Author Topic: choosing durable bike 'accessories'  (Read 6510 times)

kt

  • Guest
choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« on: October 02, 2013, 07:11:01 AM »
so i've started using my bike for errands and now need to get some 'accessories' for it (accessories sounds flippant and unnecessary).
i want:
1. lights
2. a basket or panniers
3. a pump

What should i look out for in each of these to make sure i'm getting a quality, durable product?
For example i generally avoid plastic because it is more easily broken and i prefer a simple design with fewer parts to go wrong over a more complicated product.
(also want a bell and a rear mudguard but i reckon there's not much difference in those)

dorkus619

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 162
  • Location: MD
    • SimplyBex
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2013, 08:07:30 AM »
Hi KT. I'm in the same boat as you! I got a great deal on a used bike and I'm riding it a little, but I know that I would feel more comfortable and use it way MORE if I had more "accessories." Some things like a pump are basically a necessity. Lights + helmet are a really good idea for safety. And a basket or panniers are going to be needed to haul stuff around!

What I have purchased so far:
- Lights
- Decent pump for at home
- Computer (this was definitely a luxury, but I bought it with cash back rewards from my CC, which I use for business travel that's reimbursed to me anyway...so I like to think I sort of got it free)
- 2 tubes, 1 because I accidentally pulled the valve out of the back tire tube, 1 as a spare in case of a flat
- tire remover tool thingys (I'm afraid I don't really need these...)
- mini CO2 cartridge thing for filling a flat

What I still want:
- Rear Brake - mine doesn't disengage properly (used/inexpensive or maybe just a certain part I need?)
- Fenders (Free - have parts from my old P.O.S. bike, need to be retrofitted/jerry-rigged)
- Back cargo rack (Free - have parts from my old P.O.S. bike, need to be retrofitted/jerry-rigged)
- Front Basket (used? or can I make something?)
- Toolbag/Toolbox (Free - saw on bikehacks.com someone upcycled a peanutbutter jar)
- Tools
- Bungees/rope, a large crate I can attach to back rack to haul bigger stuff, panniers

I'm hoping to not spend much more, but I really need some storage solutions so that I can carry more stuff in order to ride comfortably and carry groceries, or my derby gear to practice :)

seriously KT check out bikehacks.com! I'm sure other bike people know of other sweet tricks and hacks to pimp your bike on the cheap

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13116
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 09:12:57 AM »
Pump:
- Look for a floor pump with a replaceable head.  Often the rubber seal will wear out at the head of the pump first, but if you can replace this you're good for quite a while.  A decent pump can be had for 30 - 40$

Carrying crap:
- If you don't mind the extra weight, I really like Wald 582 baskets, the folding ones.  They're pretty tough, fold up and out of the way so your bike doesn't take as much room, and you can load the crap out of them (60 - 70 lbs is fine).  They're always on your bike so it's super convenient to zip out and pick up some stuff.  Down side is that they're heavy and they'll rust (keep the pivots oiled and you'll be fine).

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8372
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 09:14:21 AM »
Lights are going to be plastic no matter what you buy.  I'd look for at least 1W front LED and at least a half watt rear (red) LED.  My experience with bike lights has always been that the mounting bracket fails long before the light does.

I use a floor pump with an integrated pressure gauge that I got on amazon for $25 that has a metal bore.  If you want a minipump for carrying with you when you ride, you're back to plastic or CO2 cartridges (not generally recommended).

Panniers are expensive.  Good waterproof ones will cost you about $100 for a pair (mine are like this) and then you need a sturdy rack to carry them when loaded, which means no $15 knock offs.  I spent about $30 on my rack but it's rated to 180 pounds so I don't worry about breaking it.  Not all panniers fit on all racks, so make sure what you get is compatible.

Bike bells come in a million styles and some of them are pretty crappy.  I have a  nice brass bell (free at my city's bike promo day) that I love because it is tiny and loud, but bells aren't the kind of think that anybody has all that many of.

