When bicycling, your equipment needs are mostly determined by how much you ride as well as where you ride. Are you a casual rider? A mountain biker? Do you ride on busy roads? Do you travel long distances? How fast do you ride? All of these factors will determine the best cycling essentials for you.

5 Cycling Essentials

Most cycling essentials are the same for the majority of riders regardless of how, when and where you ride. Let’s look at the top cycling essentials that every rider should include on every ride.

  1. A helmet: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that helmet use reduces the risk of head injury for bicyclists by 85%, yet the CDC says that less than half of the millions of riders in America wear them. When used with a comprehensive approach to safety, helmets prove to be an essential piece of cycling equipment.
  2. High visibility: Preventing an accident is by far better than preparing for how to survive one. High visibility is just as important as wearing a helmet when it comes to bicycling. For this reason, make sure you wear reflective clothing (especially in low-visibility conditions). And, ensure your bicycle has reflectors on the frame and wheels. Because of its preventative approach, high visibility exists as one of the top bicycling essentials.
  3. A tire repair kit: Eventually, most cyclists will have to fix a flat tire while out on a ride. Keeping a tire repair kit – one that easily fits in a small bag under the seat – and knowing how to use it takes away the worry of what to do and where you’ll be when it happens. Eliminating that fear allows you to enjoy the ride more thoroughly, making a tire repair kit a bicycling essential.
  4. Padding: Padded shorts or a seat makes for a more comfortable ride. Bikers also find padded gloves keep their grip secure and prevent sore hands. If you don’t ride a lot, you’ll find padding, especially seat padding, to be essential for an enjoyable bicycle ride.
  5. Protective Eyewear: Think of eyewear for bicycling like the windshield in a car. They protect your eyes from debris, dust, and flying bugs. Plus, quality eyewear provides protection against the sun’s harmful UV radiation. Not only does cycling eyewear protect your eyes, but they also reduce glare, which helps you focus on the road ahead.
Wiley X Cycling Eyewear

Safety sunglasses, such as the Wiley X featured above, provide protection from harmful UV rays, bugs and debris.

Other Items To Consider

Now that we have the essentials covered, you may want to consider adding the following items as well:

  • Hydration bottle or pack.
  • First aid kit.
  • Cell phone.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Bike lock.
  • Wrist or ankle band with contact information.

When planning your next bike ride, analyze your route and select the appropriate gear. If you’re not sure, talk to the expert at your local bike shop. Being fully prepared will ensure your next bike ride is safe and enjoyable.

What are some of the items you consider important for bike riding? Share your bike riding experiences in the comment section below.