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So you just bought your dream bike, now what? Well, picking out the perfect bike is just part of the process, especially if it’s your first bike or first bike in a long time. Here’s a list of ten essential accessories to go along with that sweet new ride to make your new purchase much more enjoyable.
1.Helmet: Modern helmets fit much better and provide better airflow than the old igloo coolers of the past. If you already own a helmet, take a look at the many options featuring MIPS technology which can provide an extra layer of protection to the head and neck. Most helmet manufacturers suggest replacing your helmet every 3 years due to every day abuse (dropping, traveling etc.) and UV light exposure.
2. Hydration: Nearly all bicycles have fixing points to attach 1-2 water bottle cages. We have everything from the basic $4 water bottle to the ultra insulated Camelbak Podium Ice water bottle. Hydration packs provide the opportunity to carry a large volume of water with easy access via the reservoir hose and bitevalve. Modern Camelbaks are built to provide a better fit, better airflow and better waterflow than their predecessors. These are a great way to carry your water and gear in one convenient location.
3. Flat Tire Repair: The NUMBER ONE repair a bicycle owner will be responsible for is fixing a flat tire. Whether you ride on road or off, tube or tubeless tires, you WILL get a flat and it WILL be at the most inopportune moment. Equipping yourself with the proper tools and knowledge can turn a miserable experience into a minor inconvenience. These tools include tire levers, a patch kit and/or spare inner tube and a pump. We have a lot of options to choose from so talk it over with one of our staff members to determine what tool kit suits your needs best.
4. Accessory Bag: Now that you have your tool kit, where are you going to put it? Storage bags come in many different sizes and mounting options. Certain styles only work on certain bike frames or saddles so check with us before you choose your bag. Also consider the non-bicycle items you will be carrying such as cell phone, car keys and wallet. A Camelbak or fanny pack can be a great catchall for this.
5. Cycling Computer/Cell Phone Holder: Simple cycling computers can be used to keep track of total mileage, current speed, trip distance and ride time. More sophisticated cycling computers can provide data such as mapping, elevation change, current location, heart rate, cadence, and power output. Nearly everyone carries a sophisticated cycling computer in their pocket everyday—their smart phone! Attach a cell phone holder to your handlebar and you’ve got the power of FREE cycling apps such as Strava and MapMyRide at your fingertips.
6. Cycling Shorts: We hear it all the time, “I don’t want to look like Lance Armstrong in those spandex shorts”. Most of the time, we don’t either. Although there is a time and a place for the spandex “super suit”, most cyclists choose baggy shorts that feature a liner short underneath to provide comfort and support. We stock many options of both styles of shorts.
7. Gloves: Cycling gloves feature cushioning on the palm to provide and extra layer of comfort and can help prevent blisters. Most gloves have terrycloth fabric on the thumb to help wipe sweat from your brow or snot from your nose. Just don’t forget which hand does what 😉
8. Bike Care: Lubricate your chain periodically, but don’t overdo it. An excessive amount of lubrication does not provide any extra protection and can attract unwanted dirt and grime. Wipe away excess lube with a rag when you are done applying. We can help you find the correct chain lube based on your specific needs and riding conditions. Store your bike in a cool, dry place. Don’t store it outside under the porch or in the shed out back. The extreme temperatures and moisture in these environments can cause premature corrosion, dry rot the rubber and affect hydraulic fluids. Keep your bike clean, a clean bike is a happy bike.
9. Floor pump: Pumps small enough to carry with you for emergency use push a very small volume of air with each stroke. That means you work hard for a small increase in pressure. A floor pump to keep at home in the garage will make this process much easier. We recommend checking your tire pressure before every ride due to the fact that temperature changes can affect tire pressure and inner tubes do not hold a perfect seal. Running the proper tire pressure can greatly increase your bike’s efficiency and decrease the risk of flats.
10. Chain wear checker: We don’t expect everyone to be professional mechanics or have a garage full of bicycle tools, but this one can save you a lot of money. With use, your bicycle chain will stretch. If you replace the chain before it wears too much, you can save the rest of the drivetrain from prematurely wearing out and save yourself a lot of $$$. The general rule of thumb is 3 chains to 1 drivetrain replacement. https://youtu.be/gXd-3UnqoaM
Now get out and ride!