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    What to Pack - Top 5 Items to Take on a Bike Trip in Ireland

    What will you need to wear and pack on your next bike trip to Ireland? Find out here.

    By Darragh Devaney, Operations Manager
    More by Darragh

    Packing for Ireland Bike Tours

    From the rugged spaces of Donegal to the coasts of Connemara and the mountains of the Kerry Peninsulas, Ireland is perfect for biking. Not sure what you need to bring? Read this blog to learn what items you should pack on your next bike trip to Ireland.

    Many people travelling to Ireland believe it will rain constantly – and then they come away pleasantly surprised since Ireland is not even in the top ten countries with the highest average rainfall.

    However, be sure to pack your rain jacket since Irish weather can be unpredictable. In fact, Ireland can see all four seasons in one day. Ideally, you need a series of layers topped with a trusty Goretex waterproof jacket on hand, because you never know what weather system will greet you around the next corner, but you won’t be wearing it constantly. Learn what else you need below.

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    1. The Right Bike Clothes - Upper Body

    • Lightweight, waterproof and windproof jacket. Be sure to bring a jacket specifically designed for cycling so you don’t have an unnecessary hood and the jacket is long enough to fit correctly when in the biking position.
    • We recommend you start with base layer t-shirts or cycling jerseys. Avoid cotton. Ideally, pack cycling jerseys that use breathable and wicking fabric.
    • Next, pack some long-sleeved base layers. Ireland can be chilly and its ever-changing weather means you want to be prepared for those colder moments. We recommend Merino wool long-sleeved tops.
    • Lightweight fleece jacket or gilet. These are a great option to be able to whip on during a stop or picnic and are surprisingly windproof and cosy for something so light. We also love the elasticated armholes to ensure they’re not restricting while riding.

    2. The Right Bike Clothes - Lower Body

    Cycling in Donegal along Lough Swilly fjord

    Cycling in Donegal along Lough Swilly fjord

    • Padded lycra cycling shorts (or trousers). So you’ve fat-biked the Appalachian Trail and your bum is tougher than John McClane in Die Hard. Bear in mind that underneath it all, your rear-end is actually a sensitive soul, especially on a new saddle, making padded shorts perhaps the most important item in terms of riding comfort! Never tried lycra bib shorts? They may feel a little silly or strange at the start, but the extra level of comfort on the saddle on a week-long trip is ideal. We recommend well-fitted but breathable options.
    • Leggings or longs for riding. For those colder rides, particularly if you’re visiting in Spring or autumn, it’s worth bringing some leggings. They are warm and snug while the ankle zips mean they’re quick to get on and off during a ride. Do note that even a summer cycling trip to Ireland can have chilly mornings or drops in temperature, so we recommend bringing them even for summer trips.
    • Lightweight waterproof trousers/pants. You might want to pack waterproof but breathable unisex trousers.

    3. Cycling Footwear

    Tour de France Ireland bike

    • Trainers or cycling shoes. If you are most comfortable “clip-in” shoes, then don’t forget to pack the pedals and shoes you are used to you’re ready to use. It may be worth getting a touring shoe that clips in but also can be comfortably walked in for those scenic stops during each ride? In that case, we recommend these Women’s shoes from Shimano and similar options for Men. Your guide will help you fit the pedals on your bike on Day 1.
    • Socks for riding. It may seem overkill to get cycling-specific socks! However, these Merino wool socks are silky on your feet, breathable and naturally odour resistant.
    • Neoprene overshoes if you tend to get cold feet. If you experience cold toes regularly when you’re riding these overshoes are a great option to keep your shoes and feet more protected and insulated. They fit over a variety of shoe and clip-in combinations.
    • Casual walking shoes: You may also want to explore an out-of-the-way ruin in the evening, walk along the famous Cliffs of Moher or take a stroll on a secluded beach. We recommend that you bring a pair of tennis shoes/trainers along with you, in addition to whatever casual wear you may want to bring for dinners, evenings, etc.

    4. Saddles, Pedals, Helmets & More

    Pedaling the mountains of the Kerry Peninsulas

    Pedaling the mountains of the Kerry Peninsulas

    Saddle: Of course, we provide bike saddles on our bikes. But we know that some cyclists are attached to their gear and you may elect to bring your own saddle.

    Pedals: If you are using clip-in shoes, bring your own pedals to ensure everything fits. Your guide will help you fit your pedals on Day one during your bike fitting.

    Helmets: We have plenty of helmets of varying sizes, but some people may elect to bring their own. If this is the case, be sure you bring one that fits and is highly certified.

    Gloves are a must, either fingered on fingerless depending on how chilly your hands get.

    Water: Of course you need water! You’ve probably heard about the negative effects of single-use plastics. For that reason, we do not recommend or provide plastic bottles. We recommend you bring a reusable water bottle. We do have large water containers in the van to refill your bottle en route. Learn more about Wilderness Ireland’s Sustainability efforts here.

    5. Camera

    Top 5 Items to Take on a Cycling Holiday in Ireland Camera

    Cycling along the Wild Atlantic Way’s southwest coast

    Not strictly cycling gear, but we heartedly recommend you bring a camera. The ever-changing light in Ireland provides a dynamic flow of opportunities and challenges for those in search of the perfect pic, not to mention sweeping landscapes, marvellous beaches, ancient castles and colourful pubs. Wilderness Ireland’s provided handlebar bags are the perfect place to pop the camera (and a snack or two!) for easy access. 

    Bike Rental

    Some cyclists may opt to bring their own bikes with them for their biking trip. However most visitors will find lugging a cumbersome bike box around the world can hinter your travels, adding unnecessary stress (not to mention the fear of lost or damaged luggage).

    Many of our travellers on bike trips opt instead to rent or hire bikes from us. We currently have three bike types: Road, Hybrid, and e-bike options. All bikes are built by top cycling designer, Trek.

    Bike Rental Options

    Ireland's Climate Guide

    Take a Bike Tour in Ireland

    Meet the Author: Darragh Devaney

    “Joining Wilderness Ireland in 2015, Darragh is our Trip Operations Manager. He's also Wilderness Ireland's resident cycling expert! Darragh has travelled throughout the world - cycling across France, living abroad in South Korea, travelling through Canada and the US, but still prefers cycling in Ireland to anywhere else!”

    View profileMore by Darragh

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