Best Bike Accessories (2022): Helmets, Locks, Pumps, Rain Gear & More

Growing bicycles only more popular as people look for alternative ways to meet friends, go to work, race through the city to run errands and stay in shape, and electric bicycles are expanding accessibility for those who have never used the bicycle as their primary (or even secondary) means of transport.

Most bikes, however, come from the factory ready for a casual Sunday joyride, but not much else. If you want to put your bike to work to carry cargo or travel to the office, you need some accessories to make those trips comfortable and fun. Lucky for you, the vast majority of bikes are highly customizable and easily customizable, and there’s a mountain of gear to choose from.

Virtually all of these accessories also work for non-electric bicycles and most electric bicycles. For more of our thoughts and explanations on electric bikes, check out our guide to ebike classes and the best electric bikes.

Updated October 2022: We have reconfigured the guide for greater clarity. We’ve also added the Herschel Heritage laptop backup, which replaces the TimBuk2 Division backpack.

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Index

So many things are a pain in the back these days. Cycling doesn’t have to be one of them. Swapping out handlebar grips, saddles, and even seatposts are some of the easiest adjustments you can make that will greatly improve your ride.

Best choice

Poor wrist posture can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome or cyclist paralysis, which puts pressure on your median and ulnar nerves, respectively. The ergonomic Ergon GA3 are my favorite bike grips because they have small wings that correct your wrist position to avoid these conditions. Even after long rides I notice that my wrists no longer have the pain that I used to suffer from.

Choose upgrade

I haven’t found any cheap or heavily padded gel aftermarket saddles that are much, if any, improvement over the seats that come with bikes. An old-school legend, the Brooks B17 is ultra-comfortable despite its stiff leather construction – or maybe because of it. I’ve sat in the saddle for hours without getting the sore spots that come with riding in soft gel seats. Like a good chair, firm support is more important than pure plush softness. These saddles are also robust; they usually last a decade or more. If you don’t do leather, Brooks makes a vegan nylon option ($130).

Other great options:

  • Cirrus Kinekt for $270: For some extra shock absorption over rough roads, you can add a suspension seatpost to a fixed hardtail bike. Some reviewers found the double coil spring suspension springy, but I didn’t have that problem at all. When buying the Kinekt, make sure you buy the correct springs for the rider’s body weight.
  • REI Co-op Link Padded Liner Shorts for $35: These add an extra soft layer between rider and machine on longer rides and wick away sweat so you don’t feel clammy. That link is for the women’s style, but the men’s version is available for the same price.

Few bikes have the attachments needed to carry cargo for groceries and groceries. Whether you’re carrying a backpack or a pannier – a type of bag that attaches to a luggage rack that you mount over one of your wheels – make sure you can get some real work done by turning your bike into a truck.

Best choice

If your bike doesn’t already have a rack, you’ll need to install one if you want to use panniers. The Explorer fits most bikes (with and without disc brakes) and can carry up to 55 pounds. It also only weighs 1.5 pounds, so it won’t put any appreciable strain on your bike. The wide gaps between the deck and the outer bars make attaching and detaching panniers a breeze.

Second place

The Heritage was voted the best budget bag in our guide to the best laptop backpacks for its padded laptop sleeve that fits laptops up to 15 inches and for its durable 600-denier polyester fabric. After years of using her, my colleague says it shows hardly any signs of wear.

More accessories:

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