Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

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guitarguy
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Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by guitarguy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:19 am

So my wife and I just picked up our first bikes in a long time...very happy! Rode all over town yesterday. Now we have the "necessary" task of stocking up on all the essential extras we're going to want/need. In addition to helmets, we are loosely planning on a few items...

1. Prob a small under-seat style zip bag for each bike with a multi tool, spare tube, inflation/patch kit of some kind, etc. Need to think more about this but basically any little stuff that would be good to have on hand to help avoid a long walk (or hike if I'm in the woods) home.

A cool thing about the bike shop we bought from is that they offer free classes twice a month that show you how to do basic roadside service and get yourself out of a jam...changing tires and fixing other minor things that could go wrong. They also go over basic maintenance that can help prevent problems. We are planning on attending one of these early next month. Very happy with the bike shop we decided on!

2. Water bottle holders. Self explanatory.

3. Wife also wants a front basket type thing that attach to her handlebars. This will be able to hold her basics like phone, keys, ID, etc. When she bikes to work she can bring her lunch without a backpack. She apparently found one that can be detached and used as a bag to carry items on a small trip to the grocery store or whatever, and it also has a drawstring to prevent stuff from falling out. Sounds pretty slick to me.

4. I will probably buy something small to hold my essentials as well...wallet, keys, phone, glasses/case. I'm kind of assuming I won't want to try cramming all of this, especially the delecate stuff, into the seat pack with the tools. But I also need to make sure I find something that won't get in the way of the bar when setting the bike on the car rack. I see they make some little bags that sit on top of the tube up near the handlebars where you can put your phone in and there's a clear screen so you can still use it...that could be kinda cool to be able to use GPS or read park trail maps while riding or whatever.

If anyone has any "crap ya really need" or "crap ya don't really need" advice that would be great!

EDIT:

5. Definitely will want bike locks for each bike too. Are cables sufficient? Or U locks needed? I see some of them mount to the bike frame for carrying but it would be nice to fit them in the bag with the tools for aesthetics.
Last edited by guitarguy on Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

bloom2708
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:22 am

I put one of these on each bike I own.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bicycle-Bike-Cy ... SwEppUNMRt

I second the "under seat bag" for holding a bike lock.

I put a front/rear LED (AAA battery driven) light on each bike.

You do not have to spend much on any accessories. I find the items I want on eBay usually. Also check walmart or that same local bike shop, but they might be higher priced, but they might have exactly what you want.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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Raybo
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by Raybo » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:27 am

You need a rear view mirror. I like the "take-a-look" mirror that clasps into glasses or can be zip-tied to a helmet visor.

You need high quality chain oil.

I like full-fingered biking gloves to save my palms a bit.

High-viz vest.

It don't use water bottles. I prefer a camelback or similar water backpack. I find I drink much more water with them.

Are you planning on doing more than riding around town? If so, you'll need a way to carry more gear.
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:29 am

There is very little you need but more that you may want. As a long time bike enthusiast, my priorities are:

1. Know how to repair flat and have extra tube, patch kit, and pump.
2. Basic multi-tool or small set of tools to get you home if a bolt comes loose or a cable breaks. Don't forget zip ties, tape, and something to clean your hands after.
3. Racks and bags for your purposes. This is determined by whether you are riding for speed, camping, or hauling groceries.
4. Fenders if you ride in rain or sloppy conditions.

Some resources for ideas.
https://groups.google.com/forum/m/#!forum/internet-bob
https://www.rivbike.com/pages/rivendell-bicycle-works

guitarguy
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by guitarguy » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:29 am

Raybo wrote:You need a rear view mirror. I like the "take-a-look" mirror that clasps into glasses or can be zip-tied to a helmet visor.

You need high quality chain oil.

I like full-fingered biking gloves to save my palms a bit.

High-viz vest.

It don't use water bottles. I prefer a camelback or similar water backpack. I find I drink much more water with them.

Are you planning on doing more than riding around town? If so, you'll need a way to carry more gear.
Thanks for the suggestions!

We plan on hitting up several paved bike paths together. With my brother I'll likely also do some easy/intermediate level trail riding. I'm interested in getting into mountain biking but am a beginner level rider.

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djpeteski
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by djpeteski » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:33 am

100% buy a front and rear light, they can be had for less than $10 per set. I put them on blink every time I ride, including during the day.

Bike shorts are amazing even for short rides. Here the higher quality really comes into play. You can certainly pay $20 for these and get an acceptable quality. However, I upgraded to triathlon shorts. They have a smaller pad that does not retain water. It doesn't feel like you are wearing a fully loaded diaper, but the padding is actually better.

Currently I am using: Sugoi Men's RPM Tri Short Directoire, and I really like them. They retail for about $60/pair, but can be found for less than that.

jebmke
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by jebmke » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:35 am

I don't ride on public roads anymore due to the texters but when I did, I liked to wear sunglasses or clear glasses that wrapped around the sides. For me, they cut down on dust etc. in the eyes.

