Bicycle Accessories Buying Guide

How to decide what bicycle to buy: Read our guide to find out which bicycle will be the right choice for you.

By PEDAL-IT

Bike Helmets

You should always wear a bike helmet when cycling to protect your head it will help if you ever have an accident. To provide you with the highest safety, it’s really important to buy a helmet that fits you correctly(please see the lower reference and pictures for a guide).

Our staff are always on hand to help, so feel free to come in and ask them for assistance with choosing a helmet.

Bike helmets are one of the most important cycling accessories you can buy and come in various styles, from BMX, ROAD (aerodynamic and shaped for a more sporty riding position) along with children and young nippers and MTB styles which offer a suitable helmet for the town commute even if you are staying away from off-road trails.

As mentioned above there is a massive variety of cycle helmets to choose from, with some great-looking designs. However, more important than looks is choosing one that fits, so it can provide the highest level of protection.

The Highway Code says you should wear a helmet that’s the correct size and is securely fastened. It’s vitally important that you buy the right size helmet to protect yourself from head injury if you fall off or are involved in an accident. Follow the simple steps below as a guide(also see lower picture):

1)  Measure your head with a measuring tape, placing it about 1cm above your eyebrows
2)  Match this to the size guide on the helmet’s information ticket
3)  Try the bike helmet on. Check that it sits low on your forehead, just above your eyebrows. Shake your head to check that it does not move
4) Improve the fit by adjusting any straps/buckles if needed. 

For extra comfort lookout for a cycle helmet with vents, which will keep your head cool on hot bike rides, and a peak or visor to shield your eyes from the sun and help channel extra ventilation keeping you a little cooler.

If you’re going to be taking part in more active cycling such as mountain biking or BMX riding, you should consider buying a full-face helmet and some body armour for added protection.

It’s especially important for children to protect their heads while having fun on their bikes. Halfords sells a huge range of kids bikes helmets- you can follow the same steps as above when choosing a helmet for your child.

Kids helmets usually have fitting pads for extra help getting the best fit. As always, our staff are here to help.

“When your legs scream stop and your lungs are bursting, that’s when it starts. That’s the hurt locker. Winners love it in there” – Chris McCormack

Bike Lights

If you will be riding in the dark, buying the right bike accessories to make you visible to other road users is very important for your safety and well being. Make sure you buy a decent set of bike lights and high vis clothing to light your way and ensure that drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can see you.

There are different types of bike lights on the market, with varying levels of brightness and battery life. Prices ranging from a mere £10 for a single to £600+ for powerful off-road lighting. We would recommend any lights/sets between £25 and £50 with a set of back up lights to give you that added extra peace of mind.

Cycle lights will help to light your way so you can see where you’re going, but more importantly, they will make you more visible to other road users. This is essential for safety, you do not want to be involved in a crash with a driver or pedestrian or cyclist.

Did you know? It is actually the law to use bike lights, legally you must have lights on your bike as soon as daylight starts to fade.

 

Bike Locks

One of the first bike accessories you will need to buy is a quality bike lock to keep your bicycle safe from thieves.

There are three main types of lock sold:

1)  Cable locks
2)  Shackle locks (or known as the D Lock)
3)  Chain locks

Having your bicycle stolen can be very frustrating, so it pays to invest in a set of decent bike locks.

It is important to remember that no lock is completely thief-proof. They come in a range of styles with different levels of security. With bicycle locks, you generally get what you pay for, so it’s well worth spending a little extra.

The highest security bike locks use hardened materials, but this means they are heavier, bulkier and more expensive. When choosing a lock, you need to consider all your security needs.

For instance, if you have a premium lightweight bike, you should use a high-security lock to secure it in the garage or shed at home. However, while out on a ride you might not want to carry the weight. One solution is to leave a high-security bike lock at your destination, such as at your place of work.

You may need to compromise on the highest security to make savings on weight, shape, and cost. For example, some bike frames are not large enough or some women traditional step-through frames are unable to accommodate a large rigid shackle lock, so you may need a flexible cable lock that you can wrap around the seat post while riding. Otherwise, a backpack/pannier might be a solution.

Make sure you take into account where you will be locking your bicycle and what is available to fix it to, try choosing a high lamp-post as some thieves are cunning enough to take a bicycle off a low-level sign-post, also worth checking those stands found outside stations, as sometimes these are not as secure as first thought.

There are four main types of locks. They all work well but it depends on where you normally leave your bike and what you’ll be securing it to:

Chain Locks

        Heavyweight locks to use around robust anchor points.
        Ideal for locking bikes and other objects at home in the garage or shed.
        Look for one with hardened steel links – the thicker the better.

D-Lock/Shackle Locks

        Secures around standard shaped objects, e.g railings/frame.
        Includes a mounting bracket to fit the cycle.
        Look for one with a 5-pin lock for high resistance to picking and drilling and hardened steel for strength.

Coil Cable Locks

        Ideal to wrap around larger/awkward objects – they can be up to 185cm long.
        Coil cable for compact storage and transportation.
        Look for one with a vinyl cable cover to protect the bike against scratches.
        Look for a key lock that is picked, pull and drill resistant.

Cable Locks

        Easy to wrap around standard objects, e.g. railings.
        Look for one with hardened steel cable for added strength or a twisted steel cable protected by hardened steel links.
        Usually have a vinyl cable cover to protect the bike against scratches.

For maximum security, we recommend using a shackle (D-shaped lock) lock and a chain lock, both fixed to a permanent object and threaded through the frame and wheels. See image below on how to lock your bicycle up correctly, also if you click on the picture it will take you to a good YOUTUBE video from Barry Mason (Southwark LCC).