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Necessary road bike accessories
Old 04-11-2017, 09:29 AM   #1
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Necessary road bike accessories

OK, I bought myself my first new bike in 30+ years. I am amazed at how much they have improved! My new toy is a Giant Escape 1. Among the features I really like are: aluminum frame with composite fork (much lighter than my steel bike), hydraulic disk brakes, a lower low gear for the hills in my area, and shift levers that are accurate!

I use the bike on roads, local bike trails and occasionally on gravely or dirt surfaces. I will not be taking it into the mountains or off-road for any distance.

I do have a trunk car rack for my bike.

Now, I find that getting the bike is just the start of the expenses. There are various accessories that promise to improve the comfort and overall quality of the biking experience. I can easily spend 50% or more of the cost of the bike on 'accessories'.

Which ones are high on the 'must have' list for you? Which ones are 'nice to have' but not highly necessary? And which ones are in the 'not much bang for the buck' area?

I include biking clothing that fits on me, as well as stuff that fits on the bike.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:41 AM   #2
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A cargo rack can be very useful.
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File Type: jpg funny_bike.jpg (125.4 KB, 54 views)
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:43 AM   #3
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Get a small saddle bag to store a spare tube and tire tools. I think that's essential because you could end up with a flat miles from home. A cable or U lock and water bottle & cages cages.

If you plan on using the bicycle to run errands, a luggage rack (don't know if that's the right name for it) and panniers (bags to carry stuff in). They're more comfortable than a backpack. If you're riding on the road or at high speed, get a helmet.

I don't use any bicycle related attire except on very long rides. I use a cat collar around the ankles of my trouser leg to keep it from getting caught in the chain.

Enjoy your bicycle. I bought my first "modern" bicycle almost 30 years ago and still marvel at the technology.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:49 AM   #4
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I would get:
Water bottle and mount
Kick stand
Lock
Small under seat bag to store stuff
A bell to ring when catching up to fellow bikers from behind
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:52 AM   #5
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Air pump to go along with the flat fixing stuff noted above.

I also bring a spare ID (expired driver's license) a little money, a spare house key and my cell phone. Just added a small first aid kit.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:57 AM   #6
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For any bike:

- Helmet. Get something that fits right with good airflow. Studies have shown that all price points provide about the same protection. Spending more gets you lightness and comfort.
- Multi-tool. This will be good enough for most small maintenance jobs. If you find yourself riding a lot you may want full sized tools someday.
- Hand pump for bike. I like Lezyne's for the flexible hose they use, it helps prevent valve stem damage. Don't be fooled in co2 inflators. They're for racers and you'll be kicking yourself when you run out on the road.
- Floor pump for garage. This will do in 10 pumps what it takes a hand pump 100.
- Spare tubes
- Tire levers
- Park glueless patches for patching on the go. These will get you on your way without having to use your spare tube, but are usually only good until the next flat as deflating the tube compromises them.
- Vulcanizing patches for patching at home. I have at least 5 of these on each tube right now. Grab a huge sheet of them from eBay and a bottle of weld wood contact cement and you'll be good on patches for years.
- Water bottle and cage. The hand pump will come with a bracket that fit under the cage
- Saddle pack that fits your tube, glueless patches and multi tool.
- Chain lube appropriate for your riding conditions. Do you ride dirt roads? Wet roads? Your local shop can recommend an appropriate lube for your usage.

That's pretty much the essentials, now depending on what you do with your bike you may want:

- A couple jerseys
- Quality padded shorts. Cheap ones aren't worth it.
- A good lock. A u-lock or a hardened square link chain from a reputable manufacturer such as abus or kryptonite. Think of this a deterrent. No lock will stop a determined professional with an angle grinder. Cable locks are useless.
- Front and rear lights for riding at night. Don't cheap out. Your front light should be 300+ lumens.
- Fenders. Full coverage, for riding in the rain and on wet roads.
- A bell for riding on multi use pathways
- A rear rack and bags for carrying big things
- A front rack with a platform for carrying medium sized things
- A handlebar bag for for quick trips

Tip: your local REI probably offers free or low cost bike maintenance workshops.
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Old 04-11-2017, 10:00 AM   #7
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A frame mounted tire pump to inflate the tire after a flat, and a patch kit as well as a couple of tire irons to unmount the tire to get to the tube and a couple of spare tubes as well.
The device you hang the rear panniers on is a rear rack. Then get rear panniers it is surprising how much you can get into a set of them. Panniers affect your center of gravity far less than a backpack, making the bike safer.

Add lights if going to ride at night which with todays leds are far better than the old lights. Consider a red light that straps onto you calf, because it makes you far more visible with a moving light. Or you can get lights that strap on your helmet front and back.
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Old 04-11-2017, 11:51 AM   #8
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Under seat bag is essential IMO. I'm mainly in the woods but keep ~$10 in it as well as copy of driver's license and DW phone numbers. Just in case. Phone is in my pocket. Also keep a few tools. I've foregone tire repair/pumps but rarely get further than a 8-10 mile walk back to truck. Did get a flat a few months ago and since have tubeless tires and the nail (WTF? where do nails come from in woods?) punctures the interior band I probably would have been out of luck anyway. Not sure I'm that much of a fan of the tubeless by the way. If you're on the road, I'd invest in the bestest brightest flashing LED lights you can.