Agree with Raybo's suggestions. Water bottle is fine for short riding but won't hold enough for long rides or hot weather.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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jesscj
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by jesscj » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:45 am

A good bright set of lights, one that gives off enough light to see when it's dark, you'll find yourself at some time on a path which likely won't be lit.
For my rear light, I use NiteRider Sentinel 150 Rear Bike Light, for the front, my e-bike has a built in Supernova front light. Also if you plan on doing longer rides get your bike fitted, you can watch videos to adjust yourself or a good bike shop will work with you, I know for me it made a huge difference for my knees having it set up properly.
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midareff
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by midareff » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:45 am

guitarguy wrote:So my wife and I just picked up our first bikes in a long time...very happy! Rode all over town yesterday. Now we have the "necessary" task of stocking up on all the essential extras we're going to want/need. In addition to helmets, we are loosely planning on a few items...

1. Prob a small under-seat style zip bag for each bike with a multi tool, spare tube, inflation/patch kit of some kind, etc. Need to think more about this but basically any little stuff that would be good to have on hand to help avoid a long walk (or hike if I'm in the woods) home.

A cool thing about the bike shop we bought from is that they offer free classes twice a month that show you how to do basic roadside service and get yourself out of a jam...changing tires and fixing other minor things that could go wrong. They also go over basic maintenance that can help prevent problems. We are planning on attending one of these early next month. Very happy with the bike shop we decided on!

Inflation pump that frame mounts and anti-puncture liners in the tires.

2. Water bottle holders. Self explanatory.

3. Wife also wants a front basket type thing that attach to her handlebars. This will be able to hold her basics like phone, keys, ID, etc. When she bikes to work she can bring her lunch without a backpack. She apparently found one that can be detached and used as a bag to carry items on a small trip to the grocery store or whatever, and it also has a drawstring to prevent stuff from falling out. Sounds pretty slick to me.

Sounds pretty slick to me too.


4. I will probably buy something small to hold my essentials as well...wallet, keys, phone, glasses/case. I'm kind of assuming I won't want to try cramming all of this, especially the delecate stuff, into the seat pack with the tools. But I also need to make sure I find something that won't get in the way of the bar when setting the bike on the car rack. I see they make some little bags that sit on top of the tube up near the handlebars where you can put your phone in and there's a clear screen so you can still use it...that could be kinda cool to be able to use GPS or read park trail maps while riding or whatever.

If anyone has any "crap ya really need" or "crap ya don't really need" advice that would be great!

EDIT:

5. Definitely will want bike locks for each bike too. Are cables sufficient? Or U locks needed? I see some of them mount to the bike frame for carrying but it would be nice to fit them in the bag with the tools for aesthetics.
Cable lock should be just fine, especially one that you can use to secure the bike rack by itself when off biking.

DoTheMath
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by DoTheMath » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:59 am

For most things you will have to judge for yourself and upgrade as needed.

I would second the recommendation to have front and rear lights. I use the rear light in blinking mode even during the day for safety's sake. A comfortable helmet, too, of course. Having gloves and a seat you find comfortable will go a long way towards enjoying your rides. Make sure the bike fits you properly. Moving the seat an inch can make a huge difference on your knees! A pair of water bottles will be plenty for the rides you are describing. An underseat bag for keys and equipment is handy. I would recommend making sure your cell phone can go inside with everything else if you have one (it is annoying when it doesn't fit :-)). A lock is needed if you want to be able to stop along the way, but how beefy depends on where you live. If you're riding in the day and locking it up in the suburbs, then any reasonable lock will work to stop people walking off with your bike, but if you leave it overnight, or where more professional thieves might drive by, then you'll need an upgrade. Your bike shop should be able to advise you on how much to worry about bike theft in your area. If you want to track distance, speed, etc. you can get a bike computer or use an app on your phone.

Edited to add: A bike mirror is also a good idea. It's much safer if you know what is behind you at all times. I like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Mirrycle-MTB-Mou ... E1VVG33Y4T
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alex_686
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by alex_686 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:05 pm

I would vote for a rear bike rake over a front basket. I attach a bag that is roughly the size of a grocery bag. It has handles, a over the shoulder strap, and a pocket for repair kit. I use it to carry my bike lock and lunch when I go to work, or my helmet after I have locked it up. It is more bulky but I like the extra flexibility.

Boogieknight
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by Boogieknight » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:40 pm

Before I retired I commuted to work 21 miles round trip, in Ohio, for about ten years. Skimmed the prior posts, thinking about my gear....

1) Fenders. Without them you can't ride on a wet road.
2) Lights front and rear. They are probably required by law. I use two blinkies on back. And I prefer battery-operated rather than rechargeable though they are getting harder to find. You get WAY more life out of batteries, the equivalent of dozens of charges.
3) rear rack and good quality removable, waterproof panniers. One pannier is probably sufficient on the other side from the chainring. Not too large, your ankles have to clear when you're pedaling. A front basket is destabilizing and takes up valuable handlebar real estate. Get a rack with three, not two, support stays.
4) Padded bike shorts, at least at first until the bottom hardens up.
5) I finally bought a smartphone mount for my bar and anticipate trying out biking apps for my phone.
6) Of course you need to learn to fix flats and carry a spare tube and tire levers.
7) Forget the camelback unless you plan a century. I never wanted one.
8) I used toe clips because I didn't want to spend a gob of money on special shoes. It's old school and they take some getting used to but when you do you'll like them I think.
9) In cold weather you need layers, and the outermost layer needs a half zipper for ventilation when you warm up. But you'll never kee your toes warm.
10) A rearview mirror is a must but you'll find you know you're being approached from the rear by listening. I use a mirror off my left bar-end but I'm mostly blind in one eye. NEVER EVER use headphones or similar while cycling.

