Author Topic: Minimum bike accessories  (Read 4302 times)

Katsplaying

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Minimum bike accessories
« on: August 02, 2015, 10:12:29 AM »
Picked up my old-rebuilt-just-for-me bike last Wednesday from The Hub. Shopped for a helmet Friday and took my first ride Saturday AM to drop some snail mail at a blue box not too far from my house. Realized as I was mounting up I had no way to carry anything on the bike; backpack for a few pieces of mail seemed silly so I tucked them into the back of my pants and had no way to secure the bike if I went inside anywhere.

Later that day more shopping: a lock ($14) & a carrier ($25) that straps onto the rear fender. Paid more than I thought I should but I had to start somewhere.

Saw loads of tire repair kits, pumps, wrench kits, etc.

For a newbie rider who's practicing on the weekends before diving into a commute, what are the best emergency supplies/kits I should have on the bike? At this point, I won't be more than a couple miles from home and I ride in athletic shoes so walking it home would suck but not be too big an issue if mechanical failure happens. The awesome guys at The Hub offered to teach how to fix a flat, time permitting during this their crazy busy summer days. What other common problems should I prepare for? What supplies or equipment should I have at home?

Thanks in advance!

Scotch & CPA

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2015, 10:29:10 AM »
Learning to fix a flat tire and carrying a spare tube (with mini pump or CO2) will help you to feel more confident about traveling farther distances. However, when I'm commuting around the city and I'm within 3-5 miles of home and wearing sneakers, I almost never take spare tubes. It's just a bit of a hassle. Also remember to check tire pressure before heading out on rides, this can reduce your chances of getting a pinch flat, so have a decent pump at home.

I usually just take lights, helmet, and a lock.

Can I ask what type of lock you got? I find the D-locks are the best, even if they're a bit heavy.

Also how do you lock your wheels, and is the seat post quick release, or bolted?

Katsplaying

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2015, 10:45:33 AM »
Seat is quick release but the release handle is almost buried against the frame and not easily visible.

I got a Bell padlock & key (I am awful at remembering combos) on a 6' cable that reaches through the frame & wheels. Not too worried about someone liberating the seat alone as the bike frame is a rebuilt that looks old & a bit worn (started life as a Schwinn Sierra back in the late 80s) and the seat doesn't look like anything special (Matrix brand).

I found many CO2 canisters & pumps on Amazon. I'm thinking pump for home & a canister for on the road? And spare tubes: are the "thorn resistant" worth the money? Also noted Slime Smart Tube: has anyone had experience with this product's efficacy?

Scotch & CPA

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2015, 11:04:37 AM »
The tire will provide more protection than the inner tube will. I've used Continental's Gatorskin tires in Philadelphia for 4 years now, riding through glass and everything else. They hold up very well. I don't have any experience with thorn resistant tubes or smart slime though.

If you're in a high bike theft area, I'm in Philly, so I assume everyone is trying to steal everything from my bike :), it may be worth considering changing the quick release on the seat post. It doesn't sound like it's a big issue though.

Also, bike lights are useful in early morning and later in the day, when the sun maybe in drivers' eyes making you (on the bike) a bit more difficult to see.

Have fun riding!

BikeFanatic

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2015, 11:44:15 AM »
A Cable lock  can be cut by thieves quickly, I highly discourage its use in the city.  I would get a U lock or a Chain lock and figure out how you will carry them. For work commuting leave a lock at work and a spare key too in case you forget your key.

Katsplaying

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2015, 12:03:32 PM »
When the bike comes to work, it'll live in the office safely out of reach of thieves. The cable & lock are for when it becomes an errand vehicle and it has to be parked & secured for brief times while I'm in a store or the library, ie: there are other people around that might discourage blatant stealing like using a bolt cutter on the cable. But I may be wrong.

Thanks for feedback re pumps & CO2. Links are always helpful, too. :D

sol

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2015, 01:25:51 PM »
Carry your wallet and cell phone and you're golden.

I bike commute 8 miles each direction and don't carry a tire repair kit or pump.  I've never had a flat in my ~15 years of bike commuting, probably because I ride "puncture-resistant" tires (like the aforementioned gatorskins, but mine are panaracer ribmos).  They are a little heavier than the tires on my race bike, but they never get flats.  My race tires get a flat at least once per season, and I don't even ride that bike very often.

I do carry a flip-out multitool that lets me adjust almost everything on the bike on the fly. Occasionally I need it to adjust my fenders or brakes, for example.  You have to know what your bike needs in order to get one that has all of the right tools, but most people really only need a screwdriver and the correct three sizes of allen wrenches.

