15 Essential Bike Accessories for a Safer, More Comfortable Bicycle Ride 2023
You can buy most of these accessories at your local bike shop. I am a huge fan of using local bike shops mainly because of the expertise they have. Having said that, it is true that many of the accessories listed here are more expensive at local bike shops. Because of that, I will put some links to some of the accessories.
I receive a small commission from any items you purchase through the links but you might not know that all revenue generated through this blog goes to support a small nonprofit in Lubbock, Texas that runs a dessert truck, Nick's Treats, that is 100% staffed with young people who have developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome or autism.
The most important accessory for any cyclist is a good quality helmet. A helmet protects your head from serious injury in case of a fall or accident. When choosing a helmet, make sure it fits properly and is certified by a reputable safety organization. Look for helmets that have plenty of ventilation to keep your head cool during hot rides. This is an item that I think is too important to buy online. I think you should go to your local bike shop to purchase this item. They will make sure your fit is perfect.
Bike lights are essential for cycling in low light conditions or at night. They help you see where you’re going and make you more visible to other road users. You should have both a front and rear light, with the front light being brighter. Look for lights that are rechargeable, easy to mount, and have multiple light modes for different riding conditions.
I ride either into the night or during sunset a lot in the winter because of the early dark times. A bike light is very important not only to see but to be seen. That is why you want a light on the front and the back. My back light has the option of shining or blinking. I choose blinking just because I think it makes me easier to see. My front light also has the blinking option and I use it when the sun is setting so that approaching vehicles can see me easier. Here are some bike light options.
A good quality bike lock is a must-have accessory if you plan on leaving your bike unattended in public places. Bike theft is a common problem in many cities, so investing in a strong lock can save you a lot of money and hassle. Look for locks that are easy to use, durable, and have a high security rating.
A bike lock can be broken if a thief has time but often times, bikes that are just left sitting there with no lock are the ones that are taken. A bike lock will make it an inconvenience to steal. When I go on long tours, I take a chain type lock. They are not as strong as the U-Lock style but they are less weight and easier to pack. If I need to go into a grocery store I lock my bike up. Like I said, it makes it more difficult for a thief to grab than if I just left it there unlocked. Here are some bike locks.
Water Bottle Holder
Staying hydrated during a ride is important, especially during longer rides. A water bottle holder makes it easy to carry a water bottle with you on your bike, so you can stay hydrated without having to stop and take a break. Look for holders that are easy to install, hold your bottle securely, and are compatible with the size and shape of your water bottle. Check out a few water bottle holders here.
Bike Pump or CO2 Cartridge Style Inflators
Flat tires are a common problem for cyclists, so having a bike pump with you on every ride is a smart move. Look for pumps that are portable, easy to use, and compatible with the valve type on your tires. A good pump should be able to inflate your tires quickly and to the correct pressure. Pumps are good but I prefer the CO2 cartridge style inflators. You can see bike pumps here and the cartridge style inflators here.
A bike bag is a great accessory for carrying your essentials with you on your ride. Whether you need to carry a change of clothes, your phone, wallet, or snacks, a bike bag can keep your items safe and easily accessible. Look for bags that are durable, waterproof, and have multiple compartments for organizing your gear. Check out this collection of bike bags.
Cycling gloves can provide a better grip on your handlebars and protect your hands from blisters, numbness, and other injuries. Look for gloves that are comfortable, breathable, and provide good grip. You can also choose gloves with extra padding on the palms for added comfort. Lots of cycling gloves found here. They will last you a long time and it will make your rides much better.
Cycling shorts are designed to provide comfort and support during long rides. They are made from breathable, moisture-wicking materials that help keep you cool and dry. Look for shorts that have a good fit, padded chamois for added comfort, and are made from high-quality materials. My favorite cycling shorts are actually bib shorts and they are made by Przewalski. They are low cost and they have lasted me longer than any other cycling short I have ever owned. The chamois is not as thick as many others but I think that is better once you ride long enough to realize that you do not need thick liners. There are other shorts listed at this link but the Przewalski shorts are listed too.
Cycling shoes are designed to provide a better connection between your feet and the pedals. They come in a variety of styles, from road shoes to mountain bike shoes. Look for shoes that are comfortable, provide good support, and have a stiff sole for better power transfer to the pedals. This is an item that I think you should get at your local bike shop.
A cycling computer is a device that tracks your cycling performance, including speed, distance, and other metrics. It can help you set and achieve your fitness goals, and improve your overall cycling experience. Look for computers that are easy to use, have a clear display, and can connect to other devices such as heart rate monitors or GPS systems. I use a Wahoo computer which is on this page but Cateye and Garmin are other well known bike computers. Look closely at all of their features. Wireless is the best choice.
If you plan on transporting your bike to different locations, a bike rack is a necessary accessory. There are many different types of bike racks, from roof racks to hitch-mounted racks. Look for racks that are compatible with your vehicle and bike, easy to install, and durable. Believe me, you will wish you had a bike rack the first time you get stuck out on a training ride with an emergency situation and you need to get someone to bring you vehicle and pick you up. Try throwing your bike in the trunk or back seat. Not fun. There are many different kinds of bike racks here.
Bike fenders are an accessory that can help keep you and your bike clean and dry during wet weather conditions. They attach to your bike’s frame and prevent water, mud, and debris from splashing onto you and your bike. Look for fenders that are easy to install, lightweight, and compatible with your bike’s frame and tires. I would go to your local bike shop for this item.
Mirrors can provide you with a better view of what’s behind you while cycling. They attach to your handlebars or helmet and allow you to see approaching traffic or other cyclists. Look for mirrors that are adjustable, easy to install, and durable.
I see many cyclists with mirrors attached to their bikes. I wear glasses so I prefer my mirror to be worn on my glasses. It just works so much better.
Let me say this. A mirror is one of the most important bike accessories you can purchase. It has saved my life a number of times. I find myself looking behind myself almost as much as I look ahead because of the threat of motorists who are looking at their phones instead of the road. One day I was on a tour and was about 20 miles away from the next town on a divided highway with a wide shoulder. You would think I was safe but I noticed a car approaching from behind swerving off and on the road. I moved all the way over to the right and even stopped as I became more concerned because they didn't just swerve and correct. They were swerving back and forth. As they got even with me, they were halfway into the shoulder. Without the mirror, they would have hit me. This inexpensive item was a life saver for me that day.
A bike bell is a simple but useful accessory that can help alert other cyclists or pedestrians of your presence. It’s especially important when cycling on shared paths or crowded areas. Look for bells that are easy to use, loud enough to be heard, and compatible with your handlebars.
I personally do not use a bike bell. Some people who ride on congested trails like them to let others know they are near but I ride in the wide open spaces and have little need for them. Here are some bike bells if you are interested.
A phone mount allows you to securely attach your phone to your bike’s handlebars, so you can use it for navigation or to listen to music while cycling. Look for mounts that are easy to install, compatible with your phone’s size, and provide a secure hold.
In conclusion, having the right bike accessories can make a big difference in your cycling experience. From safety equipment to gear for comfort and convenience, there are many accessories to choose from. When selecting accessories, consider your cycling goals, budget, and personal preferences. With the right accessories, you can enjoy a safer, more comfortable, and more efficient cycling experience.
Here is my next post: The Benefits of Cycling: Why a Bicycle is Your Best Friend