10 Tips for Choosing the Proper Gear to Ensure Bicycle Safety

Person riding a bicycle

Riding a bicycle might not seem like it would be all that dangerous. But the total number of preventable deaths involving bikes has increased by nearly 50% over the last decade.

Each year, there are about 1,000 people killed during bicycle accidents. There are also well over 100,000 people injured during them.

These statistics suggest that everyone who gets on a bike and rides it around should take bicycle safety seriously. Otherwise, you may potentially put yourself in harm's way and sustain serious injuries or even face fatal consequences.

One easy way to keep yourself safer when you're on a bike is by investing in the right safety gear for bicycles. There are so many things you can wear to protect yourself in the event of a bike accident.

We've created a bicycle safety checklist that features ten tips for choosing the proper gear to wear while riding a bike. Check it out below and buy the right gear for bicycle safety.

1. Begin by Purchasing a Proper-Fitting Helmet

The simple act of sticking a helmet on your head before riding a bike can greatly reduce the chances of you sustaining a head injury during a bike accident. Studies have shown that you'll reduce the risk of sustaining a head injury by about 50%.

That alone should make people want to wear helmets when they climb on bicycles. But unfortunately, over half of American adults still choose not to wear them while riding bikes. They aren't always on board with using helmets for bicycle safety.

You should avoid becoming a part of this stat by making sure you put a helmet on any time you're riding a bike. You should also see to it that you buy a helmet that fits properly on your head so that it's able to provide it with all the protection it needs.

2. Pick Up a Pair of Protective Glasses

Putting on a pair of protective glasses when you're riding around on a bike might seem a little extra. But if you're going to be riding around on roads with vehicles, it'll be important to do it.

Why? Well, you're going to find that everything from dirt and dust to bugs and smoke will fly into your eyes when you're riding around on a bike. These kinds of things could temporarily blind you while you're on your bike and make it impossible for you to see what's going on around you.

This could put you in a position where you might collide with a car, a fellow cyclist, a pedestrian, or any number of other things. You'll be so much better off if you put on a pair of protective glasses so that you're always able to see what's happening around you.

3. Invest in Tight Reflective Clothing

If you wear loose-fitting clothing when you're riding around on a bike, there is a chance it could get caught in your gears. There is also a chance it could limit your mobility when you're on a bike and make it difficult for you to turn and make other movements at times.

For these reasons, you should wear clothing that's on the tighter side when you're on a bike. This clothing should also be reflective so that people are able to see you when you're riding around on your bike both during the day and at night.

Try not to ever make the mistake of wearing dark clothing when you're on a bike. It might lead to drivers and other cyclists not seeing you and running right into you.

4. Get Your Hands on Cycling Gloves

If you choose not to wear cycling gloves when you're on a bike, you might be surprised to see how chapped your hands will get. The wind will blow on your hands all the time, and it'll leave them feeling very dry and sore.

But this is far from the only complication you'll face when you're riding around on a bike with no gloves on. You might also find that you'll struggle to keep control of your handlebars at times, especially if you're riding your bike on a hot day and sweating a lot.

Getting your hands on a great pair of cycling gloves can eliminate all these issues for you. You'll be able to take total control of your bike with your gloves while also keeping your hands very comfortable in the process.

5. Shop Around for a Pair of Cycling Shoes

If you're not going to be doing any hardcore cycling on your bike, you might be able to skip buying cycling shoes and wear a pair of athletic sneakers instead. As long as you lace them up right and tie them tight, they shouldn't ever slip and slide around on your pedals.

But if you're going to be cycling great distances on your bike, it'll be a different story. In this case, you'll likely want to secure the best cycling shoes you can find.

A good pair of cycling shoes will lock right into your pedals and keep them in place throughout all your rides. They'll also be lightweight and won't hold you back at all when you're trying to get a great workout in on your bike.

6. Search for Reflectors for Your Bike

So far, we've focused mostly on bicycle safety gear that you'll wear when you're riding around on your bike. But it's definitely worth pointing out that there is some gear that you'll put onto your bike as opposed to your body.

