The beginner's guide to bike accessories
Author: John Smith Date Posted: 28 May 2019
So you have a bicycle, or you’re thinking of buying one. That’s one decision down, with several more to go. Choosing a suitable bicycle model is only the starting point of your cycling journey. There are other considerations you should be making as well, including your selection of bike accessories. You can very easily do away with any other adornments or attachments, but you’ll most certainly be compromising your safety and that of others on the road.
Bike accessories for safety
As a beginner, you should first cover the bike accessories in this section before anything else. Cyclists on the road are also prone to accidents, just like drivers of other vehicles. According to a new report published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, cyclists account for 20% of all injury hospitalisations from land transport crashes. In addition, an average of 38 cyclists die every year from injuries, when data from 1999/2000 to 2015/16 is analysed.
Given these statistics, safety should be your first and foremost concern when starting a checklist of bike accessories.
The helmet should be your main priority before you open your wallet for designer cycling shorts or a crocodile saddle cover. Most people find the helmet to be a hindrance to the cycling experience, restricting your vision while adding some unnecessary weight on your skull.
This might be true, but a tumble on the road where you hit your head can result in brain injury, and that’s an entire lifetime of suffering you’ll have to endure. Since you’re a beginner, we doubt you’re going to be picking an aero helmet for racing. Look for ones that are obviously a good fit, with venting mechanisms and a light structure. You need to look for one that keeps your head safe, without making it impossible for you to move your head.
While the debate over the use of helmets continues around the world, you have no choice but to wear helmets since it is mandatory in Australia. Given that, we suggest making this the first item you purchase in your list of bike accessories.
For a comprehensive listing of bike laws around Australia, here’s an article from Insider Guides.
The next item on your checklist should be lights. While it’s easy to envision a scenario where you only ride during the day for a morning workout, there will be times when you might have to cycle when it’s dark.
Your bicycle should have two types of lights, a red backlight and a white front light. Front lights fall into two categories:
Lights to be seen:
These are only meant to show other drivers or riders that you’re on the road. Their brightness starts from around 100 lumens (the measurement of brightness).
Lights to see:
These are more powerful lights used to see the path in front of you, starting from around 500 lumens, but they can go above 1000 at times. If you find yourself frequently cycling in the evening, the latter option is more suitable.
Locks are meant more for the safety of your property, being the bicycle itself. The typical models available are the U-lock and the D-lock, making it difficult for a thief to get the proper leverage. However, you should also consider adding a cable lock that can be threaded around the wheel as an extra measure.
Your cycle tyres aren’t going to stay inflated forever. Over time, they will lose air, and this will increase the likelihood of a puncture occurring if you take your two-wheeler out for a spin. Use a track pump weekly to maintain your tyres in good condition.
If your tyres are giving you trouble regularly, consider getting a mini pump that’ll fit comfortably in your back pocket.
You can also add bells to the list of bike accessories you should get, but most cycling setups already come with this item. However, you’ll be surprised to find out that most setups above a certain price threshold don’t come with the core requirement of cycling pedals, which you’ll have to purchase separately.
In many ways, bike accessories are more crucial than the bicycle itself. Without them, the chance of physical injury or property theft can rise significantly. Focus on these specific additions for safety first, before going for embellishments that would make your ride look better.
If you need help finding a few bike accessories, head over to EXTG and look through some of our select items. We also have a collection of bicycles for both kids and adults, making it a great one-stop shop for cyclists.