Riding a bike is a great way to get some exercise and have a bit of fun while you do so. Unfortunately, most bikes come with few accessories, and though they aren’t always necessary, they can make your ride more enjoyable. That’s why you need the best bike accessories to keep you visible, safe, and healthy while you ride.
Types of Bike Accessories
When it comes to bike accessories, there are many to choose from, for safety, health reasons, and even just for fun.
- Helmets – All children under the age of 18 need these, but adults should wear them too, to limit any head injuries if you fall or are hit while riding.
- Safety Pads – Though not actually required by law, these are essential for added protection.
- Goggles/Glasses – Again, not actually required, but eye protection is important when riding.
- Lights – These are good for 2 reasons: to see where you’re going and for cars to see you.
- Maintenance and Repair – This could include a multi-tool designed for bike repairs, patch kits, spare tubes, and a bike pump
- Locks – Though they won’t keep you safe, this will protect your bike from theft.
- Mirrors – It’s easier to avoid the cars behind you if you know they are there.
- Storage – Having a bike rack, panniers, a basket, or even carrying a backpack will keep all of your belongings secure and with you where they belong.
- Water Bottle – Staying hydrated is necessary, whether riding for fun, exercise, or commuting to work.
- Horns or Bells – These can let those around you know you’re coming, so they have enough time to move aside for you.
- Bike Computer – This can keep track of the distance, speed, times, and even past riding information to track your progress.
- Heart Rate Monitor – Stay within your targeted range with one of these handy devices.
- Smartphone Holder – Whether using your GPS, a map, or just to have a soundtrack to your ride, these can keep your phone in front of you at all times.
- Child Carriers – Whether using a seat attached to your bike or a trailer that pulls behind, your kiddies will enjoy coming along for the ride.
What to Look for in a Bike Accessory
When it’s time to buy your bike accessories, there are a few things to consider to make sure you have quality items that will last for years.
- Electronics – All electronic gear should be made of durable materials that are water and weather resistant. This includes computers, lights, monitors, and anything else that could be damaged by rain or cold.
- Clothing and Padding – Comfort is key here, so make sure everything from helmets to shoes fit properly and are made of decent material.
- Proper Fit – Like clothing, you want to make sure your bike accessories will fit properly on your bike. If they are too loose, they won’t be of any use, since they will rattle around and potentially fall off from unnecessary wear.
Now that you know what to look for in your accessories, here’s a few different types to help you decide which ones are best for your bike.
Our best picks
Divine LEDs Bike Light
Dimensions: 6.3 x 3.94 x 1.97 inches
Specific Features: Constructed using Divine LED technology, LED light, waterproof military-grade materials, attaches without tools, 3 AAA batteries (not included)
Best Use: Night riding, dim conditions, compatible with all types of bikes
Because it is compatible with mountain bikes, street bikes, cyclocross bikes, and even children’s bikes, this light will be great for the whole family to use. It is made from durable, military-grade materials that can withstand the bumps of rugged trail travel.
The waterproof materials also keep you from being left in the dark when riding in the rain. There is a clamp that secures the light to the bike and can be attached in seconds without the use of any tools. There is a simple switch to turn it on and off and a twistable head that allows you to zoom in for a spot light or back out again for a wider beam. Though not rechargeable, this Divine LEDs Bike Light uses 3 AAA batteries which are easy to find and simple to install.
At an extremely low price of about $10.00, this light will make a cheap, safe, and durable addition to your bike’s accessories. This is especially true when the company throws in a free tail light, which is secured onto the back of your bike with a simple strap, and three different modes to choose from.
Related: The Kryptonite Comet F100 LED Bicycle Light is similar to the Divine LED bike light, with a few distinct differences. It is a much smaller light, with a medium flashing function as well as the steady beam.
It is also waterproof and easy to attach to your bike with a rubber strap-n-clip system, but this may be too easy to remove for potential thieves. This bike light also doesn’t have a zoom lens and uses 2 CR2032 batteries instead of the AAA’s. Though the Kryptonite may be lighter, the security and additional features of the Divine LED light make it more useful for night use.
