Increase Your Bicycle Use with the Right Bike Accessories
The biggest bike race in the United States, the Amgen Tour of California, ended on Sunday. This got me to take another look at my tired, a bit rusted, but still functional bike. There really are great benefits to riding a bike; it’s fun, it’s free (once you have the bike) and it’s great exercise. You can also get to the nearest grocery store or restaurant relatively quickly. The days are getting longer, it’s time to take out some chain lube and start riding.
To make the most of your bicycle add some bike bags, packs or baskets. You’ll be able to ride to the nearest swimming spot with your towel and sunscreen in tow, or head to the farmers market for some fresh produce. The variety of bike “luggage” is amazing. Everything from streamlined rack trunks to big baskets for the handle bars.
- Most baskets attach to the front of the bike. They can be made out of metal, natural reeds or even canvas. They’re perfect for a smaller purchase or a trip to the library. Check out LLBean.com for a nice variety.
- Panniers or saddle bags come in many styles and attach to a rear bike rack. They’re perfect companion for a larger grocery trip or for the serious long distance rider. I found really cute ones in feminine styles made by Basil. Visit bikethreads.com for a great selection. They come in many different sizes and could interfere with your peddles, so be sure that the panniers fit your bike correctly.
- Handlebar totes are new to me. Most look like a regular tote, but one side has an attachment to secure to your handlebars. It’s quick to remove, so your bag is ready to go with you and you don’t have to worry about your bike or bag getting unwanted attention while you are away from it.
- Handlebar packs are comparable in size to a basket but enclosed. Many have a sporty style, though they can be found in a variety of designs. They usually are not as easily removed as handlebar totes.
- Rack trunks sit above your rear rack. Generally they are sleek and simple looking, but you can also find some with patterns or designs. These are great for the guy that’s going to work or the gym, as they can be removed for theft prevention. REI had a nice selection of simple styles. Gals that want some frills will have to look at other merchants.
- Bike seat bags and frame bags are small and fit either under the seat or attach to the bike frame. You won’t be able to get your shopping done, but you can carry your keys, cell phone and a granola bar.
Whether you have a commuter bike or beach cruiser, the function of you bike can be greatly increased with the addition of the right bike bag. There’s nothing more money saving then leaving the car in the driveway and using muscle power instead of fossil fuel to get around.
What’s your favorite way to use your bike? Are there any brands of bike bags that you love and would recommend?