Cyclescheme is the UK's most popular cycle to work benefit, creating more cyclists than any other provider.

Don’t spend all of your cycle to work budget on your bike – save some for these essential accessories.

Bikes are seldom sold with everything you need for commuting. If they were cars, they’d be open-topped sports cars with no headlights, a key you couldn’t remove from the ignition, and seats that needed a special tool to move. It would be useless when it was raining or dark and stolen if left unattended. And the driver’s seat wouldn’t be where you wanted it to be. This is why accessories for your bike are so important.

We’re only looking at accessories for the bike so there’s nothing here about padded shorts or helmets. As the list is just five things we’ve omitted luggage.

You won’t need a bag for every single ride, and when you do a backpack or shoulder bag you already own may serve. Nevertheless, luggage is the next most important thing to include in your Cyclescheme package.

1 Pump

Bicycle tyres gradually lose air and need to be pumped up now and again. Occasionally they puncture, of course, and your patched or spare innertube will need to be inflated immediately. So pack a pump whenever you’re riding further than you could push your bike with a flat tyre. Many cyclists carry a mini pump on the bike for emergencies and keep an easy-to-use workshop-style floor pump at home. But one pump can do both jobs if it’s portable and capable of getting your tyres up to pressure easily. The pumps that do this best are essentially mini workshop pumps, with a fold out foot that rests on the ground and a hose that connects to the tyre valve. Pumps like these…

Budget option: B’Twin Hybrid Hand and Foot Pump (RRP £24.99). Small enough (198g, 30cm) to fit in a bag but capable of putting 80-90psi into your tyres without much effort. Fits Presta and Schrader valves. It even has a pressure gauge.

Benchmark option: Topeak Mountain Morph (£36.99). Topeak’s Morph pumps are the original mini floor pumps. The Mountain version has a wider barrel and pumps more air per stroke, yet can still reach 160psi. It comes with a mount to fix it to the bike frame and it can fit either Presta or Schrader valves. Size: 250g, 32.5cm.

Bling option: Lezyne Miro Floor Digital Drive HVG (£85). Well made, easy to use, and comes with a pressure gauge and a frame mount. This high volume version offers quicker inflation but won’t go beyond 90psi. If you need higher pressures for narrow road bike tyres, get the HPG version (same price). Fits Presta and Schrader valves. 208g, 30cm. 


2 Mudguards

Mudguards prevent your clothes being wheel-sprayed with dirty water from wet roads and cycle tracks. They also keep your bike cleaner so it works better. For commuting they’re a no-brainer. If you’re riding off-road, frame-fitting mudguards can jam with mud or debris so off-road specific guards like the Rear Mudhugger are better. On road you can’t beat traditional wraparound mudguards – the longer the better.

Budget: Crud Roadracer Mk3 (£34.99). Designed for road and gravel bikes that lack the clearance and fittings for conventional mudguards, these are also a good option for anyone who wants to take mudguards on and off regularly, depending on the weather. They fit tyres up to 700x38C (38-622).

Benchmark: SKS Chromoplastics P35 (£46). Stainless steel fittings, including 3.4mm diameter stays, give these classic mudguards a durability and non-rubbing rigidity that cheaper guards lack. The front guard has break-away mounts to stop it folding up behind the fork if anything gets jammed. Various sizes are available; the P35 suits tyres up to 28mm.

Bling: Gilles Berthoud 700C Stainless Steel Mudguards, Long (£59.99). These stainless steel mudguards might well last as long as your bike. Wheel coverage (for tyres up 32mm) is excellent and the smooth underside – the stays fit to the top side – means water is channelled around the guard better instead of spraying out sideways. They’re somewhat fiddly to fit initially.


3 Lock

While any lock is better than none, it’s worth investing in a good one if your bike won’t always be parked behind a locked door. The police recommend spending at least 10% of the value of your bike on a lock for it. You should be able to get one that’s rated Sold Secure Silver or Gold for that – and perhaps one that’s rated to the new higher standard, Sold Secure Diamond. Shorter D-locks offer the best balance between portability and protection, although looking after your bike isn’t just about the lock.