That's all I can think of. I'll check back tonight. Good luck....

onthecusp
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by onthecusp » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:08 pm

The adequacy of locks and cables is dependent on where and for how long you are parking.

For popping in and out of a small store or restaurant in a safe area then a small diameter cable and simple lock is perfect.
For a few hours at the movie theatre then bigger cables (e.g. 3/8 diameter steel) or the U lock is a good idea.
All day in a dodgy part of town? Use both.

Avoid the simple "3 rotary lever" combination locks, those are much easier to defeat.

ubermax
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by ubermax » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:24 pm

https://www.cyclingforums.com/
http://www.bikeforums.net/

Great responses and I'd also recommend establishing a username/password for the above forums - very knowledgeable members on each and the sub-forums cover many different topics .

fishboat
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by fishboat » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:51 pm

Essentials..

>Inner tube repair kit with extra, unopened, contact cement tubes. Key is the unopened cement tubes. You open one, use a little, put it back in your bag..the next time you need it, it'll be dried up and you're $ol. Pack 2-3 new 0.25oz tubes.

>multi-tool kit and tire wrenches:
https://www.amazon.com/WOTOW-Multi-Func ... multi+tool

>One spare innertube for each bike.

>I mentioned the Take-A-Look mirror in your other post.

>Helmet

>Frame pump (or CO2 filler)
https://www.amazon.com/Topeak-Road-Morp ... pump+morph

>Floor pump. Pump up your tires prior to every ride to about 80-90% max pressure. I bought this pump 7 years ago..always has & continues to work perfectly:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product//ref= ... UTF8&psc=1

>Under saddle bag#1. The Topeak is nice, but can get cramped with a repair kit, CO2 filler, phone, keys..
https://www.amazon.com/Topeak-Aero-Wedg ... t+bike+bag

>Under saddle bag#2. This one has worked out well. Good sized, not too big, decent quality, and holds a spare bottle.
https://www.amazon.com/RockBros-Cycling ... Saddle+Bag

>Handle bar bag..very handy, this works very well for touring..or around town:
https://www.amazon.com/Topeak-Tourguide ... dlebar+bag

>Or skip the handlebar bag and go with a rear rack an panniers. This Axiom Journey has been used riding coast to coast & this seller has it at about half the normal price(edit..I see they just raised the price from $22.50). Make sure it'll fit your bike.
https://www.ebay.com/p/Axiom-Journey-Ad ... 1730669778

>Panniers..lots of options. Best bang for the buck I've found is Nashbar.
This is a front pannier..but will work fine for smaller volume on the back rack.
http://www.nashbar.com/webapp/wcs/store ... _563344_-1___

This is the back pannier
http://www.nashbar.com/webapp/wcs/store ... _563342_-1___

I have both front and back nashbar panniers(and Topeak h-bar bag)..they're very good. If you need to make sure something stays dry, line the pannier with a trash bag.

>I carry two water bottles on the frame (or three on my touring bike) and one in the underseat bag...when it's very hot. Camelbacks can carry more..maybe..but I don't care for a pack on my back when riding. Unless you're really..really out in the country, there's always a place to fill up a water bottle. Why carry the extra weight?

>Hi-vis, water wicking tshirt or long sleeve top, or a hi-vis cycling jacket. A cotton tshirt will get wet..ok when it's hot, really not ok when it isn't. Never been a fan of the vest thing..more stuff to flop around...can be hot too.

>Cycling shoes. These may seem an optional thing, but if you ride for a while and your shoe bends around the pedal cage, you'll wish you had cycling shoes. I have foot nerve damage form my early years in the late 70's. Thye make cycling shoes that have ridged soles and look like walking shoes.

>Cleats for your pedals..personal choice..somewhat, though for short town rides hey may not be needed. The latest and greatest SPD types are a standard these days and work well. They also have dual sided pedals. I still ride old school toeclips..if it ain't broke..they worked perfectly fine in the Tour de France for decades.

>Cycling shorts..get some. If you ride in street/hiking shorts with seams & underwear and get saddle sores or ingrown hairs, you'll know why people ride in cycling shorts..they're not a fashion-statement.

alex_686
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by alex_686 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:52 pm

onthecusp wrote:For a few hours at the movie theatre then bigger cables (e.g. 3/8 diameter steel) or the U lock is a good idea.

All day in a dodgy part of town? Use both.
At a minimum, get a U-lock. It is the best option. I use a U-lock and cable but I live in a urban area where bike thieves can crack a cable lock fast.

Globalviewer58
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by Globalviewer58 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:27 pm

Chain tool. You will be walking if your chain comes apart. This goes in the small under seat bag.

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:41 pm

AirZound horn gets their attention :twisted:
I impressed some HD biker's and Seattle's bike mounted policemen :annoyed .
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Point
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by Point » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:44 pm

I use bifocal safety glasses, clear for low light, dark for sunny conditions. Helmet, flashing tail light, headlight (both high intensity led battery), spare tubes, tire levers, water, tools.

alfaspider
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:46 pm

Keep in mind that your suggested accessories will depend on the type of riding you do. Some of the suggestions that make sense for commuting or touring don't make as much sense on the trails.

