Whether you have a one-gear “fixie” that you ride alongside streets to the farmer’s market once a week or a fully loaded e-bike that you use to weave through downtown rush hour traffic, you know that riding a bike is more than just a hobby or a mode of transportation. It’s a lifestyle.
To help you live your best biking life and make the most of your time in the saddle, we’ve rounded up some of the best bike accessories that every biker should have. Some increase your safety and comfort on the road, and some are things we thought were just plain cool. But all of them will make your rides that much sweeter.
First up, safety.
Bike Accessories That Boost Safety
“Don’t crack your coconut!” is something joke-making Dads the world over like to say, and you know what? They’re right. It’s smart to protect your “coconut” with a top-of-the-line helmet. Good ones are available for under fifty bucks (although you can definitely spend more if you like), and the best way to find one that fits properly is to hit the store and try on a bunch.
When judging the size, notice how the helmet fits. It should be snug but comfortable and the straps should fall into a V-shape just under and in front of your ears.
You might also consider a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) helmet. This kind of helmet significantly reduces the rotational force, which is considered a factor in concussions, generated by an impact.
Whatever you choose, your coconut will thank you.
Since bikes have to navigate the ever-changing landscape of vehicles and pedestrians on roads, bike paths, and sidewalks, a mirror is pretty much a must-have for everyone from casual to hardcore bike enthusiasts. You need to see what’s happening in every direction and you don’t want to spoil your ride by constantly craning your neck to check what’s behind you.
Mirrors come in several different varieties, for mounting to your handlebars, helmet, your eyeglasses, and even on your wrist.
Bike Repair Kit
Spend enough time pumping the pedals and your bike is bound to have a breakdown at some point. From simple wear and tear to hitting a dreaded pothole, your bike faces countless hazards every time it hits the road.
It’s essential to prepare for the inevitable so you don’t get stranded with a busted bike and no way to fix it. There are many useful tools you could carry around, so it’s important to be choosy about what goes in your repair kit. You want to be prepared but not weighed down with a duffel bag full of stuff. Check out this article on putting together a basic bike repair kit that’ll have you ready to tackle most repairs but still light on your wheels.
Now, onto the accessories that will increase your comfort.
Bike Accessories for a Comfortable Ride
If you use your bike to commute, or you’re just a road demon who likes to go fast, then gloves with hard knuckles will be a game changer for you. Not only do they keep your hands warm, especially on windy days, but they’ll also help cushion your hands if you (may the bike gods forbid) take a spill. Plus, they make you look pretty rad.
Thumb Twist Throttle
E-bike riders will rejoice at the comfort and ease bestowed by this nifty little gadget: a thumb twist throttle. Unlike traditional throttles, which require serious twisting action and endurance from your wrists, a thumb throttle lets you accelerate with much less physical exertion. It also sits unobtrusively on the side of the handlebar so it doesn’t get in the way of your grip.
The list of benefits for these babies just goes on and on. A good suspension seat post is an investment in your comfort and, potentially, your health. They offer a comfier ride over all manner of bumpy terrain and may even help prevent back injuries. Gravel, potholes, unpaved roads, and other hazards are much less jarring and well, hazardous when buffered by a suspension seat post.
Now that we’ve covered safety and comfort, let’s move on to the accessories for your bike or e-bike that are just plain cool.
Bike Accessories That Are Cool
In this day and age, a phone holder is simply a must. Our smartphones fulfill so many functions—they’re our clocks, our maps, our news sources, our messengers, and so much more—so of course they’re a necessary companion on bike trips both short and long. And because bike-mounted phone holders are such a necessary accessory, they come in enough makes and models to suit any taste. Holders from Rokform, Morpheus Labs, and VUP are just a few of the frontrunners favored by bike junkies.
Large Cap Battery
This one isn’t technically an accessory, as a battery is the definitive component of an e-bike. But what launches this bike element into the “cool” territory is the amazing benefits a large and powerful battery can offer to the rider, from greater range and efficiency to increased power and speed. A large-cap battery lets you go further and faster and makes climbing hills a breeze.
So if you’re buying a new e-bike, keep in mind that the most common regret new e-bikers have is that they didn’t get a bigger battery. And if you’re already the proud owner of an e-bike and want to power up your rides, check out the different options for upgrading your battery.
A speedometer is a great way to get an accurate sense of your ability as a biker and to keep track of how much ground you’ve covered in how much time. If you’ve got a self-competitive streak, you can use your speedometer to set challenges for yourself to beat your personal best time or speed.
You can go as simple or fancy as you’d like in choosing a speedometer. However, if you don’t want to purchase any extra hardware for your bike, there are tons of apps that you can download to your smartphone that do the job.
Bike Accessories and Beyond
It’s a big, wide world out there and one of the best places to experience it from is the saddle of a bike, with the sun on your face and the wind at your back.
Now that you have our recommendations for the best bike accessories that can improve your safety, comfort, and coolness factor, get out there and hit the road in style.
We wish you safe and happy riding!