How to Buy Accessories for a Bike

How to Buy Accessories for a Bike
Though the big purchase is over, your new bike is in need of some important accessories. While the specific accessories that you need will vary greatly depending upon your intended use, there are several common bike accessories for which you may be in the market. You'll need to consider a few important characteristics and make a wise, informed purchase.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Purchase a helmet. The helmet is the first accessory that you should purchase and wear every time you ride. Make sure that the helmet meets the CPSC standard and that it fits snugly and comfortably on your head. The helmet should also provide enough ventilation.
Step 2
Purchase gloves. Even if you just plan short commutes, holding bike grips can wear on your hands and cause blisters. Bike gloves are a simple solution. Make sure they offer enough padding and grip. Bike gloves may be full- or partial-fingered.
Step 3
Consider pedals. If you're using platform pedals, consider purchasing clipless pedals and shoes. Clipless pedals are particularly well-suited for lengthy road cycling and cross country mountain biking. You'll get much more pedal efficiency with a set of clipless pedals and shoes.
Step 4
Purchase tools. You never know when you may experience a breakdown. Every cyclist should carry basic tire repair tools, including tire levers, a mini-pump, a patch kit and spare tubes. For longer rides, particularly where you'll stray off the beaten track, consider carrying extra tools such as a chain tool, spoke wrench, Allen wrenches and multi-tools.
Step 5
Purchase a bike bag. You probably won't want to lug around a big backpack to hold all your tools, so purchase a bike bag and your tools will always be where you need them. Make sure the bag is large enough and secures comfortably to your bike. Adjustable storage space, compartments and a rain cover are good features to have. If you intend to tour, purchase a rack with panniers or a trailer.
Step 6
Keep hydration top of mind. Biking really won't be much fun if you are dehydrated or have a chronic case of cotton mouth the entire ride. Consider purchasing a slim hydration pack or water bottle holder(s). Make sure that you're able to carry plenty of water based upon the length and temperatures of your rides.
Step 7
Purchase a light. If you'll be doing any biking at night, get a light. For commuting on well-traveled streets, flashing "see me" head and tail lights or an inexpensive battery-operated handlebar light should be adequate. For night mountain biking, you'll want a brighter, higher-quality HID or LED system with a rechargeable battery pack.
Step 8
Purchase a bike lock if you intend to ride anywhere where you're worried about it getting stolen. Get a strong, durable cable, U or O lock, but also be sure that the lock will fit around the surface to which you plan to lock the bike.
Step 9
Get sun protection. Some sunblock and a good pair of sunglasses will protect you from the effects of the hot, midday sun.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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