Cycling equipment: gears, accessories and how to choose

Cycling equipment refers to the essential and fundamental items required for operating a bicycle, including the bike itself and its core components like the frame, wheels, brakes, and drivetrain. Cycling equipment, cycling gears, and bike accessories together contribute to a complete cycling setup tailored to the needs and preferences of the cyclist. Cycling gear specifically pertains to the apparel and protective wear that cyclists use, such as helmets and clothing which are designed to offer safety and comfort. Bike accessories are supplementary items that enhance the riding experience, providing added convenience, functionality or personalization, but are not essential for the basic operation of the bicycle.

In the 2012 book City Cycling edited by John Pucher and Ralph Buehler and featuring contributions from Kristin Lovejoy and Susan Handy of the University of California at Davis, cycling equipment is highlighted as essential for improving safety, comfort and enjoyment, thus bolstering the promotion of cycling as a utilitarian travel mode.

In this article we will explain the types of cycling equipment, what are the factors in choosing a bike and bike parts, what are the factors in choosing cycling gear like helmet and clothing, what are essential cycling gears for safety and comfort, what are the factors to choose bike accessories like locks, lights and fenders, how to choose cycling equipment for beginners, outdoor and indoor and for different seasons, where to buy these pieces of equipment and how to choose the top bike accessories brands online.

Table of Contents

Cycling equipment

Bikes

A bicycle, often simply called a bike, is a human-powered pedal-driven vehicle with two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. As a fundamental part of cycling equipment, it is pivotal for the sport of cycling and as a sustainable mode of transport, providing a unique combination of exercise, recreation and utility unmatched by many other sports equipment. 

Unlike specialized gear used in other sports which may be designed for use in specific contexts or environments, the versatility of the bicycle allows for a wide range of activities from urban commuting to competitive racing and off-road adventure, highlighting its importance as a multifaceted tool for health, mobility and sport.

Types of bikes

The types of bikes include road, mountain, city, hybrid, electric (e-bike), kids’, and specialty bikes, each designed for specific terrains, purposes, and riders.

  1. Road Bikes: Optimized for speed and efficiency on paved surfaces, road bikes have lightweight frames, narrow tires and a body position that allows for an aerodynamic posture.
  2. Mountain Bikes: Built for rugged terrain, mountain bikes feature sturdy frames, wide tires with aggressive tread, and suspension systems to absorb shocks from off-road trails.
  3. City Bikes: Known as urban or commuter bikes, city bikes are designed for everyday use in an urban environment, offering a comfortable riding position and often equipped with practical accessories like fenders and racks.
  4. Hybrid Bikes: Combining features of road and mountain bikes, hybrids offer versatility with a comfortable riding position, medium-width tires, and are well-suited for both paved and light off-road paths.
  5. E-Bikes: Electric bikes come with a motor that assists the rider’s pedal power, making it easier to climb hills and travel longer distances without excessive fatigue.
  6. Kids’ Bikes: Scaled down for younger riders, kids’ bikes come in various sizes and often include features like training wheels to assist with balance when learning to ride.
  7. Specialty Bikes: This category includes a wide range of bikes for specific uses or unique riding experiences, such as tandem bikes, recumbent bikes, folding bikes, and cargo bikes.

Type of bikes

How to choose a bike?

To choose a bike one should consider factors such as the type of bike, intended usage, budget, material, brand, bike size, and whether to purchase from an online or local bike shop or opt for a new or second-hand model.

  • Type of Bike: Selecting the right type of bike (road, mountain, city, hybrid, e-bike, kids’, or specialty) depends on the terrain and the kind of riding you plan to do.
  • Intended Usage: Think about how you will use the bike—whether for daily commuting, weekend exploring, off-road adventures, competitive racing or casual riding—which will influence the type of bike and features you need.
  • Budget: Determine a budget that will guide you in choosing a bike that offers the best value without compromising on essential features or quality.
  • Material: The bike frame material (aluminum, carbon fiber, steel, or titanium) affects weight, durability, ride quality, and cost, and should be chosen based on a balance of these factors.
  • Brand: Researching bike brands can provide insight into the quality, performance, and service expectations associated with different manufacturers.
  • Bike Size: Ensuring the correct bike size is critical for comfort, efficiency and injury prevention, which can be confirmed by a professional fitting at a bike shop.
  • Retail Options: Deciding whether to buy from an online retailer or a local bike shop can depend on your preference for convenience versus the opportunity for test rides and personalized service.
  • Condition: Choosing between a new or second-hand bike involves considering the depreciation value, warranty, and potential need for repairs or upgrades.

How to choose a bike

Bike parts

Bike parts include the frame, wheels, drivetrain components, brakes and shifters, tires, pedals, saddle, stem, and handlebar, each integral to the bike’s function and performance.

  • Frame: The skeleton of the bike, the frame is the core structure that provides the foundation for all other components and determines the bike’s size, strength, and riding style.
  • Wheels: Comprising the rims, spokes, and hubs, wheels are essential for movement and significantly affect the bike’s weight, responsiveness, and rolling efficiency.
  • Drivetrain Components: This system includes the chain, crankset, cassette, derailleurs and gear shifters, working together to transfer power from the rider’s pedals to the wheel, propelling the bike forward.
  • Brakes and Shifters: Responsible for speed control and safety, brakes allow the rider to slow down or stop, while shifters are used to change gears, adapting to different terrains and speeds.
  • Tires: The bike’s only contact point with the ground, tires determine grip, cushioning, and rolling resistance, and are chosen based on the riding environment.
  • Pedals: The platform for the rider’s feet, pedals are where the rider applies force to drive the drivetrain and come in various styles for different riding preferences.
  • Saddle: The seat of the bike, the saddle is crucial for rider comfort and varies in shape and padding, depending on the type of cycling.
  • Stem: Connecting the handlebars to the frame, the stem influences the bike’s steering and the rider’s position and reach towards the handlebars.
  • Handlebar: The part of the bike the rider holds onto, handlebars affect the rider’s posture, steering, and control, and their shape varies by bike type.

