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Bicycle Accessories
Old 04-18-2017, 07:42 AM   #1
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Bicycle Accessories

I thought a thread a bike accessories might be useful and more to the point than putting accessory comments on a general bike thread. Here it goes.

I am thinking of adding four additional accessories to my bike to make it safer and more usable and would appreciate comments on people's experience with different makes and models. One advantage of my new bike is that it weights 8 pounds less than my old one. I do not want to give away much of that advantage by adding more accessory weight than necessary.

FWIW, I am a casual cyclist. Most of my cycling is under 20 miles total.

1. Bike computer

I am thinking of a small and light weight computer that will give me miles speed, trips (more than trip would be nice) and time. Wired or wireless? Do any models stand out in terms of being more rugged, waterproof, etc? Battery life and cost?

2. Biking gloves

Full finger coverage or the type that leave the last inch of finger exposed? Are gel pads worth the xtra cost?

3. Lights - front and rear

I doubt if I will bike much at night or in bad weather, but one can be stuck in that situation by events. Any advice on which are best?

4. Rear view mirror

Helmet or handle bar attachment? Should a helmet mirror be permanently attached to the helmet or be a 'clip-on'?

Your thoughts and advice are appreciated.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:54 AM   #2
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For safety I have a rear view mirror on my bike attached to the handle bar which allows me to see vehicles coming up behind me and how close they are.

Recently I purchased an Airzorn compressed air horn that is extremely loud. It attaches to the handle bar and rail of the bike. This is similar to a boat horn. This was necessary because we ride in the country and many dogs come after us when cycling. Some are not harmful but when chased by pit bulls it can cause anxiety.

I have a Garmin Forerunner 305 sports watch that I bought over 10 years ago for running and cycling.

My gloves have the fingers open which allows for a good grip but also comes in handy during the summer when cycling in the heat and humidity. Where I live you drip in the summer time. If colder, I add a cotton glove over my cycling gloves. If you cycle 20-50 miles at a time the gel padding helps your grip and reduces fatigue in your hands.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:31 AM   #3
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I don't ride without a mirror. Helmet also.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I don't ride without a mirror. Helmet also.

I assumed everyone cycled with a bike helmet. Met a cyclist last month whose chain came off his bike going down a hill at 40 mph. He ended up unconscious in an ambulance with a broken collar bone, broken ribs among major cuts and scrapes. His helmet was torn to shreds but saved his brain.

Nothing else to add.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:39 AM   #5
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A few random thoughts:

1. Good-fitting bike shorts are a real pleasure.
2. Layers of wicking materials are good for cold/cool weather. I comfortably commuted with the temps in the 20's. (For some reason I don't find that a reasonable recreational temperature.)
3. Gloves - fingers out for warm weather, full fingers for cool, and two layers for cold - inner layer something fluffy and outer layer windproof.
4. A good quality rack/pannier can make hauling even a small amount of material easier. I think rear mount ones are much easier to deal with than front baskets.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:49 AM   #6
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I have a basic Cateye handlebar mount computer, works great and battery seems to last a long time. Living in AZ I don't do a lot of riding on the rain so not sure how waterproof it is.

I tried a helmet mounted mirror but could never get it adjusted right for me so I use one that mounts to the end of the handlebar.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
How is this different than the thread you started 4 days ago?

Necessary road bike accessories


It isn't. I seem to have had a 'senior' moment and forgot about the previous thread. How embarrassing. If moderators want to combine them it's fine with me.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:51 AM   #8
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I rode across the country a couple of years ago.....no helmet and no rear view mirror. I don't advocate those choices for other people though.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:21 AM   #9
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1. Strava and a smartphone
2. Both. You want FF gloves on cold days and hate them on hot ones
3. LED's even during the day are brighter than reflectors, and are more noticeable. Also wear florescent colors.
4. No. Just one more thing to impale you when you crash. No kickstands either.
5. Quick-link for your chain and chain tool. Goes under brand names like 'Powerlink' or 'Missing-link' Must-have in every kit.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:32 AM   #10
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if i was to ride a bike, id need some one to pedal it for me hahaha,
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Blue Collar Guy View Post
if i was to ride a bike, id need some one to pedal it for me hahaha,
That's been covered.

https://electricbikereview.com/best-electric-bikes/
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:42 AM   #12
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The types of rides you do are going to dictate which accessories you need or want.

1 - Bike computers are fun. They let you track your progress. My riding buddy that uses a Cateye, and also uses MapMyRide.
Mobile Cycling App, Bicycle GPS Tracking, Cycling Training Apps | MapMyRide
I personally use a cheap Schwinn computer. I've got somewhere around 11K miles on it with no problems. Very accurate.
https://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-SW763.../dp/B0089WYS54

2 - I don't wear gloves except on cold winter days.

