At Electrek, we cover plenty of new electric cars and other EVs as part of an overarching goal of shifting transportation towards a more sustainable future. But it’s important to keep in mind that electric cars aren’t the only answer – sometimes a vehicle much smaller than a car is an even better tool for the job.
But to use that tool to its fullest, it can help to have a few other tools along the way. As someone who gets around almost entirely on two-wheels, here’s my list of the coolest gear I’ve tested on my e-bikes so far this year.
As a point of housekeeping, let me note that some of this gear was purchased and some was given to my by companies hoping I’d say something nice about their product. Throughout the year several things show up on my desk that never make it to these lists because frankly they aren’t good enough. So in summary, if I say I bought something here, I bought it. Anything else was given to me as a media sample and was truly good enough for me to want to honestly write about it.
Woowind electric bike pump
I’ve used a few electric pumps over the years, but this is one I bought a few months ago to have as a spare and I’ve been super happy with it.
It claims to go up to 120 PSI, though I never run my tires that high so I’ve only used it up to around 40 PSI. But I can confirm that the battery lasts a long time, it feels well made with an aluminum case, and it’s even bright red so it doesn’t get lost in a pile of black bike gear.
I’ve never actually run it empty, but I tend to charge it every ten uses or so and it’s never made me feel like it was about to run out of battery.
It came with a bunch of attachments I’ve since lost, but I only ever use the Schraeder valve anyway so I don’t worry too much about the Presta adapter or the sports-ball tips.
At $42, it’s not cheap. But it’s also infinitely nicer than using a manual hand pump. And as a bonus, its battery lasts long enough that you can use it to top up car and motorcycle tires too!
Cycplus mini electric pump
While the pump above is great for having a larger battery, the Cycplus mini electric pump is incredible for being so tiny. I can literally carry it around in my pocket and forget that it’s there. As an emergency pump to carry on your bike, you’ll never notice the few extra grams and it won’t take up much space in your limited on-bike storage.
It gets quite hot while you use it, but it has a silicone condom thing for it that I assume is there to prevent you from burning your fingers. It also probably helps protect the unit in case you drop it.
The main downsides are that there’s no screen to let you know how much pressure you’re at, and the small pump only has enough battery for two tires. But I can just pinch the tire to get a feel for pressure (this is more of an emergency pump anyway) and two tires is exactly how many tires I have on my bike, so it’s perfect!
It’s a bit pricey at $89. But like many things, the best pump is the one you have with you. And a pump this tiny is easy to bring it along.
I’ve tested a lot of helmets over the years, but the XNITO helmet impressed me as one that is quite comfortable while still feeling like it gives me good wraparound protection.
It doesn’t look like a big egg on my head, it doesn’t feel too nerdy and it doesn’t look like I’m qualifying for the olympic cycling team. It just looks like a nice urban helmet, which is what I’m going for.
The quick-release clasp is also great for one handed removal, and it’s hard to go back to a normal two-handed buckle systems when I’m not wearing the XNITO.
The integrated front and rear LED lights are key, and it they’re especially important if you’re on a bike, scooter or skateboard that doesn’t already have integrated lighting. But even on my e-bikes that do have lights, I like knowing I’ve got one more bright red light up high to make me extra visible to distracted car drivers coming up on my six.
The forward-facing light isn’t really bright enough to light up your way like a headlamp, but it’s perfect for being seen. When you roll up to an intersection, drivers will definitely see your bright white spot on top of your forehead.
For $120, I’d have loved to see a MIPS safety lining, but otherwise I’m very happy with this helmet. It looks good, feels good, works well – what’s not to like?!
I know this is going to be a bold statement, but I think I’ve found the best folding lock in the world. The Forever from Foldylock is a veritable BEAST of a lock. I used to think ABUS was the name to beat for folding locks, but having tried both theirs and Foldylock’s, the Foldylock Forever is definitely top of its class.
