What is the best cycling accessory you’ve bought in the past 12 months?

topeak-joe-blowThere’s a lot of tempting goodies out there for cyclists. However, only a few are a worthy addition. Perhaps for you buying an expensive Cycloc revolutionised storing your bike at home or perhaps a great bike computer has encouraged you to go cycling more often.

Whilst I’m very thankful for my iPhone bike mount because it helped me find my way before I knew London more like the back of my hand it can’t win because it was more than 12 months ago. Recently acquiring a Topeak Joe Blow pump has made a huge difference. I’ve always favoured a hand pump to save space but reaching the required pressure in the tyre was a very tough task. It meant I was frequently riding around on a tyre not at at the recommended pressure which was slowing me down and causing more punctures. Whilst the pump takes up a lot of space it is definitely a great purchase and one I should have made ages ago.

If you think about the cycling accessories for your bike you’ve bought in the past 12 months is there one (cheap or expensive) that stands out for you? Share in the comments below and it may be useful for others.

Update with some suggestions from my Twitterers:

danceralamode My portable pump with hose…Morph…finally stopped ripping presta valves on the go…

DWAkin I love my Halo II headband under my helmet. Keeps most of the sweat out of my eyes.

joeharling Chrome Corsair messenger bag. #beautiful

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50 Responses to What is the best cycling accessory you’ve bought in the past 12 months?

  1. Phil 16/07/2010 at 10:42 am #

    I have a Joe Blow and you’re right, it’s a great purchase if you’ve only got a hand pump. My tyres now get checked once a week and it makes such a difference to the feel of the ride.

    Does a cleaning product count? Muc-off, http://www.muc-off.com/shop/product.php?id=1, is fantastic. Spray it on, wash it off, nice clean bike with no scrubbing required.

  2. Brian Jones 16/07/2010 at 10:43 am #

    I love m Reel Lights because I never have to change batteries. They are powered by magnets.

    • Grey 19/07/2010 at 9:46 pm #

      do you have a link for these lights you speak of?

      I have searched but I’m not finding anything.

      thank you

  3. Mark S 16/07/2010 at 10:44 am #

    I’d have to say it would be the Crud Roadracers :-) Being a bit of a tart I didn’t want to stick mudguards on my roadbike and so put up with getting a wet arse in the rain until I found these beauties! Discrete enough not to ruin the lines of the bike but keep my backside and feet much drier (quite surprised just how much spray the front wheel throws off on the few times I’ve ridden in the rain since removing them for our “summer”)

    After them it would probably be the other weather proofing clothing which included a water proof coat (dhb Amberley from Wiggle) and the windprood Altura stuffable one that I got free for subscribing to Cycling Plus, both provide great protection against the weather!

  4. dunity 16/07/2010 at 10:51 am #

    Magnum Plus mini shackle/D-lock. It’s smaller than most locks, sold secure gold rated, easy to use and clips on and off its holder no problem.

    My sigma bike computer I also like since I find it interesting to know various stats about my ride, but I don’t love it as much.

  5. Howard 16/07/2010 at 10:56 am #

    +1 to Crud Roadracer guards.

    Bought a Krypto Evolution Mini which, messenger style, has been hanging from my shorts. I’m thinking that used properly it’s more secure than the standard New York, and quite a bit lighter, too.

    Loving the Large Rapha Backpack also.

    • Angi 16/07/2010 at 3:23 pm #

      OH I’m loving my Krypto Evolution Mini too…useful weapon too!

  6. philip 16/07/2010 at 11:04 am #

    cateye bar-end mirror! Wearing glasses and being a new cyclist i found looking over the shoulder difficult (blindspot beyond rim of glasses lens). Mirror was cheap (7.99) and very easy to fit to my brompton. I also have the cateye lights and the build quality is excellent. Mirror has trebled my confidence on the road!!

  7. ade 16/07/2010 at 11:21 am #

    Easily my Brooks B17 saddle. 6 months ago (a couple of weeks after purchase) I may have been tempted to vote it my worse ever purchase but 6 months later it’s a godsend, especially on longer rides.

