Challenge yourself and ride a Sportive
Sportives are organised events that encourage you and other riders of all levels to get out and ride! Each event offers you a variety of course lengths and difficulty levels, allowing you to choose a challenge that suits your level of fitness and ability. To get started we have created a checklist to guide you through what items you need to take to get the most out of a Sportive event.
- Performance sunglasses
- Cycle shoes
- Cycle jerseys
- Waterproof jackets
- Inner tubes
- CO2 pumps
- Tyre levers
To learn more about the products in our Sportive checklist read our short guide below. Good luck with your ride – see you at the finish line!
While many riders will ride a Sportive on a standard road bike, there are also Sportive friendly road bikes that have been designed to be fast, light and more comfortable for longer rides. These bikes often come with relaxed head angles, softer rear stays and a more upright riding position. It's essential to make sure your bike is in good working order. Check that your brakes are aligned and that your drivetrain is shifting smoothly. It may be best to take your bike in for a service prior to riding in a Sportive.
Road Helmets are compulsory for sportive events and should be the very first item to tick off on your sportive essentials checklist. Modern helmets are designed to draw the air across the head when you are travelling at speed; keeping you cool and comfortable.
The best helmet is the one that fits you the best, so measuring your head circumference before purchase is recommended. Most modern helmets have great retention cradle systems which allow you to tailor a fit to your head size, often with just a one handed adjustment of a dial.
Wearing a pair of cycle specific sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun, wind, rain and any debris that may come up from the road. It's essential that your glasses give you clarity of vision while riding; you can choose clear lenses in the rain or coloured lenses for sunny conditions. Another important factor is stability; your glasses will need to stay in place as you ride, so it's important that you select a pair that have a comfortable and secure fit. Wiggle stocks a wide range of sunglasses from big hitting brands such as Oakley, Adidas, Rudy Project and DHB.
If you want to get the most out of any Sportive it’s essential to have a basic understanding of nutrition products. Making sure that your body is properly fuelled before and during an event is key to maintaining your form and performing as well as you can. Additionally, nutritional and energy supplements can help to reduce the risk of injury by making sure your muscles maintain the power to support you as you run, swim, cycle or work out.
Energy drinks primarily deliver carbohydrates to your body so you can maintain your performance during strenuous physical activity. Energy gels are ideal for Sportives as they come in lightweight sachets that are easy to carry. Energy bars are ideal for pre and mid event nutrition; and are high in slow-release complex carbohydrates.
Cycle shoes come in different widths and volumes to accommodate a wide range of feet sizes. Some manufacturers make different widths and models. As a rough guide Sidi and Mavic are perceived as being a little narrower than the neutral brands of Shimano, Pearl Izumi and Spiuk. All of the shoes mentioned have a normal volume to the shoe, except for the wide fitting models that Shimano provide and the Sidi Mega which offers more volume. Brands such as Northwave and DMT offer a little bit more room in the toe box area, both in the area of width and volume.
Jerseys that are designed for road cycling will use a wicking fabric which have three (sometimes a hidden zipped fourth) pockets on the rear to use for storing jackets, gilets, food, tools and tubes. When choosing a jersey having a 3/4 or full zip will allow you to ventilate yourself whether it’s on a long climb or if you’re getting hot through effort or climatic conditions. The more you spend on a jersey the better the fabric and construction is, be it from a wicking perspective, longevity or the quality of construction which goes right down to the stitching.
It’s important to understand how unpredictable the weather can be. A good idea is to plan for possible wet weather by taking a waterproof cycle jacket. This can significantly improve your comfort levels on the bike when the weather takes a turn for the worst. Wiggle stocks a wide range of waterproof jackets using high-tech fabrics to offer you the very best in breathability, protection and dryness.
When participating in a Sportive, we recommend you bring a minimum of two to three inner tubes There are two main things to consider when choosing inner tubes: size and valve type. There are two valve types available: Schrader and Presta. Wiggle stock high quality inner tubes for you and your bike. In addition to your inner tubes, it's advisable to bring tyre levers and a lightweight pump.
CO2 pumps offer an alternative to the traditional manual pump for riders who want a portable pump that gets the job done quickly. By using mini canisters of CO2 these pumps are designed to inflate a tyre in a few seconds to a suitable riding pressure to get you home. They are perfect for use in a timed event situation where every second is critical, using a CO2 inflator takes a couple of seconds rather than a couple of minutes for a pump.
Tyre levers are used to lever the tyre off the rim. Most tyre levers are made from plastic and are designed to flex under load. You should pack 2-3 tyre levers in your saddle bag, to use in the event that you puncture and need to remove the tyre.
Multi Tools are ideal for Sportives as they are full of fantastic features in a lightweight and compact package. They come equipped with a wide range of allen keys that will enable you to repair or adjust components on your bike.