Whether you are just getting into cycling or you are returning to the sport after some time away, having the correct accessories to compliment your riding is an absolute must if you don't want to be 'that guy' that relies on the goodwill of their fellow cyclists for aid when inevitable punctures, adverse weather and breakdowns occur. Having the correct accessories for your particular needs can revolutionize your riding, so sit back,relax and browse the following guide that has been specifically designed to give you a basic run through of everything you need to transform yourself into super suave looking cyclist that is prepared for any weather, terrain and eventuality.
Not wearing a helmet whilst riding your bike is (at the time of writing) not illegal. That being said, a recent study found that from a pool of 64,000 riders, those that were wearing a helmet during a collision were 70% less likely to suffer a serious head injury. Helmets get a bad rep for not being stylish or cool and for causing the dreaded 'helmet hair' , but undoubtedly there's nothing less cool or stylish than lying unconscious in a hospital brain injury ward just because you thought your helmet didn't go with you outfit. Helmets nowadays actually look much better than they used too and do not cost the world if you know what you're looking for. Definitely one of the most essential cycling accessories you can buy.
What level of Bicycle lock you need will depend on the frequency and location that you are riding. The best 'gold standard' locks are certainly not cheap, but if you're leaving your bike in busy, urban areas for considerable amounts of time they are essential and certainly cheaper than buying a brand new bike because someone has pinched yours after you'd nipped into Greggs for a mid-ride sausage roll. These higher quality locks are often impenetrable without using heavy duty industrial power tools - sure to put off even the stealthiest and most confident of bike thieves.
Kryptonite New York 3000 Bike Lock
The Kryptonite New York 3000 is a maximum security U-lock suitable for high theft areas.
- Approved to bicycle Gold Sold Secure standard
- Approved to Thatcham CAT3
- Approved to bicycle Gold Sold Secure standard
- Extra thick at 16 mm with a case-hardened Kryptonium steel shackle that resists cutters and leverage attacks.
Smaller, more lightweight locks are ideal for securing your bike whilst you nip into the shop for your in-ride Mars Bar (other chocolate bars are available(but not as good)). It's good practice to own a lock of either type - one heavy duty D-lock for when you require extra protection and one smaller cable or combination lock for local trips. Locks tend to work with either a key or a combination lock. The former is generally more secure, but if like me you engage in daily struggles trying to remember where you've left your keys, then a combination lock could be more suitable for you.
Kryptonite Kryptoflex 1.8m Key Cable Lock
The Krytonite Krytoflex 1218 is an extremely flexible 1.8m cable lock made from twisted steel for lightweight yet sturdy security.
- Reinforced lock head construction with talon lock pin retention system
- A Lock head rotates 36 degrees for easier handling during lock-up and removal.
- Lifetime Warranty
To see or not to see? That is the question - especially if you're planning to be riding at night. Bicycle lights generally fall into two categories and are powered by either a rechargeable USB or by batteries:
Lights to be seen
Normally with a lower lumen output, these lights are ideal for night time riding in areas with good external lighting (such as streetlights). These lights will ensure you're highly visible to other road users, keeping you safe and secure.
Cateye Volt 100XC and Rapid Mini Rechargeable Light Set
Cateye's Volt 100 XC Front and Rapid Micro Rear Light combine to make a winning team when it comes to remaining visible on the road during your daily commute.
- Automatic Flash Mode (Light will switch to Flashing Modes when low on battery)
- Time - Flashing Mode: 5hrs - Constant Mode: 1hrs
- USB rechargable
Lights to see with
These lights have been designed for riding at night in rural or isolated areas where external light is minimal. These lights tend to be far more powerful, with far better spread and a larger variety of beam patterns to ensure that riders can see obstacles in front of them and react accordingly in plenty of time.
Exposure Joystick Mk13 Rechargeable Front Light
The incredibly popular mainstay of the Exposure range is back once again for its 13th year. Given its proven pedigree and multiple award wins, you'd think it'd be hard to improve the Joystick. Think again.
