How to outfit your bike with accessories


You don't have to "pimp your ride," but there are some excellent bike accessories to consider adding to your wheels. Bicycling magazine editor Steve Madden shows you which bike accessories he recommends.

How to outfit your bike with accessories

You don't have to "pimp your ride," but there are some excellent bike accessories to consider adding to your wheels. Bicycling magazine editor Steve Madden shows you which bike accessories he recommends.

  • Select a cycling jersey that lets you breathe.
  • Padded bike compression shorts can help avoid chaffing for a more comfortable ride.
  • Cycling socks and gloves can offer additional padding and comfort in places with more contact and friction.
  • Select a well-ventilated helmet to avoid overheating.
  • Use a lightweight water bottle to keep you hydrated. Drinking 20oz per hour is recommended.
  • Keeping a repair took kit under your seat is highly recommended.
  • Carry a computer to measure your distance and time along with your average and max speeds.
  • Always keep a mini tool with you to make adjustments in case something goes wrong while cycling.
  • Clip a light onto your bike or jersey when riding before sunrise and after sunset.
  • Lastly, wearing cycling shoes allows you to hook into the bike pedals so every time you move your leg the pedals move too.


Transcript Hi I’m Steve Madden with Today we’re going to talk about accessories to help make your bike ride even better. Let’s be honest okay, really, if you want to go for a bike ride you need two things. You need a bike and you need a helmet. But, also being honest the more you ride the more your going to want to be more comfortable on the bike right? And there are a lot of accessories that are there to make your ride a lot more pleasurable. Let me show you what some of them are.

Let’s start with cycling apparel first, again its not necessary to go out and but his stuff, but it makes your ride a lot more enjoyable. This is a cycling jersey; it is made out of a breathable material, and its cut so that when you bend over the handlebars it’s a little bit longer in the back so it will cover your lower back. It’s got a full zipper in the front so that you can cool yourself with the breeze that’s coming across. And very important its got pockets in the back so you can carry things like cell phones, energy gel, spare tubes, and things like that.

Bike shorts make a huge difference. In fact, if your only going to buy one of the things I show you here today I would suggest that you buy bike shorts. They come with padding on the inside. The padding used to be made out of a material named chamois, but it is not anymore though it’s still called a chamois. The padding makes the contact between your bottom and the bike saddle a lot easier to take. They are tight, they have cuffs around the ankles, and listen, and nobody looks good in bike shorts. Lance Armstrong doesn’t look good in bike shorts, but they are all about function. Really important, really comfortable, I never ride without them. Socks are important too, you can wear any old sock, but if your going to be going the distance bicycling specific socks are really good. They’re thinner in places where there is no contact with the shoe and your foot. But a lot more thinker in places where there is contact along the bottom.

Gloves are important as well, they fit tight and have a little bit of padding across the palm and the fingers to prevent your hands from getting numb from putting pressure on the handle bars. But this is important too, they have little bits of terrycloth across the top so you can wipe the brow and get the sweat off. Keep it out of your eyes. A helmet, do not ride without a helmet. You have to have one, you don’t have to have one as special as this Giro, this racer boy helmet with a lot of vents to direct airflow and keep your head nice and cool. But you must wear a helmet and make sure it fits properly as well.

Water bottles help make to ride a lot more fun.  This 20oz bottle will help you keep hydrated for about an hour. You should plan on drinking one full of these about every hour on your ride. They fit into the cages on the bike so you don’t have to worry about it. But if you don’t have cages on the bike and your wearing a cycling jersey you can fit it in the pocket on the back. You should also be prepared in the event of getting a flat tire. So a repair kit like this will help you. The saddlebag will fit right under the saddle, and you can put a spare inner tube in it and a pump to get you back on your way.

Computers will help you measure the distance and time you’ve been out there. They’ll clock your average speed and your max speed if you want to bomb down hills and see how fast your going. A mini tool will help you make adjustments to the breaks or derailers in the event something goes wrong while your rolling. And if you’re going to be out before sunrise or just after dark a little light tat clips on the back of our jersey or the back of your saddle will let drivers and other riders see you while your out there.

Now something else that’s very important is cycling shoes. You don’t have to have cycling shoes, but they make a big big difference. You can see on the bottom here the soles are stiff so that when you pedal all the energy that you produce goes straight into the road, there’s no flex. Same with the pedals, pedals made with a cleat on the bottom of the shoe, when you pedal its almost as if your in a ski binding. It’s attached to it, and every time you move your leg the pedal is moved too.

Remember you don’t need all this stuff to enjoy your bike ride, but it helps. I’m Steve Madden for
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  • Steve Madden

    Steve Madden Editor-in-Chief of Bicycling and Mountain Bike Magazines Steve Madden is the Editor-in-Chief of Bicycling and Mountain Bike magazines. He was also a reporter and columnist for Fortune, staff writer for M, and Editor and Publisher of Cornell. more about this expert »

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