Bike Maintenance and Gear: 5 Tips and Tools You Need

Biking has long since been a passion of mine.  It has become even more enjoyable with our whole family involved.

RV Life and biking go together perfectly.  Long before we started our RV journey, I fell in love with biking.  About 15 years ago, I invested in a commuter bike from our local bike shop.  All of these years later, that investment is still a good one.  I still enjoy riding this bike as much today as I did when I first bought it. Maintaining your bike and your gear will keep you enjoying the ride.  So, what have I done over the years to maintain my investment?

The Tanglefoot Trail in North Mississippi is a great family friendly trail that anyone can enjoy!

 Bike Maintenance and Gear:  5 Tips and Tools You Need

First, annual and regular bike maintenance is key to enjoying your bike.  I take my bike in each year to make sure that my brakes are working properly, replace a random broken pedal from time to time and other updates.  This summer, my husband took my bike in for them to repair my back fender, back reflector, a tire and the broken pedal activated light.  Sounds like I'm hard on my bike, right?  Not really.  The light and back fender were ongoing issues that I never pressed to have fixed.  Now my bike is like new again.  Plus, all of the work only cost a little over a $100.  It was worth every penny.

Part of my annual bike maintenance this year was to repair this fender and a broken tail reflector.  It looks so much better now!

The bike shop even replaced by pedal activated light that I really enjoy using!

Do I spend this much every year?  No.  Most years, my annual maintenance costs less than $50.  It is cheaper than buying a new bike.  And I love this one.  Its so practical and works great!  If you find a bike you love, take care of it.  Maintain it.  A great bike is not easy to find. Schedule an annual maintenance check just like you do your RV. 

Once you have maintained your bike, what gear do you need?  I feel like you only need a few simple items to keep everything working well and practical.  There are five things that are important considerations.  Finally, I'm sharing some tips and gear for towing to the campground.

Every biker needs a Bike Pump.  Don't forget to purchase one with a good gauge to help you air your tires to the right air inflation.


Bike Pump with a Gauge

You need a bike pump with a gauge for proper air inflation.  If you are confused about how much tire pressure should be in your tires, check out this video from REI to help you get the best pressure for the type of riding that you do.

Small Cargo Bag or Basket

I like  having a small cargo bag on the back of my bike.  It can be removed for a small shoulder bag if I ride to the farmers market or the store.  Plus, the bungee cord allows me to hand a small bag to the back so that I can carry more.  I love how flexible this bag is.  

This cargo bag was inexpensive and super practical.

There is plenty of room in the cargo space for water bottles, a wallet and other items.  It can also easily detach for a shoulder bag while shopping or walking around.

I use the bungee cord on the back to attach an additional bag or two for added storage!

If you don't have a fender board on your bike like I do, you can add one.  My commuter bike came with this feature, and I have enjoyed this over the years.  I used to have a wicker basket back there that I used with my dog and for errands, but it was more difficult to add my bike to our bike rack with transporting it.  This smaller cargo bag is so much easier!

A good bike bell is a safety must in my book.  If you are going to be doing much riding in heavily trafficked areas, don't leave this off of your list.

Bike Bell

A bike bell will let someone know you are behind them and stay safe on the road.  The one linked above gets great reviews.  Avid cyclists tend to lean toward the Spurcycle Original Bell.  Regardless of the bell you choose, I recommend having one on your bike.  My bike has the original bell that came on it.  The sound is weak at best.  I'm planning to upgrade mine this year since I plan to ride a lot more on some upcoming trips.  This will include some urban biking toward the end of the year.

If you like to track your ride and use other analytics while you ride, a phone holder could help.  I don't advise listening to music or talking on the phone.  This can be distracting for both you and other cyclists.  I prefer to stay in the moment and pay attention to my surroundings!

Phone Carrier

Phone carrier's for a bike is another good feature.  I used one of these to track distance and other things while riding.  This carrier will work with a variety of phone sizes and is easy to install.  

Every so often, replace those bike helmet pads.  It is an easy and cheap thing to do!

New Bike Helmet Pads

After a while, that bike helmet you own is going to need new pads.  These are inexpensive and easy to replace.  I did this a couple of years ago.  Give your helmet a check and maybe replace your pads to keep it comfortable and safe.

We loved our dual hitch with our pop up camper, and it worked great for all of those years!

Dual Hitch

We had a dual hitch on our pop up camper that was a great way to bring our bikes.  If you own a pop up camper, this is a great option for traveling with bikes.  Or, if your RV bumper is able to carry the weight of a bike rack, you can add a receiver on the back of your RV bumper.  

But if you are struggling for a better way to take your bikes with a travel trailer, this could be the option you have been searching for!

You can also add the Jack It Bike Rack System to your RV to carry your bikes as well.  This system will work between your town vehicle and RV.  Many RV'ers that don't have the weight capacity on their bumper use this product instead.  Give it a try.  We planning to purchase this system for some upcoming trips we have this year.

If you are looking for places to bike and RV, check out my latest review of the Trailhead Bike and Bed.  You can take your RV and enjoy a rails to trail spot in North Mississippi.    You can also learn more about other campgrounds that we love on our Camping Map.

I like to stick to the basics for a good bike ride.  Sure, there is a lot more gear out there to be had than what I have shared.  But, these are the items that make riding easy, fun and practical for me and my crew.  

Until next time...happy camping!

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