I spent way too much for my latest bike given my speed and fact I deliberately try to keep it safe after having broken a collarbone, but it is amazing how crisp the shifters are and how great the brakes are. It is a joy for sure.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by orangehairfella View Post
For any bike:

- Helmet. Get something that fits right with good airflow. Studies have shown that all price points provide about the same protection. Spending more gets you lightness and comfort.
- Multi-tool. This will be good enough for most small maintenance jobs. If you find yourself riding a lot you may want full sized tools someday.
- Hand pump for bike. I like Lezyne's for the flexible hose they use, it helps prevent valve stem damage. Don't be fooled in co2 inflators. They're for racers and you'll be kicking yourself when you run out on the road.
- Floor pump for garage. This will do in 10 pumps what it takes a hand pump 100.
- Spare tubes
- Tire levers
- Park glueless patches for patching on the go. These will get you on your way without having to use your spare tube, but are usually only good until the next flat as deflating the tube compromises them.
- Vulcanizing patches for patching at home. I have at least 5 of these on each tube right now. Grab a huge sheet of them from eBay and a bottle of weld wood contact cement and you'll be good on patches for years.
- Water bottle and cage. The hand pump will come with a bracket that fit under the cage
- Saddle pack that fits your tube, glueless patches and multi tool.
- Chain lube appropriate for your riding conditions. Do you ride dirt roads? Wet roads? Your local shop can recommend an appropriate lube for your usage.

That's pretty much the essentials, now depending on what you do with your bike you may want:

- A couple jerseys
- Quality padded shorts. Cheap ones aren't worth it.
- A good lock. A u-lock or a hardened square link chain from a reputable manufacturer such as abus or kryptonite. Think of this a deterrent. No lock will stop a determined professional with an angle grinder. Cable locks are useless.
- Front and rear lights for riding at night. Don't cheap out. Your front light should be 300+ lumens.
- Fenders. Full coverage, for riding in the rain and on wet roads.
- A bell for riding on multi use pathways
- A rear rack and bags for carrying big things
- A front rack with a platform for carrying medium sized things
- A handlebar bag for for quick trips

Tip: your local REI probably offers free or low cost bike maintenance workshops.
Lots of great advice from many people and Orangehairfella. I Agree with most of it but it depends on your riding, commuting, shopping etc. So, here are some more thoughts to confuse you:

- I prefer to use tubes vs. patches. One tube at a time will likely get you back home. So, I would forgo the patches. Obviously, learn how to change a flat. Also, learn if your town buses offer bike carriers. I carry the right change to take the bus home if I am riding near a bus route. I would rather change my tire at home. And, in CT AAA offers bicycle support. They will drive you 10 miles if your bike has a mechanical problem.
- I virtually never wear bike jerseys. I do wear a fairly inexpensive fast dry shirt.
- I only wear padded shorts for rides over 15 miles. For my local commutes, I wear fast dry underwear, usually with pants from Zoic. I have not experienced any problems.
- I have a U-Lock but rarely take it or use it. However, I will typically park my bike where I can watch it and/or use an easy to carry 'deterrent' lock that is light to carry. Having said that, I do not leave it for hours out-of-site. I have never had a bike stolen.
- I would not purchase fenders until you know you will ride in the rain/snow. If you find yourself needing to commute in inclement weather, I would definitely get them.
- Again, depending on your bike use, a rear rack and/or handlebar bag are great. I use both of mine regularly on my town commuter bike. I have a front rack on my touring bike but not my town commuter. I think most people start with a handlebar bag and learn if a rear rack will be required. If you start shopping or needing to carry stuff, you will want one. If you elect to buy bags, I would suggest Ortliebs. They are expensive and may be the last bags you buy. Make sure they will fit your bike and rack. (When you buy a rack/bag, you will need to make sure your heels clear the bag. Your bike likely has a frame length that will be a bit difficult. So, shop with a knowledgeable person).
- Eventually, perhaps 1,000 miles or so you will need new tires. I am partial to Schwalbe Marathon and Continental Gator Skin for my commutting/touring bikes. You will need to check if they offer sizes that fit your bike.
- I love my Garmin that keeps stats ( MPH, distance, average speed, and a lot more) but also expensive. There are cheaper alternatives that may meet or exceed your needs, just not as sexy or as much info.
- Lots of Youtube advice that is very good for bike maintenance. Your drive chain is probably the most frequent. Look for videos about chain maintenance and knowing when to change it since waiting too long will require a cassette change. And, per above, know how to change a flat.
- While all of this is important, perhaps the most important thing is to teach yourself how to be an urban rider. A bike is not a toy. Here are some good links that will provide advice for safe on-street riding. If all the stuff that has been shared, in my opinion this is the most important. Boston Bikes - Urban Cycling
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:23 PM   #10
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Very loud, bright, apparel. And, lights front and back EVEN DURING DAYTIME riding. Drivers don't pay attention anyway (think, texting) but when they are they are only looking for other cars. They "see through" cyclists as if the cyclists are invisible. Flashing lights front and back increase your odds of being seen.......and not being hit.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:31 PM   #11
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Agree the saddle bag is a must to hold what you might need for typical on the road problems (flats, extra cash, etc.). Also need a couple water bottles/holder.

