Bicycles and Equipment

Bicycles

Road and hybrid bikes, typically with tires up to about 32 mm (1¼”) wide, are best-suited to club tours, although some members use mountain bikes. Mountain bikes, with wider and softer tires, offer more rolling resistance, and hence require more effort for the same distance. While a road bike is more suited to touring, more important is your selection of a group whose speed you can match without tiring.

Maintenance

Bicycles should be in good condition—check tires and brakes. Remember, if a mechanical failure occurs, the rest of the pack is placed at risk. Carry a pump, a spare tube, and a basic tool kit to remove and replace the wheel, tire and tube, and for minor adjustments.

Equipment

Carry sufficient food and water. Ensure that you are adequately prepared for hot, cold or wet weather. Also carry a road map of the area you’ll be riding in.

Kickstands

You should not have a kickstand on your bike when participating in OBC group rides. No matter what position these may take on your bike, they still protrude out from your rear wheel. Here again, you are riding in a very tight and close pack and there is a great risk of the bike behind you touching your kickstand. Once it is caught in the spokes, disaster follows. It is a "rule" that must be adhered to.

Aero Bars

These are a great asset when doing Time Trials, participating in racing events and when riding on your own and looking for improved speed. However, their use is not permitted in OBC group rides. It is not necessary to remove them from your bikes but to simply just not use them. When riding in an OBC group you are riding in a very tight and close pack. The requirement to react quickly to any given situation is impeded by the increased time to reach your brakes from the aero bars plus you do not have the same control that you would with your hands in the normal position on your handlebars. Some riders think that it is okay to use them if you are in the front or rear position in the pack. Not so! You may still be required to stop or react suddenly in either of these positions. The safety of the entire group should be the concern of every rider.

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