What types of accessories do I need?

Any bike helmet that fits you well (doesn't feel loose on your head) will keep you safe when you ride. Higher priced helmets often cost more because of fashion, not safety.

A good bike U-lock is the best way to secure your bicycle. Smaller locks are more difficult to break open, and the less slack you leave in the lock the better. To protect your tires and seat post from theft, you can buy locking spokes with a custom key that you carry to prevent others from removing them.

If you ride at night, a headlight, rear red reflector and pedal reflectors are required by law. In addition, a flashing tail light is inexpensive and insures motorists see you from behind.

It is also smart to always carry a tire repair kit or tube, a small wrench and a portable pump. If you get a flat on the road it will be easier to fix it there rather than getting an expensive taxi ride or walking to the nearest gas station.

If you carry a lot of work materials or want to use your bike for shopping, you might consider attaching a bike rack and wraping a bungee cord around to carry extra stuff, or panniers which are bags that can attach to the sides of the rack. If you carry heavy loads these can take the weight off your shoulders and reduces sweat on your back. If you only carry a light load, a messenger bag with a support strap that goes around your waist and extra padding on the shoulder strap is also a good option.

If you know you will not ride so fast or go up too steep of a hill that you end up uncomfortably sweaty by the time you get to work, any type of comfortable clothes will work. However, if you know you tend to sweat or prefer to ride more quickly, you may want to wear a breathable undershirt you can take off once you get to work. Or you can bring extra clothes to change into when you get to work.

Your work may even have showers or team up with a gym to provide a discount. If not, you can also buy astringent wipes that easily wipe away sweat. An ankle band is useful to prevent your pants from getting caught in the chain. If you are going to be riding after dark, it’s important to wear light colored or reflective clothing. You may also want to wear gloves to keep your hands warm, and keep a poncho in your bag if it rains.

Preparing for Weather
Many cyclists are fair-weather riders, but with our mild winters it is easy to ride year-round with some extra cold weather and rainy day accessories.