Here are the list of bike accessories that I own and something that I would also recommend to others. Also has a sprinkling of advice.
Cycling Helmet: This is the first thing that comes to you mind when one wants to buy a cycle accessory. I own two helmets (a stylish B-twin and a Schwinn) with different colors that coordinates with the color of my cycling jerseys. I have a found that a good helmet gives you the confidence on the road, makes you look like a pro-rider (good for the ego) and partically helps protect you from the Sun.
However, don’t confuse cycling helmets with full safety. Helmets only helps reduce the impact. The best way is to be smart enough to avoid any accidents. More about it soon.
Cycling Gloves: I use two pairs of b-twin gloves. They are padded and helps reduce the vibrations. Make sure to buy a pair that’s not too tight. I suffered from numbness of fingers. Also, the gloves absorb a lot of sweat. So make sure to wash them well after every ride.
A very important role that gloves play is to protect your palms when you fall down. The first reflex action we make when we fall is to break the fall with our hands. Its good to have thick padded gloves to protect us from the rushing tarmac!
Hydration Bags: These are like your regular backpack excepting that the main content of the bag is a water bag with a pipe that juts out for you to drink from. I found this to be a huge help when I go for long distance cycling. It helps you keep sipping water in small quantities and helps you keep hydrated.
Water bottles: It’s a must have accessory. Water bottles are an iconic symbol for a cyclist. Never leave without them. I often mix Electrol in my water bottle and water on my hydration bag and keep alternating between the two during rides.
Padded Shorts: In my opinion, this is the most important accessory. I have made mistakes of going on long distance rides without them and suffered the consequences. The pain in the butt can get unbearably high. Padded shorts greatly helps reduce the pain. I have both b-twin and Cannondale shorts. Make sure that the shorts are skin-tight and fit snugly. Don’t buy larger ones as the pads tend to slip out of position.
I notice that beginners wear another shorts or pants on top of padded shorts. Don’t so that. It only adds to the friction and increases heat. Also, when you wear padded shorts, don’t wear any underwear.
Colorful Jersery: Want to quickly feel like a real cyclist? Then pick a good cycling jersey. It does wonders to your psyche. It gives you that heady rush and gets you into serious cycling groove. In addition to making you look good, cycling jerseys play an important safety role. The bright col0rs increases the visibility of you on the road. Its an added advantage if your jersey has reflective stickers. If not, buy them extra and stick on them.
Goggles: I don’t have a fancy goggle but I should. A good goggle does three important things. 1) Makes you look good. 2) Protects your eyes from the Sun. 3) Protects your eyes from the wind and dust.
Blinkers: Super important. These are blinking lights. In my opinion, an absolute must if you are riding in early mornings, nights or during fog. I would recommend you have three blinkers. One in the front, one at the back (fitted below the seat) and one on the backside of your helmet.
Speedometer: A very useful accessory. It shows your current speed and helps you set a particular pace during your rides. It also shows the average speed, the total distance covered and the time takes.
Repair Kit: When you cycle you should take a basic repair kit with you containing a puncture kit, tire levers, spare tube and a multi-tool for making basic adjustments. These things can be fitted into bike bags that mount to the seat. You might have other tools for bike maintenance that you have at home, but when you’re out cycling the basic repair kit should be all you need.
Bike Lock: If you value your bike you will want to invest in a good bike lock. The better these are the more expensive they get, and the really good ones are pretty infallible so don’t lose your key.