Upon purchasing a bicycle, a pleasant hassle of running it in and equipping it with useful accessories follows. Most bike accessories are not part of the basic package. Manufacturers do not impose a set of random accessories on buyers, instead, they allow each cyclist to equip the bike with only necessary items, selected according to their own perception of comfort and safety during rides. As a result, amidst an abundance of useful add-ons, one can choose the most essential bike accessories and customize the bike "for oneself," taking into account personal preferences without unnecessary expenditures.
What kinds of accessories are there for bikes?
All bike accessories are divided into 2 categories:
- Essentials – these are purchased primarily as they are very important. Lack of such accessories increases the risk of injury and reduces the comfort of rides.
- Optional but desirable additions – they make riding more comfortable, lend a charismatic look to the bike, and solve other problems.
In our review, we present the most essential bike accessories that should be purchased first and taken on every ride.
Helmet and Gloves
No one is immune to falls, hence it's better not to neglect safety rules and always wear at least two protective items – a bicycle helmet and gloves. This is especially important during extreme cycling trips, but one should not disregard protection even on calm rides. Bike helmets are made from a special rigid foam, which absorbs the impact when coming in contact with a hard surface. By design and purpose, bike helmets come in:
- Road varieties – lightweight models without a visor;
- MTB models with a visor and numerous ventilation holes;
- Extreme models – with enhanced head and cheek protection.
Each type of helmet serves its purpose and is designed according to the type of cycling one is engaged in, ensuring safety, comfort, and a stylish look while riding. The gloves, on the other hand, provide a better grip, reduce vibration, and protect the hands in case of a fall, making them equally essential for a pleasant and safe cycling experience.
It is essential to maintain the correct tire pressure. Deflated tires are only good for fat bikes, while for other bicycles they are not advisable. It's desirable for every cyclist to have two pumps:
- Portable hand bike pump for trips - lightweight and compact, it can easily fit in a backpack, pocket, or on the frame.
- Stationary floor bike pump, allowing quick inflation of tires to high pressure - for home use.
A compact set of bicycle keys and tools is a useful item for every cyclist. A foldable set of hex keys won’t take up much space and will come in handy whenever something needs adjusting or tightening - starting from the bike assembly stage and continuing with its regular maintenance. With its help, you can raise the saddle, adjust the handlebars, perform minor repairs, or attach additional accessories.
Each of these accessories is designed to ensure that cyclists can manage basic maintenance tasks, ensuring a smooth and safe ride every time. They also enable cyclists to customize their bikes to a great extent, according to personal preferences, ensuring both functionality and aesthetic appeal.
Spare Tube and Tire Levers
In the event of a puncture, you can replace the damaged tube and continue your ride if you don’t forget to take along a spare and a portable pump. When folded, a bicycle tube is compact, so it will easily fit in a bike bag or backpack. Plastic tire levers will help to remove the tire — a small tool that makes the unseating and seating of the wheel much easier.
Bike Repair Kit
In addition to a spare tube, it's advisable to have a bike repair kit on your ride — a set of patches and glue, with which you can repair a punctured tube at home or on the road. For this, you'll need to remove the wheel, unseat it using plastic tire levers, find and patch the puncture site. After a minute-long fixation of the patch, you can reassemble the wheel and continue your ride. But sometimes the damage is not patchable, and the tube requires a full replacement. Therefore, prudent cyclists take both a bike repair kit and a spare tube on rides.
Each of these tools and accessories are meant to help cyclists manage common issues that can occur during a ride, ensuring that a small problem like a puncture doesn’t end the ride prematurely. With these items, cyclists can ride with a bit more peace of mind, knowing they have the tools on hand to manage basic repairs.
For safe rides during dark hours, it's essential to equip your bicycle with a white light or headlamp at the front and a red light at the back. Bicycle lights illuminate the road, help to spot a pothole or an unexpected obstacle on time, and make your bike more visible to other road users. Choose lights with sufficiently bright illumination and a flashing feature.
Chain Cleaning and Lubrication Supplies
Special lubricant, along with a cleaner and cleaning machine, are necessary for chain maintenance. It's recommended to clean and lubricate the chain every 100-150 km of mileage, although much depends on the riding conditions. Regular transmission maintenance ensures its smooth operation, prolongs its lifespan, and allows for pedaling without extra effort.
These accessories are essential in maintaining the bicycle's functionality and ensuring the safety and comfort of the rider during both day and night time rides. By selecting high-quality lights and regularly maintaining the chain, cyclists can enjoy smoother, safer rides regardless of the time or weather conditions.
A specialized bag is excellent for carrying bike accessories – it can be attached to the frame, handlebar, or under the seat. Saddle bags are more compact, while frame bags allow for carrying larger items, including clothing and shoes.
This accessory is essential for every cyclist who occasionally leaves their bike outside, for instance, at a store, cafe, hairdresser, or near the workplace. Even if you're leaving your bike for just a few minutes, it's wise not to tempt thieves with an easy target. The variety of bike locks available allows you to choose the optimal way to protect your bike from theft and avoid unfortunate incidents.
This functional accessory determines and displays the key parameters of your ride, including:
- Speed – average, maximum, and current;
- Travel time;
- Total mileage and mileage for the current ride;
- For e-bikes – battery charge level.
These additions make biking a more convenient and secure experience. The bike bag provides a practical solution for carrying essentials, the lock offers a peace of mind when leaving your bike unattended, and the bike computer allows tracking your riding performance and electric bike's battery status efficiently.
Instead of a bike computer, you can use a smartphone with special applications for cyclists. For a convenient and safe placement of the smartphone on the handlebar, use a special mount.
Bottle Holder or Mount
A flask or a bottle of water is a must-have companion for a cyclist. It's necessary to avoid dehydration and maintain a good feeling during rides. Lack of moisture in the body harms the condition of the knee joints and more. Although it's possible to carry a flask or water bottle in a backpack, it's more convenient to place it on the frame with a special holder or mount.