Bike parts

Each of these parts is available in various designs and materials to cater to different types of cycling, rider preferences and performance levels.

How to choose bike parts?

To choose bike parts one should consider factors such as the material of the parts, budget, brand reputation, customization options, compatibility with specific bike specifications, ease of installation, maintenance and upgrade potential, durability, compliance with safety standards, and the size of the parts to ensure proper fit.

  • Material of the Parts: The durability, weight, and performance of bike parts are influenced by their material, such as carbon fiber for lightweight strength or aluminum for a balance of cost and efficiency.
  • Budget: Allocate funds strategically across the various parts, prioritizing where quality impacts performance most, like the frame and drivetrain components, while adhering to your overall financial plan.
  • Brand Reputation: Opt for brands with a track record of quality and reliability, which can offer greater assurance in the performance and longevity of their bike parts.
  • Customization Options: Look for parts that offer the flexibility to customize your bike to your riding preferences and physical ergonomics.
  • Compatibility with Bike Specifications: Ensure that the parts you choose are compatible with your bike’s model and specifications to avoid mismatches that could impair functionality or safety.
  • Ease of Installation: Consider how straightforward it is to install the parts, as some may require professional assistance, adding to the overall cost and time before use.
  • Maintenance and Upgrade Potential: Assess the ease with which parts can be maintained and upgraded over time, as this can extend the life of your bike and improve your riding experience.
  • Durability: Durable parts may cost more upfront but can save money and hassle in the long run by withstanding wear and tear from regular use.
  • Safety Standards: Verify that the parts meet relevant safety standards to ensure they will perform safely under typical riding conditions.
  • Size of the Parts: Accurate sizing of parts like the frame, handlebars, and saddle is crucial for a comfortable and efficient riding position, and to prevent strain or injury.

How to choose bike parts

Cycling gear

What is cycling gear?

Cycling gear is the collective term for equipment and clothing specifically designed for cyclists, which includes items like helmets, cycling apparel, shoes, glasses, and wearable technology.

  • Helmet: A crucial safety component, the helmet protects a cyclist’s head in the event of a fall or collision and is designed to be lightweight, aerodynamic, and well-ventilated.
  • Cycling Apparel: This includes jerseys, shorts, tights, and jackets tailored to fit comfortably while riding, often made with moisture-wicking and breathable fabrics to regulate temperature and reduce wind resistance.
  • Cycling Shoes: Cycling shoes are engineered to optimize power transfer from the rider to the pedals, with stiff soles and secure fastenings, and are often compatible with clipless pedal systems.
  • Cycling Glasses: Protective eyewear for cyclists shields the eyes from harmful UV rays and from wind, dust, and insects, enhancing visibility and comfort.
  • Cycling Wearable Technology: This encompasses a range of devices such as GPS units, heart rate monitors, and cycling computers that track and display real-time data to help cyclists monitor performance and navigate routes.

Cycling gear

Why is cycling gear so expensive?

Cycling gear can be expensive because it often incorporates high-quality materials, advanced manufacturing processes, and undergoes rigorous safety testing to meet industry standards, all of which drive up production costs. The development of new designs frequently involves significant research and development investment, further increasing the price. Additionally, marketing and logistics, including storage and distribution, contribute to the final retail price. 

However, the expense is generally reflective of the gear’s durability, performance, and the enhanced safety it provides, which can be seen as a long-term investment in a cyclist’s comfort and protection.

Helmets

A bike helmet is a protective headgear designed for cyclists to reduce the risk of head injuries in the event of a crash. Bike helmet includes road bike helmets, mountain bike helmets, downhill helmets, and kid bike helmets, which vary in weight, and size, and often incorporate technologies like the Rotational Impact Protection System and Multi-directional Impact Protection system(MIPS).

  • Road Bike Helmets: These are typically lightweight, aerodynamically shaped, and have ample ventilation to keep the rider cool during high-speed cycling on paved surfaces.
  • Mountain Bike Helmets: Built with additional protection at the back of the head and often equipped with visors, they are designed to tackle rough terrain and the variable conditions of mountain biking.
  • Downhill Bike Helmets: Downhill helmets offer the most extensive coverage and protection, with a full-face design that’s similar to a motorcycle helmet, tailored for high-risk, high-speed descents in mountain biking.
  • Kid Bike Helmets: Smaller in size but still encompassing essential safety features, these helmets are designed to provide robust protection while being comfortable and lightweight enough for young riders.

Bicycle Helmets

What is a MIPS helmet?

A MIPS helmet is a cycling helmet equipped with the Multi-directional Impact Protection System, a safety feature designed to reduce rotational forces on the brain caused by angled impacts to the head. MIPS allows the helmet to slide relative to the head, adding more protection against rotational motion, which is believed to cause strain in brain tissue and result in severe types of brain injuries. Due to its potential to enhance helmet safety significantly, MIPS technology has become increasingly popular and important in the cycling community, with many manufacturers incorporating it into their helmet designs to offer riders an added level of security.

