Cycling in Finland

Cyclist's equipment

You will probably carry your equipment with you, so you should only take what you really need. And there is only one good way to learn to pack properly – experience!

The bicycle

The cyclist's single most important piece of equipment is a suitable bicycle. We recommend a cross (hybrid) bike, standard bike, touring bike, road bike or the more unusual new recumbent bike. Mountain bikes have wide tyres that are cumbersome to pedal and do not roll smoothly, and they are poorly suited for standard cycling tourist routes. They are not intended for high speeds, so they utilise a more upright posture than bicycles intended for road cycling. A regular 7-gear touring bike with a normal handlebar is a great choice.

Additional equipment

Recommended additional equipment include rear-view mirrors, bell and lights to increase safety. Watertight saddlebags may come in useful. You can get some for 20 euros, the most expensive ones costing over 100 euros. The difference is in the material, whether the bag is watertight and if it has reflectors. It also makes a difference how easy the bag is to mount on the bicycle and how sturdily it sits on it. Most saddlebag types sit on the rear rack, on the sides or on the pannier rack. Not all manufacturers supply all types of models. Side saddlebags are the most popular accessory. There are also bags that sit on the handlebar or under the seat as well as different map and GPS holders. Most sport equipment and cycling retail outlets sell a number of options. You can also search for saddlebags on Google and check prices and features. The bicycle should have both a cable and a U lock. You can use regular pedals or clip-in pedals that require cycling shoes or a combination of these. If you are unfamiliar with clip-in pedals, a cycling tour is not the right time to get used to them. Adjustments of clip-in pedals must be made correctly, or you can get serious pains in your knees.

Check your spoke reflectors before setting off. If you cycle in the dark, you might want to wear an extra reflector on your clothing. Speedometers and odometers are handy accessories to view the progress of your journey. A map holder is a useful and convenient accessory. Before you set off, always remember to check the tyre pressures, brakes and chains.

Clothing

Regular outdoor clothes are fine on your journey, and you do not need special cycling clothing. Use the following as a checklist:

Trousers for cycling
Normal and thermal underwear
Protective middle layer
Waterproof outer layer
T-shirts
Shorts with pockets
Swimwear
Thin and thick pairs of socks
Cycling helmet
Cycling shoes and sandals
Regular clothing for evening wear
Bicycle equipment
Proper and broken-in touring bicycle
Watertight saddlebags and packbag on the luggage rack
Lock
Chain lock for equipment
Inner tube, tyre, puncture repair kit and pump
Spare spokes
Brake pads, brake cable and spare cable
Universal tool
Chain cutter
Park tool and bottom bracket tool
Other important things to remember
Route maps and guides, map of roadworks
Spare spectacles and sunglasses
Torch
Neck pouch and wallet
Small compass
Note pad and pen
Small radio and earphones
First aid kit and medicines (for headache and diarrhoea, water purifying tablets)
Toiletries
Sun screen and lip balm
Camera, spare batteries, films and camera bag