Special thanks for the inspiration behind this post go out to my friend Rob who’s just become a cyclist and the helpful chap in Camden Cycle Surgery.
The essential bike accessories
Lock, lights, helmet, track pump and lockable skewers.
1. Bike lock
What came first? The bicycle lock or the bike. It doesn’t matter, because unless your bike looks like you’ve just hauled it out of a canal then its going to get stolen. The first thing you’ll need therefore, is a decent lock. It doesn’t get much more decent than the Kryptonite New York 3000. It’s a lock that will resist all but the most persistent attacks.
2. Bike lights
Even if you the thought of repairing a puncture makes you run and hide under your bed covers you’ll still be able to install the Knog Boomer and Blackburn Flea. Both are beautifully simple to install and with USB charging you’ll save a bundle from not having to replace batteries. Plus they both provide plenty of light and look great.
I hear gasps at the back? I’d be hearing even more gasps if I didn’t give a shout out to the bicycle helmet. Long a point of contention – to wear one or not to wear one? I’ll leave the choice up to you. I’ve written about bicycle helmets previously. The Bell helmet I recommend is a bit of an “out there” choice for those that want to look cool on their bikes.
4. Track pump
Life before buying a track pump was tenuous. My mini-pump, try as I might, could barely ever reach the required tyre pressure. The track pump on the other hand makes light work of empty tires and means I can cycle without wasting energy due to flat tyres. I highly recommend the Topeak Joe Blow Sport.
5. Lockable skewers
You may have mistakenly believed the fifth item I’d mention is mudguards. You can’t have the pleasure of road muck spraying on your back if someone’s run off with your wheels, saddle and handlebars. That’s exactly what the Pinhead system secures and it is worth having if you are riding an expensive bike.
Bike accessories for a later date
Bottle cage, basic tool kit, waterproof jacket, mudguards, shoes and bike mount.
As things progress with your cycling you’ll probably want to grab a couple of extra bits. A bottle cage for one is useful for staying hydrated. A basic tool kit is good for that inevitable puncture on the way home in the rain. Cycling specific waterproof jackets keep you dry and at the same time not too sweaty.
A final item I can’t close this post without mentioning is a bike mount. If you’ve got a modern Android or iPhone mobile phone then these are a game changer. No longer will you be getting lost all the time as you can follow your route on your phone’s screen. Here at London Cyclist we love them so much we even sell one ourselves!
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.