Commuting by bicycle remains a popular alternative to getting behind the wheel. Pedaling is certainly cheaper than driving, since there are no gas costs to worry about. Biking is better for the environment and also good for your health. A number of high-tech bike accessories can make it easier and more comfortable to commute by bike (or to simply take your bike out for a lengthy ride on the weekend).
Want to make your bike more high tech and make your ride more convenient? Here are some amazing bike accessories that can help you.
Bike mileage counters make it possible to get tons of information about your riding. The simplest of these devices cost a mere $10, and can only give data like speed and distance traveled. Other devices have touchscreens that can sit on the handlebars and give you second-by-second readings of speed, distance traveled, and even things like pedaling cadence, estimated calories burned during a ride, and speed to distance ratios. Which of these tools is right for you? It totally depends on your needs. For commuters, basic mileage counters can be helpful for figuring out travel time and how much energy you actually need to expend to arrive at work on-time. Basic bike speedometers like the VDO X2 can give relevant speed and cadence readings for less than $30, while $300-plus computers from the likes of Garmin can measure vital signs and help with navigation in addition to also providing the basics.
Yes, a GPS might seem like overkill for a bike, but it can prove quite useful. What if your regular route is blocked and you need a quick detour so that you can arrive at work on-time. The Garmin Edge 605 Bicycle Navigator is an entry level GPS that can fit on the handle bars and stand up to the elements while providing the necessary route information that a biker on a schedule needs if they want to always get where they are going on time. Entry level devices generally start at around $200, but can easily top $300. Premium Garmin bike-centered GPS systems can also combine various measurements of performance and vitals along with route information.
LED Bike Lights
A bike light might not be the most glamorous accessory, but it will easily qualify as one of the most necessary. A good light will sit in the $30-$50 range, with lights from the likes of Planet Bike offering LED bulbs, for better visibility and more reliable performance. Some lights come in sets, with both headlight and blinking tail light combined in a package costing $50-$60. The Cygolite Expillion even has a USB charger so that the light can be easily charged on the go (or charged at work or school so that it can be at full power for an evening ride home).
Bike multi-tools are like Swiss Army knives for serious cyclists. These devices can have up to 20 different tools that perform different bike-related tasks. If you need to make a quick fix, or quick adjustment, these multi-tools are invaluable. Items from screw drivers to tire levers to specialized devices for adjusting disc brakes and repairing chains are all a part of a good multi-tool’s arsenal. Specialty toolmakers like Topeak and Crank Brothers offer a variety of durable multi-tools with between 10 and 20 functions. The more functions the higher the cost, but a top-of-the-line multi-tool can be found for around $30.
The waterproof Contour ROAM camera might not be as much of a necessity as the other devices on this list, but it is certainly the most fun. This small 1080p camera can fit on a bike helmet and record your ride in any weather condition. You can easily share your bike experiences on social media or even save some footage to watch when it is too cold to get in the saddle.