Sportives are organised road cycling events, which encourage you and other riders of all levels, to get out and ride. The events are ridden on a supported course, with feed stations and route marking.
Each event normally 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 ensure that you don't forget anything essential ahead of your big ride, here is our Sportive Checklist.
The Wiggle Sportive Checklist
- Road Bike (in good working order)
- Cycle Jersey and Shorts
- Base Layer
- Waterproof Packable Jacket
- Leg Warmers and Arm Warmers
- Cycling Cap
- Cycling Shoes
- Cycling Gloves
- Spare Inner Tube, Puncture Repair Kit and Tyre Levers
- Daytime Running Lights
- Water Bottles
- Sports Nutrition
- Chamois Cream
To learn more about the products in our Wiggle Sportive Checklist, read more about the categories, below.
Good luck with your ride – see you at the finish line!
Road Bike - in good working condition
A road bike will provide you with the fastest, more comfortable bike to ride on a road cycling sportive event.
It is essential to make sure your bike is in good working order.
Road cycling helmets are compulsory for sportive events, and it 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.
Sunglasses should 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.
Cycling Jersey and Shorts
Cycling jerseys use a wicking fabric to keep you dry and comfortable. They also normally feature three rear pockets to store 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.
Cycling shorts feature a padded seat area, which helps to relieve pressure on your seat bones, and keep you comfortable. The tight Lycra material used in cycling shorts avoids annoying flapping and chafing.
Cycling Base Layer
Base layers for cycling are an often under-rated item; but they are essential to your riding comfort.
A good base layer will keep you warm and dry in winter, and cool and dry in summer.
Cycling Waterproof Jacket
It is always a good plan to be ready for possible wet weather, by taking a waterproof cycle jacket.
Modern cycling waterproofs are breathable, lightweight and durable; so you can be kept comfortable and dry whatever the season.
Leg Warmers and Arm Warmers
Leg warmers and arm warmers are a compact but often invaluable asset. You can add significant warmth to your short sleeved jersey and shorts combination, by adding in some warmers.
Keep the wind and rain off your head, and the sweat out of your eyes, with a simple cotton cycling cap. Great for stuffing in your kit bag, ready for changeable weather.
Don't forget your riding shoes!
Proper cycling shoes will make your ride a lot more comfortable; aiding power transfer, foot positioning and reducing the chance of injury.
In the winter a pair of cycling gloves will keep your hands warm. In the summer, they'll help to provide grip and cushioning for your palms.
Cycling gloves are a great accessory to have, and well worth adding to your sportive kit.
Handpump and Multitool
A portable handpump will help you inflate your tyres when they aren't up to pressure, or to inflate a new tube after repairing a puncture.
A multi-tool will allow you to tighten loose bolts, and if you have one with a chain-tool, you can fix a broken chain.
Spare Inner Tube, Puncture Repair Kit and Tyre Levers
We recommend that you take 2 spare inner tubes on a sportive, just in case you puncture twice. We also recommend that you take a patch-kit, so you can repair the tube if you puncture a third time or more.
To get your tyre off the rim, you'll need a set of good quality strong tyre levers.
Daytime Running Lights
Staying visible out on the road is crucial to your safety. We all know that we should use lights at night, but it is also well worth using them during the day. With new lights such as those from Lezyne featuring "Daytime Bright" settings, they are visible even in bright sunshine; so they can increase your road presence significantly.
Don't forget to take your water bottles. You should be able to fill these up at the feed stations along route, but we recommend taking two 750ml water bottles at least.
Finally, if you want to get the most out of any Sportive, then it is 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 performance.
Protect yourself from saddle sores. A good chamois cream will help to reduce friction in the saddle and contains anti-bacterial agents to minimise the chance of infection.