Buy accessories for bike repair

Bike shops are great when it comes to helping you find the right biking accessories. Staff in many bike shops use much of the equipment they sell, so they can talk to you about what works well and will fit with your budget. When you've found a bike shop you trust, the staff can even advise you if they think that a more expensive product isn't worth the additional cost or if a cheaper product is cheaper for a reason and should be avoided.

Here are some accessories you may want to consider buying:

Helmet: For safety reasons, a helmet should be at the top of your list. The bike-shop staff can help you find a helmet that fits properly and doesn't move around on your head. They can also help you adjust the straps to fine-tune the fit. Sizing is very important. A helmet sized properly will protect you better than a 0 helmet that doesn't fit or is not adjusted properly.

Lock: If you're ever going to leave your bike alone for more than a minute or two, you'll want a lock.

The folks at your local shop can help you find a balance between a lock that's difficult to cut and one that doesn't weigh too much.

Gloves: Biking gloves will reduce vibrations and provide protection if your fall off your bike. Bike-shop staff can help you decide whether to get gel padding, full fingers, or cutoffs, and how tight the gloves should fit. They may suggest rolling your gloves off rather than pulling at the fingers (which can prematurely tear the stitching).

Bike pumps: You'll need two pumps: a mini bike pump to mount onto the frame and a larger pump to keep in the house. You may also want to consider a CO2 cartridge system for quick and easy tire inflating.

They're a little more expensive than traditional tire pumps, but they'll get you back on the road fast.

Lights: Bike lights will keep you safe if you get caught out after dark. The folks at your bike shop can offer suggestions on what types of bulbs are best for both front and rear lights, whether rechargeable batteries are the way to go, and where to mount the lights.

Computer: A computer will track statistics regarding each of your rides and provide motivation when you ride to exercise. Staff can help you decide if you need extra features such as a heart monitor, altimeter, and wireless connection.

Shoes: Biking shoes designed to work with clipless pedals will significantly improve your pedaling efficiency. Staff will advise you on whether to buy stiff road biking shoes or ones designed for walking, as well as talk to you about the best type of material and whether the shoes will work with your pedals.

Clothes: Bike clothes can keep you cool in warm weather, warm in cool weather, and dry in wet weather. Staff will help you find properly fitting clothing for the right season and provides padding and wicks moisture where you need it the most.

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