Orfos Flare 360 Degree Bike Headlight and Tail Light
Dimensions: 2.9 x 0.9 x 1.1 inches
Specific Features: 360 degree visibility, LED light, waterproof and cold proof plastic casing, rechargeable internal LiFePO4 battery, 500 lumens (white light), 300 lumens (red light), 2 micro USB cables, 24 cable ties, magnetic mounting system
Best Use: Day or night riding, compatible with any bike frame, including steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium
The super bright white LED light of this combo has up to 500 lumens of light with 3 different brightness levels. There are also four different patterns to choose from, including steady beam, pulse, blink, and hyper flashing beams. These are all controlled with one button, which may take some getting used to when learning all the positions.
The red tail light has a maximum of 300 lumens, with all the same settings as the white LED, so you can match them up as needed. Combined, these two lights give you 360 degrees of protection, allowing you to be seen by cars and other riders from all angles. The battery is rechargeable using the micro USB cable, and you’ll be on the road again in about 1.5 hours.
The mounting system uses magnets made of N52 grade neodymium coated with rubber to keep your bike damage-free. There are also nylon cable ties included for securing your lights to non-magnetic surfaces, such as helmets, backpacks, and saddlebags. Orfos Flare 360 Degree Bike Light is waterproof and cold proof, so you can use them in all types of weather without fail.
Related: The Cycle Torch USB Bike Light is similar to the Orfos Flare in a few ways, including the fact that both the headlight and taillight are included in the package, they are both rechargeable, and both are compatible with most types of bikes sold today.
The Cycle Torch light also has multiple lighting options, but only at a maximum of 300 lumens. It also has a longer charging time, at about 4 hours. Though still a great light option, the Orfos Flare is a brighter and more convenient bike light.
Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor
Specific Features: Energy Pointer feature, Smart Calorie feature, Gym Link, water resistant, H1 heart rate chest strap
Best Use: Biking, working out at the gym, running, walking
This workout watch has an Energy Pointer feature that shows you whether you are burning fat during your workout or improving you fitness. There is also the Smart Calorie feature that incorporates the personal information you input into the watch to give you accurate counts of the calories you’re burning.
The Gym Link connects to compatible equipment, allowing you to see all the info you need during your workout without having to keep glancing at the watch. Though this watch is water resistant up to 30 meters, the transmitters don’t always read properly in heavily chlorinated or salt water. Included with the watch is a heart rate chest strap, which is made of soft material that is comfortable and adapts to the shape of your body.
Along with giving you a training summary after your ride or workout is complete, this watch also remembers you last 99 workouts, so you can see how much your fitness has improved over time. Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor notifies you when you need to slow down or speed up for the optimal heart rate and has a user replaceable battery for added convenience.
Related: Polar has a few other heart rate monitor watches that are similar in style and features as the FT7. These include the FT4, the FT2, and the FT1 monitors. These three watches have many of the same features, including the Smart Calorie counter, water resistance, and the chest strap.
The FT1 and FT2 also have a larger display for those who need it. They are missing a few key features, though, such as the Energy Pointer feature and the Gym Link and they do not record nearly as many of your past workouts as the FT7, making it harder to track your progress.
Zackees LED Turn Signal Bike Light Cycling Gloves
Dimensions: Available in sizes Extra Small to Extra Large
Specific Features: Ambient Light Sensors, Lycra Spandex material, reinforced leather palms, 2 sets of rechargeable coin cell batteries, wall plug charger
Best Use: Cycling (day or night)
These high-tech turn signal gloves use ambient light to read the light levels outside while you travel, boosting your glove’s LED power by 4 times during the day so they are easier to see and lowering the levels at night to save battery power. There is a solid metal contact rivet located between the thumb and the index finger that turns on each glove’s 54 lumen LED light with a simple press, allowing you to signal your turns easily to traffic in front, beside, and behind you.
Zackees LED gloves are made from Lycra Spandex, with reinforced leather palms for extra protection when rubbing against your handlebar grips. Included with the gloves are two sets of rechargeable coin cell batteries. Each set should last about a week of regular use, and when the batteries run out of juice, pop them in the charger and put the other set in.
