Road Bike Accessories


#1

So I have my mind set on my first road bike that I will purchase within the month, but I’ve come to another road block. Accessories. Since I will most likely be buying from Nanjing E Road or Dong Hu Giant shops, the discount on the bike will go straight to accessories.

From my research and looking through the forums, I have narrowed it down to a few necessary items:
-Back/front light
-Helmet
-seat pouch bag
-bottle holder(s)
-shorts

Some things I would like to add, but I do not think are necessities:
-parking rack
-speedometer vs phone rack
-gloves

Does anyone have any input on my necessities vs add-ons and if you think I should be purchasing these straight from the Giant store or doing some online shopping on yahoo tw or maybe even the Decathalon store Neihu.

I do want to pick out the speedometer vs phone rack. Why buy a speedometer when you already have a 3G phone with apps that can track for you? Afraid GPS will fail? Also, anyone know of any phone racks on the market that do not have the protective “bag”?


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#2

Your list is pretty solid.
I’d add:

Multitool
Tyre levers and puncture kit (avoid glue, look for glueless stickers)
At least 1 spare inner tube
A lock (I always carry one with me when I’m riding around the city, so that if I want a quick snack or drink I don’t need to worry. Just to keep the bike safe for a few minytes you can buy one for 100nt from Carrefour, but if you need to leave the bike by itself for long periods then get a good one)
Start to consider clipless pedals and shoes

Decathlon has a very cheap set of tools that will let you handle 99% of bike maintenance at home. Their accessories are not bad, so you may want to check their online website to have an idea of their price, and then you can choose whether to buy them from the Giant store or plan a trip to Decathlon. Cycling pants from Deca are very cheap, quality is “ok”. They’re not bad, but if you buy some expensive shorts from a well known brand you’ll immediately feel the difference.

A cycling computer is much more precise than a smartphone. The cycling computer will have a sensor that records the number of spins of your wheel and calculate your speed accordingly, 100% accurate. A phone or gps unit will rely on the strength of the gps signal and it’s not as reliable as a cycling computer with speed/cadence sensor. A gps/smartphone has the advantage of being able to track your course and some data that a cycling computer will not record. Personally, I prefer cycling computer on the stem + smartphone in my backpack for tracking. I have a big phone (6") and it would look weird as hell on my stem!
Gps tracking also has issues with elevation, unless you have one of the few phones with barometric altimeter.


#3

[quote=“ranlee”]So I have my mind set on my first road bike that I will purchase within the month, but I’ve come to another road block. Accessories. Since I will most likely be buying from Nanjing E Road or Donghu Giant shops, the discount on the bike will go straight to accessories.

From my research and looking through the forums, I have narrowed it down to a few necessary items:
-Back/front light
-Helmet
-seat pouch bag
-bottle holder(s)
-shorts

Some things I would like to add, but I do not think are necessities:
-parking rack
-speedometer vs phone rack
-gloves

Does anyone have any input on my necessities vs add-ons and if you think I should be purchasing these straight from the Giant store or doing some online shopping on yahoo tw or maybe even the Decathalon store Neihu.

I do want to pick out the speedometer vs phone rack. Why buy a speedometer when you already have a 3G phone with apps that can track for you? Afraid GPS will fail? Also, anyone know of any phone racks on the market that do not have the protective “bag”?[/quote]

Gloves are an absolute necessity. Buy the nicest, thickest ones you can afford.

Buy a nice floor pump (800-1500 NTD I think) unless you enjoy fixing pinch flats on the side of the road in 35c heat. I have the Topeak Joe Blow Max or something like that and it works great.

Speaking of pinch flats, a spare innertube or two is a must. I always keep one in my seat bag. You might also want to buy some tire levers, although I’ve never had to use them (but they would have been nice the couple of times I’ve had to bloody my fingers a bit)

Spend as much as you can afford on shorts, the ones with crappy asspads are almost worse than not wearing shorts at all.

