Author Topic: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??  (Read 5267 times)

Calvin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« on: January 02, 2015, 05:34:09 PM »
Hi everyone,

I just bought a beater hybrid/commuter bike off Craigslist for $40 that runs pretty smooth even though it's old. I live in a rural area, so very slim pickings on Craigslist. My goal is to get into biking to work and around town. If I get into the habit of biking for transportation I'll buy a nicer bike and resell this one on craigslist.

The bike needs some new tires, so I'm going to grab those off of Nashbar (the Nashbar Streetwise City Tire is what I'm thinking).

I also plan to buy:
- Tire pump
- Helmet (of course!)
- tail light
- lock
- reflective jacket (any recommendations?)

Is there anything else essential that I'm missing in order to get into biking??

As an addendum, any additional things I should have for biking in the winter up north? I've read the MMM post on winter biking, so I'll use that as a guide.

Thanks!

Mesmoiselle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
  • Location: Kentucky
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2015, 07:12:53 PM »
Flat repair kit
Handlebar light for forward lighting

And I'm getting reflective fabric tape and seeing how that works before I sink money on specialty clothes. When it comes to all these jackets and pants and gloves I can't help but think I'd hate to wear that in the summer.

vhalros

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 308
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 07:19:00 PM »
You absolutely need a front light; probably both a legal requirement and for safety. A ski mask will keep your face from freezing.

Fenders are very useful if you plan on biking in less than ideal whether, but not absolutely necessary if you don't mind the bike throwing slush/mud/etc. on you.

Mr. Frugalwoods

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
  • Location: Greater Boston Area
    • Frugalwoods
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 07:26:13 PM »
You need a headlight.  Doesn't need to be powerful if you'll only be riding in town, just something to blink white and let people know you are there.

I wouldn't buy special clothing until you know biking is for you.  That stuff is expensive!

I'd at least get a cheapo rear fender (amazon has them for like $8) to keep the spray off your back.

Other than that... ride for a while and see what you end up wanting.  A lot of it is climate and route specific.  Someone riding 15 miles a day in Montreal needs different stuff than someone riding 5 miles a day in North Carolina.

Aaron L

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 5
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2015, 08:12:30 AM »
You will seriously start to hate life pretty fast the first day you  have to ride in the rain without some sort of fender.  You get a lot more wet from the bike wheels throwing up water and grime from the road than the rain itself.  Hop onot ebay and do a search for an "ass saver." You can find  imitation products out of China for less than 2 bucks.  They only cover the rear wheel, but are much better than nothing and are super cheap.

Calvin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2015, 08:19:51 AM »
Thanks for all the advice so far!

A couple followups:

- Do I only need a rear fender? Or should I get both?

- I have an LED headlamp that seems fairly bright (3 AAAs). Is that OK for now? Or should I just go ahead and get the handlebar mounted headlight?

2ndTimer

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4610
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 09:20:29 AM »
I didn't need them at 30 but now that I am old I really like the padded pants and gloves.  Picked up two pairs of the shorts at  the local thrift store and found the gloves at a yard sale.   

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3941
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2015, 09:29:12 AM »
It's been said, but FENDERS!  And they're not worth cheaping out on, IMO, if you get rain much at all.  Get both front and rear if you're going to do it, because the front wheel will cover your shoes and lower legs with grit and spray otherwise.  I'm a fan of tightly wrapped fenders that cover a large chunk of the wheel, but I'm also commuting in Seattle, and the rumors about this place are false - it rains a lot more than people say.  Or, at least, is wet in the mornings.

For lighting, it serves two functions: See and be seen.  The second is a lot easier than the first.  A flashing LED light front and a rear red flashing LED light cover "be seen," but are rubbish for seeing at night (depending on where you ride).

The good news for lighting is that you can find a lot of good stuff on eBay for very little.  USB rechargeable lights are nice, but a bit pricey, and I'd rather have 2-3 cheap lights than a single really bright one (for being seen).  Don't spend a lot of money on lighting until you're sure you're going to ride a lot, though.

If you're planning to wear a helmet, I'd also invest in a neon helmet cover (or just buy a neon helmet).  I have this one, and am quite happy with it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Neon-Green-Helmet-Cover-/251745158152?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a9d2e4408  It makes a big difference in people seeing you from a distance, which, at least for my commute, is a big deal.

Bob W

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2946
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Missouri
  • Live on minimum wage, earn on maximum
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2015, 09:47:15 AM »
A car carrier .  its cheaper to drive in rural areas.   Safer too.    Cost for fuel to bike about 8 cents per mile.  Cost for fuel for a 40 mpg car about 5 cents.

Syonyk

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3941
    • Syonyk's Project Blog
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2015, 10:18:03 AM »
A car carrier .  its cheaper to drive in rural areas.   Safer too.    Cost for fuel to bike about 8 cents per mile.  Cost for fuel for a 40 mpg car about 5 cents.

And that's utterly and completely not what he was asking for information on.

Calvin

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2015, 10:56:12 AM »
A car carrier .  its cheaper to drive in rural areas.   Safer too.    Cost for fuel to bike about 8 cents per mile.  Cost for fuel for a 40 mpg car about 5 cents.

I appreciate the comment, but I'm only 3 miles or so from work and most of the ride will be on a bike path and the roads are only 30mph and lightly traveled, so it should be pretty easy/safe. Also, my purpose for getting into this is at least as much health/lifestyle/challenge as it is saving $.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4726
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2015, 05:22:21 PM »
Instead of paying more money for even the cheapest actual "bicycle headlight," you can get these Harbor Freight flashlights for free with a coupon, then strap them to your bike using hose clamps (link two together like a chain, then fasten one around the handlebars and the other around the flashlight). The only downside to them compared to things designed for bikes is that there's no flash mode.

Actually, I was checking Amazon for price comparisons, and ran across this. That seems like it might be a good step up from the hose clamps...

No Name Guy

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 449
  • Location: Western Washington
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2015, 07:51:58 PM »
Tire levers and a bike specific multi-tool to go with that patch kit and the knowledge on how to patch and replace a flat and do minor adjustments / repairs.  Oh, and a spare tube as well.  Might want a saddle bag (the under seat kind) to carry your patch kit, spare tube, tire levers and tool - most pumps have a frame mounting bracket.

I never head out for a ride without a spare tube, patch kit, pump, levers, tool.  Granted, it's more MTB than road / path commuting, but having had a friend break his chain multiple times, it's handy having the tool to take out the broken link.  Levers are quite handy to get the bead on / off the rim when fixing a flat.  A quick field repair / adjustment can do the trick to make it home in lieu of being stranded / pushing.


k-vette

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
    • Bolton Ebikes
Re: Bought a Bike - What Bike "Stuff" do I Need??
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2015, 09:41:19 PM »
Heres my headlight recommendation.  Cree xml led from amazon.  Less than $19, rechargeable so you never have to buy batteries,  and REALLY bright.

Aside from that I have:

Tail light (wife got me a laser tail light - puts lines on the ground around you.  Awesome!)
Water bottle
patch kit
multitool
spare tube
tire iron
pump
bag or rack to carry everything

Stuff to wear:
Cycling shoes (not critical)
Comfy cycling shorts
Sunglasses
balaclava or headband for cold
warm gloves and winter gloves
if wearing regular pants, velcro loop to keep them out of the chain.
s