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Biking Essentials Checklist

Ready to get out there and start riding? If you’re just starting out or it’s been a while since you last biked, we compiled a list of the essentials — everything you’ll need to have a safe, comfortable, and FUN time bicycling.

MUST HAVES: We recommend these six items for EVERY cyclist.

1. BIKE
We know, a bike seems pretty obvious, right? But in case you’re riding a hand-me-down from grandpa that’s been collecting dust in the garage for years — here’s a link to our Bike Buying Guide. There’s truly a bike for every interest, not to mention an appropriate model for your size, shape and capabilities. Learn more here. Check out our huge selection of bikes online here or swing by your nearest shop to test-ride your favorites. Riding a bike that seems like it was “made for you” makes biking way more enjoyable!

2. HELMET
A must for all cyclists! Keep your head and brain safe while you’re out exploring the world by bike! Many of today’s helmets feature some pretty amazing technology like the Specialized ANGi Sensor that calls for help if a crash is detected and MIPS or Multi-Directional Impact Protection System that reduces head trauma when a helmet experiences impact from a fall. Shop our helmet selection here.

3. BIKE PUMP
One of the easiest ways to enjoy a smooth ride is to make sure your tires are inflated appropriately. We have floor pumps (store it in the garage by your bike so you never forget to fill your tires before you ride) and portable pumps that attach right to your bike frame so you’re prepared if your tires lose air while out riding. Check out all the pumps we carry here.

4. BIKE LIGHTS
Lights help you navigate at night. They also make sure you’re seen by passerby’s walking, biking, or driving. But there’s a big difference between being seen and seeing – check out our blog on bike lights here. Another good reason – most cities require cyclists to use lights! Check out our inventory of bike lights here to find the one that’s right for you. We recommend wearing a front and back light while riding.

5. WATERBOTTLE AND CAGE or HYDRATION SYSTEM
Cycling, even if you’re only taking a short, casual ride, can be a great workout! You’ll want to stay hydrated to get the most out of your biking experience. We sell water bottles and cages that mount right on your bike and hydration packs that you wear around your waist or on your back.

6. BIKE LOCK
Whether you’re running errands by bike, meeting up with friends for a ride and bite to eat after, or parking your bike in your garage after a day of cycling — you’ll want to have a sturdy, reliable lock to protect your bike from being stolen. We carry some of the best locks on the market today to keep your bike safe! Check all of them out here. And to learn how to lock your bike, check out our blog and video here.


FOR EXTRA EASE, COMFORT, AND PERFORMANCE: If you’re ready to take your biking to the next level, this gear is key.

7. PHONE HOLDER
Having your phone with you while biking is just as important as making sure your tires are pumped. It can tell you where to ride. It can motivate you with music. And it can call for assistance if you have issues. Have it mounted on your bike makes it convenient for directions – just remember not to text and bike! Check out our selection of mobile phone holders here.

8. BIKE SHORTS
Your bum will thank you! Cycling shorts provide extra padding in all the right spots so you can enjoy long rides on the saddle without discomfort. And, if you’re not into wearing tight spandex, there are relaxed fit shorts too! View Men’s shorts here and women’s here.

9. CYCLING JERSEY
Sure you can wear any old shirt when riding your bike, but a good cycling jersey will wick your sweat away and provide pockets for your keys, money, and energy bar. Plus there are some pretty sweet designs available that will make you look stylin’ out on your bike. Check out our selection of men’s jerseys here and women’s here.

10. CYCLING JACKET
When you head out on a ride, it’s a good idea to layer-up. Even on warm days, you can get cold riding because of the wind. A Cycling jacket, like a jersey, has pockets in the right spots, is made to wick sweat, be breathable, and sometimes protect you from wind and rain. And when you’re ready to take it off, most will fold up so small you can store it in the back pocket of your cycling jersey. View our bike jackets for men and women to find a style you like.

11. BIKE SHOES
Your body was not necessarily designed for biking — but wearing bike shoes makes it feel like it was! Cycling shoes offer specific support that helps align your feet, knees, and hips for pedaling efficiency. And just like bikes, there’s a shoe for every kind of rider. Peruse our selection here.

12. SUNGLASSES
When you’re out riding a high-quality pair of sunglasses will reduce glare, protect your eyes from UV rays as well as any debris (bugs, dirt, etc.) that may cross your path. We carry top brands like Oakley and Tifosi – check out our entire stock here.

13. BIKE BAGS
Whether you need to carry your phone safely, a spare tube, or a set of clothes to change into when you commute to work — we’ve got the perfect bike bag for your needs. From panniers to saddlebags to handlebar bags — we carry it all. Check out our deep selection here.

14. BIKE COMPUTER
When you’re ready to start tracking mileage, speed, and timing — it’s time for a bike computer. And many of our options do much more like offer GPS, tracking of your stats (heart rate, watts produced, etc.), easy connectivity with your friends, and integration with popular cycling apps. View all of our cycling computers here. If you are looking for GPS specific computers go here.

15. CAR RACK
If you’re not equipped with a large vehicle to haul your bike(s) around to fun cycling destinations — a car rack is a must. We have hitch, roof, and trunk racks, and ones specifically for pickup trucks too. Once you’re equipped with the right rack to transport your bike(s) the world is your oyster! See all of our racks here.


FOR DIY BIKE REPAIRS: If you’re not scared of getting your hands a little dirty, these three items will allow you to tackle basic bike maintenance.

16. MULTI-TOOL
This key tool will do a little of everything. Use it at home for your DIY bike projects or bring it with you on your rides. With one, you’ll be ready to tweak, adjust, and fix all the simple issues that can arise while you’re out biking. View our multi-tools here.

17. SPARE TUBES
It can happen to anyone, anywhere, and it can be a real bummer when you’re out on a sweet ride… Flat tires can instantly end your bike ride unless you’re equipped with a spare tube to change out your flat. We recommend always carrying 1-2 with you on your rides. Go here to stock up! And check out our Quick Tip Video: Fixing a Flat if you’re a novice but want to learn how to do this simple fix yourself.

18. CHAIN LUBE
A super-easy way to keep your bike running smoothly is to keep its chain lubed. Watch our tutorial on how to perform this task and then shop our selection here to find the lube that’s right for your bike and style of riding.


When equipped with these cycling essentials your rides will be safe, comfortable, and fun! Swing by your local ERIK’S to shop in-person or order all the supplies you need from us online. And then get out there riding!