If you’re just getting into cycling, chances are you’re looking for a few cycling accessories for safety, efficiency, and convenience. While just about any biking accessory on the market is good to have, there are a few that we just can’t go without. Let’s take a look at a few of the best bike accessories for beginners, what makes them essentials, and how they’ll help make your life easier as you start your cycling journey.
A Waterproof Backpack
If you use your bike as your primary means of transportation, a waterproof cycling pack is one of the most useful bike accessories you could possibly have. With a cycling pack, you’ll be able to carry far more items than you would in, say, your bike’s basket, and you’ll be able to carry them far more safely and securely to boot. Be sure to do your research and purchase a pack with a high enough waterproofing rating to withstand the weather conditions in your area, and you’ll have everything you need to get your things from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.
If a backpack isn’t your style, though, pannier bags are the perfect alternative. Rather than wearing them on your back, you attach pannier bags to the bike itself, allowing you to have the storage space of a backpack without the added strain on your shoulders and back. If you want, you can also purchase pannier bags in addition to your backpack, using your backpack for transporting personal items and using the pannier bags to store your biking essentials.
If you’re planning on night cycling, especially in an urban setting, you should always have a roll of reflective tape handy. Reflective tape can be attached to your bike more or less anywhere, and will allow oncoming vehicles to see you much sooner than they would otherwise. This greatly reduces your chances of being injured in a collision with a car, allowing you some extra peace of mind during your nightly bike ride.
Purchasing a headlight attachment for your bike is another excellent safety measure to consider. In addition to making yourself more visible to others, you also gain a bit of extra visibility. With that visibility, you’ll have more time to react to potential hazards that could lead to a crash, once again reducing the likelihood of injuries.
Secure Bike Lock
Another essential bike accessory when biking in an urban setting, you should never leave the house without a secure bike lock on your person. Bikes don’t exactly come cheap, and even in the most trustworthy of environments, all it takes is one bad actor for you to have to either track down your old bike or pony up the cash for a new one. Instead of going through all that hassle, it’s far easier to just purchase a high-quality bike lock that’ll keep would-be bike thieves away.
Repair and Maintenance Kit
Just like any other piece of outdoor equipment, your bike is susceptible to wear and tear over time, and requires regular maintenance to stay in shape. Rather than take it into an expensive bike shop every time you need repairs or maintenance, though, we’d recommend just doing it yourself. With a repair and maintenance kit, you can perform some basic fixes like tightening screws, patching tires, replacing a bike chain, reflating the tires, or greasing the chain. In addition to your at-home kit, we’d recommend investing in a smaller portable kit in case you happen to need some emergency repairs.
A Charged Phone
Though you may not think of your phone as a biking accessory, it can certainly be used as one. For example, if you happen to get lost, you can use your GPS to route you to a more familiar location. If you’re a fan of dirt and mountain biking, you can also let your family and friends know where you’re going beforehand, allowing them to send help if needed when you’re unable to get a cell signal. Ultimately, using your phone wisely is another step in the planning process that will make for a smoother, safer, and more enjoyable cycling experience.
A bike ride takes a lot of physical exertion, and during a period of physical exertion, you’ll need plenty of water to keep yourself going. To this end, we recommend always bringing a water bottle with you when setting out on a bike ride. Choose one with a decently high capacity so you won’t have to constantly refill it, and consider choosing a lightweight material like plastic for ease of use. Staying hydrated makes for a much safer, not to mention pleasant, biking experience, so be sure that you have a water bottle on hand!
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