    • Trevor 16/07/2010 at 3:51 pm #

      I’m a mirror fan, too. I still look around (so they know I’ve seen them) but only if I have too.

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/coultart/3865241025/

      • Andreas 16/07/2010 at 7:19 pm #

        The mirror looks surprisingly cool – good picture btw :)

      • Trevor 16/07/2010 at 7:47 pm #

        Oops. I see I managed to attach my reply to the wrong comment. I was following on form Philip above – but you probably worked that out.

    • Tim 16/07/2010 at 10:56 pm #

      I bought a new Brooks saddle too. I love them so comfy and that link to the heydays of cycle club touring in the 1950’s. See lots around canary wharf where the posh bikes hang out!

  8. Filippo Negroni 16/07/2010 at 11:22 am #

    The latest I bought is a pair of Ergon GC2 grips (the ones with stubby bar-ends) for my commuter.
    They have made a huge difference to my riding. They are just so comfortable.
    They are shaped so the palms can rest on them without twisting downwards, and the stubby bar-ends are perfect for adopting an aerodynamic position and really make a difference to my average speed.

  9. John Rawlins 16/07/2010 at 11:31 am #

    No doubt about it – a yellow reflective ‘Buff’ from Spain. This is a piece of seamless tubular fabric that has a thousand different uses as headgear. Over the last year I’ve used mine to keep my ears warm on winter mornings, keep the insects out of my mouth on summer evenings, keep the sweat off my forehead on hot days, and keep my neck warm on windy days. Mine is hi-vis yellow with two long and very reflective stripes for night use.

    http://www.buff.es

    I don’t leave home without it.

  10. wari 16/07/2010 at 11:37 am #

    Last 12 months? Bought a new bike, a roadie, as the MTB seems to need a lot more maintenance if I use it on and off roads.

    Any my priceless possession, the Garmin Edge 705.

  11. Neil 16/07/2010 at 11:59 am #

    Best purchase for me is my The North Face messenger bag. I can fit in all the stuff I need to take with me on my commute and my bike handling is not compromised by having paniers. It’s also waterproof and much easier to carry than a rucksack – and it looks cool too!

    Following that it would be the edge 305 which has opened up a whole new world of weekend routes that I can ride without stopping to look at a map. And I love all the stats that I get from it.

  12. Adam Edwards 16/07/2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Ortleib front panniers bought for my daughter’s bike so she could cycle to school. She uses one of the pair as her school bag, attaching to her rear rack on her Puky Skyride 24/7 and the red colour is cool.

    Came in very handy when we then did a family ride to camp 9 miles away, as Dad#s bike was more lightly loaded!

    Adam

  13. Trevor 16/07/2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Not entirely sure they count as an “accessory” but I finally put some slick tyres on my mountain bike (seeing as I only ever use it on the road) and it transformed it completely.

    http://trevorcoultart.wordpress.com/2010/05/07/whoooooooooooosh/

  14. estuarycyclist 16/07/2010 at 1:14 pm #

    Hebie steering stabiliser for my Pashley. A much needed addition to that bike.

    http://www.hebie.de/stabilizer-695.hebie695.0.html?&L=1

  15. Shane 16/07/2010 at 1:16 pm #

    My aqua BikeGlow – http://www.bikeglow.co.uk – without a doubt. I’ve increased my visibility and I get a great reaction from everyone that sees it.

    • Andreas 16/07/2010 at 7:32 pm #

      Wasn’t expecting anyone to list something like that! Good suggestion for a cycling accessory – looks very “critical mass”

  16. Stan 16/07/2010 at 2:12 pm #

    A frizzy blonde wig does wonders to reduce dangerous overtaking.

  17. Angi 16/07/2010 at 3:21 pm #

    My Knog Pig Dog Laptop Courier Bag is the best thing I’ve purchased this year. So many pockets, fits comfortably, looks good (I think), is waterproof and has space for tonnes of stuff. Really sturdy too.

