Each type of cycling has some accessories that are required for a safe ride. A wide array of accessories exists so that you can customize your bicycle to fit your lifestyle. For added comfort, you might consider such items as eyewear, padded shorts, cycling jerseys, cycling socks, gloves, and shoes and pedals.
The needs of someone actually racing versus a rider out riding gravel roads and back woods areas are different. This list assumes you are out for a ride and not a race.
Helmets are not required by law in most US cities, but are your best protection against head injuries should you be unlucky enough to fall and hit your head. All helmets should be replaced once you’ve crashed or after 4 years of use. Family Bicycles is happy to fit your helmet to your head so that it is comfortable and safe.
Even if you can’t fix your own flat, you should carry the supplies and tools to do so. There is usually someone willing to do the work if you have the supplies. A tool kit should contain a spare tube that fits your bikes’ tires, a tire lever, a patch kit (in case you have multiple flats), and a pump or co2 dispenser. It all fits in a handy bag under your seat. Family Bicycles offers a free class on the second Saturday of each month to teach you how to change a flat and perform basic maintenance on your bike.
You should check the psi in your tires before EVERY ride. Most bike tires need air every couple of days. The most common cause of flat tires is underinflated tubes the puncture when you hit a bump. Your bike tires have the proper psi for that tire written on the sidewall.
It seems like a small thing, but there isn’t always a convenience store close by. Water bottles and cages are one of the least expensive, but important accessories for your bike. Since you may be in areas without basic services you should carry additional water in a camelback type backpack.
Lights are required by law in both MO and KS when cars are required to have lights. An inexpensive set of lights will help ensure you are more visible when riding in shadows or low light situations. Just think about how much more visible cars with daylight running lights are…now apply that to a smaller object getting lost in the shadows and you can see the point!
You will need to carry food and supplies since you may be in areas without services. Frame bags and larger seat bags provide ample storage areas without adding a ton of weight to your bike. Another option is to add a rear rack and rack bag for even more storage to carry jackets and other supplies.