Top 10 Essentials for Bike Riders
It's Not Just About the Bike
So, you’ve got the bike, now you need the gear. The exhilarating freedom of a bike ride is just around the corner and there are a few things you might want to grab on your way out the door. Some of these bike accessories are essential, some are just fun, but they’ll all make your riding experience more enjoyable.
1. Bicycle Helmets
Safety first, fun second. Look, it’s actually pretty safe out there, but you never know what’s around the next bend. Heck, we all fall over sometimes. A good helmet will keep you cool, comfortable and will give you peace of mind.
2. Bike Pumps
Your tires are filled with air. But thanks to physics, they’ll eventually lose some of that precious oxygen and you’ll need to pump them back up. It’s easy to do with a with a floor pump at home or a portable frame pump on the go. CO2 inflators are compact and work fast when you're in a hurry.
You’re made up of 70% water (the rest is mostly donuts). Riding your bike is great exercise, so you might lose some of that precious water to perspiration. This is especially true when it’s hot out. Water bottles and hydration packs will keep you hydrated so you can ride longer.
4. Bicycle Locks
You’re going to love riding your bike. You’ll have so much fun pedaling around that you might start to look for excuses to ride: groceries, coffee, even your commute might beckon. When you need to leave your precious ride unattended, you’ll want to be sure to lock it to something sturdy.
4. Bike Lights
It’s not all sunshine and birdsongs (well it usually is), but occasionally the sun will go down. When that happens, you’ll need to illuminate the road and make sure you’re visible to others on the road. Studies have also found that daytime running lights improve visibility in all conditions, so there’s never a bad time to shine.
6. Get a Grip
Your hands are one of the main contact points with your bike. Make that connection comfortable and secure with a pair of cycling gloves. They’ll protect your hands in case of a crash and will provide some cushion to help alleviate pressure points on longer rides.
7. The Long and Shorts of It
It can be a bumpy road, and there’s no better cure than a good pair of bike shorts. Their slim, bicycle-specific fit, supportive muscle compression, and built-in padding add comfort that’ll keep you riding longer.
8. Don’t Sweat it
Tee shirts are great for sharing your love of Neil Young’s last tour, but not so much as athletic wear. Bike jerseys are made from technical fabrics that keep you cooler, drier, and happier no matter the ride. Many jerseys have pockets to keep mid-ride essentials handy, too.
9. Pedals are for Pedaling
Improve your efficiency, comfort, and control with a new set of bike pedals. There’s a type of pedal for every discipline and they’ll all help you ride better. Clipless pedals improve efficiency by making use of your full pedal stroke. Platform pedals come in lots of styles to suit every rider and terrain.
10. If the Bike Shoe Fits
Special pedals? You know you’re going to want matching shoes. Bike shoes have stiffer soles, and most will accommodate cleats for clipless pedals. Road shoes are sleek and stiff, mountain shoes offer grippy outsoles for off-road traction, and all-purpose shoes blend the best elements from both.