It may be a good idea to wash these gloves at this time as well, with the batteries removed. Though they are waterproof, they still do collect a bit of sweat, but are machine washable to keep them as fresh as possible.
Related: Zackees also have a pair of Turn Signal Winter Gloves, which have added a fleece liner to the water resistant spandex for extra warmth. These gloves also have full fingers instead of the cut-off fingers of the regular gloves and are touchscreen compatible.
For those who like riding in the winter, these are a great option, but for all other seasons, the regular Turn Signal Gloves are more convenient and comfortable.
Bodyguard Bike Tail Light/Headlight/Helmet Light
Dimensions: 2.8 x 0.8 x 0.8 inches
Specific Features: 6 lighting modes (High, Mid, Red or Blue, Red and Blue Flashing, SOS, 100% Flashing), 360 degree rotation, IPX-6 waterproof, USB rechargeable, high-capacity 3.7 Volt 600 mAh lithium polymer battery, thick rubber strap
Best Use: Night riding, compatible with mountain bikes, road bikes, kid’s bikes, bicycle helmets
Bodyguard bike light gives you 240 degree visibility when riding, day or night. There are multiple mounting options, using the rubber strap to attach it to the handlebars, the seat post, a bike helmet, or even a backpack. The high-capacity lithium battery has a minimum runtime of 3.5 hours on high, and a max of 14 hours on the colored flash.
You should keep in mind that the blue lights are banned in some areas for anything other than emergency vehicles, but just because you have this option doesn’t mean you have to use it. The durable materials that make up this light are impact and water resistant. Another feature this light boasts is the 50 micro-COB chips, which emit 120 lumens of white light in a wide beam.
When the battery runs low, you can plug this light into any device that has a USB charging port, and 2 hours later, you’ll be back on the road. There is no battery indicator to tell you when the battery is running low, so you may need to pay close attention to how long you use it to ensure you aren’t left in the dark.
Related: There is a Bodyguard 3 Color Bike Light available, which has all the same features as this model, except for the replacement of the white light with a pink one.
Though the pink light may not be as blinding bright as the white, it is still 120 lumens and perfectly visible. Which to choose depends on your own personal color preference, though most men will probably prefer the white light.
Topeak Alien II Multi-Tool
Dimensions: 3.4 x 1.7 x 1.6 inches
Specific Features: 2 piece engineering grade plastic body, 26 hardened steel tools, HD Nylon bag with clip
Best Use: All bike riders (pro and amateur)
The Alien II Multi-tool has just about every tool you’ll need to keep you moving on the road. There is a chain hook and a chain tool, as well as a compartment to fit a couple of spare chain pins. There are also a variety of Allen wrenches, a box wrench, pedal wrench, screwdrivers, a serrated knife, and even a bottle opener, just to name a few. Many of the tools, including the knife, lock into place for added safety.
This multi-tool can be split into 2 pieces for easy access to every one of the 26 tools and then put back together for a more compact tool to carry. The body and tools have all been quality tested to ensure they will hold up when they are needed, and are durable enough to put a bit of pressure on when taking off a tire or tightening your handlebars. The nylon bag has a sturdy belt clip, so you don’t have to worry about losing it on the road.
Related: There is a smaller version of this multi-tool from Topeak, the Alien XS. It is made of the same quality materials, but has only 17 tools compared to the Alien II’s 26. Though lighter in weight, you may miss the extra tools on the road, making the Alien II a better option for all types of emergencies.
Raniaco Bike Computer
Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.5 cm
Specific Features: Wireless design, functions as both a speedometer and odometer, LCD display, backlit in both green and white, 12V CR2032 battery, multiple functions, wired remote control
Best Use: Biking (day or night), hiking, climbing, walking
Despite its small size, the display on this bike computer is large enough to read without leaning forward to peer at it. It has two backlights, white for daytime use and green for riding at night. The main functions of this bike computer are as a speedometer and an odometer, but it also records your current speed, the maximum speed you reached during your ride, and your average speed. It also tracks the amount of time you’ve been riding, as well as the distance.