Bike computers work better than phones. I tried using Strava on a mobile phone once - the phone decided to auto update in the middle of my run and that was the end of that experiment. Giant Nanjing has the Edge 200 for 2000 something NT. It works great for logging your rides, as long as you dont care about monitoring the training stuff like cadence etc.

Get the little parking triangle thing, it makes lubing your chain and doing minor adjustments much easier.

Speaking of which, dont forget a bottle of chainlube (I prefer the wet/oil lube, the dry/nanometal stuff is pretty useless in my experience)

A bike tool with hex/allen wrenches is a cheap and very useful thing to pick up as well.

Hope that helps, welcome to your new OCD-inducing hobby!


#4

+1 on bike lock (that’s another must-have, I think) and “clipless” pedals + cycling shoes.

The pedals and shoes can wait a bit if you are tight on cash but once you start using them you’ll wonder how you ever rode without them, especially on hills where they are like adding a couple extra low gears.


#5

The accessories at the bike shop are marked up quite a bit as compared to Carrefour or even random vendors who set up shop along the riverside bike path. Still, the quality can be quite higher at the bike shop. My recommendations:

Buy at the bike shop for better quality:

  • Cycling shorts. I made the mistake of buying a really cheap pair at some random athletic store and ended up with nasty abrasions on my ass from the rough stitching along the chamois. Get a nice pair of shorts that fit well with higher quality stitching on the inside.
  • Helmet. Don’t get the absolute cheapest.

Buy at bike shop because you can’t find anywhere else.

  • Tire levers, multitool, minipump and several inner tubes. You will definitely get a flat at some point away from the city where you won’t be able to just hop in a taxi to the local bike shop. Always keep an inner tube wrapped in plastic in your saddlebag. Learn how to change a tube before you actually get a flat in the mountains in a downpour.
  • Standing floor pump with an air pressure indicator.
  • Cheap ass speedometer. Assuming you have a smart phone, get a Cateye that only measures speed and distance. Use your phone for mapping/Strava.
  • Cheap rack to hold up your bike in your apartment.

Buy from a vendor along the riverside park or Carrefour for cheaper.

  • Back and front lights.
  • Rear saddle pouch.
  • Gloves.
  • Jersey with pockets in the back. They’ve got cooler looking ones at the bike shop but they can be stupidly expensive. Look online for a good deal.
  • Water bottle and bottle cages

Things I wouldn’t bother with.

  • Patch kit. Tubes are so cheap that I don’t find it worth the hassle to patch them up if you puncture one.
  • Lock. You’re keeping your bike in your apartment, right?
  • Phone rack.

#6

[quote=“PaddyB”][quote=“ranlee”]So I have my mind set on my first road bike that I will purchase within the month, but I’ve come to another road block. Accessories. Since I will most likely be buying from Nanjing E Road or Donghu Giant shops, the discount on the bike will go straight to accessories.

From my research and looking through the forums, I have narrowed it down to a few necessary items:
-Back/front light
-Helmet
-seat pouch bag
-bottle holder(s)
-shorts

Some things I would like to add, but I do not think are necessities:
-parking rack
-speedometer vs phone rack
-gloves

Does anyone have any input on my necessities vs add-ons and if you think I should be purchasing these straight from the Giant store or doing some online shopping on yahoo tw or maybe even the Decathalon store Neihu.

I do want to pick out the speedometer vs phone rack. Why buy a speedometer when you already have a 3G phone with apps that can track for you? Afraid GPS will fail? Also, anyone know of any phone racks on the market that do not have the protective “bag”?[/quote]

Gloves are an absolute necessity. Buy the nicest, thickest ones you can afford.

Buy a nice floor pump (800-1500 NTD I think) unless you enjoy fixing pinch flats on the side of the road in 35c heat. I have the Topeak Joe Blow Max or something like that and it works great.

Speaking of pinch flats, a spare innertube or two is a must. I always keep one in my seat bag. You might also want to buy some tire levers, although I’ve never had to use them (but they would have been nice the couple of times I’ve had to bloody my fingers a bit)

Spend as much as you can afford on shorts, the ones with crappy asspads are almost worse than not wearing shorts at all.