I prefer a camelback for trail riding. Water bottles won't stay put - few trail riders use them. There's also no need to lard up the bike with racks, fenders, locks, and associated gear if you are trail riding. Weight is the enemy, and that stuff adds up.

After dealing with city riding for many years, I've given up on cable locks. They can get snipped in a second. I don't lock my bike up in public without a U lock. They can still be defeated, but are more robust.

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:51 pm

I prefer a small front bag, small under seat or toptube bag, and a rear rack with a bag. String or bungee cords to hold stuff on the rear rack more securely.
Rev90517; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax 25%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

BlueCable
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by BlueCable » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:26 pm

Interesting to see the range of answers, many of which are quite different that what I was thinking.

If you find yourself riding a lot and want to improve your cycling performance, my #1 recommendation is getting clipless pedals. You can bike much more efficiently, especially on hills, with these pedals. These pedals plus shoes are the best $150 accessory you can get for your bike, after the required items (helmet & bike).

I primarily ride paved trails in rural areas, and maybe 1 out of 50 cyclists I see wear Camelbacks. Even if I do an 80+ mile ride, I just bring two water bottle since water is available every 10 miles or so. I'm approaching 10k miles of biking on trails and roads, and I have never had a water bottle fall out of the cage. I do spend a few dollars more on a nice cage rather than the cheapest available.

I used to have a rear-view mirror, but it broke and I never felt the need to replace it. Now that I am almost 100% on trails rather than roads, a mirror is not useful for me at all.

For a bike lock, look at what other cyclists are using in your area. If you see a lot of U-locks, you probably should get one as well. In my area, it is common to see $1,000 bikes without any locks at all outside bars along the trail.

Flashing headlight and taillight are good. If you need a bag/basket for a picnic or purchases, a rear rack and bag are much more bike friendly than something on your handlebars. I don't carry any bag except my tire kit bag.

On my long rides, I carry the following in a small bag under my saddle:
  • Spare tube
  • CO2 cannister for inflating the spare tube
  • Tire levers
  • Multi-tool (allen wrenches, screw drivers)
I carry the following in the back pockets of my bike jersey:
  • $20-30
  • One credit card
  • Driver license
  • Cell phone
  • Snacks
Last edited by BlueCable on Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

BlueCable
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by BlueCable » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:30 pm

I highly recommend Rock n Roll Gold chain lube. Modern chain lubes are much nicer than older greases.

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FraggleRock
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Oil, not

Post by FraggleRock » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:43 pm

Raybo wrote:You need high quality chain oil.
Disagree.
Oil attracts dirt.
You want Boeshield T-9 Bicycle Lubricant - https://boeshield.com/bike/

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by stoptothink » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:21 pm

BlueCable wrote:Interesting to see the range of answers, many of which are quite different that what I was thinking.
I've put many tens of thousands of miles on bikes the last two decades, even going almost two years without a car in downtown Houston (commuting 150+ miles per week), and spent a handful of years racing pretty competitively (triathlons and crits). I do not, and have never carried, 90% of the "accessories" being mentioned as essentials, and have never once been stranded. A helmet (duh), clipless pedals, bottle holder (with bottle), and a small saddle pack with a multi-tool and my cell phone. If you plan on stopping and being out of sight of your bike for an extended period, a lock of some sort. If I carried most of these "essentials", I'd need a very heavy and very awkward backpack wherever I went. Plan for what type of riding you are doing and where you are going. I own most of these tools, and they spent almost all of their time in my garage.

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:51 pm

Globalviewer58 wrote:Chain tool. You will be walking if your chain comes apart. This goes in the small under seat bag.
Change the chain every 3 years or every time you change crank or cassette gears.
Rev90517; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax 25%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

itstoomuch
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:53 pm

I find that carrying a spare tube for local riding a waste. Better to buy better tires and a bottle of Slime.
Rev90517; 4 Incm stream buckets: SS+pension; dfr'd GLWB VA & FI anntys, by time & $$ laddered; Discretionary; Rentals. LTCi. Own, not asset. Tax 25%. Early SS. FundRatio (FR) >1.1 67/70yo

Raladic
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by Raladic » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:30 pm

djpeteski wrote:100% buy a front and rear light, they can be had for less than $10 per set. I put them on blink every time I ride, including during the day.
Just note that this is illegal in many states. Most rules of the road forbid blinking lights in the front, so I suggest you check your states rules first.

As for what I consider essential depends on the ride you take but typically:
  • Rear and front lights - but don't blink on the front and for the safety of others, point them downwards, there is nothing worse than facing another cyclist in a tunnel and his light is blinking into your face, temporary blindness and narrow walls don't mix well.
  • Water bottle cage & water bottle
  • Bike lock, invest in a U-lock or Chain lock, cable locks are too easy to defeat. I don't take my lock with me all the time, only if I know I'll stop somewhere.
  • Under saddle bag with spare tube, tool for inflation (CO2 or pump), multi tool and tire levers
After that everything else is optional.
If you do have a lot of hills then I suggest you buy some SPD pedals & shoes, this will be the best $100 you can spend and will increase your hill climb performance significantly.
I also have a top-tube bag for my phone, wallet and a snack bar for longer rides.

