Urban Cycling Gear -Part 1- Safety in the Saddle

Welcome my fellow Urban Cyclist

Have You ever struggled with trying to figure out what gear You need for Urban Cycling. I know I was, so I dug deep scouring through the net, asking all my friends, fellow bike mechanic, and local shops just that question.

In this series, I want to help ensure that you have all the “Urban Cycling Gear” needed (plus some optional ones) to start riding safe, comfortable, and more efficiently on your commute. Should it be riding to work, the store, local flea market, farmer’s market, or just a comfy cruise. Whatever it may be, this gear is going to help you not just be safe but help you enjoy your ride and look good doing it.

I have found that there are four main categories that all your gear will fall under, I know there will be gear not listed on here because of the vast amounts of options out there in the cycling world. This is intended to be a starters guide.

Here in part one I am going to be helping you get the gear you need to be safe, while looking stylish during your urban cycling adventures. Make sure to check out part two where I am going to be reviewing what apparel and gear you will need to be comfortable and confident in the saddle.

While building up your commuter you can go as basic or extreme as you would like. Just make your bike represent your personality with functionality at the top of the list, I would love to see what you all are doing with your UDC (Urban daily Commuter).

With that said let’s get into the first item of Urban Cycling Gear.

Safety – The most important of all your gear!

Helmet / Lids

 

To stay reasonably safe on your ride you will need to start by protecting that brain. I know helmets suck, they’re ugly, bulky, and “None of us want to look like Steve Correl in the 40-Year-Old Virgin.”. Luckily helmets have come a long way in terms of fashion and comfort. Not to mention all the awesome new technology incorporated into some new helmets, like built in speakers and mics, turn signals that can link to your mobile device, to name a couple of my favorites. With all this you can rock a new lid like a boss.

 

Lights

Next you will need some lights so that motorist can see you, make sure that they blink(motorist and pedestrian alike are more likely to see flashing lights than solid). This is a great opportunity to really let your personality shine if you are looking to really trick out your UDC, there are loads of options out there from frame light strips, bar end lights, lights that project designs on the ground (in front, behind, and beside you), rim lights (that create moving objects on your rim as you ride to your basic light sets. The internet is full of amazing lighting systems for your bike, so shine on (bad pun I know but it worked).

Bells / Horns

Another annoying but very useful addition to your bike is a horn or bell (ding ding as my daughter’s used to call them). (It is important to notify others when you are approaching so that they don’t jump out in front of you). This is another item that has made some amazing movements when it comes to style and tech over the years. Some tech in new Horns incorporate navigation from your Bluetooth device using vibration and lights to notify you of upcoming turns on your route check out Halo. When it comes to style there are also some bells that don’t even really look like a bell, they look like a ring for your bike and come with many patterns. They are also super lightweight, these bells tend to sound way less annoying than traditional bells and horns.

Mirrors

One thing I never really thought about was the importance of mirrors. I always assumed (you know what assuming does) they were bulky and pointless, until the other day.

I was riding and almost got swiped by a car. I am thankful that I was riding my friends tricked out urban commuter. His mirror was so unnoticeable (it was fixed to his bar end holes, such a clean look) I didn’t realize his bike even had one till about six blocks before I almost became one with the pavement. After I noticed it I started using it on accident. This tiny little mirror saved me from that car.

It’s way safer to be able to just glance down to see what’s behind you than to look over your shoulder, making lane changes is much safer, and faster (more speed more fun am I right?). The picture above-right is one just like his it is by a company called Cork.

Locks

Have you ever or someone you know ever had your bike stolen, either because they didn’t have a lock or they bought the wrong type? I want to make sure that never happens to you and if it does. I want to make sure you are covered and can get back in the saddle as fast as possible.

How you might be asking? By informing you how to protect yourself. If you ever want to know more about locks and how you should lock your bike up, check out my other blog Essential Bicycle Accessories, I show you my recommendation on how to lock your bike up and describe each of the three main types of locks that most cyclist use.

What are some ways to protect yourself if your bike is stolen? Great question, my friends at my local riding community helped me find out these three ways to do just that.

  1. Most reputable bike lock companies (like kryptonite or on guard) offer an anti-theft protection if your bike is stolen while using there lock ( if you want to know more about how it works just click either name brand.). You can even get a lock that has an alarm feature, some with phone notification via an app and GPS tracking of your bike.
  2. Your homeowners/renters policy may cover your bike even when you are away from home, contact your local agent to find out and if it’s not then I would add it.
  3. You can even buy cycling insurance.
  4. Bonus, your auto policy may have a clause under the uninsured motorist portion of your policy covering you and your bike in the case of an accident.

First AID Kit

Most people would say ya kinda common sense right? Not this guy. You know how many times I have needed this and said as soon as I get home I’m going to be putting one together and place it in my tool kit.  