- Output - 1000 Lumens
- Burntime - Min 1.5 hours - Max 36 hours
- Weight - 93g
- Dimensions - Length 112mm - Head 30mm - Back 27mm
Mudguards, kickstands and bottle cages
Three very simple accessories but once you have them you'll struggle to remember how you survived before.
Mudguards work by covering the top of your wheel, ensuring that mud and dirt from the trail won't hit you in the face or splatter up your back ruining your favourite jersey. There are specific mudguards for road, mountain and hybrid bikes so make sure you check to see whether a mudguard is compatible with your bike before purchase.
Kickstands fit onto most bikes and are used to hold your bike up when you're not using it. This means you don't have to lay your bike on the ground or against a wall - both of which can damage your components and paintwork. A bottle cage simply attaches to your bike (either on the handlebar or downtube) and allows you to carry a water bottle on your bike ensuring you can stay hydrated on your rides.
Bags and Luggage
Whether you're carrying a set of Allen keys, money, phones or an entire wardrobe on a bike packing trip, bicycle luggage is a key component in maintaining your comfort on your rides. For shorter rides a rucksack or simple saddle bag may be plenty sufficient to carry all of your essentials - but remember that a rucksack can be a logistical nightmare if you've got dropped handlebars!
However, if you are venturing further or need to carry heavier items such as laptops on a regular basis, it can be extremely beneficial to invest in a rack and panniers so that the bike carries the extra weight instead of your body. Furthermore, for those riding in isolated areas a rucksack with a bladder to carry water would be something to consider to ensure that you have access to water throughout your ride.
Eventually you'll have ridden all the routes close to home and will be ready to venture out into the wider world. Transporting your bike over longer distances opens up the opportunity for lots more adventures and having the capability to take your bike anywhere you want ensures you won't have to suffer the separation anxiety experienced when you go on holiday, find a great route but then suddenly realise your trusty bike is at home in the garage.
Car racks are brilliant pieces of kit. Make sure you research whether your car will need a tow-bar fitted or if you're going to need a roof or strap rack. Your decision will be affected by your budget - tow bar systems are generally more expensive but also more secure and able to carry heavier weights (i.e. more bikes). The capabilities of your car are also important to consider. Some cars are not compatible with certain racks and most car rack sellers will have a website where you can check your cars compatibility with a specific car rack.There are also specific racks for different bike types such as an E-Bike specific car rack with wider and extended bars and wheel ruts.
Thule EuroRide 2 Bike CarrierThe Thule Euroride 941 is a functional Bike carrier, holds 2 bikes and is perfect for cars with a towbar.
- Load capacity Bikes - 2
- Load capacity (kg) - 36 kg
- Max bike weight - 20 kg
- Length (cm) - 105 cm/Width (cm) - 58 cm/Weight (kg) - 14.1 kg
Bike travel bags are a shrewd investment when travelling overseas. These bags are designed specifically to make carrying a bike and all the parts that come with it in a self-contained, accessible and user-friendly manner. They're usually very well padded you can rest easy knowing that those heavy-handed luggage carriers aren't going to damage your pride and joy no matter how hard they throw it about.
Evoc Bike Travel Bag XL
With maximum protection and built for Plus and Fat bikes, the Evoc Bike Travel Bag XL is what you need. A fantastic alternative for storage and transport.
- Business Card Pocket
- Replaceable Skate Wheel
- Zipper Lock
- 320 l, 9600 g, 143 x 42 x 84 cm, (Inside 134 x 39 x 79 cm)
Tools and Maintenance
A good set of tools is a very clever investment. Being able to do your own basic maintenance on your bike such as puncture repairs and fitting pedals is a great way to save yourself from the time and money of visiting a workshop. No one wants to be the person at the side of a trail begging passing strangers for help fixing their puncture!
