Do you have a racing bicycle? Perhaps you have thought about bike competitions, but are not sure of what you need in order to compete? If so, then there are a number of items that you need in order to race competitively.
However, choosing which ones out of the hundreds of items that are made for bicycles can be somewhat daunting. What follows is the top 10 useful accessories for your racing bicycle. These accessories are not just the most popular, but the most necessary to have when you are competing or riding long distances.
The best Accessories for your Racing Bicycle
It’s really amazing how far helmets have come in the past two decades. For millions of us growing up, the thought of wearing a helmet seemed rather off-putting and strange. Today, it’s as natural as wearing your biking gear. You’ll need a helmet that is comfortable and safe. The fit of the helmet should be tight, but not too tight and having an expanded polystyrene liner may save you from having a more serious injury if you should fall.
2) Repair Kit
You don’t need a big toolbox, but you will need a few simple items that will help you repair your bike quickly in case something happens. The most common occurrence is having a flat tire, so carry a basic kit that includes everything needed to fix a flat. This generally means a patch, glue, sandpaper, screwdriver, wrench and small air pump. If you have tubular tires, then you’ll want to carry a pre-stretch and pre-glued tire as a spare in case you need it.
You’ll need something to carry that repair kit in along with the items you’ll need for the race or for that long bike ride. A saddlebag is designed to fit under the seat so it is away from your legs and doesn’t create much in the way of wind resistance. In addition to your repair kit, you’ll need a place in your saddlebag to carry your other important items as well which includes your house key and identification.
4) Water Bottle
You need to stay hydrated when you race, so having a water bottle is mandatory. Whether you are racing, riding on a long trip or if it gets quite hot, having a water bottle can be a life saver. Biking is great exercise, but it not only burns up the calories, it dehydrates you as well. You can choose from many different kinds of water bottles ranging from solid containers to collapsible plastic ones that can roll up and fit into your saddlebag when done.
5) Cell Phone
In case you get into an emergency situation, having a cell phone can also be a life saver. Whether you are in trouble or someone in the race, seconds count when calling for help. Also, you can use your smartphone if it has GPS built-in so you can keep track of where you are at. You can keep a spare cell phone in your saddlebag if you wish. There are cell phones that are very inexpensive, often a one-time purchase that you can program with emergency numbers so that you don’t have to fumble around when making the call.
It seems rather obvious, but having the right type of shoes can help your biking trip go much smoother. This is especially true if you purchase cycling shoes which are specifically designed for riding a bike. Cycling shoes are not so much lighter as they have no flexibility in the front of the shoe which helps to create more power when you peddle. If your activities stretch beyond cycling and you need to walk around, then a good pair of running shoes may work well for you.
Gloves can be crucial in keeping your hands from blistering or becoming uncomfortably sweaty and creating a dangerous situation where they may slip from the handlebar. There are all types of cycling gloves that you can purchase which helps keep your hands on the handlebars where they are needed. Plus, there are summer and winter gloves that will properly protect your hands from the elements as well.
Most people cycle during the day and when the sun is out, having a good pair of sunglasses can significantly reduce eyestrain. A good pair of sunglasses needs to have UV protection as well as having a comfortable fit. For those who wear prescription glasses, you can choose to have prescription sunglasses or get the type that fit over your own glasses, but be sure to wear them with your helmet first to see if there is any interference.
9) Rear View Mirror
While riding in the city, a rear view mirror is a necessity with all the traffic that you will encounter. A mirror lets you constantly check for traffic that is coming up behind you and acts as a constant reminder just in case you need to make a quick maneuver. One of the most common accidents occurs when a bicyclist avoids an object or animal and swerves into the path of a vehicle. A rear view mirror can help avoid this tragedy from occurring.
10) Bicycle Computer
It may seem strange to ride and surf the web at the same time, but you are long distance riding along trails, having a tablet or small computer mounted on your handlebars can allow you to check on your progress and do a myriad of other things as well. There are a number of racks and mounts that will let you attach all sorts of computing devices to your handlebars.
However, safety comes first and you’ll need to insure that the tablet or computing device is small enough that it doesn’t get in the way or needlessly distract you when riding. Furthermore, it will need to be protected as well since one crash and you are out a tablet or computing device.
If you love to race in competitions or if you have put a considerable investment into your bike, then you probably want to check out some bicycle insurance. Having this type of insurance may save you a great deal of money if something should happen.