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Get in gear: A cycling enthusiast's guide to buying a bike helmet and lights

Looking to get into cycling? Here are some tips for getting all the right gear to get on the road.

Looking to get into cycling? If you've got the bike, you will also need a few necessities. Let's discuss choosing a helmet and lights.

Caveat emptor: I am in no way an authority on equipment, bicycles or training; I am an enthusiast. It's important to remember everyone’s needs are different and that there are very few hard rules to a hobby or passion.

Helmet 

I am not here to argue the necessity or the legality of wearing a helmet (please see ICBC’s website for the government’s official stance). 

However, as someone whose cycling circle has seen plenty of crashes, I entreat you all to wear one. Please make sure that the helmet you choose has a certification sticker from CSA, EN, ASTM, CPSC or Snell.  And as with a bike, the fit is crucial. 

Each helmet is shaped differently internally, and since people’s heads come in different shapes and sizes, every helmet won’t work. I can tell you from personal experience that some brands just don’t work on my head. 

Before you buy a helmet, try it on. Make sure that it is snug and doesn’t wobble or move forward/back or side to side. Beyond these key fit considerations, buy whatever helmet you find aesthetically appealing or convenient. 

Lights

Some might say I’m being overly cautious, but I’m a big proponent of running a rear light on the bike whenever I’m riding, regardless of the time of day. 

Rear lights are affordable, easy to “install” (often they just wrap around the seat post with elastics), and their batteries last for very long times. They certainly increase the visibility of a cyclist – even during the day.  If you are riding in the evening or when it is raining, I would even go as far as to say that these lights are imperative.

Brian Lim likes to ride bikes (sometimes with his camera). He's a complete and consummate amateur - both in cycling and in photography, and says he doesn't take himself seriously - and neither should you. Lim wants to share his love of cycling, so please reach out if you want to talk! You'll find him on Instagram at @wheelsandwhisky.

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