123
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by 123 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:01 pm

One thing you probably don't need is a bike app for your phone (others will likely disagree). When I got a new bike I decided not to get a cyclometer and to just use a bicycle app on my phone for distance, speed, etc. While a mapping feature is nice I don't bike anywhere that I don't already know. I found after 6 months that it was easier to just use a cyclometer since I was most interested in current speed, distance, ride time, and average speed. I would have to start the bike app and when my ride was over I just checked distance, elapsed time, and average speed and that was it. Sometimes I would forget to start the app or it got aborted during the ride. Using the cyclometer was much easier, I just reset the ride counters to zero when I start out.
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tigermilk
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by tigermilk » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:48 pm

Someone mentioned the To peak Road Morph. Best mini pump I've owned, and I only use pumps. I've seen too many people empty their CO2 inadvertently with the tire still flat or under inflated. Yes it takes more effort to use the hand pump, but it won't leave you stranded. Also, a few dollars. It's not just for stopping at a gas station but if you get a tire cut. A 10 euro note saved my bacon in France as I was 20 miles from my hotels, got a cut which a replaced tube would go through. A dollar (or euro) makes a great tire boot. The other things I never leave home without - helmet, hydration, and spare tubes (always carry more than 1 spare). And get good tire irons.

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:30 pm

The Blinking white front light, is Not for oncoming traffic in the opposite lane.
It's for traffic entering your space from the right.
Its for ahead lane traffic making a right turn into your lane.
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:33 pm

The Airhorn is also for traffic potentially moving into your space.
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by gavinman » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:41 pm

If you ride on bike/pedestrian paths a small bell is nice to warn the pedestrians. It gets old saying "excuse me" or "on your left" all the time.

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by itstoomuch » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:57 pm

A bell hardly gets noticed from hard of hearing seniors and people engrossed in their conversation. And not even heard by those wearing earbuds.
a horn like this:
https://www.ebay.com/i/252488314523?chn=ps&dispItem=1
Still makes the pedestrians jump an inch or so :) .
The AirZound makes pedestrians jump at least 12 inches. :twisted:
YMMV
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CyclingDuo
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by CyclingDuo » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:09 am

guitarguy wrote:So my wife and I just picked up our first bikes in a long time...very happy! Rode all over town yesterday. Now we have the "necessary" task of stocking up on all the essential extras we're going to want/need. In addition to helmets, we are loosely planning on a few items...

1. Prob a small under-seat style zip bag for each bike with a multi tool, spare tube, inflation/patch kit of some kind, etc. Need to think more about this but basically any little stuff that would be good to have on hand to help avoid a long walk (or hike if I'm in the woods) home.

Keep it simple. Are you really going to patch a tire while you are out for a short recreational ride? Skip the patch kit and just carry a tube. We ride bikes, on average, 8-9 hours a week all year long. Between the two of us, we got one flat tire last year (rim overheated descending a long mountain from all the braking and the tube blew). None this year so far. If you have good tires, keep a good air pressure in your tires, avoid debris - it's a rare event. Why burden what you care carrying. One tube, and compressed air in a under the seat bag is fine - but you will haul it around for a long time before it is ever needed.

2. Water bottle holders. Self explanatory.

A must.

3. Wife also wants a front basket type thing that attach to her handlebars. This will be able to hold her basics like phone, keys, ID, etc. When she bikes to work she can bring her lunch without a backpack. She apparently found one that can be detached and used as a bag to carry items on a small trip to the grocery store or whatever, and it also has a drawstring to prevent stuff from falling out. Sounds pretty slick to me.

4. I will probably buy something small to hold my essentials as well...wallet, keys, phone, glasses/case. I'm kind of assuming I won't want to try cramming all of this, especially the delecate stuff, into the seat pack with the tools. But I also need to make sure I find something that won't get in the way of the bar when setting the bike on the car rack. I see they make some little bags that sit on top of the tube up near the handlebars where you can put your phone in and there's a clear screen so you can still use it...that could be kinda cool to be able to use GPS or read park trail maps while riding or whatever.

Gas tank. I like the Topeak ones:

https://www.topeak.com/global/en/produc ... -fuel-tank


If anyone has any "crap ya really need" or "crap ya don't really need" advice that would be great!

Less is more. Keep it light and simple, and minimal. The gas tank/fuel tank up front, and a saddle bag will haul enough for a good day's ride. If you don't want to mess with frame and seat bags, just wear a Camelbak which has your hydration bladder, plus storage for a spare tube, CO2, ,multi-tool, keys, wallet, snacks. Doubles as a great hiking pack as well. Very cost effective and they come in various sizes and storage. Rokform makes great bar mounts to mount your smart phone on the bars. Lots of apps you can use actively or passively while you are riding for directions, to track your calories/heart rate/miles/speed, etc... .

EDIT:

5. Definitely will want bike locks for each bike too. Are cables sufficient? Or U locks needed? I see some of them mount to the bike frame for carrying but it would be nice to fit them in the bag with the tools for aesthetics.

A bike thief could care less about the locks. They can easily and quickly cut through or destroy them in a matter of seconds. A casual thief who is walking by will not be bothered if your bike is locked up, but it depends on your bike and its value. If you are riding a $4K - $12K bike - don't take your eyes off of it even if it is locked up. If you are riding a bike that cost a few hundred dollars, a simple cable lock to deter the casual thief will be fine.

