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Important Accessories when Riding your Bike

Author: admin / Comments: 0

Cycling isn't just about the exercise, but it’s also about spending time outdoors with family and friends. It can also be a very good way of getting around: commuting to work every day or doing your weekly shopping. Make sure you own the right accessories for your bike and yourself as a bike rider, so you'll never find yourself unprepared on the road. Therefore considering to buy the most important accessories will ensure both safety and efficiency on your riding experience. Some of these are more relevant to the utility cyclist (someone who rides short distances on a regular basis to get to work or do shopping), while some are more relevant to the cyclist who's riding for fun and fitness.

First of all it’s important to have the: a) Knowledge of how to ride safely - If you ride in towns/cities, what you need to know is how to ride the bicycle safely in traffic. So, be sure to read books, articles, etc., and get the necessary information regarding this issue in order to stay safe in traffic.

b) Something to carry stuff – Usually, almost everyone needs to carry things with them on a bike. If you're a utility rider, then your main options should be a brightly colored rucksack and pannier. Also, having lots of reflective stuff on your rucksack increases your visibility both night and day. However, the longer your rides, and the heavier the load, the more important it is to get the weight off your back and onto the bike. If you buy a rack for your commuter bike, make sure you get one that has a light mounting plate on the back with holes 80mm apart, so you can mount a good rear light to it

If you are a fun/fitness rider, your options should be a rucksack, a saddlebag or pockets.

c) Lock - If you are a utility cyclist, a lock for your bike is your first absolutely essential purchase. The best lock for this use is a heavy aka U-lock. Make sure to always lock your frame up to something, never just the wheels! Wheels can be easily taken off, and you might come back to find you are left with a very securely locked wheel. Actually, it's a good idea to have a cable lock as well just in case you will be locking your bike in different places, as it allows you to lock your bike to a tree or lamp post that your lock will not fit around.

d) Maintenance/Emergency Tools - Like any vehicle, a bicycle requires repairs from time to time and tire punctures are not uncommon on longer rides either. If you are going for a ride longer than about 3 miles, then at the very least you will want to pack a puncture repair kit including a pump, spare tube, and tire levers. It is also useful to carry a tube patch kit in case you get more than one puncture, and Allen keys to do the needed minor adjustments.

e) Lighting - Lights are very useful if you want to do a weekday ride in the winter and work during the day, because then you will be riding home at night. In addition to using lights at night, you should make sure that you have something light-colored and reflective on your body, too at night. There are three main options for lights. By far, the most common are small battery-powered lights that attach to your handlebars, seat post, or rack. LEDs are definitely the way to go: white LEDs for the front, and red LEDs for the rear. However, if you have a rear rack, then you should look to get a light that is meant to attach to a rear rack. The batteries on these last longer and they have a big reflector built in, further increasing your visibility.

f) Waterproof Jacket - This is an essential item to the utility rider and a very good idea for the fun/fitness rider as well. You should look for a jacket without any kind of insulation (since you will want to wear it even when it's not very cold, and you can wear a fleece or sweater underneath to keep warm when it is very cold) that is brightly colored and has lots of reflective stuff.

g) Hydration - This concerns mainly the fun/fitness cyclists, as utility cyclists usually don't go on long enough rides so that they would need to drink en route. One universal problem among beginning cyclists is failure to stay well-hydrated. Exercise and fitness experts recommend drinking water every 20 minutes in order to make sure you are hydrated well enough while riding. There are a variety of ways to carry water with you while you ride, from bottle racks attached to the frame to hydration packs worn on the cyclist's back.

h) Ride Computer - This is something that all cyclists can use. For serious fitness riders it is essential to know how far they went, and how fast, but even for the utility and casual riders it's nice to know the distance they travelled. Basic models can show you the trip distance, total distance, average speed and top speed, and the journey time as well. More expensive models can have a huge array of functions, such as position (via GPS), heart rate, altitude, or calories burned.

i) Padded Shorts – These shorts are quite essential to anyone who rides further than say 15 miles at a stretch. Even professional cyclists have been known to drop out of long-distance races due to the pain of "saddle sores," a condition that can be avoided, or at least made bearable with proper clothing and a proper bike saddle.

j) Proper Saddle - If you only make short trips on your bike you will probably get on alright with the saddle that came with your bike. Even so, as time goes by, you may want to upgrade to a better saddle in case the one you already own starts to give you a hard time. The main thing to look for in a saddle is that most of the weight should be on the "sit bones". However, saddle choice is a highly personal thing, and what works for one person often doesn't work for another person.

k) Helmet - Helmets are probably the number 1 thing that people think of when they hear the word "cycle accessory". Probably because people realize that wearing the right bike helmet, in case of an unfortunate accident while riding, can actually save your life. So, here are some things to look for in a helmet: first, make sure it fits. If you have a small head do not buy one of these "one-size-fits-all" helmets. With those helmets, there may be some mechanism to actually attach the way oversized helmet to your head so that it won't fall off, but it won't protect you in a collision as well as a properly fitting helmet. Second, get one that's a light colored to help with visibility.

Overall, make sure to always ride your bicycle safely, obey traffic laws, use lights at night, and dress with the proper close to increase visibility. And most importantly, always enjoy your ride!!!


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