The price of a pair of cycling shoes is one of the most basic things a cyclist needs.
But a new study suggests that there are a number of things you can buy that are just as important to maintaining your comfort and fitness as a pair.
It’s no secret that many people like to ride their bike to work, and the latest data from the Australian Cycling Foundation shows that people from all walks of life are more likely to wear cycling gear, with over half of those aged over 35 being active cyclists.
But the research also shows that buying the right gear can help keep you fit and comfortable, with those who regularly ride their bikes spending on average around $50 more per month than those who don’t.
The research found that those who used a bike to get to work spent an average of $10 more per week on their gym membership compared to those who didn’t.
This may not seem like a big amount, but the average annual expenditure for a gym membership is around $100, which is more than double the amount spent on bike maintenance.
“It’s the amount of money that goes into getting your bike running and looking good every time you get on your bike, not just in terms of the money spent, but also the money that comes from your health and fitness and your overall wellbeing,” said Mark Wilson, a researcher at the University of Western Sydney.
For those who are interested in cycling, Wilson said there are some basic items that should be on the table.
“There’s no point wearing the wrong cycling shoe, so what’s the best cycling shoe for you?
A good pair of shoes that are good in every way.
If you’re getting fit but you’re not doing it right, you can probably buy some new ones,” he said.”
What I think that people need to look at is if you’re a cyclist, how do you maintain the same level of fitness as someone who doesn’t?”
Another key item is purchasing a pair that fit your foot well, Wilson explained.
The researchers found that cycling shoes that have a wider heel, with the sole of the shoe at least 12 inches (30cm) wide, were more likely than those with a narrow heel to offer support to the foot.
“It seems to be more about the shape of the heel and the shape and the depth of the toe, so if you have a narrower toe, it might be better to wear a wider shoe,” he explained.
“If you’ve got a narrower heel, you might want to buy a pair with a wider toe, or a narrower shoe.”
While cycling shoes are an essential part of any cycling gear wardrobe, it’s not the only thing you should be considering.
One of the key benefits of a bike is that you can easily ride with your feet flat on the ground.
Research has found that the average Australian is able to cycle for about an hour a day, with most people able to achieve this on the bike, Wilson added.
“It doesn’t matter how tall you are or how big you are, you should have good foot health,” he added.
There are a range of other reasons why you might choose to wear your bike as your sole, including comfort and support, Wilson found.
What are your top cycling tips?
“I’m not going to say anything crazy here, but if you are a person who doesn ‘t like to be on a bike, I would definitely consider buying some new shoes,” Wilson said.
This is not the first study that has suggested that cycling can improve your wellbeing.
In 2014, a study published in the journal Environmental Health found that people who cycled more often were less likely to suffer from heart disease, depression, and osteoarthritis, among other health issues.
A study published by the American Heart Association in 2017 found that a 10-minute ride on a cycle could reduce your risk of dying by as much as 10%.
“People should not be worried about the cost of their exercise, but about the quality of their fitness,” Wilson concluded.
Do you know more about this story?
If you’re still interested in the science behind why you should cycle, check out the ABC’s Cycling for Life podcast, featuring Dr Peter Tompkins, a leading expert in the field of cycling and wellbeing.