Five Necessary Bike Accessories For Fall
Boston is cooling down and getting a little wet, but the biking community is as strong as ever. The shorts and tank top you wore for your summer rides won’t cut it in the rain and wind. Check out our list of the most important safety and fashion accessories to add to your bike look this fall.
Although Boston in the fall is pretty, pants soaked up to your knees is not. Although biking to work may impress your coworkers, leaving puddles all over the carpet definitely will not. Fenders are an easy solution. They’re lightweight, unobtrusive, usually cheap, and will protect you from the splash zone behind your tires. But, make sure you know what kind of fenders your bike can accommodate. Some city bikes are not equipped with enough space for typical fenders and you may have to resort to clip-on versions. Planet Bike has some options, and places like Landry’s Bikes in Allston and Community Bicycle Supply in the South End can provide personal advice too. Once you have the right ones, you’ll be set to ride through all the puddles you want.
Lightweight, water-repellant jacket
To fully take advantage of the speed your bike gives you, you want to be as light and aerodynamic as possible. Your fashionable heavy duty leather jacket may look hot, but it will just weigh you down. So leave that for the motorcycles. For those foggy or rainy fall mornings, pick up a simple, light jacket that you can easily move in. The material should be breathable but warm, and able to shed water easily. Northface has some nice ones, and so does Target if you’re looking for a cheaper find.
Reflectors and Lights
You can get along in the sunny summer months without reflectors, but fall is definitely the time to invest in some good ones. The days are getting shorter and your evening commute home will get increasingly darker and more dangerous the closer we get to December. Reflectors make you and your bike hard to miss. You have a few options to make yourself more visible; you can purchase plastic reflectors for cheap or you can go big and buy head and tail lights. Reflectors will certainly make you visible if a car is headed your way—and if the car has its headlights on—but won’t really help you on streets with no streetlights. Lights are still relatively cheap and benefit you twofold; you can see what’s ahead, and cars can see you. Landry’s Bikes even has a neat rotating light that provides visibility from all directions.
Even though you’ll be sweating on your ride, don’t skimp out on the layering. In cold weather, its even more important to keep your core temperature up. Gloves and helmets are essential because most of your body heat escapes from your head, fingers, and toes. Fingerless gloves allow a more flexible grip while still keeping warmth in. Dicks Sporting Goods has sturdy, cheap pairs and so does Bikes Not Bombs‘ shop in Jamaica Plain. Helmets are always necessary and should have a few holes in the top to keep you from overheating, but makes sure to buy a quality one that will also keep you warm.
Bicycle Seat Cover
Your bike gets exposed to the elements in the colder winter months too, so buy it a warm dry jacket for when you’re not riding. Bicycle Bum Buddy, despite the cheesy name, makes a great bike seat cover to keep your city bike seat from rotting or your plush seat from soaking up too much water. It also comes with its own drawstring pouch for easy portability. You can tuck your bike in for the night with this easy black slip on, and rest easy knowing you’ll have a functioning seat when you come back to it. If you don’t want to spend money, plastic grocery bags with the handles tied underneath the seat work just as well.