Congratulations on your new step! Buying the best suited bike brand takes several months of research and countless visits to the bike market. After this ordeal procedure, you now realize that its not over. You need some necessary add-ons to enhance your riding experience. To be honest, there are copious amounts of bike accessories, and choosing the one you require can again, be an overwhelming experience. Dont worry…we got your back! We have listed down the Top 5 Essential Bike Accessories you need to get started.
Top 5 Essential Bike Accessories
One of the most important and essential bike accessories is the Helmet. It is mandatory by Ottawa biking laws to wear a helmet for bike riders under 18, however, for above 18 it’s not compulsory. Despite huge debate around the use of helmets, we would definitely advise it.
Without being too dramatic, helmets safeguard’s the most crucial part of the body… the head! A helmet can reduce the risk of head and neck injuries up to 69%, severe brain injuries by 74% and facial injuries by 65%. Wearing a helmet can drastically increase the chance of surviving a crash.
All you need is a perfectly fitted helmet, that securely attaches to your head. While going for helmet shopping you should consider the following points:
The purpose of ventilation is to keep your head cool and airy so that you stay comfortable especially in hot and humid seasons. A good helmet possesses adequate vents to provide continual passage of air and prevent the head region from overheating.
Road bike helmets are usually lighter because they have thin straps and low weight shell. The lightest helmets are generally expensive. It goes like the higher the cost, the lighter the weight.
There are certain safety standards of helmets in Ottawa like your helmet should have a CSA, CPSC, Snell B-95, or N-94 certification sticker. Helmets that meet the official safety standards are generally the safest. Still, you can check for added security features such as MIPS technology. MIPS technology reduces the rotational violence of the brain.
If you are looking for high and free speed then the aerodynamic helmet is the one you should choose. They contain a few ventilation points and their surfaces are smooth. A tail shape at the back is the main feature, that reduces the drag.
Try on the helmet to ensure the proper fitting. A perfectly fitted helmet is the one that:
- Is snug and comfortable.
- The straps should make a “V” shape just below your ears.
- The gap between your chin and the strap should not be more than two fingers width.
- It should cover your forehead and never tip back once fastened.
- Must possess reflective stickers so that other motorist could see you better
- Never wear a hat under the helmet.
Look out for padding that is easily washable and removable. Make sure the helmet has a smooth adjustable dial to make minor fitting adjustments. Most importantly, they should be clearly visible so choose bright colors and reflective stickers.
The shoes specific to cycling are an essential bike accessory as they have stiff soles. They help the soles to not get sore while flexing over the clipless pedals. Mountain bicycle shoes have threads all over them so that you can still use it with regular pedals.
Shoes are critical because it is one of three contact points between the rider and their bike. Therefore, they have a strong impact on performance. Road bike shoes are designed to be low-weight. The following are the key characteristics to consider when looking for a bicycle shoe.
The first and foremost factor while looking for comfort is a perfect size and correct fitting. Use size charts and try on the shoes to ensure the shape and size is snug. Always check the length that fits correctly, forefoot width, and grip of the heel.
Every shoe of different size has different shapes as well. Some have narrow heels, that make them non-slippery. While some have wide toe box for wider feet or splayed toes. Try on shoes to make sure they perfectly fit according to the shape of your feet.
There are various fastening mechanisms of shoes available in the market. The traditional way is the Velcro strap but the more preferred mechanism is the ratchet or dial system. They adjust the shoe precisely. However, laces display the classic fashion look and always in trend.
Just like helmets, it is essential for shoes to provide adequate ventilation. It is important for the feet to remain fresh and oxygenated. If they consume heat over forr an extended time then they will expand and blood will pool causing discomfort while you bike. The best spots for vents are at the base and around the toe area.
Stiffness of the Sole:
The stiff road shoes have a carbon fibre plate. The stiffness affects the overall performance of the bike. It goes like stiffer the plate, better the power transfer. Always try on the shoes before making a purchase.
Another essential bike accessory is a lock because bike theft is an unfortunate part of the sport. For usual breaks you may have to leave your bike on the streets therefore, you must have a lock at all times.
Locks are one area where you get what you pay for because a good lock is expensive. Keep a budget of $100- $150 in mind for a reasonable lock. You might think it’s high-priced but trust us… It’s an intelligent investment! It will save you from a lot of trouble, a long walk home, and the cost of a new bike.
Although there are numerous types of bike locks but the most popular are the U or D locks. They are gold-rated locks and it is ideal to use them along with the cable lock, that is threaded through the wheels. The D-Lock has a handy hook that makes it easy to hand on to belt or trousers.
Make sure the key is flat because cylindrical keys are easier to attack. No one wants to experience the unfortunate bike theft hence do not hesitate to invest in a good lock.
Having a storage bag while riding is the most important bike accessory you need. There can be various forms of bike bags depending upon your ride. Bags that are attached to your body have a plus point that they come with you off the bike. Following are some features to look for in a bike bag before making a purchase.
There should be adequate space to contain all the things you will require during the ride. We advise you to pick a bag with separate compartments or an external sleeve for handy tools.
It is very important to keep yourself in balance. Uneven weight may cause trouble in maintaining a good balance on the bike.
There should be easy installation and removal of the saddlebag. The mounting process either uses Velcro or bracket. Setting up your saddlebag on the top tube may provide easy access.
Some other features:
To ensure the security of the things bagged check the zippers correctly. Bags are available in both the forms, that is flexible or rigid. This is total unto the rider choice which one they suit them best.
Front and Rear Bike Lights:
By law, when riding at night or in low visibility conditions, you need a Front and Rear Bike Lights: white front light and a red rear reflector in Ottawa. It a no-brainer to ride with bike light, no matter you are riding during the day or night.
Bike lights are essential bike accessories because they do two jobs. First, they increase your visibility and second they lighten up the road. Combine the bike lights with the reflectors to enhance the illumination. The light power is generally determined in “lumens” and categorized distinctively as lights for being seen and lights for seeing.
Light battery and power:
The lights for being seen usually have higher brightness and larger batteries. They must be about 100 lumens to make the rider visible to other motorists on the road. While the lights for seeing the road must be around 500 lumens or above. They can be up till 1000 lumens. Furthermore, the rear lights need no high power batteries, and they can be 30-50 lumens. They are usually USB rechargeable.
Bike lights are mounted on the bike in two ways.
- Velcro: It is a screw that is used to secure the bracket around the handlebar
- Stretchable rubber strap:
Make sure that the mounting system goes well with your bike design before buying.
There are thousands of options of bike accessories, you could deck your bike out with. However, in the beginning, you only need to buy just the necessary gear to enhance your biking experience. The sheer range of stuff available in a typical bike shop can be intimidating. Therefore, consider only the 5 essential bike accessories for now. They are enough to make bike riding safer and enjoyable.
If you are in Ottawa, feel free to visit us at Fosters Sports Center. You will find anything you’re looking for including lights, saddles, bags, helmets, locks, and more in our store. Come and express your individual style, We would love to meet your needs with a wide range of accessories available. Even if you don’t find what you’re looking for then simply contacts us, we will order it for you.