BIKE ACCESSORIES YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU WANTED
It’s easy to forget with the excitement of a new eBike that there are several bike accessories you didn’t know you wanted but need anyway. So along with some tips about basic bike maintenance and safety we’ll be looking at bike accessories to keep your eBike on the road, to keep you safe on the road and to carry stuff on the road.
BIKE ACCESSORIES TO KEEP YOUR EBIKE ON THE ROAD
Basic maintenance and having the right tools is the key thing to keeping your eBike on the road. Sometimes we get so involved with the electrical side of things we forget the basics. Accessories/tools are at the end of this section.
- Check and tighten the spokes of your wheels. This is especially important if you’re using a rear wheel hub motor as it takes much more stress than the front wheel. Don’t assume that because the wheel is new that everything is OK. Check them. This is something that needs to be done on a regular basis. It’s not much fun breaking a few spokes miles from home.
- The drivetrain – The chain needs to be cleaned and a chain lubricant used after each cleaning. The lubricant acts as a cushion between the metal parts so helps to prolong the chain’s life and the chain sprockets. Mountain bikers need to do this more regularly than road commuters. In fact some experts say that road users need only lube once every 200 miles.
- Hearing a crunching sound when you change gears? Usually that means your derailleur is slightly out of alignment. First check that the hanger is aligned properly by standing behind the bike and looking at the whole setup. Sometimes you can literally drag the derailleur hanger with your hands to pull it into the correct position. A slight adjustment to the cable can be done by turning the adjuster knob either at the derailleur end or at the brake handle end which then lines up the derailleur. Do visual checks once in a while by standing behind your bike and looking down the line to check everything is lined up properly.
- Disc brake rubbing? You’ll notice two bolts at the top and bottom of the caliper. Loosen them. This frees up the brake pads. Pull the brake lever which then centers the pads. Then tighten the bolts down.
- Check the bottom bracket and crankset are bolted on tightly because if it comes loose it can also damage the sensors. Especially do this if this was a conversion job.
- You need to check your tire pressure an absolute minimum of once a month. If you don’t have enough air in your tires it drains the battery faster, affects your range, the performance and the handling.
- Charge your battery regularly. You can learn more about extending the life of your battery here.
- Puncture repair without removing the wheel. Use tire levers to remove the bead on one side of the tire – the bit that tucks into the rim. Leaving the inner tube valve locked into the wheel, remove the tube. Look for the puncture, listen for hissing sound, and then simply patch it. Tuck the tube back into the tire. Then tuck the tire bead back on to the wheel.
Essential tools to carry with you on the road and trails
This handy tool includes 8 hex wrenches from sizes 1.5 – 8mm, T25 Torx-compatible driver used for disc brakes, derailleurs and chain rings. It also includes a flat blade screwdriver, chain tool, tire lever, spoke key built into the tire lever and finally an 8mm wrench. Carry this around with and you’ve pretty much covered most emergencies on the road or trail.
You can read user reviews here.
This mini pump includes a built-in pressure gauge showing bar and psi measurements up to 100psi. It can be used with both presta – common on road bikes – and schrader valves usually on mountain bikes and BMX so no adapters required. Hose is stored inside the top of the pump. Includes a frame mount.
You can read user reviews here.
Tools for bigger jobs
14 high quality tools for maintainance and repair plus the toolbox. The kit includes a foldup hex wrench set combining six popular sizes.
- T25 torx compatible L shaped wrench for disc brakes.
- Crosshead screwdriver.
- Chain specific tools like a chain checker which tells you if its time for the chain to be replaced.
- Chain tool that removes and installs rivets on single speed and multi speed chains.
- Master link pliers to easily remove or install chains that use master links or quick links.
- Double-headed gear cleaner brush – one side has teeth to clean between the sprockets. The other side has a stiff bristle brush.
- Cable and housing cutter specifically for brake and derailleur housing/cables.
- Pedal wrench.
- Multi size spoke wrench for tightening your spokes.
- Set of three tire levers for easier removal of tires.
- Pre-glued patch kit
If you want to take your maintenance and repair tasks to the next level then you’ll find it easier working with this versatile and compact bike repair stand. It is strong enough to hold a 50 pound eBike easily which can be rotated 360 degrees on the stand allowing easy access to every part of your eBike.
