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35

Fenders/Mudguards - front and back. I ride all through winter and these help keep me dry. There's usually only one or two dozen times a year that I'm really riding in the rain for my morning or afternoon commute, but there's a good 3 or 4 months where rain comes through often enough that I'm riding through a lot of puddles.The rear fender prevents the ...


33

Panniers - I originally bought these to go on my first ever touring trip a few years back, but found they made huge difference for day-to-day commuting and increased the amount of biking I did. No longer did I have to balance groceries on handle bars, or arrive at the office with sweaty back from carrying a laptop in a backpack. Get one's you can clip ...


33

Saddle Bag - It looks quite small, but there's enough space to fit everything that I used to put in my backpack in longer rides: spare inner tube boxes, cell phone, keys, money, train travel card, tire levers and small toolset. It's so much better to ride without a backpack. Larger saddle bags are also available, sometimes mounting on rails attached to ...


29

There are several different types of power meter on the market and each measures something slightly different in order to make their estimates. In addition, the way that they measure what they measure has implications for their accuracy. Below I discuss what the major models measure, how they measure it, and the implications for accuracy. Power is the rate ...


26

Cycling gloves come in different varieties (like full-fingered or half-fingered). Typically: Cycling gloves have extra padding at the palms, which for me makes a difference when riding for hours at a time. They protect your palms in case you attempt to use them to break a fall. Like regular gloves, they can keep your hands warm in cold weather, especially ...


25

Equipment/Accessories: Fenders — keep you dry if it's rained recently. I prefer the "full-coverage" kind with a mudflap, but anything that keeps you from getting a stripe up your back is probably sufficient. Regular platform pedals (or even better: BMX style pedals) - clips or clipless and frequent stops don't go well together and might mean needing ...


23

Here I'll summarize everyone else's answers (because of all the Q+A scattered through in the comments), with some additional information that I got elsewhere from reading inspired by people's answers. Wheels+tires: 700 x (28 - 38, maybe ~30), tires; slicks or light treads, not knobbly. The larger wheel makes it faster (because of 'gearing') and the ride a ...


22

Cycle Computer I'd say a cylco-computer is my best accessory. I have the Sigma 1606 with cadence addon. It allows me to guage a bunch of things, speed most obviously, but tracking my cadence, average mph, and distance have really helped me grow as a casual rider.


22

Some years ago, Bicycling magazine did a shootout on available locks and the Kryptonite "New York Chain" came out on top. Unfortunately, it weighs more than many bikes and is not easy to carry either. Fine if you can leave it where you lock your bike. I'm with the police department at a major university, and we have a program through Kryptonite where we ...


22

I've had both. A really nice trailer and a child bike seat -- where the child sits between the rider and the handlebar (like the WeeRide Kangaroo Child Bike Seat). My daughter was ok with the trailer, but absolutely preferred the seat. I found with the seat in front of me, the weight didn't affect me almost at all, and if the bike was going to fall, I'd ...


19

Cycling gloves do a few basic things: reduce friction between your hands and handlebars, which could otherwise cause blisters dampen vibrations which might cause hand/finger numbness reduce pressure on your ulnar nerve, which also causes numbness Of course, if none of these are problems for you, it's fine to ride without them. Other types of gloves ...


19

The answer, as others have said, is "both." However, if you are only going to use one light, there is a disadvantage to that one light being helmet-mounted. When the light is mounted close to the eye, everything that is illuminated is "flattened" since, from the eye's perspective, there are no shadows to provide information about depth. In particular, it's ...


18

Multitool - Contains the tools you're likely to need to do emergency repairs on a bike. Common allen keys, chain tool, and sometimes tire levers are included. This and some tubes and a pump or CO2 inflator will get you home.


17

Messenger bags still get your back sweaty, sometimes even moreso than a backpack since messenger bags are often wider than a backpack. I find a messenger bag more convenient than a backpack for shorter trips, but a pannier better for rides of greater than a mile or two. A messenger bag is quite handy if you have to make a lot of stops and don't have a lot to ...