I would also feel lost without my cycle computer to track speed and distance. I have a basic Cateye without a heart rate monitor so I also wear my GPS watch so I can monitor heart rate and download all my rides to their web site.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:41 PM   #12
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Bike jerseys have a big advantage of typically 3 pockets in back, so you can keep your wallet keys etc in the pockets. When riding I eventually moved to bib shorts as well. One should consider if taking a credit card is necessary. If urban riding figure out where bike shops are located so that if need be you could go there as well.
Get to know the street layout where you are riding, know which side streets go thru and can be used as alternates to main streets. (Back in the day this meant maps since the modern dodads had not yet appeared)
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:42 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice.

What's a good brand of padded riding clothing? Should I get actual riding shorts, or can I get padded underwear to wear with my ordinary clothing?
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:54 PM   #14
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I can't live without a helmet-mounted rear view mirror.
Pedals, cleats, and bike shoes.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:57 PM   #15
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I'm pretty cheap when it comes to my bikes, so here is what I have:

Helmet. I also put a sweat band on my head, before putting on my helmet. This gives a minimal cushion and soaks up sweat.

Small under-saddle pouch that contains:

3 hex wrenches to fit bolts on the bike

CO2 cartridge with inflator adaptor already attached, plus spare cartridge. Don't be fooled, these will get your tires to 100+ psi that your little hand pump cannot even come close to doing.

spare inner tube, plus plastic tire levers

patch kit with non-dried out glue.

micro tire pump, this pump cannot get full pressure like the CO2 cartridges, but is good to get initial air in tube when doing on-the-road tube repars.

a pair of disposable nitrile gloves to wear when doing on-the-road work to keep hands grease-free.

LED rear light with flashing mode, battery-operated. I don't have a front-light, but like bike riders who do. This is for cars to see you. I don't ride at night because I don't want to be killed.

Floor pump with gauge: I have a Blackburn that was inexpensive. Most of the negative reviews on this were from folks who clearly and simply did not know how to use it.

I use padded bike gloves, too. This is probably more personal fit than even shorts. Lots of gloves do not have enough padding for me.

==========

Optional: Mirror for helmet

============
Padded shorts: Trayl is the brand I wear and when I compared to what my companions have, these are the best. I bought them at bankrupt Sports Authority, but I see they can be obtained on the internet. I see no reason for padded underwear because padded bike shorts are essentially padded underwear anyways. That is, you can wear something over them. I use them for canoeing, too. I wash my bike clothes in HOT water and they have withstood years of washing.

=======
OK, I do have a Garmin HRM watch without GPS, but with cycle computer. One's smartphone also can be used for this as well. My Samsung phone can detect HRM straps, too, along with all the GPS mapping, timing, etc.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:05 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=Which Roger;1866428]I can't live without a helmet-mounted rear view mirror.

I missed this and could not agree more! (Some people prefer eye glass mounted or bike). They all work for me. I liked eye glass mounted one the least and helmet the most. But, on a ride yesterday, a friend was saying how much he liked his eyeglass mounted mirror.
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:03 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
Thanks for the advice.

What's a good brand of padded riding clothing? Should I get actual riding shorts, or can I get padded underwear to wear with my ordinary clothing?
The saddle on that bike should be fairly comfy. For longer rides, padded bike shorts would be helpful. I use two different brands. Pearl Izumi are my favorite. I also have Sugoi. Not bad, but the padding feels a bit too 'bunchy' at times.

Most of the other possible accessories have been listed. A lot depends on you and the rides you'll be doing.
I assume you already have a helmet. I ride in traffic, so second the idea of a helmet mounted mirror. Couldn't do without it. I use the take-a-look compact version.
Pic pulled from the net.:
http://velohobo.files.wordpress.com/...15-800x550.jpg

Great choice on the new bike. Congratulations.
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:07 PM   #18
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You folks are a great source of info. Thanks and keep in coming!!
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:18 PM   #19
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I always carry a few moist towelettes for cleaning my fingers if I have to fix a flat or put the chain back on the chain ring (though you can use a few leaves to cover your fingers for this), or to scrub the occasional chain tat off my calf.
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:33 PM   #20
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DW and I sometimes ride on remote bike paths on weekday mornings when there are few people. So, we also have a first-aid kit. A nasty fall off a bike can cause some serious injuries, and in the event we are at a location distant from first aid squad, and/or cell phone signal strength, I feel better having this.
First aid kit includes bandages, a special blood cauterizing sponge-like thing, antiseptic, bandaids.......and a whistle.
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