Bike computers work better than phones. I tried using Strava on a mobile phone once - the phone decided to auto update in the middle of my run and that was the end of that experiment. Giant Nanjing has the Edge 200 for 2000 something NT. It works great for logging your rides, as long as you dont care about monitoring the training stuff like cadence etc.

Get the little parking triangle thing, it makes lubing your chain and doing minor adjustments much easier.

Speaking of which, dont forget a bottle of chainlube (I prefer the wet/oil lube, the dry/nanometal stuff is pretty useless in my experience)

A bike tool with hex/allen wrenches is a cheap and very useful thing to pick up as well.

Hope that helps, welcome to your new OCD-inducing hobby![/quote]

Typed up a whole response and it’s gone. Here’s what I think I wrote…

Thanks everyone for your input, very very helpful!

Do you guys really think the maintenance items are a necessity right from the get go? I plan to do Riverside Park for the time being and then slowly move my way out to the mts. I also live less than 5 min ride from Nanjing Giant store, which told me they won’t charge for minor maintenance.

Can you guys enlighten me on spare inner tubes? Is that for my tires? Or?


#7

Add sunglasses to you list.
Apart from clothing and computers etc, the bare minimum I would carry when out training is a mini pump, a tube or two, tyre levers and a multitool.
Spare tubes are for your tyres yes. If you puncture you replace or patch the tube which sits inside the tyre.


#8

[quote=“ShutUpLegs”]Add sunglasses to you list.
Apart from clothing and computers etc, the bare minimum I would carry when out training is a mini pump, a tube or two, tyre levers and a multitool.
Spare tubes are for your tyres yes. If you puncture you replace or patch the tube which sits inside the tyre.[/quote]

Will everything you guys are mentioning I buy, for maintenance, fit in one pouch? Along with my 4.3" phone? (If I don’t buy a phone rack) It sounds highly impossible, but I can’t say I know the sizes of these maintenance accessories.


#9

You can get lots of different size saddle bags, so yes. I wouldn’t keep a smart phone in one though, I put it in a plastic bag and in my jersey pocket to keep it dry if it rains (cycling jerseys have three pockets across the back).
I use a lezyne small caddy for summer, which holds a tube, multitool and tyre levers. Phone, keys, pump, credit card, food, go in jersey pockets.
In the UK in the winter I use a large topeak saddle bag which allows me to carry some extra clothing. I’ve never need that in Taiwan though.


#10

[quote=“Ibis2k12”]I have a big phone (6") and it would look weird as hell on my stem!
Gps tracking also has issues with elevation, unless you have one of the few phones with barometric altimeter.[/quote]

Is Strava the only app everyone is using for biking? (and is that the app that has problem with elevation?)

On my ubike trips and running work outs, I use Runkeeper. I haven’t had a problem with the elevation problem, but I do understand where everyone’s concerns about GPS failing comes from. This one time I rode a ubike for 8KM and it only registered 4KM. What a fail.


#11

There are lots of other apps, but strava is the most popular. Just google for alternatives.

Strava app is grossly inaccurate for elevation IME. It’s overestimated my elevation data by 100% in the past!
That said, unless you’re taking your training very seriously there’s no need to worry about it, and even Garmin edge units with barometric pressure have their problems.


#12

I should add, all phone apps have the same issue estimating altitude. Without a barometric pressure sensor they have to extrapolate from GPS and topography data which leads to inaccuracies.


#13

A spare tube, levers and puncture kit fit in any decent saddle bag! The reason for the puncture kit is that on a really bad day it can save you from multiple-punctures.
I still prefer swapping the damaged tube for a new one, but if it’s a small puncture you can fix it at home with a patch and the tube will be as good as new.

Tools are not really needed, but it’s good to get to know your bike. The vast majority of issues that you can encounter while raiding can be fixed with a multitool, unless you break something and lack a spare. At home it’s always good to clean the bike reasonably often, and if you’re able to remove components, clean them and reassemble you’ll get a much cleaner bike.

