Cycle accessories can greatly enhance your cycling experience. Some cycle accessories are a must, like a bottle and bottle cage. Other accessories elevate one’s riding experience, like a smartphone holder to give you hands-free navigation.
Choose your cycle accessories as per your needs. Helmets, jerseys and all come under clothing. These are essential too. Check out a list of essential cycling clothing here.
*Featured image credits: Cyclist Karan Vaid
Like to go out for rides at night, or in foggy mornings? Then investing in a good and high lumen front light is essential so that you can watch out for bumps, potholes or any obstacles on roads.
Investing in a rear red blinking light is also a must, so that fast driving vehicles can see the high frequency of your red light from a distance and avoid hitting you.
Choose from lights that are rechargeable (these are often lightweight) and the ones with external batteries which are great for taking on long cycling trips in the wild where you may not have access to charging points.
Find your bike beautiful? Others do too! Get a lock and save it from getting stolen.
You can get a cable lock, with a key or a number combination lock. Go for good sturdy ones that a thief can’t cut through. You may want to get a lock with a long cable so you can wind it through your tires and frame. How useful would a lock be if it saved your wheel, but a thief took away the frame, as high-end cycles are easily dissemblable.
Water Bottle and Bottle holder
It is imperative to stay hydrated when cycling. For this you get special cycle bottles and bottle cages. These bottles are usually sippers so you don’t have to unscrew the bottle cap while riding to drink water. And the bottle cages help attach the bottle to the bike.
You can carry a drink mix in your bottle, providing you with energy and electrolytes during your ride and keep you from cramping, or you can carry just plain water, or carry both the options with two bottles. Do not carry ordinary plastic bottles as they may leach chemicals into the water over rides.
Polar bottles is one of the best bottle makers, based in Colorado, US that have innovated greatly, like providing bottles with dual insulation that keep your beverage hot or cold, as you like, and providing a smooth flow of water during motion with Zipstream caps. Get Polar bottles on cyclop.in.
You can also go for hydration bags that allow you to sip water continuously, sit securely on the rider’s back and also have pockets for essentials.
Cyclo-computers & Trackers
If you are a data nerd or want to track your progress, then a cyclocomputer will be a good investment. Cheaper ones show distance, speed and time and are electromagnetic mostly. The intermediate ones add a few more data-points like average speed, lap distance, etc. The most expensive ones are GPS-enabled devices that show data like heart rate, power, cadence, etc and can easily be synced with your mobile via Bluetooth or ANT+.
A cyclo-computer has a small screen that is mounted on the handlebar of the cycle and shows the data in real time. One can also invest in wrist wearables like a GPS watch if they do not want to buy a cycle device specifically. Garmin manufacturers some of the world’s top tracking devices. Find them on cyclop.in, often with an offer.
Lubes and Cleaners
Buying a cycle is one thing, but if you want its components to last longer, you have to take regular care of it. The primary components that take the hit are the chain and the crankset. While the crankset takes time to wear out, you need to lube the cycle chain quite often.
Make sure the chain does not squeak, which will mean that it needs to be lubricated. Also, degrease the chain once in every two weeks if you are a regular rider and then re-lube it.
Toolkit and Puncture Kit
Imagine this scenario – you are out riding on your cycle, taking in the fresh air and then suddenly, phishhh… the tire is punctured. In this case, you must have a toolkit handy that you always carry with you on the cycle. It will help you repair the flat tire and patch the puncture on the tube.
Most cyclists like to go for a multitool kit that is like a Swiss knife for cyclists, with many functions.
Also, an Allen key is mandatory to make micro-adjustments here and there on the cycle such as in adjusting the angle of the brakes and shifters, adjusting the height of the saddle in case you do not have a quick-release seatpost, and more!
When riding in a group, no one minds if you get a puncture. But if you stand there helplessly without a spare tube to take care of your situation, then be ready for judgement as a highly underprepared cyclist, dependent on others.
Buy the right tube for your cycle depending on your tire size. One key thing to check is the valve (Presta or Schrader) of the tube that your cycle’s wheel rim supports and purchase a tube accordingly. You can take the help of on-site experts on cyclop.in. Carry a spare tube, and cycle fearlessly!
A saddle bag is very handy for carrying small items on your ride, like a repair kit, Allen key, tube, energy bars. These things can be kept in the saddle bag that is always mounted on your cycle so that you never forget them before heading out.