Reflectors are an excellent example of this. You should try to work as many reflectors into the mix as you can when it comes to your bike. The more of these reflectors you put on it, the easier it'll be for people to see you, especially at night.

Most bikes will come with a reflector in the front as well as one in the back and a few on the tires. This should be enough for most people, but you might also want to look for more reflectors you can add to your bike.

You might also want to invest in better reflectors than the ones your bike came with. There are certain reflectors that'll shine much brighter than others when lights hit them.

7. Stick At Least One Light on Your Bike

Are you planning to spend at least some time riding around on your bike after the sun goes down? Then, in addition to sticking reflectors on your bike, you'll also want to find a light that you can stick on the front of it.

Safety bicycle lights like this will make it easier for you to see when you're on your bike at night. It'll illuminate the path in front of you just like the headlights on your car do.

You might also be able to locate lights that can be placed on the back of your bike and lights that can be attached directly to your helmet. All of these lights will make it simpler for you to see while also helping other people to see you.

8. Consider Buying a Flag for Your Bike

When you're wearing reflective clothing and have reflectors and lights on your bike, it should be just about impossible for anyone to miss you. But if you want to take bicycle safety to the next level, there is one other thing you can put on your bike to draw attention to it.

There are bicycle safety flags that are designed to make it even easier for others to see your bike. Stick one of these flags on your bike and you can rest assured knowing you've done everything in your power to prevent others from running into you because they couldn't see you.

By making yourself so visible, you shouldn't have to worry about anyone putting the blame on you if you're ever in a bike accident. You should be able to bring a case against anyone who ends up injuring you in an accident since it'll be clear you took all the proper steps to clearly identify yourself.

You should hire a bicycle accident attorney if you believe you might have a case that you'd like to take to court. They can evaluate your case and tell you how they can help you collect compensation related to a bike accident.

9. Look For Mirrors for Your Bike

If you plan on taking nice leisurely rides around town on your bike, you might not have any trouble turning around to see what's happening behind you when you're on a ride. You most likely won't be riding fast enough to put yourself in any real danger.

But most cyclists will go at least 10 to 15 miles per hour, and it isn't uncommon for some of them to go 20 or even 25 miles per hour as they gain more experience. At these speeds, you won't be able to turn around to see what's going on behind you every time you need to do it. You could put yourself and others at risk if you do.

Because of this, it would be wise to install mirrors on your bike that'll enable you to check what's going on behind you without having to turn around. These mirrors will make your bike so much safer than it would be otherwise.

It may take you some time to get the hang of checking the mirrors on a bike. But once you know how to do it, they'll help you take bicycle safety even more seriously than you already do.

10. Take a Look at Tool Sets for Your Bike

If some aspect of your bike breaks while you're out riding around on it, what are you going to do? You might not have any other choice but to continue to ride it in spite of the fact that it's not going to be working all that well.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way you could fix your bike and get it running like it's supposed to again? You may be able to do it if you have a toolset at your disposal.

There are special tool sets made specifically for bikes that will contain tools like:
  • Small bicycle tire pump
  • Set of Allen keys
  • First-aid kit
You should also either stash your cell phone in our toolset for safekeeping or find another way to bring your phone along with you on your bike. This way, you'll be able to call for help if anything goes wrong while you're out on your bike.

The last thing you want to do is find yourself stuck on the side of the road with your bike and no way to fix it or get it back home. Having a cell phone in your back pocket so to speak will make it possible for you to touch base with someone who can assist you if you're ever in a bind on your bike.

Make Sure You Have All This Bicycle Safety Gear Handy

There is, unfortunately, no way to make yourself 100% safe when you're on a bike. Even if you have every last piece of bicycle safety gear that we've talked about here, you might still find yourself in a tough spot on your bike if you're ever hit by a car or run into something.

But having this bicycle safety gear will keep you safe more often than not. It'll also make you feel better when you head out on your bike for a ride.

Would you like to read through more informative articles like this one? Poke around on the rest of our blog to find them.

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