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Equipping yourself for cycling

Types of bicycles and accessories, keeping your bicycle secure and insurance.

Types of bicycles

  • Hybrids – A cross between a road bike and a mountain bike (see the photo on the right). Good starter bicycles for cycling in the city.

  • Mountain Bikes – Originally for off-road cycling, mountain bikes have thick tyres and often have front and rear suspension (which can make on-road riding more difficult). This type is the most prone to cycle theft.

  • Road/Touring Bicycles – Lighter and streamlined for easier and longer rides.

  • Folding Bicycles – A bicycle you can fold up and carry with you on public transport for short journeys on either side.

  • Adapted Bicycles - Several adaptations of bicycles have been to developed to enable people with different physical and sensory impairments to cycle. There are side by sides, hand crank (allowing people in wheelchairs to cycle) and many more.

Cycling accessories

Lights on the front and back of your bicycle are compulsory during the hours of darkness. The following can also be useful:

  • Reflective jacket – a lightweight yellow waist coat that goes over your normal clothing. This and lights will help you be seen by other people on the road.

  • Cycle helmet – streamline lightweight helmet, available in different designs.

  • Panniers – rucksacks can affect your balance when heavy and make your back sweaty. Panniers are bags that go on the back of the bicycle and can overcome these problems.

Cycle parking

There is cycle parking for the public (see city centre cycle parking) and many sites such as supermarkets and offices.

Cycle parking generally comes in the form of Sheffield Stands – a metal hoop you can lock your bicycle to.

Your employer might be able to provide you with cycle parking that thieves can’t get to, perhaps in a basement or cage.

Where not to park

Don’t park your bicycle where nobody would see it being stolen.

Try and secure and bring or take with you the bits of your bicycle that could be removed easily, such as your front wheel, saddle and lights.

Bike locks

You should always lock up your bicycle – even at home. There are chain locks, cable locks and D locks. Hardened steel D-shaped locks are recommended as the minimum standard.

You should look for products that have been tested against attack. See the Sold Secure website for certified locks, or ask your local bike shop for a recommendation. Check the packaging for more information.

The best way to lock your bicycle is to lock up both your front wheel and frame at the same time to a fixed object – usually a cycle stand.


It is a good idea to insure your bicycle and there are many companies who will provide you with cover.

Depending on the value of your bike you may find that you can include it in your Household Insurance. However you must check your policy to find out what level of cover is offered.

If you have a high value bicycle, then specialist cycle insurance is probably the most appropriate route.

  • Modified: Jun 2, 2014 9:53:03 AM