We don’t buy bikes just to stare at them from our living room, we want to hop on, enjoy the adventure, and get the heart racing. Whether you already have a bicycle or just purchased one, you should consider accessories to go with it. The proper accessories and gear will allow you to be safe, comfortable, and prepared. Walking into a bikes shop can seem a little intimidating at first when you’re not quite sure what you are looking for. Shops offer tons of accessories for all types of riders and commitment levels. Let’s break it down to the very basics to get you going:
Here are your 7 BASIC RIDING ESSENTIALS:
LOCK : If you will be leaving your bike for any reason, even to grab some coffee, you will want your bike to be locked. Bikes are valuable and bike theft rates have skyrocketed. Don’t take any chances. A U-lock is the safest. Its is more difficult to cut through than a cable lock and when attached properly, will deter most theft. If you are locking your bike for a long period of time, out of site, the U-lock is your best options. A cable is lighter and easier to carry, but also easier to cut through. If you’re enjoying a quick lunch with friends, the cable should do the trick. You can also combine both locks for extra security.
WATER BOTTLE & CAGE: Cycling without water is no fun at all. Water will keep you hydrated and prevent cramping. Most cages will fit any bike with water bottle mounts and cycling specific bottles will universally fit snug in the cage. Plastic bottles don’t fit right and often pop out.
REPAIR KIT: The most common problem cyclists face is a flat tire, and riders fear a flat tire so much, it prevents them from riding their bike. Don’t let your fear stop you from enjoying a ride. Get yourself a repair kit and keep it with you on your ride. Take a maintenance class, or watch online to learn how to change a flat. If you are stranded on the side of the road, you can even flag down a friendly cyclist to help. At least you’ll have everything you need:
- SEAT BAG: To keep all your gear together. You can even include some spare cash for emergencies.
- SPARE TUBE: Often times patching a tube is time consuming or just doesn’t work. Make sure to get the proper size to match your tires and wheel.
- MULTI-TOOL: A multi-tool fitted with a selection of Allen keys, and sometimes a flat-bladed screwdriver will tighten most of the bolts on your bike. You will always want to make sure everything is tight, especially the seat post and handlebars.
- TIRE LEVER: This is the secret to removing the tire from the wheel. We suggest carrying more than one, to make removing the tire easier, or for a backup if one happens to break.
- PUMP: You won’t get too far without air in your tires. A hand pump that attaches to your frame or a Co2 canister and adaptor will get you moving again. If you are not comfortable with the Co2, we suggest a trusty frame pump.
After you stock up on the basics, here are a few more suggestions:
Below you will find a simple checklist for each riding style. Save the list and bring it to the bike shop with you to help keep you on track.
Once you get the essentials, you can ride safe, comfortable, and with confidence. Who knows, you might start having fun with the accessories and start customizing for your next adventure.
Next you will want to stock up on knowledge. You will want to learn how to change your own flat, clean your bike, and check for safety. Stop by Surf City Cyclery to learn your next steps.
Look out for our upcoming blog posts that will cover your next steps to having an awesome ride! In the meantime, stop by Surf City Cyclery any time to learn more.