It's time for urban cyclists to hit the road. Whether you're starting from scratch or refreshing your stash, having the right accessories can make your rides safer and more enjoyable. In this article, we'll explore the top accessories that urban cyclists need, according to experts, and share some personal favorites.

Why Safety and Security Matter for Urban Cyclists

Urban cyclists face unique challenges compared to mountain bikers or recreational riders. Safety and security should be top priorities when cycling in the city. Investing in quality gear can help protect you from accidents and theft.

Teresa Vazquez, a sales associate at the Free-Flite Bicycles shop in Sandy Springs, Georgia, emphasizes the importance of a good helmet. She recommends looking for a model equipped with MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System), which helps prevent catastrophic brain injuries. Daniel Wade-Chung, a service manager at Intown Bicycles, agrees and advises cyclists to ensure their helmet has MIPS.

While helmets are essential, there are other gadgets available to enhance safety on the road. Felip Cilenti, an experienced cyclist in Atlanta, stresses the need for caution and taking every safety measure possible. "You have to ride like everyone is trying to kill you," he warns.

Now let's dive into the top accessories that urban cyclists need:

1. Bike Helmets

A good helmet is a non-negotiable accessory for any cyclist. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Abus Hyban 2.0: This helmet, recommended by Cilenti, is easy to adjust and versatile for road or trail use. It offers universal fit sizing, making it suitable for most adults. (Price: SGD140)

  • Abus Urban-I 3.0: For budget-conscious cyclists, looking for a MIPS option, Vazquez suggests Abus's Urban I 3.0 MIPS Bike Helmet. . (Price: SGD210)

2. Bike Pedals

Choosing the right pedals can make a big difference in your cycling experience. Here are a few pedal recommendations:

  • Crankbrothers Stamp 1 Large: Cilenti recommends the Crankbrothers Stamp collection, which offers different colors and sizes. The Stamp 1 Large pedal is a solid choice for urban cyclists. (Price: $50)

  • Shimano PD-EH500 SPD Sport Road Pedals: Vazquez suggests Shimano's SPD pedals for road bikers. These pedals provide increased efficiency when clipped in and offer versatility for beginners and recreational cyclists. (Price: $80)

  • Race Face Chester Pedals: If you prefer not to clip in or own a commuter bike, Wade-Chung recommends the Race Face Chester pedal. It comes in various colors, has a low profile, and features pins to keep your shoe on the pedal. (Price: $39)

3. Bike Headlights and Tail Lights

Visibility is crucial for urban cyclists, especially during low-light conditions. Here are some bike light recommendations:

  • Reelight Nova with Dynamo Set: If your bike doesn't have built-in lights, Wade-Chung suggests Reelight's reasonably priced options. The Nova comes in multiple options, requires no batteries are water-resistant and provide sufficient brightness for urban riding. (Price: SGD75)

  • NiteRider Swift 300 and Vmax+ 150 Combo Front and Rear Light Set: Cilenti recommends the NiteRider brand and suggests a minimum brightness of 300 lumens for a headlight. The Swift 300 and Vmax+ 150 combo set offers good performance and visibility. (Price: $60)

  • Bontrager Ion Comp R/Flare R City Bike Light Set: Vazquez recommends Bontrager's Ion Comp R/Flare R combo set, which includes rechargeable lights. These lights provide visibility without blinding others and are suitable for commuting. (Price: $135)

  • Serfas E-Lume 900 Light: As a full-time bike commuter, I personally recommend the Serfas E-Lume 900. It offers different brightness settings and has proven durable in various weather conditions. (Price: $85)

4. Bike Locks

Protecting your bike from theft is essential for urban cyclists. Here are some bike lock recommendations:

  • Kryptonite KryptoLok Combo U-Lock: Cilenti suggests Kryptonite and Abus as two reliable brands for bike locks. This combination U-lock provides a good balance between security and convenience. (Price: $67)

  • Abus Bordo XPlus Alarm 6000KA Lock: For added security, Cilenti recommends Abus locks, which come with serialized and backup keys. This lock also features an alarm system for extra protection. (Price: $180)

  • ULAC Stockholm U Lock: Vazquez advises considering the trade-off between security and weight when choosing a bike lock. The ULAC Stockholm Lock strikes a good balance and provides essential security. (Price: SGD55)

  • FoldyLock Classic Folding Bike Lock: For those concerned about portability, the FoldyLock by Seatylock is a convenient option. It's a high-security folding lock that comes with a holder for easy attachment to your bike frame. (Price: $100)

5. Bike Seats and Cycling Shorts

Comfort is crucial for longer rides. Here are some recommendations for bike seats and cycling shorts:

  • Selle Royal Explora Moderate: Vazquez suggests trying cycling shorts or adjusting the seat angle before opting for a larger saddle. The Selle Royal Explora Moderate saddle offers a comfortable fit for road bikers. (Price: $60)

  • Specialized Body Geometry Comfort Gel: Cilenti recommends Specialized saddles for their wide range of options in width and size. The Body Geometry Comfort Gel saddle provides ample support and comfort. (Price: $50)

  • Bontrager Solstice Cycling Short: For casual cyclists, Vazquez recommends Bontrager's Solstice Cycling Short. For those seeking better performance, Trek's Solstice Cycling Short is a suitable choice. (Price: $50)

6. Bike Phone Mounts

A reliable phone mount can help you navigate while keeping your hands free. Here are two recommendations:

  • Bone Bike Tie Connect Kit Gen 2: The Bone Bike Tie Connect Kit is a versatile phone mount that fits various phone models. It offers a secure fit and comes with a safety lanyard to prevent accidental phone drops. (Price: $35)

  • Bikase Beetle X Bike Phone Bag and Storage: If you're concerned about protecting your phone from dirt and damage, the Bikase Beetle X Bike Phone Bag is a weatherproof option. It allows touchscreen use and provides extra storage. (Price: $40)

7. Bike Bells

Alerting pedestrians and other cyclists of your presence is essential for safety. Here are two bike bell recommendations:

  • Spurcycle Original Bell: The Spurcycle Original Bell is a compact and loud bike bell that serves its purpose well. It's suitable for riders with limited handlebar space. (Price: From SGD99)

  • AirBell Bicycle Bell for Apple AirTag: The AirBell is a bike bell that doubles as a hiding spot for an Apple AirTag. It provides added security against bike theft. (Price: From $16)

8. Bike Computers and Cameras

For tech-savvy cyclists, bike computers and cameras can enhance your cycling experience. Here are two recommendations:

  • Wahoo Elemnt Roam V1 GPS Bike Computer Bundle: Cilenti prefers Wahoo's cycling computers over Garmin's. The Wahoo Elemnt Roam offers advanced features and is highly regarded by cyclists. (Price: $300)

  • Garmin Varia RCT715: If you already own a Garmin device, the Varia RCT715 is a 3-in-1 radar, camera, and taillight. It provides awareness of approaching vehicles and records footage in case of an accident. (Price: $400)

9. Reflective Accessories for Cyclists

Being visible to drivers is crucial, especially during shorter daylight hours. Here are two reflective accessory recommendations:

  • Moonsash: The Moonsash is a reflective sash that can be easily folded and stored. It provides high visibility and includes a carabiner hook for attachment. (Price: $15)

  • Planet Bike BRT Strap: Planet Bike's LED straps offer lightweight reflectivity and can be worn on your arms or ankles. The built-in reflectors ensure visibility, even when the LED lights are off. (Price: $15)

10. Bike Bags

Carrying essentials while cycling is made easier with the right bike bags. Here are three recommendations:

  • Topeak RX Trunk DXP with Panniers: Topeak offers a range of bags and rack accessories. The RX Trunk DXP is a versatile option that can be easily mounted and removed using the QuickTrack system. (Price: $80)

  • Banjo Brothers Frame Pack: Banjo Brothers offers affordable options for bike bags, including backpacks, panniers, and tube bags. Their products provide good value for money. (Price: $43)

  • Bontrager Elite Seat Pack: The Bontrager Elite Seat Pack comes in different sizes and offers a balance between capacity and bulk. It's suitable for carrying essential items like compressed air cartridges, adaptors, and lights. (Price: From $23)

11. Cycling Sunglasses and Gloves

Protecting your eyes and hands is important for comfortable and safe cycling. Here are two recommendations:

  • Tifosi Amok: Tifosi offers a range of sunglasses, including the Amok model with interchangeable lenses for various weather conditions. (Price: $70)

  • Smith Optics Leadout PivLock: Smith Optics offers sunglasses with photochromic lenses, which automatically adjust to changing light conditions. They provide excellent eye protection and visibility. (Price: $219)

12. Bike Storage

Properly storing your bike is essential for protecting it from damage. Here are two storage recommendations:

  • Willworx Superstand Bicycle Stand: If you have a garage, the Willworx Superstand is a convenient option for parking your bike. It can be used with either the front or rear wheel and comes in different sizes to accommodate tire sizes. (Price: $55)

  • Delta Cycle Michelangelo Two-Bike Stand Rack: If drilling holes is not an option, the Delta Cycle Michelangelo stand is a gravity wall stand that can hold up to two bikes. It's suitable for lighter bikes and offers easy storage. (Price: $68)

13. Bike Maintenance Accessories

Keeping your bike well-maintained is essential for optimal performance. Here are two maintenance accessory recommendations:

  • Tannus Armour Inserts: To prevent flat tires, Wade-Chung recommends Tannus Armour Inserts. These foam inserts provide protection against pinch flats and punctures. (Price: From $45)

  • Crankbrothers M19 Multi-Tool: For on-the-go repairs, Cilenti recommends the Crankbrothers M19 Multi-Tool. It offers a wide range of tools for various bike maintenance tasks. (Price: $33)

  • Specialized Air Tool Sport Floor Pump: Maintaining proper tire pressure is crucial. A floor pump like the Specialized Air Tool Sport provides leverage, a gauge, and durability. (Price: $50)

  • Genuine Innovations G2153 Bicycle CO2 Cartridges: Vazquez suggests carrying CO2 cartridges and an adapter for quick flat tire repairs. These compact cartridges are convenient for inflating tires on the go. (Price: $22)

  • Finish Line Dry Bike Lubricant: Keeping your bike clean and well-lubricated is vital for smooth operation. Finish Line offers a range of degreasers, cleaners, and chain lubricants suitable for urban cyclists. (Price: From $11)

In conclusion, having the right accessories is essential for urban cyclists. From helmets and pedals to lights and locks, investing in quality gear can enhance your safety and enjoyment while commuting by bike. Consider your specific needs and preferences when choosing accessories, and always prioritize safety and security. Happy cycling!

November 19, 2023 — Douglas Koh

Leave a comment