Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part Perspectives on Money Culture series on custom bicycles. Read the first.
It’s spring, you’ve got your bike chain greased, and you’re ready to burn rubber. Yet sometimes the basic machinery isn’t enough. Before you hit the road, check out a few accessories to make your two-wheeled transit a breeze.
First, the Necessities
Protect your most important gear—your own noggin—with a quality helmet. The Synthe from Giro ($250) and Javelin from Bell ($200) are just two of the dozens of brands of helmets out there. Bicycle Times suggests Scott Sports Torus Plus ($99) for a mid-price range helmet that looks more Wall Street chic than racing must-have.
If you’re going to ride at night, get lit up with a bike light. The Volt1200 light by Cat Eye ($200) is highly rated on several bike-related websites and magazines. Bike lights are just as much about cars seeing you as about improving your ability to see down the road. For even greater visibility, check out these wheel lights ($400) from Revolights, which Men’s Journal called possibly the best bike lighting system in the world.
If you’ve just paid $6,000 for a custom bike, you’d better lock it up. The classic U-lock is still your best bet, say most cycling experts. Bicycle Times magazine likes locks from Abus, including the U-Lock U-mini 40 ($100).
Finally, having a GPS system can help riders avoid getting lost or dangerously fumbling with their phones. BikeRadar cites Garmin’s Edge 1000 at $599, which allows on-road or off-road navigation and comes with a preloaded Garmin Cycle Map. A bike mount costs $39.99.
Want bicycling attire that looks as good on a bike as it does in the office? Nan Eastep, founder of B. Spoke Tailor, offers custom-made knickers, riding pants, and jackets in lightweight wool. Available for both men and women, prices start at $500 for a pair of pants. She takes measurements via email or in person.
Handmade and custom-made biking shoes by Exit Shoes evoke a classic cycling look while still practical when walking about. Handmade shoes for men and women start at $575, while a pair of custom-made shoes to fit toe clips starts at $1,200.
Bike bags, also known as panniers, help both serious and not-so-serious cyclists carry stuff. Most panniers will hook on to a rack mounted to the back of the bike, similar to this one from Planet Bike ($30). Bicycling magazine rated the Armitage Satchel by Po Campo ($135) as a good alternative to a messenger bag. They also like Swift Industries’ Roll Top Pannier (starting at $200), which allows customization.
Finally, bicycling isn’t always about commuting to work. Need to bring a bottle of wine to the party and still want to ride your bike? Check out Oopsmark’s wine rack holder ($40). Beer enthusiast instead? How about a six-pack holder ($53) from Firebox.
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