Riding gear Riding gear

An overview of riding gear to help keep you safe and making riding more comfortable. Includes advice on helmets, clothing, lights, what to carry and more.


When deciding on what helmet to wear or purchase, as long as it is a bike helmet, then you can pick any which suit your personal preference.

  • Some brands fit better with different shaped heads so it's worth trying a few to see what suits your head shape best, as a comfy helmet is more appealing to wear.
  • As helmets increase in price, they typically will become lighter with more ventilation, but the main thing is to pick one in a colour and style that you like.

Find out how to correctly fit a bike helmet and check its condition.


Example of a D Bolt lock
Image: D-Bolt lock.

To help prevent bike theft, it's important to lock your bike when not in use. The most secure locks are solid D-bolts or heavy chains with a protective wrap, but any lock is better than no lock.

Learn how to lock your bike securely and other tips.


Use white front and red rear lights on your bike when cycling before dawn and after dusk. Legally, lights must be visible from a 200m distance.

Headlights should be attached to handlebars and pointing down.

Your lights can be a hazard if used incorrectly. You must not use cycle lighting equipment in such a way that it dazzles, confuses, or distracts so as to endanger the safety of other road users. Angling your front lights down toward the road helps prevent this.​

Type of clothing

If you have any items of loose clothing such as trousers or a skirt, then keep them tucked in or fastened away so they don't get caught in moving parts such as the chain.

Bike Bright

  • Wearing light or bright colours can improve your visibility to other people on the road.
  • Reflective material can also help in dark conditions.


Be prepared with a waterproof jacket or cycling poncho. It has been known to rain unexpectedly in Auckland.


It can be useful to carry some basic tools with you when cycling.Bike tools such as a pump, tyre lever and inner tube.
Image: (from left to right) Bike pump, Inner tube, multi-fuction tool and tyre lever.

  • a bike pump,
  • tyre levers,
  • a puncture repair kit,
  • a spare tube of the correct size,
  • and a multi tool are recommended.

It's also a good idea to get some chain lube and to learn some simple bike maintenance tips and tricks.

Lots of bike stores offer free bike maintenance classes, or check when our free Adult Bike Skills courses are offered, particularly our bike maintenance course which covers how to fix a puncture.

Carry on

There's no single best way to carry stuff on your bike. The right set-up for you will depend on how much you need to carry and for how far, what you plan to do with it at your destination, and your personal sense of what works best for you.

Reflective backpack


Grab a backpack cover to make the backpack more reflective.

Pros: Flexible, mobile.

Cons: Can get sweaty, uncomfortable.



Panniers sit on either side of your bike, usually over the back wheel.

Pros: Comfortable, large capacity.

Cons: Hard to carry by hand.

Handlebar basket

Handlebar basket

Baskets are mounted on the handlebars, and come in all styles.

Pros: Handy, cute.

Cons: Hard to steer if over-loaded.

Saddle/Seat bag

Saddle/Seat bag

Saddle bags are attached under the seat, they range from tiny to small.

Pros: Doesn't effect handling.

Cons: Small and fiddly to access.