BIKE ACCESSORIES TO KEEP YOURSELF SAFE ON THE ROAD
“It’s not you I’m worried about, it’s the other idiots on the road I’m concerned with”. We’ve all heard this or some variation of this. So with this in mind here are 5 tips to keeping safe on the road.
- Keep as visible as possible. More accidents happen in low light or at night. You’re less visible at dawn and dusk as the light changes. Simple tips to keep you visible include wearing hi-viz tops or jackets that reflect in car headlights making you highly visible. If you tend to wear a rucksack on your back while cycling, reflective rucksacks are available. There are also reflective helmets. Decent lighting on your eBike is also essential especially at the rear.
- You need to be aware of your surroundings. Allow enough space when passing parked cars and be alert to car doors that can be suddenly opened. You’re more likely to be hit by a passenger door as passengers don’t tend to look behind them before getting out.
- Don’t be a timid rider and hog the kerb as you increase the risk of getting punctures because more debris is found there than in the rest of the road.
- Take extra care when approaching junctions as you’ll be in the driver’s blindspot and they simply won’t see you. Try to catch a driver’s eye as you approach so you know s/he has seen you.
- Show respect and courtesy to other road users and avoid confrontation.
Visibility and Safety
Don’t be fooled by the dull color. At night this jacket almost makes you visible to the world. It’s designed to be worn as an outer layer over your regular cycling gear. The retro-reflective material covers the front of the jacket, the tops of the arms, across the shoulders and the lower back in order to give you a huge amount of surface for headlights to reflect off you. You’d be hard to miss wearing this.
Built with military grade materials this light can illuminate the entire road or focus on objects 1000 feet away. Also included is a rear tail light.The light beam itself is easily adjustable. Vont are so confident in their product they offer a 365 day money back guarantee.
While this looks like a standard rucksack with its 20 liter capacity, various compartments, pockets and included rain cover, this literally stands out because of Proviz’s REFLECT360 reflective material.
Designed with the speed eBike rider in mind, you can’t fail to be seen at night with the Giro Camden’s massive rear light covering the whole back of the helmet. Built with Giro’s MIPS technology and to the Dutch NTA8776 standard this helmet will protect you at speeds of 28mph. You can read a review on the best helmets for eBikes here.
This simple looking helmet cover comes in 3 colors yellow, green and black.
What makes this special is Proviz’s special fabric known as REFLECT360. The material may look unassumingly normal by day but at night, when the fabric picks up an external light source, eg vehicle headlights, it gives ‘astonishing reflectivity’ (quote: Cycling Active Magazine). The material is CE EN 20471 certified
BIKE ACCESSORIES TO CARRY STUFF ON THE ROAD
At some point you’re going to want to be able to transport stuff on your eBike whether for college, work, picnics, groceries, carrying pets, carrying children, grand touring holidays – the list is endless and the humble two-wheeler enhanced with motor is capable of doing all this and more.
Topeak’s range of trunk bags are compatible with Topeak MTX racks and feature an insulated main compartment with molded EVA foam sides, top and bottom making them great for commuting or shopping. The unique feature of these trunk bags is that they can slide and lock on the compatible rear rack featured in the next item. Available from JensonUSA or Amazon or Pro Bike Kit
Clever design has a built in track on the top of the rack allowing compatible trunk bags to be slid on and clamped without any special tools.
- Size (LxWxH): 13.4″ x 5.6″ x 16.3″
- One size fits all frames
Don’t want to own a full-time cargo bike? This trailer solves the problem of carrying awkward loads at awkward times on your bike. Useful for carrying pets, shopping, camping equipment etc. Easily folds down to store in your car. Rave reviews can be read here
Camelbak MULE LR 15 Pack
Aimed at the keen mountain biker, this high quality hydration pack has a built in 3 liter Crux reservoir that delivers more water per sip.
The weight is placed nearer the hips rather than the shoulders, for a better center of gravity. It is large enough to hold a winter jacket and has several well placed pockets. Available from JensonUSA or Amazon
Designed for the serious travelling bike rider this bike case will protect your beauty almost within an inch of its’ life. Made from a patented ABS composite with it’s suspended internal frame this case is suitable for both mountain and road bikes.
It makes sense to be as visible as possible by wearing highly reflective clothing and to carry the essential bike accessories with you at all times on the roads or trails. Because like any insurance, you never know when you’re going to need it.
Hopefully you picked up some maintenance and safety tips that you weren’t aware of.