Bicycles and Equipment


Road, cyclocross and hybrid bikes are best suited to club rides, although some members use mountain bikes. Mountain bikes, with wider and softer tires, offer more rolling resistance, and hence require more effort for the same distance.  The best choice for a given ride will be dictated by the planned route – e.g., road vs. gravel. Although riding an appropriate bike is helpful, it is more important to select a group whose speed you can comfortably match for the duration of the ride. 

Your bicycle should be in good working condition – if a mechanical failure occurs, the rest of the group will be affected and may be placed at risk. Be sure to check your tires and brakes before the ride!   

It is your responsibility to ensure that your bicycle complies with provincial legal requirements.  In Ontario, for example, all bicycles must have working brakes and a bell, gong or horn.  Quebec has broader requirements, including reflectors and reflective tape.  Consult the following sites for further details. 

Ontario:  (see section VI- Equipment) 



You should not have a kickstand on your bike when participating in group rides.  A kickstand poses a risk to your fellow riders.  

Aero Bars

The use of aerobars is not permitted in OBC group rides.  It is not necessary to remove them from your bike; just do not use them.  Aero bars increase your reaction time (e.g., to brake) plus you do not have the same control that you would with your hands on your handlebars, both of which can compromise the safety of the group. 


Helmets must be worn at all times on OBC rides. 


The use of mirrors is optional but highly encouraged. By using a mirror, you can see behind you without turning your head and body. They allow you to see traffic approaching from behind and, equally important, to keep track of the riders in the group behind you. You can see if riders are struggling, getting dropped, or stopping. Using mirrors can go a long way to keeping a group together and riding smoothly. 


The OBC does not normally schedule rides that cannot be completed before dark.  However, particularly for evening rides, it is possible that flat tires or mechanical issues could delay the completion of a ride.  All riders should be equipped with head- and tail-lights for club rides where darkness is a possibility.