3 - You could hold off on lights until ride for a while. Decide if you really have the need. My afternoon/evening rides turn into night rides during summer. I snap lights out of the mounts and leave them home during daylight rides. Many good choices on lights. My lights:
https://www.blitzugear.com/products/...able-headlight
https://www.blitzugear.com/collectio...ike-tail-light

4 - Mirrors are a personal choice. Some folks have no need. I find mine very helpful when I'm in traffic. This is a photo from this morning's ride showing my Take-A-Look compact (there's a standard and compact). It's clipped onto the visor, and secured with zip ties.
http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...cture1466.html

Also seen in that photo is an accessory having to do with what type ride a person does, as mentioned above.
I ride out from the city and onto country roads. Loose dogs can be a big problem. I have a velcro 'holster' with Fox brand pepper spray mounted under the top tube. It stays on the bike at all times.
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:44 AM   #13
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Speaking of bikes ..I just can't seem to get comfy on mine. I was thinking a Tera trike rambler... any thoughts
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:07 PM   #14
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Lots of advice on this and the other thread. Most of it pretty useful and with options that allowed folks to customize for their needs. (For example a handle bar mirror or a helmet one. Meets the same objective but people have diffrent preference for the design.

I bicycle a lot and spend a lot of time advocating for better bicycling infrastructure. I am really pleased to see all the discussion.

My latest personal discovery is a vest I recently started wearing that says "Give Three Feet, It's The Law". Your State may not have a 3 foot passing limit. Or it might be 4 feet. In my state, we have a 3 foot passing law and since wearing the vest, I feel motorists have been more careful while passing me. I purchased mine from the WI Bike Fed. Here is the link. https://store.wisconsinbikefed.org/p...flective-vest/

If you do not know if your state has a minimum passing law, then the first thing I would suggest is you learn the rules about safe biking. Even experienced bikers do not take all the time they should to learn the safest approaches. I posted some of the sites I thought provided good safe bicycling suggestions on the OP's first post so I will not repeat them here. If you cannot find them, I would be happy to share them again if you let me know.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Root View Post
5. Quick-link for your chain and chain tool. Goes under brand names like 'Powerlink' or 'Missing-link' Must-have in every kit.
A chain break is rare so most people don't really need a Powerlink....however, if you ride a lot of miles then they are something to have in your toolkit along with the knowledge of how to use them.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
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A chain break is rare so most people don't really need a Powerlink....however, if you ride a lot of miles then they are something to have in your toolkit along with the knowledge of how to use them.
True, but the low-cost and small size make it an almost no brainer.

I'd also suggest everyone carry at least one inner tube (two if riding off-road). I used to only carry one, until I blew two tubes on one ride and had to walk 4 miles back to my car.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:19 PM   #17
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I use a Garmin 520 bike computer. This gives me everything I need to track in my ride through Garmin Connect, Strava, and ConnectStats.

I always use helmet, with a mini mirror attached. By moving my head, I can get a full view of what's behind me.

I always use gloves. Gel are best. Short fingers when hot, long when cold.

I have a white strobe for he front and a red strobe for rear (at least 65 lumens). Even during the day, they are visible.

My under seat bag carries tubes and needed tools to get me home.

Good shorts are worth their weight in gold, as well as bright jersey.

Last, for Christmas, my kids got me the ICEdot. This attaches to my helmet, and links to my cell phone. If I go down, the impact will send an alarm and my location, to any emergency contacts I choose. Peace of mind (pun intended)?
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:21 PM   #18
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Re rear panniers, they provide a much safer way of carrying things on a bike than a backpack, because the keep the center of gravity of the bike and rider closer to the ground than a backpack does. This means that the bike should be more stable and easier to handle if significant steering inputs are required. A double set of rear panniers that don't extend to far above the rack can provide 2000 cubic inches for groceries. (if riding around town) Or it is possible to go bike tripping with them (I did a motel based trip in 1981 in Washington and BC but did stay in motels so could carry more clothes. (Up there even in summer you need both warm and cold weather gear, riding thru 40 degree rain can get you quite chilled. I recall stoping at a restaraunt and just ordering hot tea to warm my self up in that case)
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:32 PM   #19
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One more thing, in the catagory of probably never going to happen, I carry a spare derailleur hanger for my Trek. Two years ago, on a multi day tour, my buddy had to lay his bike down to avoid a curbed road island (long story). His hanger got bent. We found out that these hangers are species specific to your bike. The supporting bike shop had to order the part. He was on the SAG wagon for the duration.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:38 PM   #20
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Helmet and cheapy bile computer from WM. I ride paved MPTs, and am usually no more than 2-3 miles from home/car, so no tools or spare tubes. Might upgrade someday, or not...
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