There are other cycle specific bags and backpacks as well that you may consider as per your requirements, like a top tube bag, handlebar bag and more. Your choice depends on how much room you need in the bag, how long you are going cycling for – a 20km ride or a multi-day tour, and how you like to access your bag (while riding or once off the saddle).
Cyclists generally like to have two types of pumps: a floor pump and a mini pump. A floor pump is one you can keep at home and top up the air in your tire before heading out for rides. A mini pump is important if you are going for a long ride and may find yourself in a situation where you have a puncture, realise that air is leaking out of your tires or just feel that you need to adjust the pressure in your tires as per the terrain you are tackling. This elongates the life of the tires as well.
Air pumps come in a variety of sizes and weights these days. Many have adjustable ends for Schrader and Presta valves, and also have a pressure gauge, so you can fill air exactly to the PSI you want.
Handlebar Grips & Bar Tape
Bikes generally don’t come with great grips. You have to buy good ones. The good ones are wide and cushioned for the lower area of the hand, giving support to your wrist. Towards the ends the grips are narrow but cushioned to allow your fingers to curl easily around them. This makes a huge difference in long rides. You may choose the grips according to your riding style.
You can also attach thumb hooks to your handlebar and give yourself the option of another hand position (a very natural and comfortable one) on the handlebar. Bar tapes for road bikes also provide much needed cushioning for the rider’s hands, and come in a variety of colours and even prints. A well-known brand that specialises in grips and tape in Supacaz from California.
It is not just uncomfortable to take out your phone from your pocket and look at the route again and again, but also unsafe! For this reason cyclists all over the world like to attach their phone to their handlebar and ride while having the route right in front of them.
As the face of the phone is exposed, the cyclists can easily navigate and use touchscreen functions while riding. And as the phones are expensive quite often, brands make these holders such that they hold the phones securely and tightly. If you get off the bike, you can easily detach the phone and carry it with you.
Quite easy to install by yourself, mudguards will help prevent you from muddy potholes and the puddle-water thrown on your back by your rear tire’s rotation during a wet ride. Cycles, unfortunately, do not come with pre-installed mudguards these days. But they are quite cheap and are available online.
Pannier Bags and Carriers
Panniers bags and carriers are best for long days on the bike and for bikepacking adventures. Pannier bags are used to carry all your stuff and are mounted on either side of the carrier.
Carriers are great if you are going to cycle to work, or get groceries on your bike and need to carry relatively heavy items. Using cycles for sport is fashionable, but using them in your daily life makes a big statement towards eco-friendliness and sustainable living.
Kickstand and Hangers
What a pity that we do not get a pre-installed kickstand these days with a brand new cycle! But the good thing is, they are widely available and can easily be fixed at home with the help of an Allen key.
Kickstands are beneficial so that you can park your cycle anywhere and don’t have to rely on a wall or a tree for support.
Trek N Ride, available on cyclop.in, makes wall hooks as well, so you can hang your bike vertically on the wall. It makes for a great fashion statement as well.
Cycling Cleats and Pedals
Cleats and pedals allow a cyclist to be one with the bike. With these a cyclist can clip his foot onto his bike and use his leg’s upward motion (not just downward) to propel the bike forwards. Cleats and pedals are often bought together as they must fit with each other. They differ for MTB shoes and Road shoes. Find the one that may suit you with on-site help on cyclop.in.
To enjoy your rides, you need to be properly fueled as well. You could take a banana, a bar or mix energy drinks in your bottle for your rides. Sports nutrition products are specifically devised to provide instant energy and electrolytes. Some also help in proper and quick recovery post rides.
Read about our review of Steadfast SNergy here
Read about our review of Steadfast Carborance here
Choose your cycling specific nutrition here.
The repetitive motion of pedaling can be irritable for your groin area. Cycling specific anti-chafing cream reduces friction on your groins and prevents any cuts. If riding on the saddle for long hours is your thing, then anti-chafing cream is one of the mandatory cycle accessor for you.
Bells and Mirrors
Bells and rear view mirrors are important for congested rides or while commuting in a crowded area. A rear view mirror installed on your cycle’s handlebar helps you see any incoming vehicle or check while taking turns.
So here is a list of the best cycle accessories that you should have. Get the basics and then invest in the ones you want. According to us the must-haves are:
Hope that helps. Happy riding! Check essential cycling clothing here.