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by alfaspider » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:32 am

Boogieknight wrote:Before I retired I commuted to work 21 miles round trip, in Ohio, for about ten years. Skimmed the prior posts, thinking about my gear....

1) Fenders. Without them you can't ride on a wet road.
3) rear rack and good quality removable, waterproof panniers. One pannier is probably sufficient on the other side from the chainring. Not too large, your ankles have to clear when you're pedaling. A front basket is destabilizing and takes up valuable handlebar real estate. Get a rack with three, not two, support stays.
7) Forget the camelback unless you plan a century. I never wanted one.
8) I used toe clips because I didn't want to spend a gob of money on special shoes. It's old school and they take some getting used to but when you do you'll like them I think.
1) You can ride on a wet road just find without fenders. You just get a bit more wet yourself. Never found them that helpful given that I wear rain gear anyways in the wet. Certainly not worth the weight and complexity.

3) Great for touring and heavy commuting, but you would never want this for trail riding.

7) Most roadies who ride centuries regularly will laugh at you for wearing a camelback. Most people hate having anything on their back when they are in the saddle a long time and aero plays more of a cumulative factor over a period of several hours. But they are right at home for trail riding where the bumps will often dislodge bottles.

8) Cycling shoes really aren't that expensive. $50 should get you a basic pair. They are a massive step up from toe clips, and safer in my opinion.

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by WhyNotUs » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:53 am

Glad you found a good LBS. Most important accessory now is the class that you are taking, just learn more about your bike and buy as few things as possible. If they have a class on bike riding form, please consider attending. Learning an efficient pedal stroke can make riding more fun and prevent strains.

Try just enjoying your bike for a while before loading up on toys. You basic list is fine.
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AnonJohn
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by AnonJohn » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:29 am

Hi - Good comments so far, and I'll throw some more opinions in the pile. My use-case is 1000+ miles / year commuting and general urban duty. Currently building up a new bike to replace my beloved 1984 Schwinn LeTour Lux (cracked welds, again ...), so have been looking lots at gear.

Recommendations:
1. Lights, as mentioned
2. Like the Rock&Roll lube, as mentioned
3. I swear by fenders if you think you'll be riding roads in the rain. It keeps grit out of your drive train, reducing maintenance.
4. I didn't see this mentioned: A cycling computer, so you know how fast you're going! Can be had cheap.
5. I love a rack for (e.g.) grocery shopping. If you're only riding recreationally, no need. (And panniers, if you get a rack)
6. Bell. Can't agree more (for streets and trails). Recommend a nice Japanese one ...
7. A small frame or seat-mounted bag
8. Bike shorts work for me
9. I know I'm in the minority, but I swear by a camelback. Gets me through 10 miles in 95+ degrees ...
10. I recommend buying up-scale tires and inner tubes. Specifically, something in the Schwable Marathon line and a Michellin inner tube. Can't say enough good things about the Schwables (after decades or riding cheap stuff).
11. You may want to download a smartphone app. Free ones available, can be fun.
12. I like shorts and gloves

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by lightheir » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:40 am

I've ridden bikes a lot, both competitively and for errands round town. I'm not a tree-hugging bike lover that NEEDS to force myself onto a bike for everything, but I do enjoy them. I've ridden in nearly everything from heavy urban commuting in LA during rush hour to lovely tranquil mountain tour roads to winning my AG in triathlons and competing in century races and criterium racing.

OP, if you plan on just riding sporadically, meaning not more than once per week and especially if you anticipate riding less than 12x per year, don't buy anything else unless you really, really must have it. All that stuff that's recommended by the well-meaning above - horns, racks, mirrors, clothing, etc. - you won't need ANY of it when you're riding that sporadically. I'd say the VAST majority of people who buy bikes are just like you - they enjoy riding bikes during the loveliest days of summer or spring, and ride <12 days per year usually. It's totally fine, and if you suspect that'll be you, do NOT buy anything else - in fact, do anything you can to avoid wasting your money on extra stuff that you'll barely use and just enjoy the simplicity of a basic bike with no other knicknacks getting in the way. (One of my joys is riding a singlespeed bike with nothing on it for distances, for that very reason!)

Now if you decide to amp it up and ride for serious fitness or commuting, or more, start adding stuff slowly - you'll be surprised how not-needed most of the stuff is and ends up getting in the way. On something like a bike, lighter and more minimalist is often best.

My serious training road bike has no mirrors, no fenders, no blinkies, no extra stuff, and its fantastic. (I've tried nearly all the extras at some point, and quickly realized why most of the serious road riders have so little on their bikes as well.) Ok, it's got water bottle holders and a flat kit bag, but that's it. But man, you don't want to know how much I've spent on bike clothing and accessories (much of which is no longer used) - pretty horrifying!

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by DoTheMath » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:26 am

lightheir wrote:I've ridden bikes a lot, both competitively and for errands round town. I'm not a tree-hugging bike lover that NEEDS to force myself onto a bike for everything, but I do enjoy them. I've ridden in nearly everything from heavy urban commuting in LA during rush hour to lovely tranquil mountain tour roads to winning my AG in triathlons and competing in century races and criterium racing.