How to choose a helmet?

To choose a helmet one should consider factors such as the type of helmet appropriate for your cycling activity, budget, material, weight, size, impact protection features like Rotational Impact Protection System and Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), ease of cleaning and maintenance, color options, and compliance with safety standards.

  • Type of Helmet: Select a helmet type (road, mountain, recreational, or kids’) that aligns with your primary form of cycling to ensure appropriate protection and features.
  • Budget: Determine how much you are willing to spend as helmets can range from basic models to high-end versions with additional features.
  • Material: Look for materials that provide a balance between durability and weight, such as polycarbonate shells with EPS liners, which are common in high-quality helmets.
  • Weight: Choose a helmet that is lightweight yet sturdy to ensure comfort during extended periods of cycling without sacrificing safety.
  • Size: Ensure the helmet fits snugly without being too tight; many helmets come with adjustable straps and retention systems for a more customized fit.
  • Impact Protection: Consider helmets with advanced technologies like RIPS and MIPS, which offer enhanced protection against rotational forces during an impact.
  • Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance: Opt for helmets with removable and washable inner padding to maintain hygiene and comfort.
  • Color Options: While not a safety feature, the color of a helmet can improve visibility on the road; plus, it’s a chance to express personal style.
  • Safety Standards: Verify that the helmet meets established safety standards, such as those set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or equivalent organizations, to ensure it has passed rigorous testing for impact protection.
How to choose a helmet
Why helmet is necessary gear for cyclists?

A bike helmet is necessary for every cyclist because it significantly reduces the risk of head injuries by absorbing impact forces and protecting the skull in the event of a crash.

The 2001 meta-analysis by Attewell, Glase, and McFadden in “Accident Analysis & Prevention” confirmed that bicycle helmets significantly reduce the risk of head, brain, and facial injuries by at least 45%, 33%, and 27% respectively, and decrease the risk of fatal injuries by 29%.

Cycling apparel

Cycling apparel is specialized clothing designed for cyclists to improve comfort and efficiency while riding which includes cycling jackets, jerseys, shorts, tights, pants, and various clothing accessories like gloves and arm warmers.

  • Cycling Jackets: Tailored to protect riders from the elements, cycling jackets are often windproof, waterproof, and breathable, with reflective elements for visibility.
  • Jerseys: These are lightweight, form-fitting tops that wick away moisture and typically feature rear pockets for carrying essentials and snacks on longer rides.
  • Shorts: Cycling shorts come with padding known as a chamois to provide cushioning on the saddle, and they are made from stretchy, supportive materials to aid in muscle compression.
  • Tights: For cooler weather, tights offer full-leg coverage, retaining warmth while still providing the same benefits as shorts in terms of support and comfort.
  • Pants: Cycling pants are designed for casual riders or commuters, with more relaxed fits while still incorporating features like padding and stretch fabrics.
  • Clothing Accessories: Items such as gloves, arm and leg warmers, shoe covers, and caps add comfort and protection, catering to different weather conditions and individual rider needs.

Cycling apparel

Why are cycling jerseys so expensive?

Cycling jerseys are so expensive because they are made from advanced materials that provide breathability, moisture-wicking properties, and a comfortable, aerodynamic fit. The construction often involves a complex manufacturing process that can include multiple fabric panels for an ergonomic fit, flatlock stitching to prevent chafing, and features such as anti-slip grippers and reflective elements for safety. Specialized designs cater to different cycling positions and conditions, while graphic designs can be intricate and unique, adding to the cost. Additionally, branding plays a significant role, as jerseys from well-known brands often command a premium price due to their reputation for quality and innovation in cycling apparel.

What are the materials of cycling apparel?

The materials of cycling apparel are typically chosen for their properties that enhance performance and comfort; these materials include polyester, nylon, spandex, mesh, rubber, faux leather, and jersey, often arranged from less to more costly based on their specific qualities and the complexity of their production.

  • Polyester: This is a common base material due to its durability, quick-drying capabilities, and ability to wick moisture away from the skin, making it a relatively affordable option.
  • Nylon: It is favored for its exceptional strength, abrasion resistance, and flexibility, and while it’s generally more expensive than polyester, it offers enhanced longevity.
  • Spandex: Known as Lycra, spandex is highly elastic and allows for a greater range of motion, making it crucial for tight-fitting cycling clothes; it’s usually integrated with other fabrics and can be pricier due to its performance attributes.
  • Mesh: Used for ventilation panels, mesh materials vary in price but can be more expensive due to their specialized weaves that increase breathability.
  • Rubber: Often used in grippers at leg openings or waistbands to keep garments in place, the cost can vary, but high-quality rubber elements can increase the overall price.
  • Faux Leather: Typically found in higher-end apparel for its aesthetic and durability, especially in padding or protective gear, faux leather materials can push up prices.
  • Jersey: A type of knit fabric that may include a blend of the materials above, it offers comfort and flexibility; specialized jersey fabrics, especially those with performance technologies or natural fibers like Merino, can be among the most expensive.

What are the materials of cycling apparel

These materials are used in cycling apparel for their unique properties, like elasticity for freedom of movement, moisture-wicking to keep the cyclist dry, breathability for temperature regulation, and durability for extended wear and protection.

How to choose cycling clothing?

