As someone who lives in a city where traffic just seems to get worse and worse, I honor those who chose to get around on bicycles rather than in cars. I find their decision even more impressive considering the amount of inconvenience than can result. Cyclists have to deal with all kinds of challenges that don’t affect drivers, so it’s good to know that there exist a fair number of bicycles accessories that can alleviate some of those challenges. Such accessories can include lights, locks, pumps, racks, trailers and even computers, and they can be purchased at most cycling or outdoor equipment stores.
One of the most common bicycle accessories is the bicycle light. This device makes the cyclist safer by simultaneously making him easier to see and allowing him to see better. Bicycle lights are usually powered with batteries, although some use an electrical generator. The latter option has the advantage of unlimited duration, but the maximum power output is relatively low. The lamps used on bicycle lights fall into three categories. They are, in order of dimmest to brightest, tungsten filament, halogen and high intensity discharge (HID). The cost of these lights, as one would expect, rises along with the level of light produced. The NiteRider MiNewt X2 LED, the DiNotte 600-LI-HC and the Sigma Sport Triled/Cuberider Combo are all examples of bicycle lights.
Bicycle theft can be a big problem among cyclists, especially in urban settings. Bicycle locks are usually intended to be used in conjunction with bicycle racks, although realistically they used to secure the bicycle to any object. The problem with securing bicycles is that the various pieces come apart. So even if the front wheel of the bike is secured, the rest of the bike may be detached and stolen. The most effective locks secure the frame and wheel or wheels to an immovable object. U-locks are the most secure kind of bicycle lock. The bodies of these locks are often made from solid steel, which makes them very difficult for thieves to cut through. Chain and cable locks are also popular, and but the level of their effectiveness depends on the strength of their materials.
Anyone who owns a bicycle should probably own a bicycle tire pump. These usually take the form that most people are familiar with, a hand-operated piston that forces air into the tire. This kind of bicycle tire pump ranges in price from $20 to $120. However, some bicycle pumps use pressured air cartridges to re-inflate tires. These pumps are much smaller and resemble an inhaler in appearance. Their small size makes them very convenient as a means of emergency tire repair on extended bicycle trips.
Bicycle computers are a fairly recent innovation, and they can range anywhere from $20 to $650. The simples models usually only offer information like the cyclist’s current speed, trip distance and present time. However, the most expensive models have features like GPS, mapping software, barometers, and heart monitors. Some bicycle computers can even communicate with each other, allowing cyclists to monitor other individuals in a group.