The 8 Best Bike Commuter Accessories of 2019
Nifty items to make your ride more comfortable and safe
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Traveling by bike to and from work is a fun way to sneak in a workout during your commute while reducing your carbon footprint. To keep your biking adventures safe and convenient, you’ll want to invest in accessories that go beyond a helmet and bike pump. Even for standard bike gear like bells, mirrors, and multi-tools, you can benefit from clever, thoughtful designs. Then, there are more niche products, such as biking gloves with LED turn signals that come in handy during nighttime rides. Need some help picking out some must-have items to bring along on your bike ride into the office? From phone holders to panniers, we’ve rounded up the best bike accessories to keep your travels safe and fuss-free.
When you’re commuting home at night by bike, a light is essential. The Cygolite Metro 600 Headlight offers 600 lumens of light output, producing a wide, far-reaching beam that alerts cars on the road. It has three different lighting modes: three steady, two flashing, and one walking. Special modes include the Day Lightning Mode, in which the Cygolite releases lightning-like flashes during the daytime, and the SteadyPulse mode, in which the light releases flashes when there’s an overlapping beam lighting you. When the device runs out of batteries, simply recharge it with a USB plug. Each charge gives you power for up to 90 hours. The water-resistant Cygolite is also sturdy. The quick release handlebar mount will keep the contraption secure, but you can take the light off to use it as an emergency flashlight.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t be answering texts or playing Candy Crush while biking. But bikers, like pedestrians and motorists, sometimes need to access their phone’s GPS for navigating directions. Vibrelli’s Universal Bike Phone Mount will fit any smartphone 3.7 inches wide (so most iPhones and Android devices) and any handlebar 0.9 to 1.3 inches in diameter. It sports a strong adjustable clamp with silicone bands to secure your device. This particular setup gives you access to your phone's screen and buttons at all times. You'll be able to rotate and adjust your phone in any position because of the clever ball-and-socket design. This allows you to adjust your phone to the best angle when you’re making turns. For color variation, you can choose between the black, red, and gray silicone bands that all come in the original kit.
A bike bell keeps pedestrians alert of your presence on the road. The Japanese Crane E-Ne bell produces a sound that is loud and crisp, helping you steer clear of scaring or hitting people walking on the road. You can place the bell on top or in front of your handlebar. It’ll fit bars between 22.2 mm to 31.8 mm, coming with a band that’s dipped in stainless steel. Crane blends safety with style, so you’re not getting any regular old bell. You’ll be able to choose between sleek finishes such as matte black alloy, polished brass, polished copper, scotch brite alloy, and scotch brite brass.
Topeak’s Mini 9 Bike Tool is a versatile device that can make a huge difference if you need to make adjustments during your commute. Compactly folding like a Swiss Army knife, the contraption is easy to stash inside your backpack, pocket, or seat pouch. It's smaller than most bike multi-tools, measuring three inches in height and weighing approximately a fifth of a pound. It includes nine tools: seven hex bolts, one Torx bolt, and a Phillips screwdriver. The tools are made from hardened steel, the body from extruded aluminum. You can use the Mini 9 for everything from adjusting saddle height to installing a water cage. As an added bonus, the tool comes with a neoprene pouch with a Velcro opening for convenient storage. According to reviews, the tools can be a bit tightly held together, so it's easier to pry the Mini 9 apart when you’re not wearing your biking gloves.
A mirror that can attach to the handlebar or helmet is helpful for a bicyclist to see what’s behind them. This is important for staying safe on the road when you’re biking during rush hour to or from work, times during which drivers may be distracted or anxiously trying to get to their destinations. The bike mirror from Mirrycle requires just a little setup. When you buy it, there’s even a wrench included for you to mount it. It comes in the form of a round convex glass mirror with a three-inch circumference that's adjustable and offers a wide field of view. You’ll be able to position it on the left or right side depending on your preference. The unit will fit handlebars with 13.75 mm - 22.5 mm inside diameters — some bikers may need to adjust or cut the ends of their handle grips to install it. Many reviewers have praised the mirror for being relatively scratch-resistant and sturdy, but also mentioned that you can buy affordable replacement mirrors for only $6.
A good pair of cycling gloves helps you keep a good grip on your handlebars to prevent slippage. It'll also provide comfortable cushioning for your hands when vibrations pass through your bike and handlebars. Zackees’ LED turn signal gloves add an extra layer of safety to your nighttime commutes. They feel comfortable, made with soft terry cloth, shock absorbing foam, reinforced leather palm padding, and breathable mesh lycra spandex. But the most notable feature on this pair of gloves is its turning signal light. To alert drivers on the road, press your thumb to your pointing finger to activate the turn light on the top of the glove.
The lights take advantage of a bright 54 lumen LED panel that uses a rechargeable coin cell battery. To recharge, all you have to do is plug in the USB receptacle inside the glove. Each session gives you up to six weeks of use before you need to charge again. Keeping the gloves clean will also be a cinch. All you have to do is toss them inside your washing machine and let them air dry. Particular about color? You can choose from black, red, and white.
Whether you drop by your local coffee shop or make your own joe, you’ll want any beverage that you bring along your bike commute safely contained inside of the Contigo West Loop Stainless Steel Mug. No matter how bumpy your ride, you won’t get spilled liquid all over your belongings. After you press the button on the mug to take a sip, just seal it, and you'll maintain a spill- and leak-proof journey. The fancy lid doesn’t take away from the functionality of the mug. Your beverages will stay hot for up to seven hours and cold for up to 18 hours. Cleaning your mug is relatively easy — you can wash it by hand or put it in the top rack of your dishwasher. The West Loop comes in over fifteen shiny and matte colors, including latte, violet, black, jade, stainless steel, and stormy weather. The mug is also available in different sizes: 16, 20, and 24 ounces.
A bike pannier is a saddle bag that you can attach onto your wheel to store things like jackets, gym clothes, maps, and food. As opposed to a backpack, it allows you to be more aerodynamic when you’re riding. This set from Ibera comes with two clip-on panniers that attach and release easily, but still feel secure when you’re moving on your bike. The panniers are compatible with most carriers — for non-Ibera racks, adjust the bottom hook position of the mounting system with a hex wrench. The panniers use a secure three-point interlock process formally called the PakRak Lever Lock Mechanism to prevent side swing when you’re riding. Just be sure to remove your bags when you’re away from your bike to avoid getting your stuff stolen.
You’ll be able to carry a fair amount of personal belongings, as the bags will store up to 15 liters of volume each. Each pannier has multiple compartments, including two zippered pockets and two large inside pockets. There are elastic bands down the buckle straps for a stylish design, as well as two side pockets and a reinforced handle so that you can carry it around. Along with the bags, you'll receive all-weather rain covers for shielding your belongings from snow and rain.