Updated: Jul 13, 2020
We've tried and owned many bike accessories over the years, from Garmin mounts, GPS devices, cadence monitors, multitools, speed sensors, compression socks, CO2 cartridges, dash cam style cameras and many more. Guiding clients means we have to be prepared and that usually means taking all of the essentials on every ride. Over the years there's a couple of perhaps less well known things we've come to appreciate and love to recommend.
1) Quadlock Phone mount
Phones have got bigger, smarter and more slippery, to the point that we're now worried about them flying out of a jersey pocket if we hit a bump or get on the drops and get low to attack a descent. The solution to that problem is the Quadlock. It can be mounted on the stem or bars so you can see the screen, make a handsfree call or grab it to take a quick picture.
2) Tyre boot You can use a square piece of cut inner-tube, a laminated credit card sized piece of card or buy one from Park Tools. You'll hopefully never need to use it but if you cut a tyre it may be a life saver to get you home, when sealant and the spare tube alone isn't enough. They weigh nothing, fit in your saddle bag and there's really no good reason not to carry one.
3) Chain tool and spare pin / quick-link Most of us carry a multi-tool but many of them don't have a chain tool or at least a usable one. Admittedly you're more likely to snap a chain gravel riding or mountain biking, but nevertheless, if you're carrying a tool anyway, you may as well get a decent one with a chain tool and carry a quick-link or pin in your saddle bag.
4) Tyre patches Over the years, we've got used to carrying two spare tubes and more recently riding tubeless. It's tempting not to bother with patches these days, as tyres also seem so much more resilient than they used to be., but if you want to cover all your bases they again cost and weigh very little and there's always space in your bag for them.
5) Cycling pump holder
Lezyne supply one with their pumps and whilst they can spoil the clean lines of your bike and get covered in sticky liquid from your bidon, it's nice to ride without a pump in your rear pocket. It also means you can fit a longer pump on the bike and not have it swaying around in your jersey or falling out.
6) High Power Rear Light Surprisingly useful in winter when the sun is low in the sky, useful in summer when riding into the sun, useful in tunnels and more obviously useful at night. It's surprising how many riders don't bother or only bother with low powered cheap options. They're much less expensive than front lights and there's really no reason not to get a a decent one and keep it on the bike,
7) Cable ties
Endlessly useful for any number of improvisations and fixes. See GCN for bodges vs hacks!
8) Universal Mech hanger You can get them with an integrated beer bottle opener that also fits on your key ring, so why not?
9) Pocket tissue packs
Hopefully not required before you make it to the cafe.
10) Ass saver
If you ride where it regularly rains you should fit mudguards, but an Ass saver can come in as a very handy accessory or something to consider packing if you're travelling with your best bike and the weather turns. They'll take up no weight or space in your luggage either.
These are not usually required in Spain, unless you're visiting the mountains of north.