A good pump is a must too. You can get smaller pumps that fit in your bike bag or onto your bike itself, or you could opt for a larger track pump. The smaller pumps take more effort to get the tire inflated but make up for that by being versatile and lightweight.
It's also wise, especially at this time of year, to stock up on some cleaning product to keep your two-wheeled buddy happy and shiny through the winter. Chain lube, a can of GT85 and a Muc-Off cleaning kit is a great place to start and within a few months you'll probably want to go for a new home workstand that allows you to play around with the mechanics of your ride without having to hold it up or lean it against the wall.
The technology that can compliment your riding is developing all the time. It wasn't that long ago that our cycling forefathers would spend their days checking big OS maps kept in the handlebar bag of their trusty steel Raleigh.
Nowadays you can get GoPros and cameras that can document your every ride, whilst most bikes will have space to fit a bracket to hold your phone for easier access to your music, messages and emergency google maps.
Garmin Edge 1030 GPS Bike Computer Bundle
The highly anticipated new Garmin Edge� 1030 GPS Cycling Computer is here. Now available in a bundle, the Edge� 1030 comes equipped with a heart rate monitor, cadence and speed sensor
- Weight - 123g
- Battery Life - Up To 20 Hours
- Battery - Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
- Dimensions - 58mm x 114mm x 19mm
GPS has rendered the humble OS map obsolete. With the introduction of Strava sections and the constant addition of new routes and updates, a GPS computer can really help you improve your cycling by taking you to new areas with confidence and enabling you to keep track of your times. Cycle computers and GPS allow you to just check your basic speed and distance at the entry level all the way up to touch-screen devices that can send messages to your mates at the higher end of the market.
Turbo Trainers are another great accessory to improve your cycling. Allowing you to train on your bike when time constraints or adverse weather stops you going out on a full ride. Newer turbo trainers incorporate a system called Zwift that allows the user to interactively compete against other users and to ride a variety of different routes with varying gradient and distance.Want to know more? Visit one of our Tacx demo centres and try out Zwift for free!
Following a good diet is a sure fire way to increase your performance on the bike. Less pies = less weight = less of you to lug up the hills = faster riding. Its no E=MC22 (actually it kind of is) but its an easy equation to see how diet affects performance. Get your diet right and you'll be beating personal best's all year. Much like any machine, the human body works best when it's provided with the correct fuel.
Cycling specific nutrition products tend to come in the form of high-energy slow release carbohydrates or extra protein for building muscle mass. For longer rides it is good practice to have at least a couple of energy gels, bars or drink to keep your glucose levels up and your energy levels high.
OTE Energy Pack
Save a huge 40% (£6.80) and get that boost of energy when you need it most with the OTE Energy Pack.
This great value pack features a variety of OTE products designed to provide energy during your workout, also included are hydrotabs for easy hydration and a 750ml waterbottle.
Obviously, a helmet and protective gear is essential for children when they are learning to ride and for the most part kid's accessories are the same as Adults (except smaller). However, for those children that have not learnt to ride their own bike yet there are a couple of different options you can utilize so that you can bring them along on the ride with you:
Trailer bike: Attaching to the back of your bike via the seat post, a trailer bike allows your young companions to ride with you and get used to the technique of riding their own bike whilst not having to worry about loss of balance and subsequent disasters.
Child seats and buggies: For the slightly younger children not quite ready for a trailer bike there is the option of either a child seat that fits just behind the saddle and is open to the elements, or you can opt for a buggy. A buggy can hold up to two children and is a great way to help your child build up enthusiasm for riding a bike in the future. And as a bonus you'll get extra fit from carrying the extra weight around!
HAMAX Kiss Child Seat
The Kiss helps to make bike rides simple and safe when you go cycling with a child on board. Freely suspended fastening bracket provides natural springing and protects the child's spine during the trip.
- Ergonomic sitting position
- For children above the age of 9 months and weighing up to 22 kg
- Safe and simple to fit
- Safe and flexible belt system with belt buckles that cannot be opened by the child itself
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