    By far the best cycling bag I’ve ever had.

    http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/cycle/7/Knog_Pig_Dog_Laptop_Courier_Bag/5360050777/

    • Andreas 16/07/2010 at 7:31 pm #

      Looks really good. Would like to get one though not sure my big 17″ laptop would quite fit.

  18. Adam S 16/07/2010 at 3:46 pm #

    Inspired idea for a thread – you should link all suggestions to your own cycle accessory site, I for one will be buying a number of items as a result of reading these responses (especially the wig).

    My own personal best buy is a pair of BMX pedals from DMR, which are magnificently sticky with a pair of normal trainers so I get some of the benefits of clips-in without the frequent wipeouts or having to hobble around Sainsburys on a pair of SPD shoes. The downside is that they are also fairly sticky on your shins if you happen to spin the pedal by mistake.

    Oh and a bamboo t-shirt from http://www.bambooclothing.co.uk/. In their own words ” it’s highly breathable, temperature controlled, antibacterial, UV protective and is the best thing you can have next to your skin”

    • Andreas 16/07/2010 at 7:28 pm #

      Thanks Adam :) Hoping we’ll get some great suggestions and then I can post a big roundup :)

    • Wuss912 16/07/2010 at 11:57 pm #

      you might want to look into eggbeaters pedals their cleats are tiny and with the right shoes are recessed so you can walk with them without hobbling…

  19. Trevor 16/07/2010 at 3:48 pm #

    I’m interested that a few people have mentioned bags. I long ago took the decision that wherever possible I’d rather carry any weight around on my bike rather than on myself.

    • Adam S 16/07/2010 at 3:54 pm #

      Trevor – it’s all about fashion.

      Slung courier style-bag = cool, pannier = geek (I have panniers by the way)

      • Andreas 16/07/2010 at 7:55 pm #

        Also about convenience. If you feel comfortable enough with bag over your shoulder then its quick and easy to carry with you without needing to clip on and off

      • Higgs 18/07/2010 at 8:46 pm #

        I use panniers as a preference for commuting and actually had someone stop and ask me about the weight distribution (they oddly enough had one pannier).

        Backpack/Courier baf only if I am carrying something light (as it’s also about your back :-) )

  20. Luke 16/07/2010 at 5:28 pm #

    Definitely N-Gear Jump Stop. I went from a good handful of irritating, oily chain dismounts per week to zero on my (1x) 9 speed. http://www.gvtc.com/~ngear/

  21. Sam 16/07/2010 at 6:04 pm #

    Two things:
    My Specialized 175mm saddle – partly because it lends itself to endless jokes about being big-boned rather than just well padded, and partly because it’s made cycling so much more comfortable – I can spend all day every day in the saddle now without feeling tender when I finally fall off.
    My Specialized riding mitts. I got the ones with maximum padding on the heel of the hand (http://bit.ly/bT6vhX), and presto! no more numbness, no wrist pain from road vibration, and cleaner hands. It feels really weird riding without them now.

    • Andreas 16/07/2010 at 7:25 pm #

      You cheated with two entries! But very cool and thanks for sharing the info. I created a link to your saddle you refer to. Hope you don’t mind and let me know if its not the right one.

  22. Tache O'vale 16/07/2010 at 7:45 pm #

    Crank Bros. speed levers… which seem to split opinions into love/hate… if you get on with them, they have you whipping tyres off and on no probs.

  23. Tache O'vale 16/07/2010 at 7:48 pm #

    and as the nights grow longer i like my spokelits (sic) as well which have stopped even the most-absorbed walkers in their tracks…

  24. Johns 16/07/2010 at 10:41 pm #

    Of all the accessories I’ve bought this year (which is a lot), the Garmin 705 without doubt – mainly for the GPS. For people with zero sense of direction (comme moi) and/or people who don’t want to be stopping and looking at maps it means liberation. I now ride anywhere, any distance confident in my ability to get back or get where I’m going. Not cheap however.

