Often in TBA, somebody buying his or her first bike would ask advices and suggestions on the essential accessories. So here’s a brief list that we thought could be helpful for people who are just about getting into cycling.
Most essential - and is better to get them along with the bike itself
1. Helmet: Will save your head and life in case of a crash. Look for a branded one as they go through different kind of stress tests.
2. Gloves: Will cushion your palms on bad roads, enhance grip on handlebar, and will save your palms if you crash.
3. Lock: Essential if you are going to park your bike in a common place like at your work place, gym or at the common parking of your building
4. Side Stand: Not quite super essential, but makes life so much easier when you have to park your bike in a public place. Most bikes we stock, apart from Merida, come without side stands.
5. Tail light: Very essential if you riding at night, especially on stretch that are not well lit. Will help car drivers notice you from distance. Important to get a good tail light that’s visible from far (50-100m at the least).
6. Head lights: Required if you riding on an unlit road after dark. They also act as safety light by making you visible to cars and mo-bikes coming from the opposite direction.
7. Bottle cage: Will hold a water bottle that will keep you hydrated. Generally most 1 litre pet bottles will fit in.
8. Spare tube: Especially if you are planning to join one of the group rides. In case of a puncture, it will save time for the entire bunch, as you can just swap the tube rather than fix patches.
You might as well get these - Will save you lot of trouble.
1. Portable pump: Essential when you have a flat middle of nowhere and want to replace yr tube/fix the puncture. In a group ride, you may have somebody carrying one, but not always. Will save you the trouble of looking out for an auto rickshaw and paying him some absurd amount to give your bike a ride.
2. Puncture kit: Essential when you are going on a ride to the countryside, where you may not be able to find a repair shop easily. Considering it is difficult carrying more than 1 spare tube (but you may end up puncturing both the tubes), it is essential to carry a puncture kit (tyre lever, glue and patches). Again, you might just be able to find somebody carrying one when you are on a group ride.
3. Allen key set or mini tool: Will need this at every step. Almost anything you want to tweak on your bike will require Allen keys.
4. Floor pump with gauge: It is important to check and inflate tyres to the correct tyre pressure every time you go for a ride. Riding on tires that are not fully inflated will lead to extra wear on both the tires and the rims. Do refer the ratings mentioned at the sidewall of the tyres while filling up the air.
5. Cycling shorts with padding (chamois): Very helpful for long ride. Prevents chafing and skin irritation.
6. Anti Pollution mask: Very useful if you ride through traffic and pollution. It’s much different from riding a motorbike in traffic because when you riding a bike, you tend to breathe harder. Get a one which is specifically designed for bicyclists.
Optional – Makes life so much easier, and cycling much more fun.
1. Cycle computer: Will show your speed, distance covered, max speed, average speed etc. Also helps when you are training. The display acts as a charm and will motivate you to keep going.
2. Dry fit cycling jerseys: Will help you from getting soaked up in sweat. Will also have pockets at the back to hold your valuables and snacks.
3. Water bottle: Will keep you hydrated on a ride
4. Saddle bag: To hold your valuables (like spare tube, Allen keys, puncture kit etc). Sits beneath the saddle
5. Mudguards: Is helpful in rain , especially if you are using your bike to commute.
6. Trouser clips: Very useful if you ride to work in office clothing. Will prevent your trouser bottoms getting caught in the chain ring. They generally also come with a reflective strip.
7. Hydration bag: Will keep you hydrated, without needing you to take your hands off your bike. Useful on a longer trip or while training too where you do not want to stop often to fill up your bottle
8. Rear rack: Essential on a multiday bike tour, relieves you from carrying a heavy backpack. Useful for people commuting on bike too.
9. Pannier: Useful for cycle touring. Helps divide the load in a symmetrical fashion.
10. Car racks: Fits on to the top or back of your car like an attachment. Can carry 2 or more bikes. Useful if you want to transport your bike, or drive down to a nice trail to ride.