OP, if you plan on just riding sporadically, meaning not more than once per week and especially if you anticipate riding less than 12x per year, don't buy anything else unless you really, really must have it. All that stuff that's recommended by the well-meaning above - horns, racks, mirrors, clothing, etc. - you won't need ANY of it when you're riding that sporadically. I'd say the VAST majority of people who buy bikes are just like you - they enjoy riding bikes during the loveliest days of summer or spring, and ride <12 days per year usually. It's totally fine, and if you suspect that'll be you, do NOT buy anything else - in fact, do anything you can to avoid wasting your money on extra stuff that you'll barely use and just enjoy the simplicity of a basic bike with no other knicknacks getting in the way. (One of my joys is riding a singlespeed bike with nothing on it for distances, for that very reason!)

Now if you decide to amp it up and ride for serious fitness or commuting, or more, start adding stuff slowly - you'll be surprised how not-needed most of the stuff is and ends up getting in the way. On something like a bike, lighter and more minimalist is often best.

My serious training road bike has no mirrors, no fenders, no blinkies, no extra stuff, and its fantastic. (I've tried nearly all the extras at some point, and quickly realized why most of the serious road riders have so little on their bikes as well.) Ok, it's got water bottle holders and a flat kit bag, but that's it. But man, you don't want to know how much I've spent on bike clothing and accessories (much of which is no longer used) - pretty horrifying!
Agreed! There is lots of great suggestions upthread but if you follow them all you will simultaneously be prepared for century road rides, backwoods trail riding in the mountains, busy urban roads, and your local bike path. Of course, that's assuming you can get all 500 lbs of person and gear to move forward at all :). What is appropriate depends on the type of riding, the local conditions, and personal preference. If they get 25% of the stuff listed above, the OP will perfectly kitted out. It's up to the OP to figure out which 25%!
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by lightheir » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:31 am

The OP actually needs 0% of the stuff above.

mrb09
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by mrb09 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:32 am

A bell hardly gets noticed from hard of hearing seniors and people engrossed in their conversation. And not even heard by those wearing earbuds.
I have a bell on one of my bikes, and I find it more pleasant on bike paths rather than calling out "passing on your left" warnings. Most people hear it, and I just call louder to the ones that don't. So if you ride bike paths, I also recommend a bell.

Funny story, I was on a bike path behind a woman wearing earbuds, running down the center of the bike path. I chimed my bell a few times. She pulled out her phone and I could see her trying to figure out where that funny bell sounding alert was coming from :)

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by chuckb84 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:42 am

I go pretty minimalist on road bike accessories, but here are a few things that are nice or important.

1. GPS. I can't ride without this because when I ride seriously, I ride by heart rate. But, it's also nice to have the navigation with the "take me home" button. I don't find a smart phone an adequate substitute, because of short battery life and I don't want to mount my fragile iPhone on the handlebars.

2. If you have older eyes, this
https://www.amazon.com/NEOPTX-Hydrotac- ... cal+lenses
stick on readers that will work with any cycling glasses. Let's you read that GPS, and seriously, my close vision is so bad no that I carry extra reading glasses to read the iPhone and for fixing flats.

3. Road ID! I wouldn't ride without this. roadid.com. Especially if you ever ride alone. My wife won't let me out of the house without it.

4. Chamois cream. I use Assos. Yah, I know the name reads like a joke in this context. You're gonna love the comfort on any longer rides.

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:52 am

lightheir wrote:The OP actually needs 0% of the stuff above.
I have noticed a trend in this thread: those of us who ride a lot are the ones suggesting that very few of these essentials are essential.

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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:12 am

lightheir wrote:The OP actually needs 0% of the stuff above.
This is quite true. If you are going to bike ride when it is nice out for 30 minutes in daylight, the OP needs no additional items.

Many items are specific to commuting to work or longer bike rides. I assume the OP understands this. If it is raining, don't go. If it is snowing, don't go. If it is dark, don't go. If it is 100 degrees and humid, don't go. Etc. Etc.

At a bare minimum I like to put a cheap bike computer on. That way if I go for a 30 minute ride in broad daylight in perfect weather I can at least see how far I went. :wink:
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:21 am

Yes, first of all, most of the things that people say you "must have" you really don't. You need a bike, two legs, and a destination. (Actually, maybe just the first two.) Everything else is basically gravy.

That said, there are certain things that are nice and that might even rise to the level of "essential". But, as several have pointed out, it all depends on the type of riding you're doing, where you're doing it, and who you are.

I guess my top all-purpose recommendation would actually be a book: "Just Ride" by bike iconoclast Grant Petersen. [NY Times review] [Amazon link]

