Make sure you buy shorts and jersey’s that wick moisture away from your skin. A well ventilated helmet will keep your head cool and good gloves to stop hands getting sweaty. Make sure to wear sunglasses to prevent you having to squint when riding with the sun in front of you. Glasses with interchangeable lenses can be used in all weather conditions.
There’s an almost endless list of accessories you can get to improve your ride. From items that improve your bike, to items that keep you safe. You can take a pump, a mini tool pack (inc. Allen keys, chain breaker etc.) bike lights, reflectors, a bell, bottle holders with bottles, a good bike lock and a cycling ruck sack. You can also have a saddle bag and a top tube bag to hold your phone, wallet and battery pack (for longer rides).
Clip less pedals improve performance by up to about 40%. Good tyres can prevent punctures and/or reduce the weight of the bike and improve your ride. Good wheels can improve the aerodynamics and weight of the bike. Mudguards prevent you getting wet as well as other riders behind you in the rain. Brakes and brake pads can improve braking power. The faster you can stop, the faster you can travel safely.
Keeping your bicycle clean and tuned up is essential for a comfortable, safe ride. Cleaning chemicals, such as Muc-Off, will help scrub off dirt from the drive train with the right tools. Special tools can be used to true your wheels allowing them to spin with minimal lateral and radial movement. Appropriate lubricant must be applied to your chain to prevent it rusting. Other specialist tools are required to change certain components on your bikes such as pedals or bottom brackets.
A GPS device such as a Garmin or a mobile phone app such as Strava can record your rides and map them for future reference. They can calculate your progress through taking your distance travelled, height climbed and your speed. A bicycle computer can also do this. Finally heart rate monitors are a great way of improving your performance and pacing yourself during those longer rides.