During the summer months, when the weather is finally nice and comfortable, there’s nothing better than taking a bike ride. In the spring of 2017, 66.21 million people in the United States had gone cycling in the last 12 months.
Not only is it fun and relaxing, but biking offers many health and environmental benefits.
- A 2017 study found that biking to work burns as much fat as spending 40 minutes at the gym five nights a week.
- According to research conducted by Glenn Stewart at Brunel University in London, cycling lowers the risk of premature death up to 30 percent, while the risk of developing cardiorespiratory diseases is reduced by about 40 percent.
- Energy and resources that are used for the creation of one single car can be used for creation of up to 100 bicycles.
- Bicycles save more than 238 million gallons of gas every year.
There are roughly one billion bicycles in the world-about twice as many as motor vehicles-and more than 100 million bicycles are manufactured each year.
As popular as cycling is, it’s important to have all the right tools. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced rider, having the right tools can keep you safe, hydrated, warm and overall ensure that your bicycle is doing exactly what it’s intended for. With that in mind, here are five tools/items that every cyclist should have.
- Helmet: Cycling is safe sport if you’re careful and your chances of getting involved in a serious crash during an after-dinner ride around town are probably minimal. All that being said, a helmet is one of the most important pieces of equipment in a cyclist’s arsenal. Helmets are designed for low-speed crashes, but they offer an extra layer of protection just in case something unexpected happens.
Use this guide to determine the best helmet for your needs.
- Locks: Helmets are designed to keep riders safe and locks are designed to keep bikes safe. By not locking your bike, you’re taking a risk, especially if you live in a bigger city. Some cities have biking programs that encourage bike sharing, but if you’ve just dropped a bunch of money on a brand new bike, you want to make sure it’s secure.
This guide from Popular Mechanics can help you find the best lock for your bicycle.
- Luggage: If you’re biking long distances, you’re probably going to need some sort of bike bag to hold your belongings. Whether you’re using saddlebags, handlebar packs or frame bags, it’s a lot easier to carry your phone, food, water and other essentials if you’ve got somewhere to put them and are using bike bags such as Carradice bags.
Carradice bags are hand-crafted and have been made in England since 1932. There is a wide selection of Carradice bags to choose from including:
- Tweed and classic bags
- All leather bags
- Handlebar bags
- Commuter and folding bicycle bags
Click here to see the selection of Carradice bags and their other products.
- Spare Tools: As fun as bike riding is, it always helps to be prepared. Putting a few spare tubes in your luggage along with a multi-tool and a pump can save you a lot of frustration when you’re trying to enjoy a leisurely bike ride.
Cycling Weekly provides a look at the best multi-tools for bikes and this guide can help you find the best pump for your bike.
- Lights: Biking is fun, but you always want to make sure you’re staying safe. If you’re taking nighttime bike rides, it’s essential that you have front and rear lights on your bike. This way you can see where you’re going and other people (namely drivers in cars) can see where you’re at. Don’t forget to use reflectors either. The more you’re seen, the better off you are.
Cycling Weekly also provides a look at some of the best bike lights to help keep you safe.
Armed with the right tools you’ll not only enjoy your bike rides, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ve got all the essentials to stay safe, deal with equipment issues and carry your things while you ride. Once you’ve got all the essentials, you can visit your local bike shop for other assessories like toe clips, handlebar end caps and bike frames.