Accessories for the bike commuting

To make your bike rides enjoyable, some essential equipment improves your daily life. You are a superhero who must juggle between the office, activities, shopping, children, weather, traffic: No unnecessary expenses, but purchases that will help you reconcile work, bike, personal life in the best conditions.

To help you, I will list the bike accessories that will facilitate your cycling days. In addition, also discover the clothes to ride in any situation (especially cold and rain).

Luggage

Of course, we are talking about everything that allows you to carry your everyday belongings, not the wheeled suitcase of the holidays. Why is it important to equip yourself? To ride comfortably on a bike, the longest in the year, it is better to have with you a package to be ready whatever the situation, the temperature, the weather.

Bag

For the velotaf, we mainly find the panniers that hang on the luggage rack. If you are not equipped with this accessory, no worries, there are many solutions to transform any mountain bike or racing bike.

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Good rear panniers attach easily and are designed to be installed multiple times a day, especially to prevent theft. There are other types of more specific bags: frame bag, handlebar bag and others. These versions are more oriented for cycling and bikepacking.

Backpack

Alternative to saddlebags, the backpack is intended for refractories of the luggage rack, couriers or simply lovers of beautiful frames who do not want to weigh them down. They are designed specifically for a specific use utility bike (ventilated shoulder straps, air circulation system in the back, waterproofing).

Backpack bag

Hybrids between the two previous solutions, these 2-in-1 convertible panniers combine the ability to carry your belongings with shoulder straps like a classic backpack while offering a grip like a luggage rack bag. Ideal to reach and make a long bike ride and then easily finish the last meters with your everyday objects in a backpack. Some models offer a style very close to professional luggage, ideal for going to work.

wearing a helmet

Although it is not mandatory above 12 years in France, it is advisable to wear it for bicycle use. A good helmet should be forgotten on the head, hold well on the head by adapting well to your morphology and ideally, it is equipped with reflective parts for your visibility. You have to take the time to find the helmet that best suits your use, your style, but also your professional constraint (helmet more or less bulky to store).

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In recent months, we have increasingly come across helmets with visors, especially among users of electric bikes. Ditto for bikers who ride at night, we see many helmets with LED lights appear or integrated turn signals: ideal to be better seen whatever the brightness.

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Note that if you have a shock with your helmet, it is necessary to change it. This is the price for maintaining an optimal level of safety in the event of an accident.

Secure your bike with an Anti-Theft device

According to the FUB, about 400,000 bicycles are stolen every year. And the phenomenon has accelerated given the average value of bikes that has increased with the increase in e-bike sales. With the best locks, you give yourself the maximum chance of deterring and slowing down thieves. It is essential to have one at least, but the addition of a second will repel the least motivated thieves.

Bicycle fastener with anti-theft padlock

In addition, engraving is now mandatory.

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This will not prevent theft, but if your bicycle is ever found, it will at least identify the owner. It is essential to invest in a U-type lock or install another padlock. The FUB, mentioned above, publishes a ranking of the most resistant locks on the market.

A good U-shaped padlock costs approximately a hundred euros, to which it is advisable to place a second, simpler model. Personally, I opted for a foldable padlock, because I could not install a big U on my bike (I was bothered by the panniers and the battery). But it is proven that the junctions between the different parts are the weak points of these folding locks. This remains a good compromise between safety and practicality.

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For e-bike owners, consider:

  • Remove your battery as soon as you make a long stop
  • Never store the bike and charger in the same place (an e-bike without charger and battery is more complicated to sell
  • Install a fixed hook point even in your personal garage
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Hook point to secure a bike in a garage

Do not think that the door of your box or access to your basement is secure, thieves are much smarter and much more equipped than you might think. As for the subject of insurance for your bike, take the time to read the contracts, some exclusions seem very limiting (for example, not having the bike stolen after 10 pm outside).

And last advice for locks, we forget the cable or spiral padlocks, this will best secure the scooter of the little one.

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This is what not to do: an electric bike for several thousand euros attached with a padlock by cable that cuts with a basic clamp …

See and be seen by bike

To improve your safety at night and especially in winter or in the rain, it is essential to acquire certain accessories.

Headlights

In the language of velotaf, we see the Ninjas appear when the days get shorter: cyclists without lighting, dressed in dark. So if you care about your life, you want to drive day and night, it is imperative to equip yourself with headlights: white at the front and red at the back. What is more, it is mandatory from a legislative point of view.

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Photo by Thomas Jarrand on Unsplash

USB rechargeable headlights, powered by a dynamo integrated into the wheel hub or simply connected to the battery of your electric bike, there are many solutions to have the lights adapted to your practice.

Remember that your system must be able to stay on, even when stationary, so that motorists can notice you.

Reflective clothing

A fluorescent jacket is not the best flirting plan, but it remains the most effective solution to get to your appointment. Note that manufacturers make multiple efforts to design clothing adapted to the work and your safety.

The vest is not mandatory in urban areas. But personally, I even put it in town during the dark winter nights, but also when the visibility becomes bad (the little fog of the morning of January, the little drizzle of March ..).

Blinker

Now offered some electric bikes, we begin to cross bicycles equipped with turn signals. I think this will develop quickly over the next few years. Not crazy from a visibility point of view, this will not impact much the price of mid-range and high-end electric bikes.

In the meantime, there are accessible solutions, simple to install and compatible with all bikes. This does not exempt us from reaching out.

Finally, cycling to work all year round is quite possible. You might surprise yourself joining all the followers of the velotaf from the first of January to the thirty-first of December! Accessories for your bike and the right clothes play an essential role in having fun regardless of the period.

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