Every Cyclist Needs: No matter if you are new to cycling or a veteran cyclist, there are a handful of must-have bicycle accessories that will make for an all-around better experience.
However, the cycling accessory rabbit hole is long and deep, which means that it can be difficult to discern which items are going to be the most beneficial for your rides.
That said, you don’t need to wade through hundreds of products over countless hours of research. If you are looking for the best cycling accessories to enhance your bike time, we’ve got you covered.
Here are five accessories that every cyclist needs.
1. A Quality Lock
As bicycle theft statistics show, nearly 189,000 bicycles are reported stolen each year in the United States. This doesn’t include the untold number of bikes that go unreported.
Thus, if you are going to leave your bicycle on the street, outside a building or anywhere else that is not inside your home for any length of time, you are going to need a high-quality bicycle lock.
Unfortunately, some of the best bike locks are not cheap. But neither was your bicycle, so this is no area to pinch pennies. Therefore, avoid having a long walk home and just spend a few extra dollars to get yourself a top-of-the-line bike lock.
2. A Tire Pump, Spare and Tools
As a cyclist, it is important to be prepared for things to happen to your bike. After all, if you use your wheels often, you are going to need to fix or replace tires from time to time.
Therefore, it is prudent to carry a spare inner tube, a quality tire lever and a multitool in a small saddle bag on your bike, just in case. However, all of these items are rather pointless if you don’t have a pump, so be sure to pack one of those as well.
Where pumps are concerned, a full-sized one will get you back onto your bike quicker but will be a bit more difficult to carry around. Alternatively, you could also opt to get a mini pump that will easily fit into your saddle bag.
Additionally, you could also ditch both bike pump sizes and instead opt for a frame pump, as this portable pump will integrate right into the frame of your bike.
However, if you opt to purchase one of these, make sure you understand how to size a frame pump and which options are best for your particular needs.
In the multitool department, there are a panoply of different options available. However, one of the most well-regarded brands on the market is Leatherman. Thanks to the company’s long history of quality, this is the multitool you will want to carry.
However, if you so choose, you could also pick up a bicycle-specific multitool, like those made by Topeak and others.
3. A Sturdy Phone Mount
Given that there are a multitude of popular ride-tracking apps that enable cyclists to use their smartphone to track their rides and log data, it can be quite beneficial to purchase a bicycle phone mount that will allow you to watch your ride in real-time.
While there are different kinds of bicycle phone mounts to choose from, those that merely clamp onto the handlebars of a bike are the most popular.
4. A Hydration Pack or Mounted Water Bottle
Just like bicycle locks, hydration equipment is something that cyclists simply cannot do without.
Depending on the length and location of your ride, running out of water can not just be uncomfortable and inconvenient, it can be outright dangerous.
While each person’s hydration needs are going to be different, a good rule of thumb for cyclists is to consume one to two liters of fluids per hour of exercise.
Therefore, if you are a casual cyclist, it is likely fine to have an insulated water bottle inside a bottle cage on your bike. However, if you are going out on a long-distance ride, into the mountains or otherwise far away from a source of clean water, then it is wise to pick up a hydration pack or water bladder to hold a larger amount of water.
5. Lights and Reflectors
If you ever ride at dawn, dusk or after dark, then lights and reflectors are mandatory.
When it comes to lights and reflectors, there are a veritable cornucopia of options available. You can get all sorts of lights and reflectors for your bike, helmet and clothing.
Therefore, choose whichever option appeals most to you and abides by your local laws.
6. Health Monitoring Devices
For the data-driven fitness enthusiast, there is a wide range of health monitoring devices to choose from that can help maximize the impact of each workout. If you love keeping track of your progress during your rides, you can consider purchasing a high-quality heart rate monitor to check how your heart responds to different sections of your route.
These devices can also help you identify when you need to take a break or if you can kick it up a notch.
Gearing Up for a Better Ride
When it comes to must-have cycling accessories, picking up these items will make for a much safer and more comfortable ride.
These accessories should provide you with a baseline from which your gear loadout can grow and evolve. Start with the items listed above and head out riding to figure out what other gear you might deem necessary.