I am a new biker and am going to be commuting to work on a hybrid. There are many cool accessories that help you carry gear, bike at night, track your rides, make adjustments and quick repairs like fixing flats, and more. It's very cool that there's so much that one can do to 'pimp their ride' so to speak but it can be overwhelming and it's hard to know where to start, especially for those (like me!) who are working on a budget and who needs to pick and choose because they can't afford to buy a ton of gear. My question is, where to start? In your view, besides the obviously necessary safety items like a bike lock and helmet, what are some of the must-have accessories that would be most important or most useful for a new or returning biker, and why?

Note: I know that there's already a question on the most useful accessory category. I want to focus on the most important accessories for a new biker, especially city bikers.

  • 2
    The necessity of helmets is strongly disputed... ;)
    – arne
    Jun 26 '14 at 7:23
  • after lock and helmet, it might be worth buying a bike ;)
    – 7thGalaxy
    Jun 26 '14 at 7:49
  • 3
    In the city I don't carry a helmet. In the mountains I don't carry a lock. And I carry panniers only on road trips. So the only common accessory between all rides is ... a bike :D
    – Vorac
    Jun 26 '14 at 8:03
  • 1
    The only really critical accessories (other than a helmet) are a cellphone and a credit card. Jun 26 '14 at 13:47
  • 2
    This question is too broad and opinion-based for the Stack Exchange format. You'll notice that the similar question that you linked to has been locked and shows the text "it is not considered a good, on-topic question for this site." However, this would be a great discussion for chat.
    – jimchristie
    Jun 26 '14 at 19:28
  1. bike
  2. helmet
  3. lock
  4. puncture repair kit or spare tube and a mini pump
  5. multi-tool
  6. lights
  7. first-aid kit
  • Good answer. Only comment is on point 4, you forgot the tyre lever. I carry both a spare and a kit - on the road I much prefer just swapping out the tube, but if I have multiple punctures I'm going to have to start fixing them.
    – PeteH
    Jun 26 '14 at 9:24
  • Shoes, if you're going to spend more than 30 minutes at a time riding. Jun 26 '14 at 11:40
  • Commuteing - mudguards.
    – mattnz
    Jun 26 '14 at 22:40
  • Fair point @PeteH. I was assuming the repair kit would include tyre lever. Like you I always take the repair kit and a spare inner tube. Jun 27 '14 at 8:15

The most important things imho are tools to fix flats (patches, glue, tire levers, any tools needed to get the wheels off) and keep the bike alive (chain oil, some rags (old T-shirts will do), something to clean the bike with)


I think it's pretty situational - there are so many things that you might do with said bike. Some basic tools for maintaining the bike would be helpful. Some suggestions, in no particular order:

  • A pump for keeping tire pressure up
  • Spare inner tubes/puncture repair kit.
  • maybe a multitool? You can do seat/handlebar adjustments with them, and they often have tire levers.

I know that's three things, but really you cant have one without the others - puncture repair kits without a pump would still leave you rather immobile!


Depending on your climate, rain gear. It can get expensive real fast, so I've learned to check thrift stores/garage sales for rain jackets and pants. If the items are barely used, it's well worth the savings. I also will occasionally spray the rain gear with Kiwi's Camp-Dry after washing/drying them if water is starting to penetrate the material. Try to find a jacket with a mesh liner everywhere inside the jacket. The liner helps protect the waterproof layer from being rubbed off from repeated use. I learned this lesson after my first ($130) rain jacket started leaking within a year of proper use and care (and spraying with Camp-Dry).

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