The single most important (and cheapest!) accessory that a bicycle commuter will want is a pants guard, aka ankle strap. This handy device is worn wrapped around your pants near your ankle and keeps your pants from brushing against the chain and getting covered in black grease. If you’re without an ankle strap, you can always just tuck your pants into your socks.
Cyclists who plan to commute in all weather may want to consider fenders. They’ll help keep you from getting splashed as you ride in the rain or snow and keep you considerably dryer and cleaner. Some cyclists chose to make their own quicky fenders out of pieces of bleach bottles.
Other useful accessories include a basket or rack of some sort to help carry your lunch or that loaf of bread you pick up on your way home. A water bottle holder is also handy so you can stay hydrated on your ride. A good thermos will help folks who are used to taking a mug of coffee from home in the mornings.
Some stuff that might fit more under safety and maintenance but provide comfort in the form of peace of mind:
- A portable bike pump
- A patch kit and spare tube (especially if you have far to travel)
- A rear view mirror – some attach to your helmet, some attach to your handle bars
- A bell – not as loud as a car horn, but nice for warning pedestrians or giving a friendly hello
Not all cyclists will need all of these accessories. Once you’ve been riding for a few weeks it will become clear which ones are right for you.