Gadgets and gizmos have become a staple of our everyday lives, so why haven’t you introduced them to your cycling?! Small quality of life improvements can go a long way to furthering your cycling experience, with various accessories making your travels far more enjoyable and interesting.
Our phones have taken over our lives - there’s no question about it. We spend an average of 3 hours 15 minutes on our phones everyday which makes them an integral part of our daily life thanks to their versatile wide range of apps including map applications, music players, cameras and more. However, serious cyclists understand the issues when it comes to bringing along your belongings - the difficulties of a lack of pockets! If you’re a keen cyclist you’ll likely be wearing cycling shorts and clothing (we generally recommend everyone wears them anyway) which makes for a lack of carrying compartments.
This is where a phone holder becomes a must have item. In order to take your phone along with you and to enjoy the wonderful benefits they bring, a phone holder is the perfect way to position your phone so you can still use and see it without getting in the way of your cycling. If you’re following a route you’d planned on Google Maps prior to setting off then a phone holder can ensure you can easily continue along the route in real time, as well as seeing any oncoming obstacles. Or if you were wanting to listen to music while on a route, having an app like Spotify open in front of you allows you to quickly change whatever music you’re listening to or finding and putting on a podcast.
You may want to hop on your bike and go, but you’ve got to think of it like a seatbelt - it’s important to take the time to prepare for the worst. Jeans and a t-shirt might seem suitable enough for cycling but you ultimately need to be wearing something with much more specialised protection to ensure you don’t get in any more pain that an unfortunate fall might cause.
Items like gloves, helmets and lycra can cost yourself a lot of damage further down the road if you’re wearing them every time you’re heading out on the bike. Accidents can happen to anyone regardless of experience, and you need to be protected - a fall off your bike could lead to you sliding across the tarmac at a high speed and without any form of cycling clothing, you could seriously damage yourself with skin burns and cuts. The same applies to gloves, as in the case of an accident you’re likely to put your hands out in front of you to cushion the blow.
Helmets are the utmost important item on this list - the likelihood of a head injury drastically reduces by 50% when wearing a helmet. If you don’t wear a helmet you’re risking your safety, and potentially your life, when out cycling and the worrying thing is that there is still a large amount of cyclists that decide not to wear a helmet - don’t take a chance being one of them!
Cycling can be thirsty business, making it vitally important you top yourself up with fluids throughout your journey to avoid dehydration. Grabbing a drink holder to attach to your bike will ensure that you are always able to carry a bottle of water with you and can cycle healthily without having to awkwardly carry a bottle with you or having to make do without a drink.
Drink holders aren’t particularly expensive, they’re lightweight and I can guarantee you’ll be able to find one to fit your bike. There’s really no reason not to attach a drink holder to your bike so add one on and stay hydrated! As well as the holder, get yourself a reusable bottle to help with plastic waste and be friendly to the environment, as well as being able to use a bottle that you know fits in your holder.
If you’re looking to start cycling regularly then you need to invest in the right seat. Your comfort can be the make-or-break in your decision to stay committed to a regular cycling plan so you’ve got to get the right levels of comfort in every area of your cycling, but especially with your seat. Discomfort, pains and firmness can all be the side effects of using the wrong seat which can get unbearable when cycling for long periods at a time which can lead to a negative mentality towards cycling and can be off putting.
A lot of shops allow you to trial out different saddles for a short period of time to allow you to get a feel for each seat before you make a commitment. If this is an option, have a look around and give a few a go to see how each one feels depending on your own cycling style and intensity. The difference that going from a bad and uncomfortable saddle to a new, comfy saddle will be enough to bring a breath of fresh air to your cycling experience.
Baskets are a brilliant addition to a bike if you’re the type of person who likes heading out for leisurely rides (less so if you’re a more competitive cyclist!). There are some instances where a basket is a must have, depending on the circumstances; if you’re heading out to the shops, for example, a basket helps carry your shopping home. Or if you like the idea of heading out to enjoy a nice picnic with a friend or two, a basket is a convenient way to carry your food around safely and carefully.
Baskets are a great option for any leisurely simply ride due to their convenience. If you’re looking to smash records and keep strict timings of your exercise, perhaps a basket isn’t for you, however if you’re looking for a resourceful way to carry your things around and aren’t looking to get anywhere in a hurry, then a basket is the best choice and remains a classic look!
There are a variety of accessories you can use to customise your cycling experience to make it a more comfortable and enjoyable experience for every mood. Whether it’s practical gadgets like a basket or a phone holder, or more safety and comfort minded accessories such as clothing or saddles, your cycling can be enhanced with personal tweaks and adaptations to create a more leisurely and positive attitude towards cycling.