StarryC

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2013, 10:29:43 AM »
I got a craigslist bike.  But, because I'm not a pro at maintenance yet and still need advice I choose to spend a little more on the accessories and buy at the local bike shop.  So, instead of spending $800 to buy one of their bikes, I spend an extra $30 on the lights/rack/pump than ordering from Amazon.  They can help with install, local issues, etc.

This was helpful, because the bike shop people warned me that lights get stolen a lot, so you want ones that are easy to remove rather than leaving them on your bike while locked.  This is weird to me.  The lights aren't that expensive (I paid $20 for front, $20 for rear) seem to have a relatively lower re-sale value, and are safety equipment.  I feel like stealing lights would be like smashing the headlights of a car- little reward for a lot of potential danger to the driver! 

davisgang90

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1223
  • Location: Roanoke, VA
    • Photography by Rich Davis
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 10:34:16 AM »
I bought this rack:  Topeak Explorer Bike Rack http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FIE3WI/ref=oh_details_o04_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and these panniers:  Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP Bicycle Trunk Bag with Rigid Molded Panels http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000ZKATZG/ref=oh_details_o04_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1for my commute.  They work great!  I love the easy attachment of the panniers (they just slide on the rack and lock in place) and love not carrying a backpack on my bike anymore.

Highly recommended.

kt

  • Guest
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2013, 03:42:43 AM »
thanks for all your thoughts and recommendations, i'm in the uk but shall have a look at them and bear them in mind when i'm looking.
GuitarStv - thanks, that's exactly the kind of information i was looking for.

my bike was a 16th birthday present and i think it's about time i paid some proper attention to it! (i've ridden it off and odd semi-regularly since receiving it but never learnt how to maintain it or got accessories that would mean i use it more)

FunkyStickman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Louisiana
    • Living Outside the Box
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2013, 11:09:37 AM »
I got a decent rack, and some cheap panniers. The Wald baskets are a pretty good deal, especially if you get them with the bags, but they're not waterproof. (Neither are my panniers, I put all my stuff in plastic bags if it's wet)

The panniers I got are something like these: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ESLVDIU?psc=1
And the rack was an Axiom Journey, very solid and has tubes that keep the bags out of the rear wheel. Total cost was about $60.

The cheaper bags will be kind of floppy, though it's not that bad. I'm satisfied with them, for the price.

FuckRx

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 788
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2013, 11:42:42 AM »

FunkyStickman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Louisiana
    • Living Outside the Box

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13116
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2013, 12:00:17 PM »
I got a decent rack, and some cheap panniers. The Wald baskets are a pretty good deal, especially if you get them with the bags, but they're not waterproof. (Neither are my panniers, I put all my stuff in plastic bags if it's wet)

The panniers I got are something like these: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ESLVDIU?psc=1
And the rack was an Axiom Journey, very solid and has tubes that keep the bags out of the rear wheel. Total cost was about $60.

The cheaper bags will be kind of floppy, though it's not that bad. I'm satisfied with them, for the price.

I'd like to say that I really like the Axiom journey rear racks too . . . we have one on my bike and one on my wife's.  They're cheap, durable, and can hold a lot of weight.  Axiom front racks suck, and I had to return the one that I picked up for something else, but the rear racks are great!

ausername

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2013, 12:39:22 PM »
Like sol, I have the Ortlieb panniers - although I have the "back roller" ones rather than the "front roller" ones.  I think the back roller ones are larger than the front roller ones.  I've had my set for about 6 years now and they are perfect despite much abuse.  They are waterproof and very durable.

TheDude

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 467
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2013, 02:01:57 PM »
There is no doubt Ortlieb panniers are the gold standard. Has far as that go Tubus makes damn good racks. However both of those products are pretty expensive. If you arent doing loaded touring i am not sure you need to that much bag or rack.

