Bicycle Safety Equipment that You Need To Have
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Published by TOP4 Team
Riding a bike has been an age long tradition enjoyed by many people from all ages from all walks of life. Due to its mechanical simplicity and easy maintenance, the bicycle, popularly known as “bike” quickly gained its public acceptance as an alternative mode of transportation when it was invented in the 19th century. Today, riding bikes is being done for several reasons which include exercise sports.
However, as much as bicycles are fun to ride, they too have disadvantages. Due to its light weight, a slight bump from a four-wheeled vehicle can crash the bicycle and send its rider flying. In some instances, bikes are not allowed in major roads. To ensure safety, precautions must be followed. Government road safety departments all over the world have different versions of these laws, imposing safety requirements as an acknowledgment to the simple truth of how vulnerable bike riders are in relation with other vehicles on the road.
In order to ensure safety, both for bike riders and other motorists sharing the road, certain equipment must be used by the rider and some installed on their bikes.
Helmet laws vary from place to place. Some countries have strict regulations regarding head safety and impose strict fine impositions on those who fail to follow the rules. Riding a bike can be fun but also dangerous. Wearing a helmet reduces that danger thus increasing the fun factor. When buying a helmet, a rider must ensure that the helmet fits perfectly, with less than an inch of maximum allowance for comfort fit. Loose helmets are dangerous. Riding a bike requires the rider’s both hands; to use one hand securing the loose helmet may cause you to go off-balance.
Locks are crucial especially if you need to leave your bike anywhere. Even in the so-called secure places, there is always a possibility of your bike getting stolen. Locks, depending on the type, can make it difficult or impossible for thieves to steal your bike.
These are the four types of locks:
A U-lock features a crossbar section with a built-in locking mechanism. It’s an effective type of lock because it cannot be cut with a hacksaw and bolt-cutters. You’re in trouble if the thief uses a crowbar.
· Chain Locks
Go with ½ inch thick chain locks because they cannot be cut by wire cutters. Use the chains converted in plastic to prevent damaging the bike’s paint due to constant scrapes. Consider getting thick chains and strong padlocks. Be warned about combination locks because they are easy to decipher.
O-lock, also called a wheel lock, features a contraption fitted around the wheel and the bike’s frame, making it impossible to be ridden. However, it does not lock the bike in place and the bike can still be easily lifted.
· Cable Locks
Cable locks offer the least protection of all locks. With its cord-like cable, cable locks can be cut by bolt cutters.
Lights are not only useful when riding at night. They can also be essential during fog and adverse weather conditions which cause low visibility. The right kind of light will keep the rider visible to other motorists.
Lights come in two types:
· Battery Operated Lights
Battery operated lights last between 6 to 8 hours. They are easy to install but expensive to maintain. The upside is that the lights work even when the rider is on free wheel.
· Dynamo Operated Lights
Dynamo operated lights use wheel motion to produce electricity that powers the lights. It is normally attached to the wheel or axis although the latter is more expensive because it requires a specialist to install it. The major advantage of using dynamo powered lights is that there are no batteries to be replaced and thus much cheaper. On the downside, lights go dim the moment the rider stops the bike at intersections as the lights use up the stored electricity.
Other accessories to consider for your bikes are baskets (if you intend to carry items), reflector stickers (for easy visibility) and bike horns (for warning other motorists or pedestrians).