If you’re new to the world of biking, you may hear and read a ton of advice about the best bike accessories you need to get.
However, buying all these recommendations can lead to unnecessary expenses and take up a lot of space in your garage.
Choosing the most essential bike accessories at the beginning of your biking journey is vital. They should be more than enough to ensure safe and comfortable rides wherever you go.
We’ve compiled a list of the top 12 bike accessories you will need to enjoy a smooth, happy riding experience through all road and weather conditions.
Top 12 Bike Accessories You Should Own
The most important bike gear you will need at the start of your biking journey is a high-quality bike helmet. It will keep your head safe from serious injuries in the event of a crash and even save your life.
In fact, bike helmets reduce the risk of mild and serious head and brain injuries by 63% to 88%.
No federal law in the United States requires bike helmets, but it is in your best interests to wear one every time you go out—you never know when misfortune will strike. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure to buy a helmet with a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) seal, one that suits your specific needs and riding habits.
If you want to ride your bike up and down mountains, get a heavily padded helmet that will protect your head in case you fall. Road bike helmets are much more lightweight and aerodynamic.
If you want to attach an action camera to your helmet, you should get one with a corresponding mount. Make sure your helmet fits snugly on the top of your head before you go out and ride with it.
Cycling gloves are essential bike accessories you must wear with each ride to protect your hands if a serious accident occurs. They also mitigate friction, chafing, and blisters, and add a lot of comfort and convenience to your ride.
Another benefit of wearing gloves while riding is that they safeguard the ulnar nerve that runs through your palms. Continuous pressure on this nerve can cause pain or numbness in your fingers or your entire hand.
Biking gloves have padded palms that reduce the strain and discomfort you may experience in your hands while riding for long hours and distances.
Bike gloves come in a range of styles and materials. Make sure your new pair is crafted from breathable materials to avoid trapped heat and sweaty palms.
Locks are must-have bike accessories to keep your bike safe when you have to leave it outdoors. A quality bike lock may seem pricey, but it will go a long way in keeping your bike safe from theft.
This is a long-lasting and solid investment that you shouldn’t hesitate to purchase.
It is difficult to ascertain the quality of a lock only by looking at it. Buy a Sold Secure-rated lock as it comes with independent ratings such as gold, silver, and bronze. This will give you greater peace of mind about its quality and your bike’s safety.
Also, most bike insurance companies require the use of a Sold Secure-rated lock. Only then can you claim insurance coverage against your policy in the event of a theft or accident.
Once you buy a new bike lock, simply secure the wheels of your bike when you park it outdoors. This should be enough to keep your bike safe from thieves and troublemakers.
Water Bottle and Bottle Holder
Hydration is an absolute must while cycling, especially if you enjoy long-distance rides over several hours. Keep a water bottle with you at all times, especially during hot and dry weather conditions.
Fit a bottle holder on your bike to keep your hands free while riding. This way, you can ride comfortably without worrying about your water bottle falling off your bike.
Chain lubricant will enhance the performance of your bike chain and keep it functioning smoothly.
It will prevent rust accumulation and overall degradation, thus increasing the longevity of your bike chain so you won’t have to get a new one for a long time.
Get a good chain lube and lubricate your bike chain after every few rides. Bring it with you if you’re going on a long ride.
Bike lights are another must-have, especially if you enjoy cycling at night. But even if you’re not a night rider, you still need to get them.
After all, you may have to step out after dark to go to the store or get stuck somewhere after nightfall. A good set of bike lights will keep you safe from potential accidents and collisions in the dark.
Although most city roads have street lights, you may still encounter certain stretches of unlit roads. And if you live outside the city, you will undoubtedly need bike lights for illumination wherever you go.
Poor or no light makes it impossible for other motorists to see you and your bike, thus increasing the chances of an accident.
The kind of bike lights you must buy depends on where you ride. If you stay within the city limits, where there are many street lights, you may not need high-powered bike lights. Low-powered lights and reflective garments should keep you safe.
However, if you go biking in areas with poor ambient light on the streets, you will need bright lights with high illumination to ensure high visibility. Mountain bikers should get bike lights with the highest power, such as bright LED lights.
The popularity of highly efficient and bright LED lights and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries has led to the emergence of compact bike lights with excellent power.
You can opt for bike lights with multiple settings that allow you to use a high-powered setting on unlit roads and a low-powered lighting mode on city roads.
