Photo by Patsy Smiles
Mind the Details
When finding the right city bike and accessories for you, it is important to pay very close attention to detail.
While it would be wonderful if all city bikes came equipped with all of the parts and accessories that we need, in reality there are many products on the market that will not satisfy your daily transportation needs.
When buying a bicycle for daily use it is important to ask if the bike’s frame will accommodate a kickstand, fenders, racks, and other essential city riding accessories.
Kickstands, if not already equipped on a bicycle, will need to be chosen to work with your bicycle’s frame geometry. Too long or too short and your parked ride will topple over. Your local bike shop can cut a kickstand to the proper length if needed.
Fenders, essential for keeping road grime off of your clothing, should secure directly to your frame. Eyelets located near the dropouts make attaching fenders, as well as racks, possible. Be sure to ask if the bicycle you’re buying can accommodate both and ask for assistance in selecting the accessories that will work best together.
When buying panniers we recommend testing the attachment clips on your rack. You will get much more enjoyment out of your daily ride if it’s easy to get your bag on and off of your bike. For riding in rainy areas find a sturdy and waterproof bag that can be removed quickly when needed.
Locks, essential for preventing theft of your bike when not in use, can sometimes be a pain to carry with you. Look for locks that easily mount onto your bike such as those with brackets that attach to water bottle cage holes on your frame. Since some mounts aren’t always frame-friendly, we recommend using a basket or rack for carrying your lock. Not having to fiddle around every time you lock your bike will save you time and headaches.
As you will see in our 3rd Annual Goody Basket Gear Guide, there are currently many great products on the market that can help improve your every day riding. There are some gaps in the marketplace that we hope will soon be filled. We would love to see a rear bike light that easily attaches to a rear rack or fender (a city bike essential), and a front light that can easily attach to a front rack or basket. We’d like to see more bike locks and mounts that are easily attached to step-through and smaller bike frame sizes.
Most importantly, take the time to consider all of your needs before buying a bicycle and accessories. Consult with our City Biking Tips included in our Gear Guide before making a purchase. While not every bicycle is designed to suit the needs of the every day city rider, it is possible to customize your own ride to make your bicycle your first choice for city travel.
Get Momentum Mag's 3rd Annual Goody Basket Gear Guide here: momentummag.com/2013-gear-guide