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One of the great things about cycling is that you'll find an almost unlimited selection of add-ons to customize your bicycle and help you enjoy riding. But what accessories do you really need?

We've put together this list to help, and grouped things into two categories: Essential Accessories, which are those items you shouldn't leave home without; and Other Goodies, which are things many cyclists also enjoy having.

Essential Accessories

Assuming you've already got a bike, you only need these few key accessories (listed by importance) to be safe and comfortable while riding and to be able to deal with the one breakdown that might occur, the flat tire.

What it is:Why you need it:
HelmetA lifesaver in an accident
Good lockA bike saver
Floor pumpEasily keeps your tires inflated
Mini pumpFor fixing flats during the ride
Spare tubeTo replace punctured tubes
Tire leversEases tire removal
Water bottle and cageMakes it easy to stay hydrated
Patch kitFor patching popped tubes
Multi-toolFor small adjustments
Seat bagA way to carry all this stuff

Other Goodies

What it is:Why you'll want it:

Dress for Success
EyewearProtection from airborne debris
GlovesAdds comfort and protects hands
Cycling shortsPadded for comfort
Cycling shoes & socksIncrease comfort & efficiency
Cycling jersey (short & long sleeve)Comfy with rear pockets for gear
TightsKeep knees & legs warm
WindbreakerProtection from wind & rain
Leg & arm warmersEasy on/off; fit in pocket
Rain jacketKeeps you dry and warm
Booties (shoe covers)Protects toes from cold & wet
Long-finger glovesWarm & protect hands and fingers

All the Right Gear
Front light or lighting systemBe safe at night & expand your ride time
Flasher taillightBe seen after dark
BellFriendly warning device
CyclecomputerShows/records speed, pace & distance
Rear rackCarry more stuff

Bike Repair is Fun
Maintenance bookLearn how to fix your bike
Repair standSupports the bike so you don't have to
Wheel-truing standHelpful for fixing wobbly wheels
Bicycle tool kitCool tools for fixing your ride

Hit the Road & Trail
Panniers (saddlebags)Bring the kitchen sink
Trailer for kids or gearHooks to the bike & pulls easily
Car rackCarry your bike on the car
 

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