This will help save battery life and avoid blinding other cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians when you encounter them.
While cycling, your hands must be firm on your handlebars and focus on the road in front of you at all times. Poor concentration on the road while riding can lead to crashes and injuries.
One of the easiest ways to clear your head is to ensure that all your belongings are entirely safe at all times, which means getting a sturdy and secure bag.
Baggage is particularly important if you’re going on a long trip. You may need to carry a change of clothing, food, bike accessories, and other essentials.
The best bag for you depends on the distance and duration of your bike rides. If you only go on short rides around town, you just need a small rucksack or pouch.
If you like to go on long trips across hilly terrain, you will need a bigger bag secured on a bike rack and panniers. With these attachments, you can keep the load off your shoulders and put it on your bike instead.
Spares and Tools
As a cyclist, you must always be prepared for any emergency. This is why it is a sensible idea to carry spares and tools on each ride, especially if you ride for long distances or across mountains.
A multi-tool will come to your aid in a pinch in roadside repairs. These multi-tools are designed for basic bike repairs and adjustments, such as shifting the height of the bike saddle or securing loose bolts. Others come with more advanced functions.
Another bike accessory that you must carry with you is a spare inner tube. It will come in handy if you run into problems on a ride across town or up the hills.
You should also bring a tire lever with you on a ride. If your bike tire gets punctured in the middle of the road and is difficult to take out, you can easily remove the tire and replace it.
Carry these tools in a small rucksack or saddle bag so you can easily bring them wherever you go.
Bringing a spare tube on a bike ride is all well and good. But if you don’t have a pump or a CO2 inflator to inflate the tube, there’s no point in carrying it in the first place.
A bike pump will save you from getting stranded on a mountain or other isolated areas if your bike tire is suddenly punctured and goes flat.
You can choose from several bike pumps depending on your needs and preferences. Full-sized bike pumps will quickly increase the pressure in your tires.
On the other hand, you can easily carry around a mini-pump in a saddle bag or rucksack, on your bike, or in a large pocket.
If you live in an area with a wet climate, you must get a mudguard or fender. It protects your bike’s wheels and other moving components from mud and dirty water splashing up when you ride in wet conditions.
A mudguard will also prevent the lower half of your body—especially your feet, lower legs, and backside—from getting wet due to spray from the road.
The protection this fantastic accessory provides can increase your bike’s lifespan and give you smooth and comfortable rides for years to come.
Some bikes come already fitted with mudguards. However, most bikes don’t have them as they don’t look very stylish and can take away from the bike’s design. Nonetheless, a mudguard is an essential piece of gear if you take your bike out on rainy days.
If your bike didn’t come with a mudguard, you can easily get one from a bike shop and have it fitted there.
Fortunately, most entry-level road and hybrid bikes have frame mounts designed for full-length fenders. It is easy to directly mount a fender to the frame and get full coverage at the front and back.
You can also get clip-in mudguards that you can attach to your bike without a mount.
GPS Cycling Computer
A GPS cycling computer may sound like a fancy piece of bike gear you won’t need. But if you’re an avid cyclist who loves to explore, or if you eventually want to train for a race one day, this accessory will surely come in handy.
A GPS cycling computer tracks your position using satellites and calculates your speed, distance, and trip time. It will log your route and the data it collects from your heart rate, cadence, and power.
You can then upload this data to a ride-logging app or platform and track your cycling performance over time.
Modern GPS cycling computers come with waterproof touch screens, so you don’t have to worry about them when you ride on rainy days. Some of them also have preloaded maps that make navigation a breeze.
Cycling shorts are a vital bike accessory you should get if you often ride long distances.
Look for high-quality pairs made with breathable material, padded ones to reduce compression of soft tissue and provide extra cushioning between your bottom and the bike seat. This will give you maximum protection and comfort on long rides.
Stretchy, form-fitting bike shorts like those made from Lycra are particularly great for cyclists. They are fully breathable and move with your body so that you won’t feel hot or uncomfortable.
You can also find bike shorts in various styles for men and women—from loose-fitting, casual shorts to sporty pairs with built-in support.
Cycling is undeniably more fun and enjoyable when you have the right gear. You can enjoy every ride without worrying about anything else.
We hope you enjoyed reading our guide on bike accessories and found it helpful. Check out our website for more such articles on biking and learn more about your favorite sport.
Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Danijel Cakalic