There is even a clock, so you never need to worry about being late for work or a social gathering. Raniaco Bike Computer is waterproof, working perfectly while riding in the rain. If you stop moving for a few minutes, the computer will turn off to save the battery.
When you’re ready to start riding again, the built-in steel ball switch will wake it up from its sleep mode and begin tracking your progress again. Best of all, it takes only a couple of minutes to set up and attach this computer to your bike.
Related: The Zonore Bike Computer and the SLB Bike Computer are both almost identical to the Raniaco bike computer in looks and functions. The only real difference is that the weight of these two devices is 85 grams. The Zonore is also a bit wider and has no wired remote control. The smaller Raniaco also looks a bit cleaner and more professional than the other two.
Taotronics Bike Phone Mount
Dimensions: 3.7 x 2.95 x 4.53 inches
Specific Features: Non-slip rubber grip cradles, rubber strap, compatible with most devices, 360 degree rotation, clamp attachment, 1 button release
Best Use: Bike riding on all types of terrain
Taotronics Bike Phone Mount is easy to install on your bike using an adjustable clamp that fits over your handlebars or stem without requiring the use of a single tool. There are non-slip rubber grip cradles that are wide enough to fit most smartphones, which are adjustable as well to hold your device securely throughout your ride.
For added protection, there is also a rubber strap to wrap around the back of the holder and loop over the corners to keep your phone from slipping free. The holder can also rotate 360 degrees, so you’ll always be able to read your phone, whether you’re using it as a GPS monitor, to map out your route, or just to listen to some music while you ride.
All of your phone’s buttons should still be accessible for easy use, and you can even plug in your headphones without the wires interfering with your ride or movements. When your ride is over, there is a simple push button release to remove your phone from the holder.
Related: The Vibrelli Universal Phone Holder is similar to the Taotronics model in design, using a smaller clamp to hold your phone and a silicone strap for added security. It can also be used on a motorcycle.
Though they are included in the box, the Vibrelli also requires the use of tools to attach it, which makes the Taotronics bike phone mount more convenient for those who prefer a motorless ride.
BV Bicycle Light Set
Dimensions: 4.1 x 1.3 x 1.3 (headlight)
Specific Features: 5 LED headlight, 3 LED taillight, 3 modes per light, 4 x AAA batteries for the headlight, 2 x AAA batteries for the taillight, water and weather resistant, adjustable angles
Best Use: Night riding, walking, emergency use
Because BV Bicycle Light can be seen up to 1500 feet away, you’ll never have to worry about being invisible to cars or other riders again after dark. The headlight uses 5 LED’s that have a range of a maximum of 40 feet. It is easy to install using the clamp mount and includes a quick-release to remove the light from its holder for walking at night. The angle adjustment allows you to turn the light from side to side as needed.
The taillight uses 3 LED’s and though it uses a bracket mount, it still comes with the quick-release for easy removal. It can be adjusted up or down for maximum visibility. Both of the lights in this set are water and weather resistant, so can be used year round in all types of conditions.
They also both have 3 light modes, which include steady on, flashing, and emergency, though you must cycle through them all to turn the light off when you’re done riding.
The beam of the headlight is only a focused beam, so it isn’t the best for seeing everything around you, but for riding in semi-lit areas, this won’t be an issue.
Related: BV has another Safety Bike Light Set available. It has replaced the LED’s with a 1 Watt headlight and a ½ Watt taillight, though both have retained the quick-release systems and the weather resistance.
The differences are that the headlight is not sideways adjustable and is a bit more square, which wouldn’t be as comfortable to carry if walking. The taillight of this model only has 2 modes, eliminating the flashing mode. This model is also a bit more expensive as well as lacking in a few of the features of the LED bicycle light set.
Riding a bike, especially at night, can be a dangerous sport, which is why having some safety accessories is a necessity. But bike riding is also a way to stay healthy, for both you and the environment. Having the proper gear can make it more enjoyable, so be sure to get the types of accessories you need to fully get your money’s worth. If you think there is another bike accessory that should have been included in our list, please let us know in our comments section.