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Bike accessories to enhance your riding experience

Whether you ride your bike for fun or as a commuter, having a few accessories can make your ride safer and more enjoyable. When you start to shop around for bike accessories, you may find yourself overwhelmed at the choices available to you. You can choose from thousands of fun and useful accessories. Here are a few that are important and practical.

Bike Helmet: In any riding situation, safety comes first. A helmet is a must for any type of riding that you do. A small investment here can literally, save your life. There are many types available in two main categories; open-faced and closed face. The common open faced helmet covers the top of the head while the closed face helmet, often used for mountain biking, protects the whole face. Whichever type you choose, pick one that is light and comfortable enough to wear for your whole ride. Make sure that it has a snug fit and it is certified.

Another essential accessory is a good bike light. Having a light will not only allow you to ride after dark, but also allow other riders and drivers to see you. It is a good idea to have both a headlamp and a rear facing tail light for greater safety. Simple inexpensive bike lights that run on common batteries are widely available, but there light output and durability is limited. For a little more money, you can get a high quality LED headlamp. These are much brighter than standard incandescent lights and handle bumps and shocks much better. Usually, these type of lights will require a separate battery pack, and they use rechargeable batteries.

Make sure that you also invest in a basic set of bike tools and a pump and tire kit. This will keep you going if you encounter a minor breakdown and make sure that a flat tire doesn’t leave you far from home. You don’t need anything too fancy just a good bike multi-tool and a few tire levers. Make sure that your pump is working before each ride by giving it a few pumps and lubrication if needed.

Now that we have some safety issues covered, how about adding an MP3 player to entertain you through those long rides. You may already have an MP3 player that you use for casual riding or commuting, but it is a good idea to have another one dedicated to off road or inclement weather use. I recommend using a cheap MP3 player for these situations in case it becomes damaged from weather or the occasional bike crash. The technology to produce MP3 players have gotten so advanced that many inexpensive models are available that have good sound quality.

Having a few of these bike accessories will not only keep you riding, but keep you riding safely.

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