Beyond that, I can only speak about the things I've found useful, as someone who uses his bike mainly for transportation (commuting, grocery runs) in an urban-ish part of a good-sized US city. If you, for example, mainly ride out in the country only for fitness, this list will not entirely apply:
  • A helmet. To be honest, I wear it more as "judgement protection" than anything else. Given that the type of riding I do is not really any more dangerous than a whole laundry list of other activities in which I could get injured but don't wear a helmet (crossing the street, taking a shower, driving on the interstate, etc.), it's a silly thing to wear. But boy do people around here get on your case if you don't wear one.
  • Water bottle & cage
  • Lights, since I often ride when it's dark out. All but last one are USB rechargeable:
    • Serfas E-Lune 850 for the front. (Get more lumens than you think you need... you can always set it on "low")
    • Portland Design Works Danger Zone for the back
    • Topeak HeadLux for the helmet
  • Reflective tape. The "microprismatic" kind that lights up like crazy. I put it all over my bike, including the inside rims (so that the outline at night looks like a bike)
  • A bell (Mirracycle Saturn). Not as clumsy or random as shouting "on your left!" An elegant warning device for a more civilized age.
  • Rear rack and basket (both from Topeak... MTX system)
  • A regular old bungie cord. Tried a "cargo net" type of thing initially, but it was waaaaay too fiddly and I would not recommend it.
  • When needed, an insulated reusable grocery bag. Made by Hannah, fits the basket perfectly. Bright green in color, so it works as a safety device too!
  • Cable lock (Nishiki, I think). If I parked in areas where bike theft were more of a problem, I'd be U-lock all the way. But I don't, and the cable lock is lighter and more versatile.
  • A small, old camera bag, strapped under the seat, containing:
    • Tool kit (Topeak Ratchet Rocket Lite DX)
    • Patch kit (Park Tool VP-1)
    • Pump (Topeak Mini-Morph)
    • Some nitrite gloves
What I've found that I do not need and therefore do not have:
  • Special shoes
  • Special pedals
  • Special clothes
  • Special glasses
What I don't have but like the idea of and might get one day:
  • Fenders
  • Mirror
Last edited by JupiterJones on Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Stay on target...

fishboat
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by fishboat » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:38 am

lightheir wrote:The OP actually needs 0% of the stuff above.
DoTheMath wrote: ...Agreed! There is lots of great suggestions upthread but if you follow them all you will simultaneously be prepared for century road rides, backwoods trail riding in the mountains, busy urban roads, and your local bike path. Of course, that's assuming you can get all 500 lbs of person and gear to move forward at all :). What is appropriate depends on the type of riding, the local conditions, and personal preference. If they get 25% of the stuff listed above, the OP will perfectly kitted out. It's up to the OP to figure out which 25%!

From guitarguy's original thread from a couple days ago:
guitarguy wrote:DW and I have decided to buy bikes! Yay!

...Our usage expectation: 80% riding on pavement in a city type atmosphere commuting to restaurants and light shopping, and on paved bike routes thorough local parks, but we also would like to have something that can handle some light trail riding on other terrain without too much issue......

Any advice or recommendations would be helpful!
and more recently in this thread:
guitarguy wrote:..Wife also wants a front basket type thing that attach to her handlebars. This will be able to hold her basics like phone, keys, ID, etc. When she bikes to work she can bring her lunch without a backpack. She apparently found one that can be detached and used as a bag to carry items on a small trip to the grocery store or whatever..
So yes..they do need a few things. A flat repair kit & air of some sort, helmet, water bottle(s). Shopping is pretty limited when all you can do is stuff things in your shorts or pockets, so a bag of some sort or a rack and small panniers are very handy, and will find continual use with rides through parks or on rail-trails where an apple or granola bar, or even a small picnic, at a rest stop is nice.

I lead a MeetUp group and I host public rides throughout the summer. Many of the riders are of the "occasional" type. I was on a group ride last weekend and one rider was a totally minimalist, occasional rider..of course, she had a flat and no spare tube, no repair kit, no tool to get her wheel off(no QR), no air pump, and no idea that such things had some use when 15 miles from her car. Fortunately for her she was with people that carried the 'essentials' and we got her back on the road...not leaving her, by herself, until help arrived, in some fashion.

I agree, if you're out for miles and hammering down the road, then water, and a flat kit is all that's really needed, but that isn't the intended use..

batpot
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by batpot » Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:54 am

I'm pretty stoked with recent frame bag addition.
Fits a 3L camelbak bladder and a u-lock, and still has extra pockets for snacks, etc.
No more sweaty back.

Have an under saddle bag for the "essentials".

Billionaire
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by Billionaire » Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:29 am

As expected a wide variety of suggestions based on how much "maintenance" somebody requires. I'm about as tricked out as I need to be now.

I would recommend buying a nice pair (or three) of cycling shorts. See link below out Zoic for the men's shorts with liners. Your groin will thank you. The shorts will store your cell phone, keys, other small items.

https://zoic.com/mens-mountain-bike-clo ... ike-shorts

Of course, you can always go with an eight-panel biking short with a chamois insert.

( I recently started wearing biking bibs, instead of the more traditional shorts. Not for everybody. Loads more comfortable, especially on a 40-50 mile ride.)

Personally, I would avoid a basket as much as possible, unless I was really going to do some light shopping.

Don't wear t-shirts. Most, if not all, biking shirts have pockets in the rear for storing energy bars, cell phones, etc. Unlike a t-shirt, they will provide comfort once your body heats up.

I have no use for a bike lock. My $3500.00 Trek road bike does not leave my sight.

Another vote for Rock and Roll Lube.

TBillT
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Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Post by TBillT » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:48 pm

Minimums for me (when i stay fairly close to home):
>removable front basket for the Saturday produce market.
>those really thick puncture resistant tubes
>Lights for nite in case I get home late
>small rear storage pouch for phone, hats etc
>bike gloves helmet

Optional but I use some special STAYFILL heavy gas to avoid tire refills.

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