FunkyStickman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Louisiana
    • Living Outside the Box
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2013, 02:05:37 PM »
Axiom makes decent cheap panniers too, just not waterproof ones. I have some Axiom Seymours on the bike now, they're pretty good, I still put all my sensitive stuff in huge ziplock bags if it rains. But I can carry half a cart of groceries in 'em, and I think they were like $35 for the pair.

This_Is_My_Username

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
  • Location: Australia, Mate.
.
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2013, 12:00:52 AM »
I do a lot of cycling, and this is what I have learned:

$2-3 for red(rear) and white(front) flashing lights from Deal-Extreme.  Make sure to get the AAA or AA battery, so you can replace the battery cheaply.  This is the best value available.

If you want to actually SEE when it is dark, you will need a fancier front light.  The best value is a "magicshine" or similar from dealextreme.  $40 - $70.  Get a light with a rechargeable battery, and an effective mounting/attachment device.

Buy a "track pump, or "floor pump" for at home. $30 online.  Bonus: you can pump your own car tyres for reduced petrol usage.

You will need a pump for on the bike.  Long and skinny is best, and you MUST have a flexible attachment hose from the pump to the valve.  Otherwise you will end up bending some valves, and ruining the tube.  $20 online.

spare tubes - $30 for a pack of 10, or $5 for 1.  online.

Tyre levers, $2 for 3. online.

(I live in Australia, so prices may vary)

Panniers are for dickheads (j/k). :)

kt

  • Guest
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2013, 03:10:37 AM »
thanks This_Is_My_Username. seems good advice on lights, i'm generally in well lit urban areas, just need lights to comply with the law and make sure i'm visible so i'll look into cheap, rechargeable battery versions.
i'll look into axiom racks and maybe look at what panniers are on ebay/gumtree. i'm mainly planning on using these for food shopping as i don't commute or adventure with my bike so waterproofness isn't as vital.

FunkyStickman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Louisiana
    • Living Outside the Box
Re: .
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2013, 07:56:28 AM »

capital

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 451
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2013, 04:05:37 PM »
thanks This_Is_My_Username. seems good advice on lights, i'm generally in well lit urban areas, just need lights to comply with the law and make sure i'm visible so i'll look into cheap, rechargeable battery versions.
i'll look into axiom racks and maybe look at what panniers are on ebay/gumtree. i'm mainly planning on using these for food shopping as i don't commute or adventure with my bike so waterproofness isn't as vital.
If you're mostly doing grocery runs, you might want a pair of grocery panniers, which are designed to fit a paper shopping bag, and can be found for very reasonable prices. E.g.:
http://www.fatbirds.co.uk/323/products/blackburn-ex-grocery-pannier.aspx

NinetyFour

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6252
  • Location: Southwestern US
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2013, 06:18:30 PM »

[/quote]
If you're mostly doing grocery runs, you might want a pair of grocery panniers, which are designed to fit a paper shopping bag, and can be found for very reasonable prices.
[/quote]

Who still uses paper grocery bags?!?!

Russ

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2213
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Boulder, CO
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2013, 07:16:14 PM »
Who still uses paper grocery bags?!?!

I do; they're what the paper recycling goes in.

Cinder

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 468
  • Location: Central PA
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2013, 01:56:09 PM »
Who still uses paper grocery bags?!?!

I do; they're what the paper recycling goes in.

Ditto, I always get a little piece of paper left in my recycling bin, and my papers left there with a checkmark saying 'must be bagged or bundled' .. But what if it's all in a nice fold of newspaper that you can just grab the top of, which I had upright on the side of the bin?   Jerks..

so, I to get them once a month from the grocer.

kt

  • Guest
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2013, 02:53:11 PM »
thanks. looks like an good site too.
in thinking about this i actually remembered that my dad got panniers for his bike years ago and never used them so i'm going to root those out when i get home and check them out. might get a waterproof cover if they're not waterproof themselves.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 13116
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: choosing durable bike 'accessories'
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2013, 06:50:08 AM »
I don't worry about waterproofness for panniers personally.  Stick stuff in a plastic bag if it's raining outside and it'll be dry when you get to your destination.