Budget: Kryptonite Kryptolok Mini U-Lock (£44.99). Kryptonite makes a huge range of locks, include Sold Secure Diamond models. This one is Sold Secure Gold and comes with a frame bracket to transport it. It’s a good price for what you get.

Benchmark: Abus Granit Plus 470 (£79.99). A really well made Sold Secure Gold lock that few thieves will even attempt to break. A keyhole cover to protect against corrosion is a nice touch. Get the shorter (230mm) version as it’s easier to carry and harder for a thief to attack with a jack.

Bling: Squire Stronghold D16/230 (£139.99). With a 16mm diameter hardened steel shackle rather than the more usual 12mm, a beefy lock body, and a weight of 2.26kg, it’s not hard to see how this lock is rated Sold Secure Diamond. It has a short shackle (230mm), making it harder to attack – and easier to stash in a bag.


4 Lights

You’re legally required to have a white front light and a red rear light when you ride your bike between dusk and dawn. You’ll want them anyway, so you can see where you’re going on unlit roads and so that you’re visible to drivers. Hub dynamo powered lights are an excellent option for commuting as they don’t run out of power. But they’re relatively expensive to add if your bike doesn’t come with them, not least because you’ll need a new front wheel. Battery lights can be easily added to any bike. If you only ever ride under streetlights, small flashing lights may be enough. For unlit roads you need a front light that will throw a decent beam and a rear light that’s visible from far away.

Budget: Moon Meteor Front Light (£29.99) and Moon Ring Rear Light (£23.99). Both are rechargeable. The Meteor will run for two hours on its 400-lumen high beam and for 12 on a ‘round town’ 70 lumen setting. The diminutive Ring runs for six to 30 hours and it’s very bright in any mode.

Benchmark: Cateye AMPP 800/VIZ 300 Light Set (£99.99). All of Cateye’s rechargeable AMPP lights list their lumens in their name, so this one puts out a maximum of 800 – enough to ride at high speed on unlit roads. A charge indicator tells you if the battery is running low, so you can switch to a lower power mode to get home safely. The VIZ 300 emits 300 lumens, as you might expect. That’s retina-burningly bright for a rear light.

Bling: Exposure Strada MK10 RS (£255) and Blaze MK2 DayBright (£114). The Strada MK10 RS has the sort of output – 1,200 lumens – that you might associate with mountain biking lights but it isn’t a full-beam-only dazzler: the beam is road specific, lighting the tarmac instead of oncoming drivers’ faces. A remote switch allows easy on-the-go operation. The 80-lumen Blaze rear light is bright enough to stand out in daylight and is visible through 240 degrees.


5 Multitool

To adjust your bike in any way you’ll normally need tools, especially Allen or hex keys. They’re used for setting your saddle and handlebar positions so the bike fits properly, for attaching accessories, for fine-tuning or fixing brakes and gears, and more besides. You might also want one or more screwdrivers, Torx bits, and a chain breaker. Multitools give you all of these, and often more, in one convenient Swiss-Army-knife-style package. However many functions a multitool has, make sure it uses hardened steel tool bits. Cheap steel will round off and slip, damaging whatever you’re working on. A good tool with fewer functions is better than a cheaply made tool with lots of functions.

Budget: Park Tool IB-2 (£17.99). A simple multitool with a lifetime warranty, the IB-2 has all the Allen keys you’re likely to need (1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8mm), as well as a T25 Torx for disc brakes and a flat-blade screwdriver (which will work on the crosshead screws on derailleurs). The only obvious lack is a chain breaker.

Benchmark: Topeak Hexus X (£29.99). The Hexus X even includes a couple of tyre levers so you won’t have to buy separate ones. Other tools are: 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen keys; T15 and T25 Torx; Phillips screwdriver; two spoke keys; a chain breaker; a Presta valve core remover; and a chain hook for holding your chain together while you’re working on it.

Bling: Lezyne SV Pro 10 (£47). Lezyne also makes a seven-function SV Pro 7 and 17-function SV Pro 17, as well as lots of other nicely machined multitools. The SV Pro 10 is perhaps the sweet spot, giving you only the tools you really need: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8mm Allen keys; T10 and T25 Torx; Phillips screwdriver; and a chain breaker.


Request a Cyclescheme Certificate today and enjoy great choice, flexibility and savings. 

Start my application