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Bike safety equipment

Tools for living    Getting around    Bike there!    Bike safety    Bike safety equipment

A good ride is a safe ride. Invest in gear that will protect you from injury and is necessary for the conditions.

Bicyclist with helmet and light

Follow these guidelines to protect yourself and your equipment.

Find the right fit

  • Ride a bike correctly sized to your height.
  • People often mistakenly think they should be able to firmly plant their feet on the ground while sitting on the seat. That's not right.
  • With the seat set to the appropriate height, you should be able to extend your leg until it is almost completely straight while sitting on the seat and pedaling.
  • Any local bike shop can help you find the right fit.

Learn more about finding the right bike size

Make sure your bike is road ready

  • Press on your tires to make sure the air pressure is good. 
  • Check the brakes. When squeezing your hand brakes, rock the bike on the front tire and then the back. If your brakes are working correctly, the tires shouldn't move.
  • Look at the bike's chain to make sure it is lubricated and not filled with dirt.

Learn more about getting your bike road ready

Woman with bike helmet

Protect your head

  • Wear a hard-shell helmet.
  • Not only are helmets smart, they're required for riders under age 16.
  • Make sure the helmet fits correctly. It should sit snug on your head, but not so tight that it is uncomfortable. It needs to cover your forehead and the back of your head. 
  • Use the two-finger rule. The buckle should be centered under your chin and tight enough that you can only fit a finger or two in between it and your chin.

Learn more about correctly fitting a bike helmet

bike light on handlebarsSee and be seen

  • Bike lights, reflectors and reflective tape make it easier for others to see you.
  • Front and rear bike lights are required at dawn, dusk or night.
  • Use white lights in front and red lights in the rear. 
  • High-quality halogen lights are beneficial when riding a long distance or on roads where the lighting is poor. 
  • Increase the chance of drivers seeing you by putting reflective tape or bands on the front and back of your jacket, your helmet, wheel spokes and even your pant legs.
  • Side reflectors and a flashing light on your jacket or pack also increase visibility.
  • A rear-view mirror lets you monitor what is happening behind you without turning your head. You can get rear-view mirrors that attach to your bicycle, helmet or glasses.

Learn more about staying safe on the road

Gear up for the conditions

  • Sunglasses cut down on the road glare as well as keep dirt and dust out of your eyes.
  • Gloves keep your hands warm but they can also give you a better grip on the handlebars.
  • Choose bright clothing that has reflective bands or piping.
  • Get gear made for riding in the rain.

Learn more about how to stay dry in the rain

Consider other safety and convenience items

  • A bell on a bike is always good to be able to alert others.
  • Racks and baskets provide room to carry groceries and other necessities.
  • A bike bag can keep your things safe, dry and clean.

Need assistance?

Regional Travel Options program
503-797-1757 | 503-797-1930 fax

Related Internet links

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503-797-1804 TDD
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