Best Cycling Accessories: 33 Picks for Helmets, Locks, Pumps, Rain Gear and More

Bicycles are great machines. They surprise us with their speed and freedom to take us wherever we want, and they do it while giving us a good workout. All this in a machine with a very low carbon footprint that you can store in your apartment.

Most bikes, however, come from the factory ready for a casual Sunday joyride, but not much else. If you want to put your bike to work to carry cargo or travel to the office, you need some extra accessories to make those trips comfortable and fun. Lucky for you, the vast majority of bikes are highly customizable and easily customizable, and there’s at least a mountain of gear to choose from.

These picks we’ve compiled below have been tested with old-school pedal bikes in mind, but almost all of them will suit both electric bikes and non-electric (acoustic) bikes. Also check out our Guide to Ebike Classes and Best Ebikes for more of our thoughts and explanations on electric bikes.

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Ergon GA3

Photo: Ergon

So many things are a pain in the back these days. Cycling doesn’t have to be one of them. Swapping out handlebar grips, saddles, and even seatposts are some of the easiest adjustments you can make that will greatly improve your ride.

Better handles. Poor wrist posture can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or cyclist paralysis, which puts pressure on your median and ulnar nerves, respectively. The ergonomic Ergon GA3 ($35) are my favorite handles because they have small wings that correct your wrist position to avoid these conditions. bicycle seat. Upgrading your saddle (also called saddle) can make a huge difference in your riding comfort. The Brooks B17 ($94) is an old-school legend for a reason. Even though it’s made of stiff leather, I’ve found it ultra-comfortable after it’s broken in. These saddles are also robust; they usually last a decade or more. If you’re not “doing” leather, Brooks makes a vegan nylon option ($130). I haven’t found any cheap or heavily padded aftermarket gel saddles that are much, if any, improvement over the seats that come with newer bikes. Suspension seatpost. For some extra glide, you can add rear suspension to a fixed hardtail bike by swapping in a suspension seatpost. The Cirrus Kinekt ($270) can be customized for riders of different weights by swapping out the coil springs. On unpaved, rough or just potholes in the road, having a pad under your pillow can really make the ride easier. Padded underwear. Even in the most comfortable saddle you will feel the effects of many hours and many consecutive days. These REI Co-op Link Padded Liner Shorts ($35) are an easy way to add an extra soft layer between rider and machine on longer rides. That link is for the women’s style, but the men’s version is available for the same price.

Portland Design Works loading dock

Photo: Portland Design Works

Few bikes have the attachments needed to carry cargo for groceries and groceries. Sure, you can use a backpack, and I often do when I’m in a rush or testing a bike without any cargo-carrying gear, but a backpack can make your back sweaty and limit how much stuff you can carry. I recommend using a pannier instead. This bag attaches to a luggage rack that you mount over your rear wheel (your bike may already have this luggage rack). The pannier clips onto the rack and hangs behind your feet, out of the way and low to the ground, keeping your bike stable under load.

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