Congratulations! You are the proud new owner of a shiny new road/mountain/cruiser/e/commuter/gravel bike. Before you head out to ride, here are 10 products that will make your biking life a lot easier, and a couple that are not quite worth the hype.
HELMET – The one MUST-HAVE accessory is a helmet. We all know that a helmet is non-negotiable. Specialized helmets for adults start at $60-and that’s much less than a trip to the hospital. Stepping up, models add visors, ventilation, and even Angi-a ride tracker, crash detector, and safety beacon all in one.
LIGHTS – Second only to a helmet, lights–taillights especially- are of utmost importance for safety. “I’ve felt nervous at night without lights,” says Chris H, “even riding with high viz clothing is not enough. It’s really important to be seen on the road.”
STASH BAG – There are as many bike bag shapes and styles as there are things to stash in them. Whether it is basic black or has pepperoni like a pizza, bags make it easy to access to necessities on a ride. Dusty swears by Relevate bags and packs. “My favorite uses magnets not zippers, so it is really easy to use, and you don’t lose any time during a race.”
SEAT PACK – Seat packs are just big enough for the necessities. A tool, a tube, some energy, a key, and a couple of bucks or a credit card. There is no downside to having a seat pack ready for emergencies.
MULTI-TOOL – There are all kinds of multi-tools, but despite their differences their main purpose is to get you rolling again if something shakes loose. They are small enough to fit in a seat pack but offer multiple ride saving appendages. In fact, these are good to have around the house, too. Of course, our favorite is the New Moon version!
FLOOR PUMP – Chris Y. really likes having a floor pump around. “There is no excuse for having low tire pressure. A frame pump is for emergencies only.” His favorite is the Specialized Air Tool MTB Floor Pump. Designed for low pressure, high volume tires, it provides precise pressure to ensure that your tires are set up for whatever the trail throws at you.
CO2 CARTRIDGES AND INFLATOR – Flat tire? No frame pump? These cartridges and inflators can save your ride. A CO2 inflator unit is comprised of a cartridge and inflator head or nozzle. The nozzle attached to the tire’s valve stem to inflate the tire. There are different types of both, so make sure you know what is right for your tires.
PADDED SHORTS – These may seem unnecessary, but padded shorts or a liner with a chamois can provide needed comfort and add miles to your ride. You can choose from a traditional spandex-type road short or a baggy mountain bike short. There are even liners customized to your ride time. If you are riding at all regularly, these are a must!
GLOVES – Gloves are more important than people think. Padding (or no padding) can make a big difference on the way your hands feel, even how you position your body. They are also very useful if you take a spill, protecting your palms, and if you ride through bushy terrain, keeping the back of your hands and fingers covered and safe from sharp branches or thorns. Egan spotted this cool new (to us) line of gloves called Hand Up while he was on the interwebs. “The Hand Up gloves are breathable and have some really cool styles,” he says
A few things you don’t need on your bike are kickstands, reflectors, and toe clips. The kickstands add extra weight, can increase your chance for injury. Kickstands are also usually on the left side, so if a bike is to fall over, there could easily be damage to derailleur hangers, chainrings, and derailleurs. Reflectors break incredibly easily and the rider is left with sharp edges just inches from their legs. Remove the ones in the wheels, and replace the ones in the front and rear with LED lights. If you like the feeling of being “clipped in,” please consider SPD pedals and shoes with cleats. They are more secure and easier to get in and out of.
Of course, there are tons more things that you can get to outfit you and your new ride: a fun new top, cycling socks, hydration system, even a sweet new bell. Whatever makes you feel great and ready to hit the roads and trails will be right for you. If we can help you in any way feel safer or more comfortable on your bike, just let us know. See ya on the trails!