Commuting by bike is great for your body, the earth, and will allow you to enjoy the weather like never before. However, just as car drivers should have a spare tire, jack, and other necessities, there are several must have accessories for your commuter bike that you should keep with you.
1. Bike Lock
Your bike is an investment — and the only way you’ll have to get home — so you need to help prevent its theft. Rather than using a cheaply made lock that can easily be sliced or broken off, invest in a solidly made U-lock.
2. Quality Lights
Staying safe on the road is important, and it’s best to ensure motorists can see you in any lighting or weather condition. Your bike comes with reflectors, but you should buy electronic lights meant for cyclists. These run off battery power, and some can be charged by USB. Since quality lights can be found for less than $50 and are so essential to safety, this is one piece of gear that you don’t want to skip.
A good multitool can come in handy for so many things and is something you’ll definitely want to keep on you as a bike commuter. Here are just a few things you can do with a multitool:
- Break your chain
- Adjust your seat level
- Tighten up any loose screws on your bike
Go for a multitool that is compact and small enough to fit in your pocket or anywhere in your bag, yet strong enough to perform well without breaking.
4. Bike Lube
Keeping your bike’s chain lubricated is key to maintaining it, so keep a bottle of bike lube handy. It’s inexpensive, but goes a long way towards keeping your bike in working order.
If you plan to change before you get to work or wherever you’re going on your bike, you may not need a fender. However, if you want to avoid clothing changes or you prefer to prevent getting water and grit from the street on your clothes while commuting, a fender is necessary. This is especially true in areas with wet weather. Fenders work like efficient little mudflaps that significantly reduce the amount of dirt and water that splashes onto your clothes as you’re riding. Some fenders need to be mounted to your bike, while others are meant to be removable.
Tire Repair Items
Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with changing your bike’s tire in the rain, far from home, or at night, but if you find it necessary you don’t want to be left stranded because you didn’t have the right tools. Here are three items that you should carry along for tire emergencies:
- A short pump, to fill your tire if its been punctured and starts to deflate
- Tire irons, which are small levers that pry bike tires off the rim
- A quality patch kit, which will allow you to temporarily use a busted wheel to safely get to your destination or a bike repair shop
Both a patch kit and tire irons can be bought for about $10 total, and you can get a short pump for less than $30. Each item is worth the investment if you’re commuting by bike, and you truly won’t want to be caught in a bad situation without them.
With these must have commuter bike accessories, you’ll be well prepared for anything that you encounter on the road.