As for the smartphone app I recommend the cycling version of Runtastic. Not only does it offer a huge amount of information and some nice features, but it’s also a one time purchase. The free version of Strava is cool for segments but doesn’t offer a lot of in depth info about your ride. Strava requires a monthly payments, while RUntastic is a one time payment of 4/5$ and you’re good forever. The only cool thing about Strava are the segments, but apart from the “cool” factor I prefer the info that I get from Runtastic.


#14

[quote=“alidarbac”]The accessories at the bike shop are marked up quite a bit as compared to Carrefour or even random vendors who set up shop along the riverside bike path. Still, the quality can be quite higher at the bike shop. My recommendations:

Buy at the bike shop for better quality:

  • Cycling shorts. I made the mistake of buying a really cheap pair at some random athletic store and ended up with nasty abrasions on my ass from the rough stitching along the chamois. Get a nice pair of shorts that fit well with higher quality stitching on the inside.
  • Helmet. Don’t get the absolute cheapest.

Buy at bike shop because you can’t find anywhere else.

  • Tire levers, multitool, minipump and several inner tubes. You will definitely get a flat at some point away from the city where you won’t be able to just hop in a taxi to the local bike shop. Always keep an inner tube wrapped in plastic in your saddlebag. Learn how to change a tube before you actually get a flat in the mountains in a downpour.
  • Standing floor pump with an air pressure indicator.
  • Cheap ass speedometer. Assuming you have a smart phone, get a Cateye that only measures speed and distance. Use your phone for mapping/Strava.
  • Cheap rack to hold up your bike in your apartment.

Buy from a vendor along the riverside park or Carrefour for cheaper.

  • Back and front lights.
  • Rear saddle pouch.
  • Gloves.
  • Jersey with pockets in the back. They’ve got cooler looking ones at the bike shop but they can be stupidly expensive. Look online for a good deal.
  • Water bottle and bottle cages

Things I wouldn’t bother with.

  • Patch kit. Tubes are so cheap that I don’t find it worth the hassle to patch them up if you puncture one.
  • Lock. You’re keeping your bike in your apartment, right?
  • Phone rack.[/quote]

Thanks alidarbac, your list has brought helpful to another level.


#15

If I went with a phone rack, I was thinking about buying a something like this

https://tw.buy.yahoo.com/gdsale/gdsale.asp?gdid=4091945

Has anyone had any trouble with a clamp rack? It seems to be a little, out of place though. Thoughts?


#16

I would never use a phone mount on a bike. Even a cycle computer is overkill for a beginner. And always, always keep your phone in a plastic sealed back (Ziplock bags work well) in you pocket (on a cycling shirt) or in your bike bag (under the saddle, etc). Sweat, rain, puddles, etc conspire to eat your phone faster than you eat lunch. Mounting a phone on the bars will just distract you, and you cannot operate it without stoping anyway.

gloves, helmet, glasses.

small pump, tire levers, 3 allen keys, mini pack of pre-glued patches, one spare tube.

water bottle carrier and bottle (but you can just buy bottles of juice with a cycling-style spout from 7-11 ).

floor pump, with metal barrel and dial indicator.

shorts and jersey. Bib-shorts are much more comfortable on long rides. Assos are too expensive: Castelli, Champion Systems, Pearl Izumi , Sugoi are cheaper and just as good.

A good bright rain jacket if you want to ride mountains in winter.

Lights only if you commute late. Don’t plan on riding home late through the city unless you’re experienced. and those pissy little lights won’t make you much more visible in Taipei’s traffic anyway.

a lock, although they’re overrated, especially for more than ten minutes. The New York rule is that bike plus lock must equal forty pounds: a forty pound bike needs no lock, while a ten pound bike needs a thirty pound lock.

And just never a stand, or an umbrella holder, or a flag.


