Soft Contacts

Nothing will ruin your ride like pain, and the most likely culprit is anywhere your body meets the bike: think feet, hands, and backside. Preempt that discomfort with gear that fits.

Jan 30, 2012
Outside Magazine
Bike ride

Seeing the country by bike? Definitely life-list worthy. Make sure you have the right gear.    Photo: Dan Barham

Get a seat that’s fitted to your rear end, like Specialized’s popular Toupé ($90–$300), which comes in a full range of padding options and widths. Have a dealer measure your sit bones with a gel seat pad to make sure you get the right size. 

Over long distances, foot fatigue caused by poor support can be debilitating. The Giro Trans ($225) has interchangeable arch supports for the insoles, which will help ensure that your feet won’t swell and burn. 

When riding day in and day out, avoid back pain by bringing your bars up slightly. Gloves with gel inserts, like the Pearl Izumi Elite Gel Vent ($38), and padded bar tape such as Lizard Skins DSP 2.5 ($38) will help keep your hands from falling asleep on rough roads.

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