Bike Riding Essential Checklist

bike riding essentials

You've got your bike, you've got your helmet. You're ready to ride, right? Well, maybe not just yet. Use our comprehensive gear list to makes sure you have all the necessary accessories to make your ride enjoyable. Not every cyclist will bring every item on every ride, but this list will give you a great place to start planning.

Step 1: The Two Essentials

  • Bike
  • Helmet

Step 2: Primary Options

Your choices will be based on your individual needs, style of riding and preferences.

Key Transit Items

  • Water (in bottles or hydration pack)
  • Eye protection (sunglasses or clear lenses)
  • Street map
  • Medical info/emergency contact card
  • First-aid items
  • Lock

Core Bike Repair Items

  • Spare tube or tubes (and/or patch kit)
  • Pump
  • Tire levers
  • Cycling multi-tool (with Allen wrenches)

Storage/Equipment Options

  • Backpack, waistpack or hydration pack
  • Messenger (sling) bag
  • Saddle (underseat) bag
  • Headlight
  • Taillight (with blinking option)
  • Side safety lights (on frame, spokes or seatpost)
  • Bell
  • Cargo rack plus trunk bag
  • Panniers
  • Mirror (for handlebar or helmet)
  • Fenders
  • Straps or bungee cords


  • Wind jacket
  • Insulation layer
  • Leg straps for pants
  • Shoe or toe covers
  • Visibility vest


  • Chamois cream/skin lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Cell phone
  • Cash/credit card/ID


Step 3: Post-Ride Items

Carry with you, or store in advance at destination:

  • Change of clothing
  • Off-bike footwear
  • Toiletry kit
  • Towel/washcloth


Step 4: Other Accessories

  • Padded shorts or tights
  • Wicking jersey or top
  • Gloves
  • Bike-specific footwear
  • Cycling socks
  • Buff/bandana/skullcap
  • Small, quick-dry towel (for cleanups)
  • Baby wipes (another cleanup option)
  • Energy food/gels/drinks
  • Cycling computer/GPS
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Patch kit (and/or spare tube/tubes)
  • Pressure gauge
  • CO2 inflator (with cartridge)
  • Lubricant