7 Must-Have Add-Ons for Your Bike
What Can I Do With a Bicycle?
Bicycles are great for getting out of the house. Whether you use them for transportation, exercise, or recreation on the weekends, bike riding brings stress relief and health benefits to many people.
Bike riding also lets you meet up with friends and create awesome experiences together. Additionally, you become more familiar with anywhere you ride, so it’s also a nice way to discover new places in your city. Whether it’s biking around town or on trails up in the mountains, biking offers unique transportation that can’t be found anywhere else. Bike accessories allow you to be more comfortable and enjoy the ride more than ever before.
What Clothes Should I Wear As a Biker?
First, don’t wear loose-fitting clothing. Especially pants. Pant and shirt sleeves can get caught on the chain or handlebars and prevent you from steering. Even worse, they can stop the pedals from braking if you reach an obstacle.
Find clothing that is not too tight, but close-fitting enough to let you ride safely. For example, cycling shorts are great for long-distance biking because they keep your legs cool and ventilated. There are many types of shorts, depending on what kind of seat you have. When possible, try riding in the seat with the shorts before committing to a purchase.
Look for thin shirts that can allow you to keep pedaling as your body warms up. As always, wear a helmet to protect your head, and consider wearing pads on your knees and elbows to prevent scrapes in case you fall.
What Bike Accessories Do I Need?
First, you’ll need to invest in your safety. This includes getting a good bike helmet, rear reflectors, and potentially bike mirrors and joint pads. Protecting yourself is the most important step for any exercise. Find clothing that keeps up with your workout’s intensity, such as cycling shorts.
Next, look into what will improve your bike’s performance. Think about how you’ll be using the bike (where you ride, how often, and other factors). For example, city bikers should consider investing in a bike lock to prevent theft. But a lock might not be as important for touring bikers planning to keep their bike indoors.
Also, plan for long or short rides, depending on your needs. For longer trips, see if you can pack a repair kit or pump for flat tires. That way, you won’t be at the road’s mercy when something goes wrong.
Finally, there are several miscellaneous accessories to consider for your bike. Here’s our list of accessories we recommend for riders:
Including a bike bell is one of the key safety measures of riding a bike. Along with wearing a bike helmet and investing in a bike lock, bike bells let other riders know where you are on the road. It also draws attention to you from automobile drivers (who are notorious for not noticing bikers).
Bike bells come in both digital and physical varieties. Be sure to cover them in inclement weather when the bike is parked so the bell doesn’t get damaged.
Water Bottle Cage
Carry your hydration with you by installing a water bottle cage on your frame. This “cage” looks like a cup holder in a car. It wraps around the bottle, keeping it in place throughout all the bumps in the road.
You can also use a regular bike basket to store water and other essentials, but some biking styles might not be best for this. For example, it’s not wise to keep extra weight on the handlebar if you’re mountain biking.
That’s why having a hydration pack on the frame is so much easier. Bike cages make it easy for you to stay healthy while exercising.
Having a speedometer helps you monitor your progress. Speedometers show your current speed during your bike ride and indicate how fast you’re going.
But modern speedometers often do more than that. They also handle tons of awesome stuff that’s great for any rider. Most of them double as odometers, which measure the total distance you’ve traveled. Knowing your total distance gives you an estimate of how much time is left on your bike. It also lets you calculate how long you have until your next dry or wet lube change on the bike chain.
Speedometers are also great for the cyclist who loves stats. Many devices also show your averages, such as cycling speed, estimated calories burnt, and other great numbers for optimizing the cyclist’s performance.
Finding the most comfortable bike seat is an important bike accessory. While your riding needs may be different, a comfortable bike seat is just as important as getting the right bike frame size.
Bike seats have a huge impact on the cycling experience. You don’t want the seat to be too high or low (otherwise it will mess up your posture). Find a seat that balances your weight well and allows you to easily mount and dismount.
If you’re riding around cities on a regular road bike, consider getting a cushioning saddle for comfort on short roads. But when you go mountain biking on rough roads for long rides, find a performance saddle that will see you through any off-roading.
Also, women and men are built differently, so try to find seats that match what you need.
Gloves protect your hands from blisters, harsh winds, and numbness. They let you grip the handlebar even when you get cold, hot, or sweaty.
Cycling gloves come in tons of styles to meet all preferences. The two main varieties are gloves with fingers and gloves without fingers. If you’re in warm weather and gentle road conditions, you might consider going fingerless to help your hands ventilate. On the other hand, gloves with fingers are essential mountain bike accessories because they protect your hands from the elements.
They make a great fashion statement, too! There are tons of combinations and styles for whatever look you like.
Bicycle tubes are air cushions that protect your bike from the road. They’re that squishy part underneath the tire that protects the frame from the impacts of the road.
Having a spare tube can be a lifesaver in some situations. You might consider keeping them with the bike, or at least somewhere nearby if you’re going out riding. Then, if you get a flat tire and have to change wheels quickly, the right tube can take you home without hassle. Make sure your spare tube can fit the tires you’ve already got, and you’ll be good to go!
Foot comfort starts with getting the right shoe. Peloton shoes are specifically designed for Peloton’s indoor bike models, but you can use them for many bikes. Peloton offers a wide selection of men’s shoes, women’s shoes, cleated shoes, and other models.
Do tennis shoes work? They do, but not as well as shoes designed for bike riding. A bike shoe comes customized to match the pedal. For example, many Peloton shoes include cleats that slide into notches on their indoor bike pedals. These cleats grip the pedal and keep you in control. Gym shoes don’t usually have cleats, so their flat surface might slip around the pedal as you ride.
Peloton shoes generally go for about $125 new, plus an additional $25 if you choose cleats. They sell shoes that go on various bikes (mountain bikes, indoor bikes, touring bikes, etc.) and are a great choice for cyclers who want excellent shoes.
A pedal doesn’t just push you forward: it’s a safety feature.
Having the right pedals is the difference between braking on time and crashing into obstacles. Whenever you do any exercise, safety should be your priority. That includes when you’re biking.
Whether you’re at home using an indoor elliptical or out in the city, safe biking needs safe pedals. When you buy a new bike, you might consider upgrading the pedals. However, don’t take your safety for granted by assuming that your new bike’s pedals will be enough (especially if you bought a used bike).
Keep your bicycle pedals properly cleaned and oiled, or it’ll be difficult to stop and go. With the right preparation, bike riding can be exhilarating, fun, and safe.
Gravel Bike Tires
If you’re planning to go off-roading with your bike, a gravel wheel is one of the essential mountain bike accessories. Gravel bike tires endure off-road conditions and get you to your destination quickly and reliably.
If you’re riding around the city on a regular road bike, you might not need to invest in specialized gravel tires. However, they’re essential for mountain biking, unless you’re planning on fixing a flat tire every 10 minutes. Gravel tires can take a beating from the road and roll with the punches (literally).
When checking your local bike shop, be sure that their available tires will fit your bike. Otherwise, they won’t do any good on the road. In fact, having the wrong size tire will prevent the bicycle from riding well, making your bike ride difficult and even unsafe.