Critical Gear You Need for Safer Cycling

 In Bike Safety

We encourage cyclists to take steps to protect themselves from in the event of a bike crash. To that end, we’re sharing here the critical gear we recommend cyclists use.

Make no mistake—this by no means takes any onus off of drivers to ensure they take care on the road. With a that said, let’s dive in.

How Wearing the Right Cycling Safety Gear Can Save Your Life

According to a recent study published in the Brain Injury Journal, 78% of adult cyclists and 88% of young riders who suffered severe head and neck injuries were not wearing helmets. Additional results show wearing helmets is significantly linked to a reduced risk for longer hospital stays, serious injuries and death.

Studies also show other safety gear such as reflective clothing protects cyclists. For example, a study completed in New Zealand found cyclists who never wore reflective gear spent eight times as much time away from work as a result of bike crashes.

Critical Safety Gear for the Cyclist

Whether you commute daily via bike or you’re a weekend cycling warrior, there’s some critical gear you may want to wear to help protect yourself in the event of a crash.

  • Helmet: A helmet is the most critical piece of safety gear you can own. Your helmet should be snug, but not tight. It should also sit level on your head without tilting.
  • Cycling gloves: These gloves will protect your hands from road rash and injury in the event of a crash. Plus, they help stabilize your hands and prevent slipping as you ride.
  • Tight-fitting, reflective clothing: Loose clothing can get caught in your bike chains and other hardware, which can contribute to a crash. Find tight-fitting, reflective clothing that’s comfortable to move in. Lycra-based cycling shorts or pants and jerseys are great options.
  • Proper fitting shoes: Your shoes should have a stiff sole to help stabilize you as you ride. They should also fit your foot snugly, without being tight. Avoid wearing sandals, flip flops or other types of loose shoes that can get tangled up in your bike.

Don’t Forget to Outfit Your Bike

Once you outfit yourself with the proper gear, it’s time to deck out your bike. Some examples of critical gear you should place on your bike include:

  • Headlight and rear reflector: Visibility is critical, especially at night. Place a white headlight on the front of your bike as well as a red rear reflector or light on the back.
  • Bell or horn: A bell or horn can help you signal others of your approach, especially if you frequent trails or areas with a lot of bike/vehicle traffic.
  • Camera: Placing a camera that records your rides on your bike can be invaluable in the event of a crash. As an attorney, I’ve seen many cases benefit from their use. Garmin and CYCLIQ offer some great, easy-to-use options.
  • Mirror: Installing a rearview mirror on your handlebar can help you visualize traffic moving behind you.
  • Simple repair kit: Carry a tire pump, patch kit and spare tube with you for quick repairs. It’s also helpful to pack a multi-tool that includes a crescent wrench.

Crashes Happen. There’s Help Available When They Do.

Although safety gear can protect you from serious injury, it won’t eliminate the threat of a crash. Remember, if you’re involved in a crash, there’s support available to you. As a dedicated bicycle attorney in Minnesota, I will work with you to seek the compensation you deserve and support you as you heal. Contact my firm today for more information or to schedule your initial consult.

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Pair of cyclists out for a summer bike ride