17

I would never use anything but a trailer for safety reasons alone. The amount of force which can be applied to a small child's head from a fall from a bike seat can cause a severe injury. Even as an adult riding carefully on a bike path I've had an accident (dog running in front of me). With a trailer it is nearly impossible to flip or cause other blunt ...


17

If, by stands, you mean bike mounted kickstands, then the reason most mountain bikers don't use them is three fold: Safety. The kickstand is usually a relatively cheap piece of metal, bolted on wherever it will fit. Its shape and style lend themselves to ending up in your wheel or otherwise damaging the bike, if they are not secured to the frame so they ...


16

A messenger bag is great when you: Are not transporting a heavy load Have to put items into the bag, or remove items from the bag very often. Are doing short trips, or having to leave your bike a lot as part of a longer trip A rucksack is great when you: Wish to be able to easily carry the load while off the bike You have to walk a long way after your ...


16

Minimally, you want to be able to tighten all of the bolts on your bike (likely a few hex keys will do this) and an appropriate screwdriver for adjusting derailer & brake pulls. Separate from a multi-tool, a pair of tire levers are the other tool you should carry with you. I would add a chain tool to the above list after being left in a state where I ...


14

CamelBak (or any other backpack with a water bladder in it) - I drink a lot of water, and after missing the bottle cage a few times and running over bottles, I decided I was too clumsy to keep trying to drink from a bottle and ride at the same time. On hot days, fill the bag most of the way with ice cubes before filling it up with water. The ice will melt ...


14

Protective plates? You mean Fenders/Mudguards? I can think of 3 things that could help, other than simply bringing a change: Bigger fenders (wider, and/or go down the tire more). Basically, some fenders are better than others. A front fender that's wider than the tire with a stay (rod) going back for support that hugs the tire fairly closely and ...


14

A mobile phone. These days, irrespective of where you're riding, what you're riding and over what terrain or distance, there's no excuse for being deliberately out of contact. We can't guarantee being in an area of reception, but if you haven't got a phone you'll never know. Additionally, a huge benefit of smart phones are the apps that can do more than ...


14

It's used for attaching a child seat similar to this one. The above site shows a clearer image of the part in question which might be useful to future visitors.


13

Kickstand - simple but very useful. I used to have one when I was young but it was rubbish (bike never stayed upright) and it put me off them until recently. The one I have now is great, works with fully loaded panniers, and it means I don't need to find a wall to lean the bike against. Especially useful when doing small maintenance tasks.


13

Cyclaire pump It's a compact pump (comes with a small bag to attach to your top tube), and really, really fast. Changing a tube at the side of the road is bad enough without having spending ages minutes inflating it again (and tiring your arms). Now I never have to. It's not as good as a track pump, but I wouldn't want to be carrying one of those with me all ...


13

We live in the country, and ride on gravel roads pretty much exclusively. We used a trailer for years and have kept it even though the kids outgrew it long ago. It remains useful years later when the kid(s) are riding solo. Our trailer is over 20 years old and we used it just last week, riding out to pick up our CSA veggies, which probably weighed more than ...


13

It means "No tools" or "Use your hands."


12

I bring enough to dress small cuts and stop bleeding, at least until 911 could get to me. If you're riding in areas you might not be able to be reached by emergency services, or if you have particular medical issues that need specialty supplies, a kit like this would insufficient. Bandages/band-aids of a few different sizes Gauze -- usually a small roll ...


12

Your best bet is to find a good way of attaching it to the rear rack. Anything attached to the main triangle much larger than a bottle is likely to cause interference with your legs. One way you could attach it to the rear rack would be to buy some pannier hardware and make your own pannier for it. Or possibly attach the hardware (zip ties?) to one of the ...


12

I'll not speak for the trailer, so much as against the rear child bike seat. My sister, was at 2 years old, riding in a high quality, bike shop sold and properly mounted bike seat. She was strapped in, and all was well. My dad was the captain of the vessel, and they were having a grand time. My dad hit a broken bottle on the road. Never saw it, he said. ...



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