Essential Biking Accessories Every Cyclist Should Have
After hours of research spent to find the perfect bike, the second concern of a neo-biker is that of finding the perfect biking accessories. A daunting task if we consider that most cycling gear shops are full of items that are not exactly essentials.
Essential Biking Accessories Every Cyclist Should HaveBut after all, what are the essential biking accessories every cyclist should have? Here is a list of other useful things and accessories that will transform cycling into a marvelous experience.
Essential Biking Accessories For All Cyclists
Cycling is divided into multiple disciplines and each of them requires different accessories. Nevertheless, some of them are must-haves regardless of the discipline. Either you are commuting or practicing cycling at a professional level, you will need the following gear.
1. Protective Equipment
Protective equipment is the most important among the biking accessories, yet many neo-cyclists believe it is essentials for professional cyclists alone. While it is true that the protective equipment varies from one discipline to the other, some elements should be at the top of the list for everyone.
The first and foremost important is the helmet. Commuters should choose a lightweight and breathable cycling helmet suitable to be used in the city. A simple cycling helmet is usually enough for those practicing road cycling too.
Things change if you practice mountain biking or endure disciplines. In these cases, a full-face helmet is usually recommended.
Gloves are also essential. They have a double functionality, that of improving grip and that of protecting your hands if you fall.
Knee and elbow pads are recommended especially to the newbies or to those who practice freestyle or off-road cycling.
2. Safety Equipment
Often, there is a general confusion between protective and safety equipment. Yet, they don’t actually mean the same thing. Safety equipment goes beyond personal protection and it is usually related to that equipment or gear that makes cyclists visible in traffic.
Reflective cycling gear usually refers to various types of garments, although reflective rims or stickers mounted on the bike make part of the same category.
When it comes to garments, there are many options to choose from, such as reflective vests, cycling shoes, jackets, and more.
Either you are commuting or traveling by bike, a backpack is an essential biking accessory. The main mistake many commuters make is to consider messenger bags and cross-body purses suitable options to carry their essentials on the bike.
Nevertheless, these bags represent a true hazard to safety. In most cases, these bags might slip over or interfere with the pedaling and they can easily make you lose balance.
On the other hand, they are far from being an option when cycling for leisure or professional sports activity.
On the contrary of the cross-body bags, backpacks are easy and safe to carry on a bike. Moreover, there are dozens of models available on the market, suitable for various purposes.
If you are using your bike for commuting, then a simple backpack should be enough. For longer journeys or off-road activities, there are specially designed cycling backpacks that can be secured around the waist with straps and that feature hydration bags and other interesting add-ons.
4. Bike Repair Kit
A bike repair kit is another essential biking accessory to have with you at all times. The tools to include in a kit vary depending on personal circumstances, but in all cases, you should include at least a set of Allen keys, a pump, spare air chambers, and tires.
If you are planning a trip by bike, your bike repair kit should also include a new chain, a set of wrenches and at least a good screwdriver.
If you think a bike repair kit would take up too much space in your backpack, then try to take with you at least a multi tool and the air pump.
5. Anti-Theft Gadgets
Among the most important biking accessories, we can also mention the anti-theft gadgets. In fact, unless you never leave your bike unattended, these gadgets will guarantee that your bike will wait for you exactly where you left it.
Unfortunately, many cyclists settle for a simple padlock and a chain, yet these anti-theft measures are hardly enough.
To keep your bike safe, invest in a smart bike lock that connects to your mobile phone through an App and alerts you in real time of any changes. The smart bike locks are usually fitted with alarms that discourage thieves from stealing your bike and many of them feature GPS tracking systems.
A separate GPS tracking system hidden in the handlebar, for example, is another essential gadget to have. In this way, even if thieves managed to take your bike, you’ll still know exactly where to find it.
6. Bike Bell
Some cyclists won’t consider a bike bell an essential biking accessory, yet this item can prove to be useful in many circumstances.
For this reason, a bike bell is essential even on an enduro bike.
In fact, in most of the cases, getting from your home to wherever you want to cycle involves becoming part of the traffic. As such, you should be able to warn pedestrians or car drivers of your presence.
To many of us, lights will seem an obvious biking accessory to have. Nevertheless, you might be surprised to find out how many cyclists actually ignore their importance.