  25. welshcyclist 16/07/2010 at 10:57 pm #

    Without doubt, my Brooks saddle, expensive for me, but oh so worth the money.

  26. pcnotpc 16/07/2010 at 11:05 pm #

    I really like full coverage Planet Bike fenders for rainy season and SF Panhandle sprinklers. Besides keeping you dry, your bike’s frame and drivetrain stays cleaner.

  27. jasper9 16/07/2010 at 11:11 pm #

    easy, for me it’s the Garmin 500.. I love it. Small and does everything i need. A little unreliable in training mode, but I hear a new firmware JUST came out. Otherwise, excellent. Easily can move it between my three bikes.

  28. Konstantine 17/07/2010 at 11:13 am #

    Thanks to Shane for the link to http://dare-it.com/bikeglow/ – I just ordered a red one!

    My favourite ‘accessory’ (if it counts) is my pair of Swrve shorts I bought for the summer. They are so comfortable, they look good, and I love wearing them! Super stretchy but tough – and cut so well. I highly recommend them, I love mine! I just ordered some winter ones in preparation for the cold weather. http://swrve.co.uk/womens%20shorts.html

  29. Andrew Priest 18/07/2010 at 8:29 am #

    Hi

    Great blog posting. The favourite accessory for me is adding a Hebie Bipod Stand 606 NL to my Surly Long Haul Trucker. Really has made touring more enjoyable. Also handy for on the road maintenance.

    Andrew

  30. Justin Rolfe 19/07/2010 at 6:55 am #

    GARMIN EDGE 705
    It makes exploring into an adventure — without a map… simply the best thing I’ve bought in the last 2 years anywhere (except new bike itself).
    You can plot wierd and wonderful routes through the countryside and then just enjoy the ride… it’s flawless, and if you google right, the maps are free, worldwide.

  31. Bassjunkieuk 19/07/2010 at 8:17 am #

    The Edge 705 is a great little device! I haven’t got one myself (yet……) but have got a few friends with one and I’m certain our trip to Wales wouldn’t have gone as smoothly if we’d had to navigate our routes via traditional means! We only had a few hiccups with the navigation as it got confused on some of the lanes with very small deviations to the route and at one point we missed a turn off a hill! Thankfully we weren’t all spread out but had great fun going from top to bottom gear to get back up :-)

  32. Leslie 19/07/2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Best accessory this year? Without a doubt my Lezyne multi-tool. Had to bling it and go for the stainless steel one though :-)

  33. Grey 19/07/2010 at 9:55 pm #

    I’ve got to vote for the RunKeeper application on my Android phone.

    It’s free and who’s to argue with that!

    it tracks lot’s of information about your ride and has a great website to log all info, definitely worth checking out if you have either a Google Android phone or an iPhone.

    http://www.runkeeper.com

  34. Garmon 20/07/2010 at 7:17 pm #

    By far the best accesory is my Park Tool Bike Stand:

    http://www.ukbikestore.co.uk/product/126/qkpcs9/park-tool-pcs9—home-mechanic-repair-stand.html

    Yes, I know it’s not cheap and you have to have space to store it, but if you have the space then the difference it makes to home maintenance is immense… suddenly changing the break pads, cleaning the cassettes etc is so much less of a hassle. Wish I bought it ages ago!

  35. prj45 20/07/2010 at 10:46 pm #

    VAR “Tyre jack”.

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/viewindex.asp?article_id=VarTyreLeverReviewCTC

    Makes getting road tyres on a doddle.

  36. thereverent 22/07/2010 at 4:42 pm #

    For me the Specialized EMT Comp Multitool:
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/specialized/emt-comp-multitool-red-ec017623
    So much on it I could strip down what I need to carry in my bag for quick matainence.

    This doesn’t count as I bough it over four years ago now but Slime Tyre Liners:
    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/slime/tyre-liners-26-inch-mtb-twin-pack-ec006834#features
    I use to suffer from puncture regually, but haven’t had one since I fitted them. They are fiddly to fit, but very good once in. Highly recomended in London.

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