Besides buying the right bike, you need to think about the other things that can help you maintain it properly and keep it in a good shape for a long time. For instance, cyclists are supposed to have a cycling tool kit should a need for repair arise.
However, you can be easily overwhelmed by all the additional accessories that shops recommend. Some of them are important but not all are essential. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an active cyclist or an occasional one, or whether you ride to compete or just for commuting, there are several useful accessories that can come in handy in many situations.
Bike Locks: Keep Your Prized Possession Protected from Theft
A bike lock is the first must-have bike accessory. Why? Because you’ve spent money on a bike and it would be a shame to leave it to thieves. Thefts are a common occurrence and, unfortunately, they can happen to anyone. That’s why you need to choose a strong cycle lock that’ll keep your bike protected.
You can find all different kinds of locks, each with its pros and cons. No matter if you leave your bike on the street or inside, there are suitable locks. Also, you don’t even have to own a bike in order to get a lock. If you’re renting bikes, you want to keep them safe as if they were your own. Rental shops can provide a lock but always check to be sure.
Locks can be found in many different designs with many different features. For this reason, you should look for bike locks from trusted brands that are strongly built and that you can afford. Also, the location where you live and where you typically leave your bike unattended should be considered because areas, such as big cities and university campuses, are more prone to bike thefts.
Sometimes, it’s even better to get two different types of locks because thieves can target only a certain type that they have the tools for. So, having a second type will make it harder for them. You can find locks for bikes in many varieties but the typical ones are:
- D or U-Locks – They’re generally resistant, cheaper, and lighter than the other options;
- Chain Locks – They’re very strong, heavy, and can fit all bikes;
- Cable Locks – They’re light and flexible but don’t offer a high level of protection;
- Folding Locks – They’re easy to carry, light, and practical but the choice is limited.
Always choose your cycle lock according to the circumstances. It’s better and cheaper to invest in a good lock than to have to buy a new bike.
Baskets and Bags: Solution for Easily Transporting Your Things
Bike baskets and bags are essential accessories that cyclists can’t go without. Baskets are commonly used by commuters because they come in a variety of designs and are used to carry all kinds of things. When it comes to the materials, the choice is usually between wicker and steel baskets. Wicker baskets can be hard to incorporate into the aesthetics of your bike, while the metal ones match the bike’s metal construction. When choosing, consider the weight, durability, and your style.
You can also find bike bags for different purposes.
- Panniers can attach to the front or rear racks and come in various sizes;
- Saddle packs attach under the seat and are suitable for carrying smaller items;
- Handlebar packs attach to the bike’s handlebars and are typically used for things that you often use.
There are other types of bags and whichever you choose, make sure that it’s waterproof and easy to attach to your bike.
Bike Pumps: Be Prepared for Any Misfortune
You probably have a track pump at home but what about any unexpected disasters on the road? This is why you need a smaller pump to take everywhere with you. These are mini or portable pumps that are light and compact. The advantage is that you can carry them without worrying about the extra weight. Frame pumps are also hand pumps that are longer and more efficient. They’re bigger, so they might not be your first choice if you’re only riding casually across town but they’re a great addition for road cyclists.
Bike Lights: Become Visible and Illuminate the Road
If you’re cycling at night or after dark, you need bike lights to make you visible and enable you to see what’s in front of you. There are endless options for bike lights but check your local bike laws to see what’s required.
If you’re cycling in the city, there’s a lot of light so you don’t need big or very bright ones but you just need to make yourself visible to other people. For dark roads, bright and powerful bike lights are needed. If you tend to ride your bike on both types of roads, you can choose adjustable lights on which you can change the setting depending on your needs.
The lumens of a light show the brightness, so the greater they are, the brighter the light is. For well-lit streets, up to 300 lumens should be enough so other people can see you, while for completely unlit roads, go for lights with 800 or more lumens.
Helmets: There’s Nothing More Important than Safety
Since helmets aren’t mandatory in some places, people often disregard them. Cycling is pretty safe if you only cycle on streets but some people find it reassuring wearing one. Accidents happen, and it doesn’t have to be your fault. This is why we recommend that you find a good helmet that will make sure no bigger injuries occur.
There’s a wide variety of helmets on the market, and depending on the type of riding, you can choose the one which suits you best. Find a model that’s fitted to your style and isn’t too big or too small. In order to protect you, it should fit perfectly with the straps securely attached. It shouldn’t feel too heavy or too warm because it’ll only cause discomfort.