To choose cycling clothing one should consider material, design, fit, function, brand reputation, type of riding, safety features, and any additional design elements for specific needs.

  • Material: Look for materials that offer moisture-wicking, breathability, and temperature regulation to keep you comfortable in various weather conditions.
  • Design: Select designs that provide aerodynamic benefits and include practical elements like pockets, as well as high-visibility colors and reflective details for safety.
  • Fit: Ensure the clothing fits snugly to reduce air resistance but is not so tight as to restrict movement; a proper fit aids in the effective function of moisture-wicking fabrics.
  • Function: Choose apparel that suits the function, with features like padded shorts for long rides, waterproof jackets for wet weather, or ventilated jerseys for hot climates.
  • Brand: Consider brands with a good reputation for quality and durability, and check reviews to gauge customer satisfaction.
  • Riding Type: Match your clothing to your type of riding, with more rugged materials for mountain biking, lightweight fabrics for road cycling, and casual styles for commuting.
  • Safety: Look for safety features such as reflective elements for visibility in low-light conditions, and UV protection for sunny days.
  • Extra Design Elements: Some clothing may have additional features like zippered vents, integrated sun sleeves, or water-resistant coatings that cater to specific cycling conditions and personal preferences.

How to choose cycling clothing

Cycling shoes

Cycling shoes are specialized footwear designed to improve efficiency and stability while cycling which include road cycling shoes, mountain bike shoes, and options for both flat and clipless pedal systems, each chosen for their specific functional benefits in different cycling environments.

  • Road Cycling Shoes: These have a stiff sole for efficient power transfer, are lightweight and often feature a smooth, aerodynamic design with cleats that protrude from the sole, making them ideal for long-distance road riding.
  • Mountain Bike Shoes: Built for rough terrain, these shoes have a recessed cleat area to make walking easier, a more rugged and grippy outsole, and are typically more durable to withstand the demands of off-road cycling.
  • Flat Shoes: These are versatile and often used by casual riders or mountain bikers who prefer a platform pedal which have a flat sole with grippy rubber to stick to the pedal surface without the need for cleats.
  • Clipless Shoes: Designed to attach directly to the pedal system for increased stability and power on the upstroke, clipless shoes are a popular choice for both road cyclists and mountain bikers who want the advantage of a secure, locked-in feel.

How to choose cycling shoes?

To choose cycling shoes one should consider the material, outsole, sole stiffness, cleat style compatibility with pedal style, proper fit, and special features such as laces, straps, or buckles for secure and comfortable fastening.

  • Material: Look for breathable, durable materials that offer a balance between comfort and longevity.
  • Outsole: Choose an outsole that provides the right amount of grip and is compatible with the type of riding you’ll be doing; more rugged for mountain biking, sleeker for road cycling.
  • Sole Stiffness: Ensure the sole has the right stiffness for your cycling activity; stiffer soles for road cycling shoes improve power transfer, while more flexible soles of mountain bike shoes aid in walking.
  • Cleat Style: The cleat style should match your pedal system; road shoes usually have three-bolt cleat systems, while mountain bike shoes typically use two-bolt SPD-style cleats.
  • Pedal Style: Your shoe must be compatible with your pedal style; whether you use flat pedals or a clipless system will dictate the type of shoe you need.
  • Shoe Fit: The shoes should fit snugly without being too tight, with enough room to wiggle your toes; a proper fit will prevent blisters and discomfort while riding.
  • Special Features: Consider features like laces for a classic look and adjustability, straps for a secure fit without pressure points, and buckles or dials for precise, on-the-fly adjustments.

Cycling glasses

Cycling glasses are specialized eyewear designed for cyclists to protect their eyes from various elements and enhance vision while riding. Bike glasses often feature a single or dual lens system, reduce glare, offer UV protection, ensure comfort and lightweight, and have color-distorting properties for improved clarity and contrast.

How to choose cycling glasses?

To choose cycling glasses one should consider their versatility, coverage, durability, comfort, lens quality, frame strength, weight, fit, and additional features that enhance functionality.

  • Versatility: Look for glasses that offer interchangeable lenses or photochromic lenses that adapt to different lighting conditions, making them suitable for a range of environments.
  • Coverage: Ensure the glasses provide ample coverage to protect against wind, dust, and debris, as well as peripheral light entry.
  • Durability: The glasses should be robust enough to withstand impacts and resist scratches, ensuring longevity even in rough cycling conditions.
  • Comfort: They should sit comfortably on your face without pinching the nose or squeezing the temples, even after extended periods of wear.
  • The Lens: High-quality lenses with good optical clarity can significantly reduce eye strain and provide accurate color perception and contrast.
  • The Frame: A strong frame material like polycarbonate can provide both durability and flexibility, important for both safety and comfort.
  • Weight: Lighter glasses reduce the strain on your face and nose, making them more comfortable for long rides.
  • Fit: A secure fit that keeps the glasses in place during movement without causing discomfort is crucial.
  • Features: Additional features like UV protection, anti-fog coatings, and ventilation systems can greatly enhance the performance of the glasses under varying conditions.

How to choose cycling glasses

Cycling wearable gears

Cycling wearable gears are technologically advanced devices designed to be worn by cyclists for tracking performance and health metrics during rides; they typically include smartwatches, cycling-specific watches, and heart rate monitors, all of which can synchronize with various sensors and apps to provide real-time data on speed, distance, cadence, and physiological parameters like heart rate and calories burned. These wearables gears aid in enhancing training and performance, offer features such as GPS navigation, altitude, weather conditions, and even safety functions like incident detection, making them a multifunctional tool for cyclists of all levels.

