed within one hour of departure.
Your average russet potato contains around 100 kcal and more potassium than a banana. Slice and sprinkle with kosher salt and your favorite herbs. A surprisingly hearty and tasty mid-ride snack!
While water itself is free, don't skimp on your water bottles. Cheap bidons leech toxins and mysterious smells, resulting in miserable drinks!
PUBLICAN QUALITY BREAD (Baguette)
Slice in half, toast lightly, and top with the best butter you can find.
Jacques Anquetil, the five time winner of the Tour de France, is said to have recovered from long summer stages not with a cold beer, but rather small sips of Lillet over ice. It's a refreshing beverage that also shows up in James Bond's famous martini recipe.
MARGINAL GAINS CYCLING PODCAST
Josh Poertner of Silca is a ridiculous human being who will either enthrall you or bore you to death with tales of large molecule gases used in tire inflation, among other topics.
Diane Jenks interviews authors, professional framebuilders, city planners, and everyday cyclists in her excellent weekly podcast.
THE CYCLING PODCAST
Bar none, the ne plus ultra of podcasts covering the world of professional road racing. If you would like to learn which is the best of the spring the classics, or how to prounounce Tadej Pogačar, or how best to navigate the Basque country in a crummy rental car whilst following La Vuelta, look no further.
Japanese Steel Road Bikes Which Can Be Found on Craigslist
Even bad Miyatas are still really good.
Now that these bicycles are nearly thirty years old, and the older Gen-Xers responsible for fetishizing, and therefore inflating the secondary market, have either moved onto wildly expensive custom bikes (or other hobbies), it's possible to stumble upon one for an agreeable price. As it turns out, they *are* worth fetishizing. Buy one and restore it, and use it for the next several decades.
CENTURION DAVE SCOTT BIKES
Let's be clear: these *are not* the best Japanese road bikes of the era. But they're readily available and deservedly beloved for their paint schemes.
Hyde Park has at least five of these bikes. It's better not to discuss them here.
Bikes for Carrying Large Amounts of Food, or Small Children
YOUR CURRENT BIKE
Add a basket, or a rack, or maybe both. Add some panniers, or steal a milk crate, or zip tie a wine crate to your bike, and you will suddenly be able to do a week's worth of grocery shopping with elegance and surprising ease. As for small children: Yepp Maxi Child Seats will enable you to safely transport children up to 23kg. Perhaps that isn't so small, after all.
But what if you'd like to carry a week's worth of groceries, and a 23kg child, and that child's 23kg friend, and that friend's golden retriever? And what if all four of you have to do all of the shopping, drop off some books at Blackstone Library, and then make it all the way to Andersenville before dinner? If this is your life, then I would suggest that you consider an electric cargo bicycle. Look at it. Look closer. It's you, and your child, and your child's friend, and that friend's dog, but most of all, you're looking at the future. And a pretty sticker price. But mostly, the future.
Cleaning Your Bicycle
Non-toxic, inexpensive, and doesn't leave any residue.
A Bucket of Warm Water & Dawn Dishwashing Detergent
Also, a big wonderful sponge. Also, an old toothbrush. Armed with these tools, you'll be able to clean and bathe your bicycle in less time than it takes to fix a flat.
Lubing Your Bicycle
Rock N Roll Extreme
For the lazy home mechanic, novice to advanced. A small blue bottle, even used liberally, will last most folks 1-2 years. Extreme refers to the fact, unlike most lubricants, it will work in all four Chicago seasons. And best of all, it cleans and lubes your chain in one simple step.
The choice of science nerds and professional mechanics alike. NixFrixShun originally was a word-of-mouth product only available to a tiny coterie of handmade bicycle builders. It's still a limited distribution product, but if you can get ahold of a bottle, don't let go. It's silent, highly hydrophobic, and far and away the best bicycle-specific lubricant you can purchase.
Waxing Your Bicycle
A tub will last a lifetime. In fact, it will last the lifetime of several bicycles, or one bicycle and an Aston Martin. This specially formulated Carnauba blend will make your bicycle sparkle like the diamond that you believe it to be.
If you're not quite ready to commit to Zymöl, Nu-Finish polish will do half the job at 1/20th the price. Take your time during the application process, and your frame will be well protected and very, very, very shiny when you are done.
Pledge Furniture Polish
I spray down every bike I work on at the shop with a bit of Pledge. It acts as a light cleaner, deters dust, and gives most frames a bit of brilliance. And it's really easy to use.
The most charming 21 year old Dutch professional on Corendon-Circus.
Also Dutch, also telegenic, also a pint-sized perennial podium threat, riding for Telenet Baloise Lions.
She of the bedazzled OGK helmets, the pink leopard print thermal skinsuits, the rhinestone nails, and then custom painted titanium Panasonic cross frames... Now retired, one longs for a pro to bring even a fraction of Toyooka's sartorial splendor.