Essential accessories for you and your bike
Many people cycle happily in their normal clothes, possibly with just a rucksack to carry things.
There are a number of cycling accessories that can make your time on two wheels easier, safer and more comfortable. Some are essential, while others are nice to have.
- A Lock
If you leave your bike on the street at all, you’re going to need to lock it up. This is one area where you truly get what you pay for: good locks are not cheap, but the best ones will resist anything short of power tools, and so make a thief look elsewhere.
It’s impossible to be certain how good a lock is just by looking at it. Sold Secure provides independent ratings for locks — gold, silver and bronze — and can offer some peace of mind as to the quality of a lock.
If you need to leave your bike on the street, or need to secure your bike at home, investing in a quality lock is a small price to pay to avoid the inconvenience of a long walk home and, more significantly, the cost of a new bike.
There are many options when it comes to cycling luggage for carrying things on a bike, from a simple saddle bag for essential spares, to a full set of racks and panniers loaded with enough gear to cross continents. What’s best depends on the type of riding you’re doing.
It’s typically compact and can be used to carry the kind of spares you might need in the event of a roadside mechanical.
You can also use it to stash a banknote, in case you need to make an unexpected purchase or forget your wallet on a ride, and maybe an energy gel — to stave off an unexpected hunger knock!
For riding around town, consider a small, compact rucksack with compression straps to keep the contents stable, or a courier-style shoulder bag.
Bags on your body have the advantage of easily coming with you off the bike. For some people, the combination of a rucksack and the drop handlebars found on a road bike is simply uncomfortable.
Everything needs to stuff into the bags though, so they’re not so good for bulky, inflexible items.
3. Front & Rear Lights
Essential if you’re cycling at night — or there’s even a chance of getting caught out after dark — lights can do two jobs: make you visible and illuminate the road.
In the city, there’s likely to be enough ambient light that you just need small, fairly bright units so other road users can see you, and they can be combined with reflectors to increase your profile.
For unlit roads, you need something more powerful. In the last few years, the development of extremely efficient, bright LEDs and lithium-ion rechargeable batteries has resulted in compact lights that pack incredible power.
High-powered lights are essential for mountain biking but also extremely useful for road riding on unlit routes.
4. Pump, Spares & Tools
If you’re a road cyclist with a dedicated winter bike, a frame pump is a worthwhile addition to your off-season setup.
There’s a wide range of options out there when it comes to multi-tools. Some offer the basic tools required for quick on-the-bike adjustments, such as changing your saddle height or tightening loose bolts; others are equipped for more significant repairs.
Is a helmet essential? It depends. In some places, wearing a bicycle helmet is mandatory by law, but if that’s not the case where you are, cycling is much safer than you might think, especially if you observe a few simple techniques.
Your chances of having a serious crash just riding around town are very small, which is why you don’t see helmets on the heads of everyday cyclists in many European towns and cities. On the other hand, many people find wearing a helmet reassuring.
For types of riding where there’s a significant risk of a crash that doesn’t involve a motor vehicle, such as mountain biking, a quality helmet is a very sensible addition.
If a helmet’s going to be effective at all, it needs to be properly fitted and securely attached to your head, which means it should be level, covering your forehead, and the straps should be snug.
If you think we missed any cycle accessories, do comment and let us know.
Also, have you heard about Cycle Insurance? If not then let us take you on a new journey!!