What are cycling essential gears for all cyclists?

Cycling essential gears for all cyclists include a helmet, front and rear lights, a basic tool kit with a spare tube, tire levers, and a multi-tool, a water bottle or hydration system, and appropriate clothing such as gloves and padded shorts.

  • Helmet: A crucial safety item that provides vital head protection, reducing the risk of serious injury in the event of an accident.
  • Front and Rear Lights: Enhance visibility on the road, making cyclists more noticeable to drivers, especially in low-light conditions or during night riding.
  • Basic Tool Kit with Spare Tube and Tire Levers: Allows for roadside repairs, particularly for fixing flat tires, which are common cycling mishaps.
  • Multi-Tool: Handy for making adjustments to the bike while on the go, addressing issues with bolts and screws that may loosen over time.
  • Water Bottle or Hydration System: Essential for maintaining fluid levels to prevent dehydration, which can significantly impact cycling performance and health.
  • Gloves: Improve grip and comfort while riding, and protect the hands from blisters, vibration, and in the case of a fall, abrasions.
  • Padded Shorts: Provide cushioning and reduce friction, increasing comfort during long rides and preventing saddle sores.

What are cycling essential gears for all cyclists

What cycling safety gear should you wear while riding a bike?

The cycling safety gear you should wear while riding a bike includes a properly fitted helmet to protect your head in case of a fall or collision, reflective clothing and lights for visibility, gloves for grip and hand protection, eye protection to shield from debris and wind, elbow and knee pads for joint protection(for mountain bikers), and a high-visibility vest or accessories to ensure you can be seen by motorists and pedestrians.

Bike accessories

Bike accessories are various add-ons that enhance the functionality, comfort, safety, and convenience of a bicycle, catering to the specific needs of the rider. Necessary for various purposes such as storage, navigation, child transport, and ride safety, these accessories include functional items like bike racks, fenders, and pumps; safety features such as lights and locks; comfort and performance enhancers like saddles, pedals, and bike computers; personal gear like water bottles, knee pads, and multitools; and transport solutions including child bike seats, bike trailers, bike packs, and bike phone mounts.

Bike Functional accessories

Bike Functional accessories include bike racks, fenders, and pumps, which are essential for enhancing the practicality and utility of a bike for everyday use, long tours, or adverse weather conditions.

  • Bike Racks: Allow cyclists to carry cargo, whether it’s groceries or gear for a long-distance ride, adding significant carrying capacity to a bicycle. There are various types, including rear and front racks, seatpost racks, and pannier racks, designed to fit different bike frames and cargo needs. 
  • Fenders: Protect the rider from splashes and dirt kicked up by the tires, especially in rainy conditions, keeping both the cyclist and the bike cleaner. Full-length fenders, clip-on fenders, and mudguards each offer varying levels of protection and compatibility with different bike styles, from road bikes to mountain bikes.
  • Pumps: Essential for maintaining tire pressure, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency of the bike, and for addressing flats while on the road or trail. Floor pumps for home use provide a high volume of air for quick inflation, mini-pumps or frame pumps are portable for mid-ride top-ups, and CO2 inflators offer a compact and rapid solution for inflating tires after a puncture.

Bike safety accessories

Bike safety accessories such as bike lights and locks are crucial for protecting the cyclist and the bicycle itself, increasing visibility, deterring theft, and reducing the risk of injury.

  • Bike Lights: Essential for visibility at night, with options like front lights for illumination, rear lights for signaling presence to vehicles behind, and flashing lights for heightened awareness.
  • Bike Locks: They come in various forms such as U-locks for robust security, cable locks for flexibility and reach, chain locks for strength, and folding locks for portability.

Bike comfort-enhancing accessories

Bike comfort-enhancing accessories such as saddles, pedals, and bike computers are designed to improve the riding experience by increasing comfort, efficiency, and providing valuable riding data.

  • Saddles: The key to rider comfort, available in styles like racing saddles for performance, gel saddles for cushioning, and wide comfort saddles for casual riding.
  • Pedals: They come in varieties such as flat pedals for easy on-and-off access, clipless pedals for a secure connection to the bike, and toe-clip pedals for a compromise between the two.
  • Bike Computers: These devices range from basic models that track distance and speed, to advanced GPS units with navigation and performance metrics, to smart bike computers that connect with other devices and sensors for a comprehensive cycling data analysis.

Bike personal accessories

Bike personal accessories such as water bottles, knee pads, and multitools are indispensable for rider support, safety, and convenience, addressing hydration, protection, and maintenance needs.

  • Water Bottles: Vital for hydration, they range from standard plastic bottles to insulated options that keep drinks at the desired temperature, and aero bottles designed to minimize wind resistance.
  • Knee Pads: They provide protection and are available as soft-shell pads for comfort and flexibility, hard-shell pads for maximum protection, and hybrid designs that offer a balance of both.
  • Multitools: Compact and versatile, multitools come in various configurations, from basic versions with a few essential tools to comprehensive ones that include nearly every tool a cyclist might need for on-the-road repairs.

Bike transport solutions accessories

Bike transport solutions accessories such as child bike seats, bike trailers, bike packs, and bike phone mounts are designed to facilitate the carriage of children, gear, and navigation tools, enhancing the bike’s utility.

