When you buy a bike, its not just the bike that you need. If you’re dusting your bike off from the garage right now and the tires are flat, you’re probably wonder what the next step in getting that bike road worthy may be. Here’s a list of things that every bike owner should have, and ideally know how to use, but thats a whole other question.
- Helmet ($50-$300)- Helmets are not mandatory in Calgary but I STRONGLY recommend you wear one. If you don’t think you do, go buy a melon from the supermarket, get in your car, bring it up to 30kph, and then throw the melon out the window and see what happens. I can go on and on about what kind of helmet to purchase, but lets just start with get yourself a proper bicycle helmet.
- A bike bell ($5-$20) – This on the other hand IS MANDATORY in Calgary, as it should be. Every bike that sees pavement ought to have a bell, and you ought to use it. Period.
- Bike Pump ($50-$100) – I’m shocked at how many people buy bikes without buying a bike pump. And when you go buy your bike the salesperson really ought to be selling you a bike pump with it. Believe it or not but rubber is actually very porous and bike tires loose air over time and you should check the tire pressure on your bike every few rides or so. To buy a bike without a bike pump (preferably a floor pump) is like buying a mobile phone without the charging cable.
- Flat repair kit ($20-$50) – This is actually a bunch of things in case you get a flat tire while you’re riding but its basically a spare tire tube, a tire lever, a CO2 cartridge or hand pump, and a multitool. Once you have all that, head on over to YouTube and familiarize yourself with the basics of changing a tire.
- Bike shorts ($50-$200) – Not entirely necessary, but a total game changer for anyone putting more than an hour or so in the saddle. Don’t believe me? Ask someone who rides their bike a lot if they’d ride without bike shorts.
- Bike Lights ($20-$100) – This also isn’t a must, but I strongly recommend bike lights that are visible to vehicles even during the daytime. Drivers get distracted, lights get their attention. I don’t ride on the road without a daytime rear bike light.
After all those things there are all the other obvious things like fancy pedals and shoes, bike gloves, expensive jackets, panniers, Garmins, etc. But the above five items are what I use every time I get in the saddle.