Unless you are a serious cycling enthusiast, the chances are that you have not have invested in a lot of bike accessories, with the idea that they won’t add value to your cycling needs. However, there are some great tools and accessories out there designed to enhance even your day-to-day cycling experience. Scroll down to learn more about such tools.
Portable Multi-tool: Regular bicycle usage will cause the adjustment of your seat and framework to loosen up naturally. Invest in a portable multi-tool to help you fix such issues on the go. Look for ones with the right set of Allen keys (hex keys) and screwdrivers to suit the model of your bike. Most tools come with Allen keys ranging from 2mm to 10mm, and two screwdrivers – a flat head and Philips head. Some of the best multi-tools even have chain breakers and a serrated blade. For a premium price, you can get one with anti-slip grips for better leverage during use. If you already own a non-portable toolset, ask your retailer to suggest a multi-tool that complements it to avoid duplication.
Lights and reflectors: Did you know that a leading cause of bicycle crashes in Australia is poor visibility? Over 25% of cyclist fatalities occur in low-light conditions from 4-7 pm. Either the path is not adequately illuminated in the front, or an oncoming vehicle cannot correctly identify a cyclist from the rear. Be sure to set your bike up with powerful headlights and reflectors as per the law governing your area.
Pump: Maintaining good air pressure in your tyres is essential for an effortless ride. If you weigh around 70kg, the ideal pressure would be 36 PSI in the front tyre and 38 PSI in the rear if your tyres have tubes. If you have tubeless tyres, the required pressure reduces to 26 PSI and 28 PSI, respectively. Carrying a pump with you can ensure your air pressure is constantly optimized. Check with your retailer for pumps of various capacities and sizes. Some come with gauges for precise filling.
Bottle cages: Attaching a bottle cage to your bicycle frame is a good practice. It saves you some precious space in your backpack and allows for quick retrieval and replacement of your water bottle while cycling. Look for holders made of carbon fibre that are both lightweight and sturdy.
Mudguards: Nothing can ruin your day as much as a cycling trip in the rain. The muddy splatter from the road, propelled by your rear tyre, will leave ghastly streaks across the back of your clothes and the face of the rider behind you. If you have a bike with thicker tyres, you can sport a fender. However, for road bicycles, a sleeker, more aerodynamic set of mudguards are a better match.
Lock ring tool and chain whip: If you have been using your bike for a while now, check for the health of your bike’s chain. If there is a wear and tear factor of about 75%, then look for replacements soon; replace it immediately if the chain is fully worn out. To replace the chain, you will need a cassette lockring tool and a chain whip. A chain whip holds the sprockets in place when removing the cassette lock ring. Check whether the devices you buy are appropriately matched with your sprockets and cassette (Shimano or Campagnolo).
If you are among the 15.5% of Australians who bike weekly, you must consider equipping yourself with the bike accessories mentioned above. They make your ride more comfortable, safe and fun. Consult your accessory retailer to find which tools suit you the best.