There are three points of contact between you and your bike: hands, feet, and seat. Of these three, the bike seat or saddle is the area with the most options for customization. All bikes come with a saddle, but if you experience pain or discomfort on rides it is time to swap out the saddle that came with the bike for another one.
The bike saddle should support your bones, not your flesh and it is hard to know just by looking at a saddle if it will fit your bone structure. Also, if you want to give a new saddle a try, it takes more than just a ride around the block to know if it is right your you—you need to take it on a long ride of at least 1 hour so you can settle in and determine how it accommodates your pressure points.
To have the best possible experience on your bike you need accessories. Some are essential for safety, like a helmet or lights, some will help you keep your bike working smoothly, such as an air pump and tire repair kit, and others will increase your comfort and convenience if you have the budget and do enough riding to justify the expense.
How to prioritize accessories?
If you are getting ready to outfit a new bike, or have a bike you have taken out of storage that has not been ridden in a while, there are a lot of accessories available to purchase so what criteria should you use to begin the selection process?
The milder winter has resulted in more rain than snow for our bike rides. Even if you are not rolling out in the rain, there is a chance the skies can open up before you return home so being prepared helps you be safe and comfortable on your bike. Preparations include you, your bike, while riding, and after the ride.
Being outdoors in the cool, crisp autumn weather can be a joy and helps with the transition to the inevitable arctic conditions yet to come. True, yesterday I saw some cyclists still biking in shorts and flip flops, but these are the supernatural people of Halloween, not mortals like the rest of us. Here are some tips for safe and comfortable cycling in the fall:
Sharon Kaminecki and others comment on adventures in bicycling and other stories