The spring weather is beautiful and it’s biking season! Here are some essential items and accesories that will ensure you have a smooth, comfortable and safe bike ride!
Need To Have
Bicycle – Most common types are road bikes (specialized for slick paved surfaces), mountain bikes (best for rugged terrain) and hybrid bikes (considered great commuter bikes).
Helmet – Safety first: protect your head, you only have one. Make sure the helmet fits right according to the instructions. IMPORTANT: Once a helmet has been in a crash, you MUST replace it. The material compresses only once (often not visibly) and it will no longer protect you in the future.
Lights – If you are going to do any riding during dark hours, you need a front white light and a back red light. Not only do they improve your visibility to drivers at night, but also they are required by law in many cities. Additionally, the front light will help you see where you are going and avoid potholes or rough bumps on the road.
U-Lock – Lock your bike whenever you make a stop and leave it unattended. U-Locks are harder to break than cables or chains. The better the lock, the less chance your bike will get stolen.
Nice To Have
Bike Emergency Kit – May include tools and items to repair a flat tire, make mechanical adjustments, and tend to minor medical needs and first-aid. Follow link for more information on what to pack.
Road ID – In case you become unconscious due to a collision or another circumstance, this handy wristband can list your name, city, emergency contacts and phone numbers, allergies or other critical information that may assist others (including EMTs) to help you when you are not able speak for yourself. You can get it for a good price in different colors and in different varieties (ankle bracelets, shoe attachments, etc.). Explore the RoadID website for more details.
Phone – For safety, in case you need to make emergency phone calls, and to track your route and progress. Fitness apps with GPS like Endomondo and MapMyRide can measure your speed, riding time, elevation, time splits, and map your route, among others. See Resources for more details.
Sports Watch – It’s nice to keep track of time in a visually accessible place.
Water Bottle – Stay hydrated during longer rides. Bottles can be mounted onto most frames for easy access while riding.
Gloves – Great for slightly chillier rides. There are also variety of sweat-wicking athletic gloves with good grip.
Windbreaker/Raincoat – Nice for the windy and rainy days.
Obviously there are a variety of other gadgets and accessories you can invest in depending on what kind of riding you do. Hope this list helps you get started on the basics; be sure to visit local bike shops or chat with cyclist friends for other useful accessory ideas!