Accessories buying guide
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 (aero dynamic and shaped for a more sporty riding position) along with childrens 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 look out 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.
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 piece 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 iss actually the law to use bike lights, legally you must have lights on your bike as soon as daylight starts to fade.
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 womens 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 back pack/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:
Heavyweight locks to use around robust anchor points.
Ideal for locking bikes and other objects at home in garage or shed.
Look for one with hardened steel links - the thicker the better.
Secures around standard shaped objects, e.g railings/frame.
Includes a mounting bracket to fit to 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 pick, pull and drill resistant.
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-shapedlock) lock and a chain lock, both fixed to a permanent object and threaded though 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).
For guidance on how secure a bike lock is, you can look for the Sold Secure approval logo, which will show a rating of bronze, silver or gold(click on lower picture to see official guide/levels)
Gold is the highest rating and means that the lock should resist an attack for around 5 minutes. Some bike insurance policies may require you to use a bike lock that meets a certain Sold Secure level - keep your proof of purchase to prove this if you ever make a claim.
Bike pumps are really useful for keeping you on the road. Use them to maintain your tyres, and as a temporary measure if you get a puncture. When buying a pump, think about whether you wish to carry it with you, and how much time you want to spend pumping up your tyres. Use the guidance below to help you choose:
1) Traditional Hand Pumps - Light and portable but require more effort
2) Single Action Pumps - Light and pump 2 times faster
3) Dual Action Pumps - Pump 4 times faster
4) Track Pumps - Inflates 8 times faster than a hand pump but is not portable
5) Co2 are ideal for 1 day race events and tubeless tyres, although costly.
Other accessories to consider
Backpacks - Brands like Vaude offer great value back-packs that are comfortble when riding.
Respro pollution mask, takes the taste of cars and buses out of your mouth and the fumes away from your lungs
Respro Helmet ot Backpack cover, be seen and be safe
Cycle Computer, great way to see how far you are travelling, speed and visible clock.
Tools, saddlebag, tyre levers and spare tube, just keeping you on the road.
Pannier Bags, Pannier Racks, great to carry spare clothes, shopping.