Just yesterday I finally put mine together. Honestly You can make this kit as extensive or simple as you would like, in mine I have;

  • a couple different sized Band-Aids
  • Gauze pack
  • Medical tape(wrapped flat)
  • Homemade saline spray for cleansing
  • and ointment

You can even buy a cyclist first aid kit on Amazon if you want to. Either way You choose, I really recommend having it, you will thank yourself later when you find yourself in need of it.

Ride safe, Be stylish!

I hope you found this article informative, and are going to apply some, if not all of this to your Urban Cycling Gear. If you enjoyed my article stay tuned for part two, Comfort & Confidence in Your Saddle…One subject I will be going over is my favorite saddle, the Infinity Saddle.

To know what your essential took kit should have in it, check out my article Essential Bicycle Accessories – Everything You ever need to start riding

If you have any suggestions to what you want to see in future articles, comments about this blog or things I should add(It would be very helpful to myself and other readers), if you put them in the comments section below.

If you haven’t already today, get out and take a ride…

See you in part 2 “Comfort and Confidence in Your Saddle“…

 

Samuel “BicycleBob”Cunningham

Founder Bicycle Bob’s CyclEssentials

Urban Cycling Gear -Part 2- Comfort & Confidence in Your Saddle

 

10 Replies to “Urban Cycling Gear -Part 1- Safety in the Saddle”

  1. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for information about urban cycling and when I landed to your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for everyone who is interested in this topic.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.)

    Thanks!

    1. Hello Ali
      Thank you for the share and taking the time to comment. I’m glad that you have found this article helpful, it really encourages me to keep writing articles like this. Thank you! I wish you all the best in your cycling journey, remember that even just 20 minutes a day in your saddle will have lots of health benefits.
      Ride more, stay safe, promote healthy living.
      Samuel “Bicycle Bob” Cunningham

  2. Hello Samuel, I just wanted thank you for putting together this list. You have opened my eyes with the tiny little mirror, the same Happened to me once so I can see its benefit.

    A mirror is definitely an essential accessory for a safety ride lol.

  3. Thanks for a bunch of fantastic tips. I have to admit that I miss having at least half of the things from your gear list. The mirrors are something that I must have as well as the shock absorbing seat post and stem. Do you have some kind of reviews or comparison charts from where I can learn more about the best brands?

    1. Hi Ivan
      I am glad that you enjoyed this article.

      I am sure that you will build you gear back up, it just takes time.

      I will be doing some reviews and comparisons, after I complete the Urban Cycling Gear series. During this series I am sharing the items that I currently use and trust 💯.

      When I do the reviews I will make sure to add some internal links on each of the articles in this series to the reviews item for the corresponding categories along with links as to where to buy for the best available price.

      Thank you for your insight
      Samuel

  4. Hi Bob,

    you mentioned some gadgets I even didn’t know that they exist! 🙂
    Very interesting information.
    I guess I will give that saddle a try. I always have problems with mine because it’s so hard and small.
    Riding a few kilometers is enough for causing bruises. 🙁

    Thanks for that information! Highly appreciated!

    Best,
    George

    1. Hi George,

      I’m so glad to hear that you are going to try the Infinity Seat out, I love this saddle so much. It helps me want to ride more because of it’s amazing comfort. I am also glad that I was able to introduce you to some new gear that you didn’t know was out there.

      Thank you
      Samuel

  5. Hi ‘Bob’, that’s a great post. I don’t do urban cycling any more as I did it as a necessity (transport to work) a few years back, but since I retired I don’t need to now.

    I had an electric bike and travelled about 14 miles a day between March and October in British weather. So, for me, the most important part of my kit was my apparel. A good jacket was essential to me. Everything from frost to hailstorms were endured during my time. It’s got to be hi-vis too, as not being seen will lead you to an early grave.

    Secondly, whilst helmets aren’t compulsory here in the UK, it would be pretty stupid not to wear one! If there’s any danger of my head coming into contact with the hard stuff, I want to make it hurt less!

    The shock absorbing seatpost was also an absolute need for me too. I can’t understand anyone who puts up with discomfort whilst sitting on a bike anyway, but I have lower back problems (degenerative) so an anti-shock system was a Godsend to me.

    Keep up the good work. Making cycling comfortable, safe and cool is commendable.

    Dave

    1. Hi Dave,
      Thank you for letting me be a part of your cycling adventure, it sounds like it was quite interesting with the weather. I’m blessed with my California weather rain is the only real curse I run into.It is always a blessing to read about my readers experiences and the gear they use. I’m sorry to hear that you had to stop your urban cycling, hopefully you get into some form of recreational riding, to keep a healthy mind and body.

      In response to your apparel part 2 of the blog will be going into that,when I talk about how the importance of comfort, and gear to improve your stay in the saddle.

      Thank you for the support
      Samuel

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