  • Child Bike Seats: Essential for family rides, they come in front-mounted seats for younger children, rear-mounted seats for larger children, and convertible seats that can adapt as a child grows.
  • Bike Trailers: They offer a means to haul cargo or children and vary from single-wheel trailers for streamlined transport, to two-wheel trailers for stability and space, to special pet trailers.
  • Bike Packs: These storage solutions range from frame bags that keep essentials within easy reach, to saddlebags for tool storage, and panniers for larger loads on longer trips.
  • Bike Phone Mounts: Necessary for navigation and connectivity, with options like stem mounts for a central view, handlebar mounts for wider compatibility, and shock-absorbent designs for off-road stability.

How to choose cycling accessories?

To choose cycling accessories, one should assess offerings from both online or local bike shops, compare brands, consider the price and warranty, and evaluate any special features.

  • Online or Local Bike Shops: Select a shop based on variety, customer service, and convenience; local shops offer the advantage of seeing products firsthand, while online shops often provide a wider selection.
  • Brand: Research brands for reputation and user reviews to ensure quality and reliability; some brands specialize in certain accessories, offering superior design and functionality.
  • Price: Balance your budget with the necessity of the accessory, keeping in mind that higher-priced items sometimes offer better durability or performance.
  • Warranty: Look for products with a warranty, which can provide peace of mind and protection against defects or early wear.
  • Special Features: Consider accessories with features that enhance your ride, like waterproofing for weather resistance, ergonomic design for comfort, or compatibility features that ensure they fit with your current setup.

How to choose cycling accessories

How to choose cycling equipment?

To choose cycling equipment one should consider the intended use purpose, the season it will be used in, which stores offer the best options, the brand reputation, the features provided, the types of equipment needed, and the materials they are made from.

  • Use Purpose: Determine whether the equipment is for casual riding, commuting, racing, or mountain biking as this dictates the specific type of gear required.
  • Season: Select equipment that suits the weather conditions; lighter materials for summer and insulated, waterproof gear for winter.
  • Stores: Choose stores, either online or bike shops near you, which specialize in cycling equipment and offer knowledgeable staff or comprehensive information.
  • Brand: Opt for brands with a proven track record for durability and performance, particularly in the type of cycling you engage in.
  • Features: Look for equipment with features that enhance safety, comfort, and the overall cycling experience, like reflective elements for visibility or ergonomic design for comfort.
  • Types: Decide on the specific types of equipment needed, such as road bikes or mountain bikes, helmets, lights, or maintenance tools, based on your cycling routine.
  • Materials: Ensure the equipment is made of materials that offer an optimal balance between strength, weight, and flexibility for better performance and longevity.

How to choose cycling equipment

Cycling equipment list

The cycling equipment list is listed below.

  • Bicycle (Road, Mountain, City, Hybrid, e-Bike, Kids’, Specialty)
  • Helmet (Road, Mountain, Downhill, Kids’, MIPS-equipped)
  • Cycling Apparel (Jackets, Jerseys, Shorts, Tights, Pants, Clothing Accessories)
  • Cycling Shoes (Road, Mountain, Flat, Clip-in)
  • Cycling Glasses
  • Wearable Gears (Smartwatches, Heart Rate Monitors)
  • Bike Parts (Frame, Wheels, Drivetrain Components, Brakes, Shifters, Tires, Pedals, Saddle, Stem, Handlebar)
  • Bike Accessories (Racks, Lights, Water Bottles, Locks, Pumps, Phone Mounts, Packs, Knee Pads, Computer, Multitools, Fenders, Child Seats, Trailers)

What is the recommended amount of minerals per day for cyclists

Cycling equipment for beginners

Cycling equipment for beginners includes a basic, terrain-appropriate bicycle, adjustable-fit helmet, padded shorts or tights, flat pedals, cycling gloves, spare tubes and basic repair kit, bottle cage and water bottle, front and rear lights, a basic bike lock, and appropriate eyewear. These cycling pieces of equipment are user-friendly, provide safety and enhance the learning experience without overwhelming the new cyclist with technical complexity or high-end specifications.

  • Basic Bicycle: A reliable, sturdy bike appropriate for the terrain, such as a hybrid or entry-level road bike, to start with the basics of riding.
  • Helmet: An essential safety item, preferably one with an adjustable fit system to provide protection and comfort.
  • Padded Shorts or Tights: To provide comfort on the saddle and prevent chafing on longer rides.
  • Flat Pedals: Easier for beginners to use than clipless pedals, which require technique to engage and disengage.
  • Cycling Gloves: To protect the hands and improve grip comfort.
  • Spare Tubes and Basic Repair Kit: For dealing with punctures and basic maintenance issues.
  • Bottle Cage and Water Bottle: For hydration during the ride.
  • Front and Rear Lights: For visibility, particularly if riding during dawn, dusk, or in low-light conditions.
  • Basic Bike Lock: For security when the bike is unattended.
  • Appropriate Eyewear: To protect eyes from the sun, wind, and potential road debris.

Cycling equipment for beginners

As beginner cyclists, to have proper equipment can ensure you get the most of benefits from cycling like tuning muscles and burning body fat, also you should be aware of the cycling disadvantages like knee pain, muscle numbness and road accident.

Outdoor Cycling equipments

Outdoor cycling equipment includes a suitable bicycle, helmet, front and rear lights, cycling clothing appropriate for the weather, gloves, sunglasses or protective eyewear, water bottles and cages, a repair kit with spare tubes and tools, a bike lock, a pump, navigational aids like a GPS or bike computer, and safety gear such as reflective items and a bell or horn.