For catastrophic mechanical failures, I can either carry the bike home or call for help.  There are buses that run along most of my route, so even if I couldn't call my wife to pick me up I could wait 30 minutes for the next bus.  I've never had to do this, even when I've crashed on my commute and had to spend 15 minutes fixing the bike well enough to finish my ride.

I also recommend front and rear lights if you ride in anything other than full daylight.  There are lots of decent sets on amazon for under $100, but I'd avoid the very cheapest ones.

My big U-lock lives downtown at work.  It's too heavy to bike around with daily unless I know I'm going to stop on the way home and need it.  I have a lightweight cable lock that I use places like the grocery store and library, but I live in a low-crime area and am not really worried about bike theft.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 01:29:16 PM by sol »

bobechs

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2015, 03:09:44 PM »
You guys in the NW have it made.

For biking on the public roads in Texas you will need at a minimum:

A gun (big);

Bag of ice (big);

Ammunition;

Extra Ammunition.

Janie

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2015, 04:02:47 PM »
I don't bike with a repair kit or pump, but have a floor pump at home. (It's a rare situation where I'd have to walk more than a few miles if I had a problem.) I have a front light and back blinker (it can mount to the seat post or clip on to my backpack). I also have a bell and actually use it a lot when I'm on multi-use trails to give little kids on scooters and people walking their dogs a friendly heads up that I'm coming. (It's also legally required in my area, along with lights.) I also carry a multitool. No rack right now. I use a backpack when I need to carry things.

I rent a bike locker in town--a luxury I use almost every day. I leave my bike there and take the train to work. I also use if when I run errands on weekends--I put the bike in, do whatever I need to do on foot, then go back to grab my bike. It's nice not to hassle with a lock. I use a cable lock when I go to the grocery store that's far from the center of town. It's less secure than a U lock but it's not a risky place to leave a bike.

I wouldn't anticipate a lot of problems/flats with around-town riding.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2015, 09:17:09 PM by Janie »

Tester

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2015, 04:49:06 PM »
My commute is also 5 miles one way.
I don't have fenders (yet), as I just bought the bike 3 months ago and it did not rain.
I don't have any tool with me except my phone and wallet.
My ride is near the bus route so if something happens I just get the bus.
I usually ride to work 3 times a week, until now no problems in 3 months.

Also, I have access to a pump at work and to a set of tools. I used the pump, not the tools.

At home I have a patch kit  and a small manual pump plus a multitool.
I used the patch kit once when my wife got a puncture.

:) Funny how the bike fell over twice during the night and I just could not understand why - it was losing pressure in the rear tire and it changed position.

GreenPen

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2015, 05:17:27 PM »
When the bike comes to work, it'll live in the office safely out of reach of thieves. The cable & lock are for when it becomes an errand vehicle and it has to be parked & secured for brief times while I'm in a store or the library, ie: there are other people around that might discourage blatant stealing like using a bolt cutter on the cable. But I may be wrong.

If you are in an urban area, I would strongly advise that you get a U-lock, like a few others already suggest above. I wouldn't count on other people being around as a much of a deterrent. Because you just have that cable lock, an experienced bike thief could steal your bike inconspicuously and in a matter of seconds with just a pair of cable cutters or electric bolt cutters.

johnny847

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2015, 06:11:46 PM »
When the bike comes to work, it'll live in the office safely out of reach of thieves. The cable & lock are for when it becomes an errand vehicle and it has to be parked & secured for brief times while I'm in a store or the library, ie: there are other people around that might discourage blatant stealing like using a bolt cutter on the cable. But I may be wrong.

If you are in an urban area, I would strongly advise that you get a U-lock, like a few others already suggest above. I wouldn't count on other people being around as a much of a deterrent. Because you just have that cable lock, an experienced bike thief could steal your bike inconspicuously and in a matter of seconds with just a pair of cable cutters or electric bolt cutters.

The point of this video is to expose racial stereotyping, not about stealing bikes, but still relevant to the thread.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ABRlWybBqM

theknitcycle

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Re: Minimum bike accessories
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2015, 01:41:46 PM »
Lights!  If you're riding anywhere near dawn/dusk/dark, you need lights.  If you're riding on a rainy or very overcast day, you need lights.  If you're riding on a bright sunny day and going through portions of deep shade (tree lined streets, etc.), you need lights.  Get them from a bike shop (the ones they sell in department stores are a joke), and get good ones.  Cheap lights will cost you more money in the long run -- hopefully only because they'll die after one winter, but worst case scenario because they're not bright enough to do what they need to do.