#17

[quote=“urodacus”]I would never use a phone mount on a bike. Even a cycle computer is overkill for a beginner. And always, always keep your phone in a plastic sealed back (Ziplock bags work well) in you pocket (on a cycling shirt) or in your bike bag (under the saddle, etc). Sweat, rain, puddles, etc conspire to eat your phone faster than you eat lunch. Mounting a phone on the bars will just distract you, and you cannot operate it without stoping anyway.

gloves, helmet, glasses.

small pump, tire levers, 3 allen keys, mini pack of pre-glued patches, one spare tube.

water bottle carrier and bottle (but you can just buy bottles of juice with a cycling-style spout from 7-11 ).

floor pump, with metal barrel and dial indicator.

shorts and jersey. Bib-shorts are much more comfortable on long rides. Assos are too expensive: Castelli, Champion Systems, Pearl Izumi , Sugoi are cheaper and just as good.

A good bright rain jacket if you want to ride mountains in winter.

Lights only if you commute late. Don’t plan on riding home late through the city unless you’re experienced. and those pissy little lights won’t make you much more visible in Taipei’s traffic anyway.

a lock, although they’re overrated, especially for more than ten minutes. The New York rule is that bike plus lock must equal forty pounds: a forty pound bike needs no lock, while a ten pound bike needs a thirty pound lock.

And just never a stand, or an umbrella holder, or a flag.[/quote]

I won’t plan on commuting late. However, I will be riding late nights on Riverside Park, a back light/front light would still be helpful, no?

Another reason for a phone rack is I would like to listen to music on my ride, but I don’t want to put on headphones. I feel it may be dangerous if I was riding at higher speeds.


#18

[quote=“ranlee”][quote=“urodacus”]I would never use a phone mount on a bike. Even a cycle computer is overkill for a beginner. And always, always keep your phone in a plastic sealed back (Ziplock bags work well) in you pocket (on a cycling shirt) or in your bike bag (under the saddle, etc). Sweat, rain, puddles, etc conspire to eat your phone faster than you eat lunch. Mounting a phone on the bars will just distract you, and you cannot operate it without stoping anyway.

gloves, helmet, glasses.

small pump, tire levers, 3 allen keys, mini pack of pre-glued patches, one spare tube.

water bottle carrier and bottle (but you can just buy bottles of juice with a cycling-style spout from 7-11 ).

floor pump, with metal barrel and dial indicator.

shorts and jersey. Bib-shorts are much more comfortable on long rides. Assos are too expensive: Castelli, Champion Systems, Pearl Izumi , Sugoi are cheaper and just as good.

A good bright rain jacket if you want to ride mountains in winter.

Lights only if you commute late. Don’t plan on riding home late through the city unless you’re experienced. and those pissy little lights won’t make you much more visible in Taipei’s traffic anyway.

a lock, although they’re overrated, especially for more than ten minutes. The New York rule is that bike plus lock must equal forty pounds: a forty pound bike needs no lock, while a ten pound bike needs a thirty pound lock.

And just never a stand, or an umbrella holder, or a flag.[/quote]

I won’t plan on commuting late. However, I will be riding late nights on Riverside Park, a back light/front light would still be helpful, no?

Another reason for a phone rack is I would like to listen to music on my ride, but I don’t want to put on headphones. I feel it may be dangerous if I was riding at higher speeds.[/quote]

Please don’t play your mobile thru its speakers while riding…its really annoying to everyone else (unless of course there is no one else around)


#19

Your ears are another and often more useful set of eyes.

Please don’t listen to music (speakers or headphones are the same), as it cuts you off from your surroundings and is generally much more dangerous.

Light to actually see where you’re going can help. But there is a lot of light out in Taipei. I used to ride lights off over YMS sometimes (from Szjir or however the hell you spell it) and it was fabulous on a moonlit night. but no traffic made that much more fun. In the city lights help you to be seen, but less than you’d expect unless the street is really dark.


#20

Thanks everyone for your input. Will definitely take into consideration.

I think I may just use the discount credit they give me on a nice helmet, lights, and a seat pouch. Since it is my first road bike and I’m a noob when it comes to maintenance, I am thinking of slowly buying those accessories 1 by 1.

Yay 100th post!