Indoor Cycling equipments

Indoor cycling equipment includes cycling shoes, stationary trainers or simulators, sweat towels, fans for cooling, trainer mats, riser blocks, speed and cadence sensors, heart rate monitors, and entertainment or training platforms. Unlike outdoor cycling, indoor cycling focuses on stationary exercise with equipment designed to simulate outdoor riding conditions and provide comfort and data tracking during workouts.

  • Cycling Shoes: Specially designed to attach to the pedals of the stationary bike, enhancing pedaling efficiency and stability.
  • Stationary Trainers or Simulators: Devices that hold the bike in place while you pedal, simulating road conditions with varying resistance levels.
  • Sweat Towels: Essential for managing perspiration during intense indoor rides.
  • Fans: Help keep the rider cool, as indoor environments can lack the natural wind of outdoor cycling.
  • Trainer Mats: Placed under the bike and trainer to protect the floor and reduce noise.
  • Riser Blocks: Used to level the bike by lifting the front wheel, aligning the bike in a natural riding position.
  • Speed and Cadence Sensors: Monitor your cycling performance by tracking the RPMs and speed.
  • Heart Rate Monitors: Useful for tracking cardiovascular effort and maintaining workout intensity.
  • Entertainment or Training Platforms: Software or apps that provide virtual riding experiences, training programs, FTP testing and performance tracking.
Cycling equipment for different seasons

Cycling equipment for different seasons varies to accommodate changing weather conditions and ensure rider comfort and safety. In warmer seasons, cyclists require lighter apparel, increased hydration options, and sun protection, while colder seasons demand insulated clothing, wind and waterproof layers, and lighting for shorter days.

  • Spring: Lightweight layers that can be shed as temperatures rise, along with rain gear for unpredictable weather.
  • Summer: Breathable, moisture-wicking clothing to keep cool, UV-protective accessories, and ample hydration systems to prevent overheating.
  • Fall: Mid-layer clothing, gloves, and headwear to protect against cooler temperatures and wind, along with lighting for earlier sunsets.
  • Winter: Thermal and insulated gear, windproof and waterproof outer layers, and enhanced reflective materials and lights to combat the dark and stormy conditions.

Where to buy cycling equipment?

To purchase cycling equipment, one can explore online stores, online second-hand stores, online platforms like Amazon, retail and wholesale outlets, as well as local bike shops, each offering a unique buying experience and range of products.

  • Online stores: Offer new equipment from various brands with the convenience of home delivery.
  • Online second-hand stores: Such as eBay or Craigslist, where you can find used equipment at lower prices.
  • Online platforms: Like Amazon or Aliexpress, which provide a wide range of new and used options from various sellers.
  • Retail stores: Chain stores that offer a selection of brands and the ability to see and try products in person.
  • Wholesale outlets: Where you might get bulk deals or discounted prices on last season’s gear.
  • Local bike shops: Provide personalized service, expert advice, and the opportunity to support local businesses.

Top cycling equipment brands

The top cycling equipment brands are known for their quality, innovation, and reliability, which are listed below.

  • Shimano: Renowned for drivetrain components, brakes, and pedals, Shimano is a staple in the cycling world for reliability and innovation.
  • GARMIN: Specializes in advanced cycling computers, GPS units, and electronics for tracking performance and navigation.
  • Pearl Izumi: Offers a wide range of cycling apparel known for its comfort and durability, catering to both amateur and professional cyclists.
  • Specialized: Produces a broad variety of bikes and gear, known for their technological advancements and design.
  • Rinasclta Bike: Professional carbon fiber bike parts manufacturing, mainly focusing on customized paint bike projects at affordable prices.
  • Bontrager: A name associated with high-quality bike components and accessories, including tires, wheels, and helmets.
  • Cannondale: Manufacturer of premium bicycles for all cycling disciplines, known for their revolutionary frame designs.
  • Castelli: Famous for high-performance cycling wear, especially their aerodynamic and weather-resistant clothing lines.
  • Crankbrothers: Offers distinctive pedal designs and various bike tools that combine functionality with a unique aesthetic.
  • CXWXC: A brand that provides a variety of maintenance tools, ensuring cyclists can keep their bikes in top condition.
  • CycleOps: Known for their indoor trainers and training software, allowing cyclists to train effectively at home.
  • Elite: Specializes in indoor trainers and water bottles, along with bottle cages for all types of cycling.
  • fi’zi:k: Offers a selection of high-quality saddles and cycling shoes that blend comfort with performance.
  • Fox Racing: Well-known for protective gear and apparel, especially in the mountain biking and motocross communities.
  • Garneau: Provides a broad array of cycling wear, including shoes and helmets, catering to both competitive and recreational cyclists.
  • Giro: Renowned for its helmets and shoes, Giro is synonymous with safety and cutting-edge technology.
  • KAPVOE: Specializes in sports eyewear, providing sunglasses that combine style with protection and clarity.
  • Nike: While more broadly known for general athletic wear, they offer cycling-specific gear with their signature performance quality.
  • RAD Cycle Products: Focuses on bike storage solutions and trainer stands, helping cyclists save space and train indoors.
  • Retrospec: Delivers urban riding gear, including bikes and accessories, with a focus on sustainability and affordability.
  • Schwinn: An iconic brand in cycling, offering a range of bicycles for all ages and skill levels.
  • Smith Optic: Known for high-quality sunglasses and goggles that provide enhanced vision and protection from the elements.
  • Sportneer: Offers tools and equipment designed for cyclist training, including stands and fitness technology.
  • SRAM: Competes closely with Shimano, offering high-end drivetrain components, brakes, and wheels.
  • Sunny Health & Fitness: Provides indoor cycling equipment and accessories to enhance home fitness routines.
  • Tacx: Known for their innovative indoor bike trainers and training software for a complete at-home cycling experience.
  • Trek: One of the largest bike manufacturers, offering a comprehensive range of bicycles and cycling gear.
  • Wahoo Fitness: Specializes in fitness technology such as bike computers, heart rate monitors, and indoor trainers.
  • Planet Bike Accessories: Offers practical accessories like lights and fenders to enhance the cycling experience.
  • Stages Cycling: Focuses on power meters, which are essential tools for cyclists looking to train based on power output.
  • Rapha: Produces stylish and high-quality cycling clothing and accessories, known for its community and story-led branding.
  • POC Sports: Provides helmets and protective gear that blend safety with a modern Scandinavian design ethos.
  • State Bicycle: Offers fixed gear and single-speed bikes, appealing to urban cyclists with their simplicity and style.
  • SIROKO: Specializes in sports eyewear designed to protect against the elements while providing clear vision.
  • CeramicSpeed: Produces bearings and components that are designed to reduce friction, enhancing bike performance.
  • Craftsportswear.com: Known for functional sportswear that caters to cycling, running, and other endurance sports.
  • Life Fitness: Offers a variety of exercise equipment, including stationary bikes and indoor cycling gear.
Top 10 cycling equipment bike retailers in the US

