The right combination of accessories can make the cycling experience safer and more enjoyable. Whether you’re a recreational cyclist, a commuter, or someone who likes to take casual rides on the weekends, no rider should be without these 10 must-have cycling accessories.
Helmet: For Protection and Safety
Wearing a helmet is a no-brainer, or more accurately, the best way to protect your skull and brain from severe injury. Helmets can absorb and dissipate the force of impact, reducing the risk of severe head trauma during accidents or falls.
When choosing a bike helmet, ensure it meets safety standards and certifications set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Your helmet should fit snugly without being too tight or loose. An adjustable chin strap is crucial for comfort and security. Consider the helmet's ventilation, weight, and style to ensure maximum comfort and enjoyment while riding. By selecting a well-fitting and high-quality bike helmet, you can prioritize your safety and protect your most valuable asset—your noggin!
Lights: To Make You Visible
Ensuring you’re visible during low light conditions is crucial for your safety. A good set of bicycle lights can make you noticeable to motorists, reducing the chances of a roadside accident.
In addition to front-facing lights and rear taillights, you can attach lights to your helmet, wheels, and bike saddles. Helmet lights provide an additional point of visibility, allowing you to be seen from different angles. Headlamps can help you see the road when daylight fades.
Wheel lights mounted on the spokes create a vibrant ring of light as the wheels spin, making cyclists highly visible from the side. Lights or reflectors for bike saddles are small and discreet yet effective in increasing visibility from behind. By investing in a combination of these lights, you can significantly enhance your visibility and safety on the road.
Lock: To Protect Your Bike From Theft
When you buy a bike, you want to protect your investment. Bike theft is unfortunately common, but you can safeguard your bike with a reliable bike lock. Invest in a high-quality U-lock for extra security to give you peace of mind that your bike will be where you left it when you return from shopping or eating out with friends.
Spare Tube: In Case of a Flat Tire
Getting a flat tire when you're miles away from home can turn a wonderful adventure into an awful ordeal. It may seem like a small piece of equipment, but a spare tire can make all the difference in getting you home safely.
You can easily replace a punctured or blown-out tire and get back to riding. Carry a tire that fits your bike and the necessary tools to replace a damaged tire on the go.
Bike Pump: To Refill Your Tires When Needed
A bike pump is an essential tool for every cyclist, as it enables quick and easy tire inflation on the go. Whether you're embarking on a long-distance ride, exploring mountain trails, or commuting to work, maintaining tire pressure is crucial for your comfort and safety.
Water Bottle: To Hydrate
Water bottles and water bottle cages are essential accessories for any cyclist, regardless of their skill level or the distance they ride.
Staying hydrated while cycling is crucial for your health and endurance. Water bottles allow you to hydrate while you ride. A water bottle cage keeps your bottle in place even during bumpy rides or intense maneuvers. Whether it's a leisurely ride or an intense training session, hydration is necessary for your enjoyment and safety while cycling.
Chain Lubricant: To Maintain a Smooth Ride
A good-quality chain lubricant can keep your bike's performance top-notch. Not only does it reduce friction and wear, but it also protects your chain from rust and corrosion. It’s important to pick the right lubricant based on your riding conditions, so determine whether you’ll ride in dry or wet conditions. Don't overlook the importance of taking care of your bike's chain! A well-lubricated chain allows for a smoother ride and extends the life of your bicycle.
Gloves: For a Firm Grip and To Prevent Blisters
Cycling gloves are necessary accessories for any cyclist. One of the primary advantages of cycling gloves is the improved grip they provide on the handlebars. The palms of cycling gloves are often padded or have silicone patterns that enhance your grip, ensuring a secure hold on the handlebars. You won’t have to worry about sweaty hands while wearing your cycling gloves!
An enhanced grip translates to better control over your bike, especially during fast descents or challenging terrain. Cycling gloves also act as a protective barrier between your hands and the handlebars, helping to prevent blisters.
Bike Shorts: For Cycling Comfort
While wearing jeans or shorts may be okay for a short, casual ride, you should wear biking shorts for longer treks. They feature a snug fit and padded chamois for comfort and support during long rides. Bike shorts reduce chafing and improve your performance.
They aren’t just for competitive cyclists! Recreational riders can benefit from a good pair of bike shorts that make riding more comfortable, so longer rides are more viable.
Sweat-Diverting Headband: To Maintain Clear Vision
The best type of sweatband for cycling will keep sweat out of your eyes for the full duration of your ride. There's nothing more annoying than sweat dripping into your eyes while you're riding. It stings and can blur your vision, which is a safety hazard when cycling.
Fabric headbands are okay until they’re not: they rapidly become saturated with sweat, which will just run down your forehead anyway. Plus, you’ll have to adjust the fit of your helmet to accommodate a regular sweatband. However, a sweat-diverting headband will channel sweat away from your eyes toward the sides of your face, where it can drop off harmlessly. Thin, lightweight sweat-channeling strips, like the Veo Strip, won’t trap heat against your face, so you won’t overheat during those intense summer cycling adventures.
Adding these 10 must-have accessories to your gear before embarking on a cycling adventure will ensure an enjoyable and safe ride.