The ones who usually consider lights an optional are the newbies who believe they will never cycle in the evening or during nighttime. However, even if this is the case, lights are still a must.
Both front and rear lights are important and they are useful for many things not only for lighting up the road or trail. In many cases, lights also act as safety equipment being more visible to the other participants in the traffic than the reflective gear.
Fenders, also known as mudguards, couldn’t have missed from our list. They are important for commuters, road cyclists, or for off-road disciplines.
The role of the fenders is that of preventing mud and water from splashing on your clothes. Moreover, they also prevent mud from getting onto other vehicles or cyclists that might cycle behind you on a rainy day.
Although essential, few bikes come equipped with fenders. Fortunately, many models of bikes including road bikes, mountain bikes, and city bikes come with the necessary mounts installed on the frame, so it will be easy to actually install them.
On the other hand, if your bike doesn’t have fender mounts, you should know that there are available fenders that fit bikes without mounts. Their efficiency is not always the best; yet, if you search the market thoroughly, you should be able to find a few excellent accessories.
9. Smartphone Mount
In a world in which a smartphone is one of the most important objects, having a smartphone mount on the bike is a must. This accessory is useful for numerous reasons, beginning with the possibility of keeping the beloved device under control at all times.
This accessory might be less useful to those practicing off-road disciplines. Nevertheless, all the others will appreciate being able to check the time or enable the GPS without hassle.
As you could expect, there are many options to choose from. However, maybe the best solution is to choose a universal smartphone mount that fits handlebars of all sizes and can accommodate smartphones of various dimensions.
Underrated yet extremely important, quality eyewear is another important accessory to consider. When commuting or cycling on the road, a cyclist can travel with up to 30 mph especially if the road is descending. At such a speed, insects, dust, and debris can pose a major risk.
Wearing adequate glasses is not only important for this reason. Cycling glasses can also help you see the road better by reducing brightness.
Many cycling glasses come with photochromic lenses that change their characteristics based on the environmental light. These glasses are the best as you will be able to wear them even during nighttime.
Nice Biking Accessories To Have
Besides the essential biking accessories reminded above, there are a few accessories that are not essential, yet having them might improve your overall cycling experience.
1. Bicycle Computer
If you are planning to achieve some cycling performances, a bicycle computer is a type of gear that can help you meet your plans.
On the market, there are dozens of models of cycling computers available, ranging from simple devices that show the speed to devices able to track routes, store workout plans and monitor your journey through GPS. Some of them are even equipped with sensors that monitor your heart rate and cardiac activity.
The simplest bike computers are useful if you only want to keep track of your speed and record individual performances.
The others are useful if you want to use them for multiple purposes, such as navigation systems. The most advanced models can even connect to your phone and display important information on your device.
2. Cup Or Bottle Holder
Cup or bottle holders are not necessary but really useful to have. If you commute by bike, you might appreciate the idea of being able to sip your cup of coffee without stopping. In addition, a cup holder can also keep your beverage safe until you reach the destination.
On the other hand, a bottle holder can be useful in all situations. Bottle holders are suitable for all types of bikes and are designed to keep your bottle of water within easy reach.
Models vary from traditional metal cages to lightweight carbon fiber holders and most of them are compatible with all types of bikes.
3. Storage Basket
Lastly, an accessory useful, especially in the city, is the storage basket. It can be mounted either on the handlebar or on the rear of the bike and it is ideal if you want to buy some groceries on your way home.
Although designed mainly for city bikes, some storage baskets are also suitable to use on road bikes as well.
If you plan to make a long journey on the bike, or if you just need a bike repair kit storage solution, then investing in a bike luggage bag might be a better option.
In this case, you can also choose between a bag to mount on the handlebar or behind the saddle. For small items or for a tool kit you can opt for a small bag or case mounted under the saddle.
Without accessories, cycling would probably be dull and unsafe. In fact, before riding for the first time, every neo-cyclist should think about a list of biking accessories essential for his individual circumstances.
In addition to the accessories listed above, you might find out that your preferred discipline or your cycling style might require other gear as well.
The best thing to do is to start building your essential biking accessories kit with the items reminded above, then add on any other essential items you might need. And remember that safe and comfortable cycling happens majorly because of the accessories!