My top 10 bike accessories
A bike can be a statement, an extension of your personality. To ride it without any accessories is nothing short of sacrilege. You need to elevate your riding experience and that can only be achieved by adding some much-needed bike accessories. Some add-ons are a legal requirement, while others help improve road safety. In the world of social media, we must also include some to provide some much-needed footage or protection for our phones. The last thing you want is your phone falling out of your pocket as you race down the hill at 50km/h!
Let’s hit the ground running and discuss what I deem as the top 10 bike accessories. Now I understand that many of you will disagree with my choices and that’s ok. Like the weather and fashion things can change. What I like now may not be what I like in the future. For this reason I will generalise a bit on the accessories as you should always stamp your own style on anything you add to your bike!
So, let’s dive right in.
1. Bike helmet
I’m sure you have a much better fashion sense than me so don’t be conversative with your bike helmet. I go for a lightweight and comfortable helmet cause I am a low maintenance kind of guy. There are loads of cool helmets though so don’t be afraid to choose a helmet that makes a statement. Bright colours, cool artwork, LED lights at the back, integrated bike glasses. Just make sure that the helmet will protect you and fits you properly.
- Water bottle with holder
I live in Queensland. It is hot. If you ride more than 10 minutes in the blazing heat you will be gagging for some water. Just don’t do it. Taking a swig of water will boost your energy and stop you getting dehydrated. Make sure the water bottle holder is in an easy to reach position so it won’t compromise your riding. You can really get some cool water bottles so again make it stand out or find a bottle that will keep your water as chilled as possible.
- Bike mirrors
Mirror, mirror on the wall how has the most stable mirror of all? Unfortunately, I don’t know as I’m still searching. Bike mirrors can be fitted to arms, helmets, bike handles, just about anywhere. What you are looking for though is a mirror that gives a decent coverage area, anti-glare and doesn’t move around too much. Bottom line though is they help you see traffic in your blind spots and when riding on the road anything that helps you ride safely is a good thing.
- Bike pump
Preferably you want a portable bike pump. I go for a digital air inflator. This means no annoying physical pumping required and precise air pressure. Why should you care about the exact tyre pressure? Thanks for asking. Well, this is to ensure that you are within the recommended air pressure range and to ensure exact tyre pressure to tailor your ride to conditions. The correct tyre pressure can improve traction and speed.
- Phone holder
This is maybe a little controversial as some may say just leave your phone in your pocket. If like me however you have had your phone fall out of your pocket this is definitely a must have item. I use GoPro style chest mount so I can capture cool footage but some may prefer an mobile phone holder that keeps it secure. The benefit of having your phone is you can Bluetooth it and listen to tunes while riding or film like me. Either way it is better than having it in your pocket
- Bike bell/air horn
This is another one of those accessories that is needed to meet road laws. Because a lot of bikes nowadays are imported you may find that your bike does not come standard with a bike bell or warning device. The good thing is the cost for this is not a lot and you really can add a little style with a cool looking bell. With the air horn this is worth considering if you a riding a lot on the road. Would you place your faith in a little bell to alert a truck driver or a driver in a car with their favourite tunes blasting out on the radio? Sometimes louder is better.
- Basic tools
Maybe this isn’t strictly an accessory, but it is a must have item if you own any bike. Anything with this many moving parts is going to need adjusting. Hex sets, spanner sets are vital. Common things that come loose are pedals, kickstands, seats, handlebars. With a small adjustment you can also remove any annoying rattling and make the bike a whole lot safer to ride.
- Bike lock
Ideally you want a bike lock that nicely attaches to the bike, so you don’t have to lug it around in a bag or worst still in your pocket. There are so many different locks on the market and many claim to be impossible to break but I would view it more that a bike lock will slow down any would-be thief. The best advice is to always keep your bike in view and if you must lock it up only do so for a short period of time. It sucks, but it’s better to not risk it getting stolen.
- Bike alarm
Why not get a second line of defence on your bike? A bike alarm is a good way to add further protection against your bike being stolen. This doesn’t mean I would leave it locked up all day without fear but it’s just another tool in your armoury.
- Disc brake cleaner
This could also include lubricants and other bike cleaning products but for me I use it as I can’t stand screeching brakes. Whenever the brakes start making too much noise, I spray this on the brake area and hey presto they are quiet again. It’s not always about how you look but also how you sound!
I hope you found this list helpful and at the very least got you thinking about what you can add to take your bike rides to the next level.
Keep safe and keep riding!