Its link joints are so tight that there’s no room to get a tool in anywhere. Its pivot where the lock connects back into its housing actually wraps around 360 for the most freedom when locking, unlike other leading brands that only bend up around 90 degrees. It’s also weirdly quiet. I’m used to the many links in a folding lock resulting in lots of rattling. But the Forever has such tight tolerances that it doesn’t move around or rattle. Even the bike holder keeps it secure from moving and making noise.
The only bummer is its a bit short at just 90cm, though the company is apparently going to be releasing a longer version soon, which I’ll probably want to upgrade to.
For just over $100, it’s not even that expensive compared to most high-security bike locks. And ever since I had a $3,000 e-bike stolen, I’ve rethought just how much it’s worth it to buy high quality locks.
Folding bike travel bag
I recently bought a CamGo travel bag for a 16″ folding bike that I wanted to bring with me on an international flight. I didn’t want to pay extra for “sports equipment” or have an oversize bag fee, so I was looking for a folding bike bag that didn’t look very bike-ish. This one was perfect.
And at $26, you can’t beat the price.
The bag has absolutely zero protection built into it, unlike other big bike travel bags I’ve tested, and so just be sure to toss a bunch of styrofoam or other protection around the bike. I saved a few styrofoam sheets from the last e-bike box I opened. Even some sheets of cardboard from some amazon boxes will at least spread out the impact from any big bumps along the way.
It’s not a fancy bag, but for a cheap price it worked great!
JackRabbit travel bag
This travel bag is very specific since it will only fit the JackRabbit micro e-bike, but their Air Land Sea travel bag is a pretty awesome addition to their bike.
I used it on a trip that covered around 5 or 6 cities by plane, and it meant I always had a small yet capable little e-bike (technically scooter) to ride around.
It has some minimal protective plates built in, and the fact that the bag is specifically designed for that bike means they can put the protection in only the places where it’s needed. That makes the bag super small and lightweight, yet effective.
I was even able to put a week’s worth of laundry in the bag at the end of the trip, which helped serve as even more padding around the bike.
Dynaplug tubeless repair tool
Last year I was surprised to see this Dynaplug tool show up in my mailbox. It’s a nifty little repair kit for tubeless tires.
It’s about the size of a space pen, which itself is around half the size of a typical ballpoint pen. Basically, it’s tiny.
The only problem is that I’m not fancy enough to own any tubeless bikes. So I gave it to a lycra friend of mine and forgot all about it. Fast forward nearly a year or so and I received this text message from him recently:
Hey, so a while back you gave me a tire plug in a small stainless steel pen shaped tube. On my way home this evening I’m barreling down the trail, pssssssss, tire sealant goes everywhere…I have one hand stopping the air from coming out of the tire, the other hand reaches to the bottom of my saddle bag, as if placed by an angel from heaven your tire plug contraption falls out as I am fumbling around to see what’s in the bag. I untwist the sucker with my mouth, stab the it into the hole in the tire, pull it out aaand I hear the trees swaying into the wind, the train rattle by and my tire sealed.
I guess it works pretty well.
CyMoto GPS locator
Airtags are nice for a bit of peace of mind if your bike gets stolen, but they have their limitations. For true pinpoint accuracy of location regardless of whether or not there are iPhone users nearby, you want a real GPS location device. And that’s exactly what the Cycloop is.
It’s a bit bulky, but it’s designed to be tamper-resistant as it attaches onto your bike’s frame to give you a GPS tracker that works directly from your phone.
The downside is you have to pay for the service ($49 per year on top of the $99 device price), but if you’ve got a several thousand dollar e-bike then that might not sound too bad.
A neat little added bonus is that it has LED lighting built into the unit to give you a little more visibility when riding at night.
More to come!
If there’s one thing I love more than riding e-bikes, it’s testing gear to go along with them.
Actually, that’s not true. I don’t know why I said that. The riding is the best part.
But gear is fun too. And I’m exciting to keep exploring to find the next batch of cool bits and pieces that I’ll be carrying with me in the future.
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