Safety - Equipment

All participants are responsible for keeping their cycling equipment in good working order. If you have questions or concerns, visit your local Official BP MS 150 Bike Store. Our Official Bike Store partners' personnel are cycling enthusiasts with the experience and knowledge to help make your BP MS 150 safe and enjoyable.

Table of Contents

Click the headings below to be taken to the corresponding section:

› Bicycle Safety Inspection
› Cycling Equipment
› Cycling Clothing
› ABC Quick Check

Bicycle Safety Inspection

In addition to your body being in the best shape possible for the BP MS 150, your bike should be finely-tuned and safe. Take your bike to one of the Official BP MS 150 Bike Stores for a FREE bicycle safety inspection. Pedal inspection is also a critical component of the overall safety inspection, so don't forget to bring your cycling shoes.

† This is a limited-time offer; see the Official BP MS 150 Bike Stores page for details.

Cycling Equipment

  • Bicycle – Proper bicycle size and fit are very important to your overall riding experience. Be sure to get fit for your bike. Bicycle fit sessions are available at your local Official BP MS 150 Bike Store. Be sure to bring your cycling shoes!
  • Helmet – You should always wear a helmet when riding. Head injuries are a special concern for cyclists: Even falling at a slow rate of speed can cause a serious head injury. A helmet must be on your head and strapped securely while riding in the BP MS 150. There are no exceptions. Participants found not wearing their helmets will be disqualified from the event and removed from the route.

    Some guidelines for helmet selection:
    • Select a certified helmet meeting Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ASTM International, or Snell Foundation standards.
    • To find the right size helmet, put one on your head without fastening the straps.
    • Helmet Fit
      Image courtesy of League of American Bicyclists
    • Ensure the helmet is a proper fit:
      1. Two-fingers-width between eyebrows and front rim of helmet.
      2. Helmet side-straps form a "Y" shape below the ear. Adjust the tabs on the straps up or down until they are half-an-inch or less under your ear lobes.
      3. Less than one-half-inch (one-finger-width) between your chin and the chin strap.
    • The front of the helmet should be level on your head when tight.
    • Shake your head from side to side; there should only be a little movement. In the event of an accident, a loose helmet won't provide protection, being the same as not wearing a bike helmet at all.
    • Replace helmet if involved in an accident or helmet is older than 3 years.
  • Sunglasses – Although any type of sunglasses will protect eyes, shatterproof are ideal.
  • Water Bottle – Placed in bottle cages mounted to your bike, or as a hydration pack with refillable "bladder" and tube with mouthpiece (backpack or fanny pack type).
  • Cycling Shoes – Find the shoe type that works best for you:
    • Clipless pedal systems – Allows you to push and pull your pedals for more efficient pedaling.
    • SPD®-compatible – This style is recessed into the shoe, making for easier walking; often found on gym spin bikes.
    • Look®-compatible – Protrudes from bottom of shoe; difficult to walk in; wears down faster, needing replacement.
    • Cages – Attach to flat pedals and allow you to wear tennis shoes; more efficient than using flat pedals alone.
  • Floor Pump – Bicycle tires should be aired up before every ride, usually around 100 psi (check your specific tire tube for psi requirements).
  • Bike Frame Pump or CO2 Cartridges & Dispenser – For low-pressure or flat repair on-the-road.
  • Under-Seat Bag (Saddle Bag) or Bento-style Bag – Bag to store items such as bicycle tubes, tools, CO2 cartridges/dispensers, etc.
  • Cycle Computer – Tracks distance, cadence (how fast you're pedaling), speed, and various other metrics.
  • Tire Tubes – Correct size and valve type for your bike; carry at least TWO tire tubes with you in your saddle bag for flat repairs.
  • Bicycle Tools – Basic tools including patch kit, tire levers (removing tire from wheel for flat repairs), multi-tool, Allen wrenches, etc.
  • Other items to carry with you include:
    • Chamois cream, applied liberally to skin prior to and during a long ride, and/or a cycling shorts chamois pad, both to prevent chafing. There are many brands on the market; find one that works for you.
    • Small tube of sunscreen and lip balm (recommended SPF 30 or higher).
    • ID, insurance card(s), credit card, and cash.
    • Any necessary medications.

Cycling Clothing

  • Cycling Shorts – Cycling shorts have a chamois padding, providing additional comfort over regular shorts; road-cycling-style shorts or mountain-bike-style shorts will suffice. Try on several brands and styles to find the right pair for you; it is worth investing in a good pair of cycling shorts!
  • Cycling Gloves – Hand cushioning provides shock absorption and protects hands in case of fall; fingerless-type gloves for warmer weather and full-finger gloves for colder weather.
  • Cycling Jersey – Jerseys help pull moisture away from your skin and traditionally feature back pockets, providing a place to stash snacks, cell phone, jacket, etc.

    If you choose not to wear a jersey, consider wearing a top (long enough to cover your back when reaching forward on the handle bars) that will wick sweat away from your body; examples include tech-type t-shirts.
  • Socks – Cycle-specific socks provide moisture wicking; wear woolen socks for cold rides.
  • Arm and Leg Warmers – Provide protection from the wind and cold, and are easy to remove as the day warms up.
  • Cycling Jackets – Jackets can provide protection from wind, water, and cold. A variety of types are available on the market; back pockets on the jacket are handy for storing items, and some jacket models feature removable sleeves, turning the jacket into a vest while still providing protection for your core.
ABC Quick Check
Image courtesy of League of American Bicyclists

ABC Quick Check

Always check your bicycle before starting out to avoid unpleasant surprises during your ride. The term "ABC Quick Check" will help you remember what to do:

  • "A" Is for Air –
    • Inflate tires to the pressure listed by the tube/tire manufacturer.
    • Use a pressure gauge to ensure proper pressure.
    • Check for damage on tire and replaced if damaged.
  • "B" Is for Brakes –
    • Inspect pads for wear. Replace if there is less than one-quarter inch of pad left.
    • Check for cable tightness, frayed cables, and alignment of the pads with the rims.
  • "C" Is for Cranks, Chain, and Cassette –
    • Check your pedals and cranks for tightness.
    • Check chain for looseness and bad links.
    • Check derailleur for worn cogs and needed adjustment.
    • Check that your gears change smoothly.
  • "Quick" Is for Quick Releases –
    • Make sure all of your quick releases on your wheels are closed.
  • "Check" Is for Check It Over–
    • Check your helmet for cracks and make sure it fits properly.
    • Check your shoes for tight cleats and confirm straps and buckles are in good repair.
    • Make sure your saddle (seat) is at the right height and the bolt is tight.

More Resources

For more Bike Care education and advice, see our offerings from NHTSA and Bicycling Magazine.

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