Olympic cyclist, Jaco Van Gass, tells us what’s in his bag
In this month's LifeKit, LifeJacket Ambassador and Paralympic gold medal-winning cyclist, Jaco Van Gass, tells us which five items he counts as his kit bag essentials.
If you're cycling mad and looking for kit inspiration, check out Jaco's top hits. This is a must read!
Over to you Jaco...
Open UP Gravel Bike
Definitely one of the main ‘tools’ I can’t go without. I love the look and colour (I’ve got it in orange). It’s just so versatile and durable which is what I like about it most. It’s one bike that can take different kinds of wheels. It’s predominantly a gravel bike but I travel and train a lot on it because I can have one frame but just switch up the wheel for a different experience. I can go offroad with the gravel wheels, explore and have a ton of fun, bringing that fun element back into cycling. And when I need to be more serious or faster, I can join a group ride and whack in a set of ENVE road wheels and you have a very decent, very fast, road bike. The look, feel and comfort but, above all, the versatility are what I love the most here.
Pas Normal Studios Mechanism range
I love the feel, comfort and style of this kit. It’s very elegantly simple. Nothing too lairy. Just nice plain colours blending in nicely. The fit is great. It’s quite a tight, compression fit so it has a performance element to it, especially the bib shorts. Generally, just a good look and a great feel that I love. As you know, looking good is half way there!
POC Octal helmet
I’ll never ever leave the house on my bike without a helmet. Safety comes first. It’s vital we always wear a helmet. I’ve seen so many really bad head injuries with people not wearing helmets. It’s just totally unnecessary and can be prevented. The POCC is light, it’s stylish, the ventilation is good and it comes with the added MIPS safety feature so if you do have a fall, the impact is spread around the helmet which can help reduce concussion.
It’s a fantastic recovery tool. I find it extremely useful for recovery after long rides but especially during my days on the track. After short, sharp efforts or a couple of laps going really hard, you can build up a lot of lactate in your muscles. I come straight off the track, get off the bike and have the Theragun ready to release the muscles and use it to try and get rid of as much lactate as possible before the next effort. I also feel like it keeps my muscles constantly in a ready mode so even if I rest for a while and get cold, I can have a quick blast and feel ready, warm and good to go.
WHOOP fitness band
Over the past couple of years, I’ve learned to rely on this, capturing the data on how I feel and what I’m doing. I find it very useful using it as a guide, listening to my body and then seeing what WHOOP says. I can see real differences in things like resting heart rate when I’m ill or over training. It’s a great indicator that my body is tired and not in a state to train. Equally, I can feel tired but WHOOP is telling me that I’m OK so I know I can push myself. I use the metrics as a guide for my nutrition, fueling and recovery so it’s really useful for me as a professional athlete. But, like I say, it’s just a guide and sometimes I ignore it completely!