Alright, so you got a new bike. Right the fuck on, now you need to know what shit to buy for it without blowing up your savings account. I can’t really help you there, but I can help make it a little less financially devastating, at least for a little while.
Shit you absolutely should get on day 1, regardless:
A CO2 inflator. Stick this in your tail bag, along with 2-3 CO2 cartridges. Much easier and faster inflating than a hand pump, and will save your ass. I only bring these on the road, because pumping up a 120 PSI tire with a hand pump can fuck off.
Amazon.com : Portland Design Works Shiny Object CO2 Inflator : Sports & Outdoors
Padded shorts. You want them. They’re around $40, comfortable and durable. Use them, your ass will thank you and it will make things infinitely better for long rides.
For trail: Amazon.com: Canari Cyclewear Men's Mountain Canyon Gel Baggy Padded Cycling Short: Sports & Outdoors
For the road: Amazon.com : Canari Cyclewear Men's Velo Gel Padded Bike Short : Cycling Compression Shorts : Sports & Outdoors
You also want a multi-tool. Lighter and smaller is better, but you still need the basics. I really like this one. Don’t get stuck somewhere and need to call a ride because you don’t have an allen key with you. You’ll end up breaking more shit because you tried to find a rock that was somewhere near 5mm wide to use instead.
Amazon.com: Crank Brothers Multi Bicycle Tool (10-Function, Silver): Sports & Outdoors
Light that shit up.
If you’re road riding, get a tail light. They blink so that idiots in cars can see you. There lots of idiots out there, most of them have cars, and assume that none of them are expecting you. You can go cheap with any of the AA battery powered ones, but for $40 this one is USB rechargable and bright as hell.
Amazon.com : NiteRider Solas Tail Light : Bike Headlights : Sports & Outdoors
For the front, I really like the Lumina series from NiteRider. On the trail, I run the 750 on my helmet and the 350 on the bars. On the road I just use the 750. If I’m going to be riding road somewhere busy/urban, I’ll run it in the daytime on strobe mode so that idiots coming at me can see me as well.
Don’t buy a shitty pump.
Don’t skimp on pumps. Seriously, get a good one and it will last you ages. If you’re trail riding, get this one. When you’re sweaty, dirty and covered in mosquitos trying to swap out that flat or air back up, you will be glad you did.
For everywhere else (in the car, at home) I use this. It’s not very expensive and works really, really well.
Flat pedals for trail:
Non-bank breaking: http://www.amazon.com/Shimano-PD-MX8.../dp/B011KRSW1K
What I use: http://www.amazon.com/Spank-Spike-Pl.../dp/B005KS1M5Y
Clipless for trail:
Without platforms: Amazon.com : Shimano XT PD-M780 Mountain Pedals : Bike Pedals : Sports & Outdoors
With: Amazon.com : Shimano XT PD-M785 Mountain Pedals : Bike Pedals : Sports & Outdoors
Pedals for your road bike are completely subjective. I use these:
Spare derailleur hangers
You will break one. They’re designed to fail first, so that the cheap $20 part breaks instead of your derailleur or your frame. Go here, find what number you need, and grab a couple. Amazon has someof them, or you can order direct.
Sit down, Junior.
Chances are the seat that came on your bike sucks. Seriously. Look at it. That thing was probably made for 110lb Italian guys that are built like horse racing jockeys. Everyone’s ass is different, and my ass is not the same size as a 100lb Italian jockey. I really like the WTB Pure V. It’s inexpensive, looks good and is comfortable. Yes, you can get something 10 grams lighter for $100 more, but if it feels like sitting on a 2x4 it’s not worth a damn. Try one of these first.
Tires, tires, tires!
On the road, like 5150s, just buy Gatorskins. I put over 3,000 miles on a set of these on my road bike and never had a single flat. They are great - smooth, fast, durable. Everyone at my LBS uses them, and for a reason. Know what sucks? Flats. Know what sucks less than flats? The fraction of a percentage less rolling resistance you’ll get with a lighter/thinner tire. Fuck flats. Get Gatorskins and pedal 1% harder.
On the trail I recommend Ardent EXOs for just about everyone. They come in different durability levels/compounds, and it all depends on how much you want to spend. I ride through a shitload of pointy rocks and roots, and never once had a sidewall rip on them in over 1000 miles of New England terrain.
Winter is coming
If you live somewhere cold, and don’t have a fat bike, you can still cycle through the winter and destroy your adversaries in the spring. Get one of these, but don’t buy it from Amazon. People sell them on Craigslist all the time, and they generally end up as dust collectors. My brother got one in mint condition for around $150. Road bike only (so you can’t use your trail bike on them) but this thing is fantastic for the money. As a bonus, you can get a cadence sensor and a USB dongle and sign up for Zwift (VR riding) to get your Strava segment fix all winter long.
If you decide you’ll actually use it, I can’t say enough good things about the 12lb flywheel add-on for it. It gives you more realistic spindown so you can coast more, and spin up quicker for sprints.
Track it with style.
Since this is the sort-of-budget thread, here’s the best bang for your buck inexpensive GPS to get. The 500 kicks ass. Lots of stats, battery lasts forever, supports all the external goodies.
But don’t use the shitty elastic mounts that they come with. Drop $20 for peace of mind on a proper bar fly. These are especially important for the trail because you want that $200+ delicate electronic device out of harm’s way. Get it over your stem and not out in front, so that if you go OTB you don’t take it with you.
Don’t overtorque things like a tool.
Just about everything on your bike is specced for 5Nm of torque. Toruque wrenches are expensive. This is not. It’s $22 and will prevent you from overtorquing bolts and breaking shit.
Graphs n’ Stuff
Lastly, don’t forget to sign up on Strava and join the MG group so we can all give you kudos. Stats make everything better.