Cycling can be an expensive sport. Bicycles cost a bundle and then you’ve got to add in pedals, shoes and clothing. Once you come to grips with the money you’ve spent on the bare necessities it can be daunting to think about shelling out another fortune on cycling accessories.
The good news is there are plenty of bicycle accessories that cost less than $25. Here are 10 things every cyclist should carry on a ride. The combination of value and low cost means they make great gifts for the bike rider in your life.
Here are 10 things every cyclist should carry along on a ride.
- Frame pump — I’m a big fan of bike frame pumps. I’ve used CO2 inflators before and have had either great or awful results. What I like most about frame pumps is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll always be able to get air into the tire. You’ll also be popular with your CO2 inflator-using friends who will rely on you when A) they run out of cartridges or B) they’re too cheap to use their cartridges unless there’s absolutely no other option.
- Seat bag — I prefer a bike seat bag that doesn’t have a velcro strap around the seat post. This is to avoid snagging your expensive cycling shorts repeatedly on the velcro. I’ve seen it destroy many a pair of cycling shorts. The Detours Guppy seat bag used to have velcro, but the new version uses a nice, neat rubber hook system that won’t attack your shorts.
- Spare tubes — I always carry two spare tubes, as do almost all of my cycling friends. This way, when someone has one of those cursed days when two tubes isn’t enough, we are all covered.
- Tire levers — Yes, you could go all McGuyver and use your skewers as tire irons, but why not spend $3 on a set of real levers?
- Patch kit — A great thing to have on bad karma day when two spare tubes isn’t enough and none of your friends have extra tubes. You can also use the patches as a tire boot in a pinch.
- Multi-tool — For those unexpected roadside repairs. Even if you don’t know how to use it, chances are some friendly cyclist will come along who will be willing to help you out — especially if you have what it takes to make the repair.
- Energy bar — Just in case the ride goes longer than expected or, if you’re like me, over-estimate your ability to suffer.
- Rear blinky light — A must if you are a commuter. Light yourself like a Christmas tree and then some.
- Front light — See above.
- Chamois creme. ‘Nuff said.
- Bonus Item: Duct tape — How could you NOT have a little bit of duct tape with you? Fix a fender, rescue a broken waterbottle cage, repair handlebar tape, or invent some fantastic new use for duct tape. It’s an ongoing challenge within our group of cycling friends.