The top 10 cycling equipment bike retailers in the US are known for their wide selection of products, knowledgeable staff, and commitment to customer service. Here’s a list detailing each:

  • Conte’s Bike Shop: Esteemed for its community engagement and personalized shopping experience, Conte’s has become a staple for both novice and experienced riders.
  • David’s World Cycle: With a focus on customer education and a vast inventory, this retailer has earned a loyal following in the cycling community.
  • Erik’s Bike Board Ski: Known for its diverse product range that caters to cyclists and to snowsports enthusiasts, enhancing its appeal across seasons.
  • Landry’s Bicycles: This retailer’s dedication to the cycling lifestyle and its support for local cycling initiatives has made it a hub for cyclists of all levels.
  • Mike’s Bikes: Boasts a reputation for a wide selection of bikes, an emphasis on sustainability, and community outreach programs.
  • REI Co-op: Offers a comprehensive selection of cycling gear, and its cooperative structure means members get benefits such as dividends and exclusive events.
  • Richardson Bike Mart: With a vast selection and a strong community presence, this shop is known for its customer-first approach and inclusive environment.
  • Scheels: Combines a large-scale retail experience with a passion for cycling, offering gear for both casual riders and competitive cyclists.
  • Trek Bicycle Stores: As an extension of the Trek brand, these stores offer the full range of Trek products along with expert fitting and maintenance services.
  • Wheel & Sprocket: This family-owned retailer has built a strong community presence with a commitment to personalized service and quality products for all types of cyclists.

Top 10 cycling equipment bike retailers in the US

Top cycling equipment online stores

The top cycling equipment online stores are recognized for their extensive inventories, competitive pricing, and convenient shopping experiences. Below is a list detailing each store:

  • Amazon: Known for its vast selection and fast shipping, Amazon is a go-to for casual buyers and enthusiasts alike.
  • Walmart: Offers affordable cycling gear with the convenience of both online shopping and physical store pickups.
  • eBay: A marketplace for both new and used cycling equipment, it’s favored for unique finds and competitive auction prices.
  • DICK’S Sporting Goods: Well-regarded for a range of high-quality cycling gear and the assurance of buying from an established sporting goods retailer.
  • Backcountry: Specializes in high-end cycling gear and apparel, attracting serious cyclists with its curated selection.
  • Bed Bath & Beyond: While not a traditional sports retailer, it carries a surprising assortment of cycling accessories and gadgets.
  • BikeTiresDirect: As the name suggests, this site is a favorite for a wide selection of tires and wheels, catering to all cycling disciplines.
  • Competitive Cyclist: Offers premium gear and expert advice, making it a top choice for competitive and professional cyclists.
  • Costco Wholesale: Known for bulk savings and member-exclusive deals, it’s a good spot for cyclists looking to stock up on essentials.
  • Danny’s Cycles: Provides personalized service and expert advice, building its reputation as a trusted local bike shop online.
  • Gambacicli US: With its European roots, this store offers a unique selection of brands and gear not always found in the U.S.
  • Jenson USA: A respected retailer with a broad array of bikes and gear, praised for customer service and knowledgeable staff.
  • Target: Offers a convenient and accessible selection of entry-level cycling gear and accessories for the casual consumer.
  • The Pro’s Closet: Specializes in certified pre-owned cycling gear, giving shoppers a sustainable option for high-quality equipment.
  • Trek Bicycle: The brand’s official site provides the full range of Trek products and gear with the backing of one of cycling’s most prominent brands.
  • Trek Bicycles Florida: Serves a regional customer base with focused selections ideal for the local terrain and cycling conditions.
  • Wheel & Sprocket: A reliable name that brings its expertise and customer service from its physical stores to the online space.
  • Zwift US: Catering to the virtual and indoor cycling crowd, Zwift’s platform offers unique gear tied to its interactive training software.