Quick and Easy Guide to Urban Bike Accessories

One of the great things about urban bikes is the ability to add and personalize accessories to match your aesthetic. If you have already purchased a bike, most accessories can still be fitted to make your urban ride more functional and stylish.

If you are still deciding which bike to purchase, consider which accessories are a priority for you because they may impact which type of urban bike is your best fit. Also, think about how many accessories you want on your bike immediately and which you are willing to add later. This could have an impact on your overall bike cost: some bikes may come with accessories, and some can be packaged into your purchase price.

Here is a quick and easy guide to the key urban bike accessories you’ll want to consider, starting with our favorite: panniers.


This incredibly versatile addition to your bike is, we think, a must. A pannier sits securely on the back of the bike, attached to a bike rack. Panniers range from leather or waterproof bags to wire or wicker baskets. They have generous storage capacity – more than a handlebar basket – and can carry everything from a loaf of bread from the farmers' market to your briefcase and a spare set of clothes for work. Panniers are easy to attach and remove, allowing them to be carried through a market or store and then secured to the bike for the ride back home. (Check out our Sunnyside Wicker Pannier to see what we mean.)

Wicker Pannier on Bike Rack


Love the idea of a pannier as much as we do? Then, you'll need a rack for the back of your bike. Racks can help you carry things without having to wear a backpack or balance bags precariously. They will make it easier to commute or use your bike as transportation to and from the local shop or farmers' market. Racks also give you more options. In addition to panniers, they can be used to attach a variety of bags and baskets. Some things can also be directly strapped to the rack.  

Handlebar Baskets

Handlebar baskets are a popular addition to urban bikes, adding storage and personality. Baskets are usually wicker or wire and come in a range of colors. Some bikes will come with them already attached. If not, check the size of your handlebars and look for a basket with attachments that will fit your handlebars.

Bells and Horns

On shared pathways, bells and horns help warn other cyclists and pedestrians of your approach. Ringing your bell before passing will help you avoid an unintentional collision. It’s also good bike etiquette. What you choose may depend on your new bike's handlebars and brake style. You want to choose a bell or horn that is easily accessible without getting in the way of braking or shifting.

Don’t forget your personal style. Will you choose a small bell that discreetly circles your handlebar or a circular bell that sits on top of your handlebar in a visible and vintage style? You may even prefer a horn – perhaps a vintage metal one with a rubber squeezer.


Lights help you see and be seen. They alert drivers to your presence. We recommend lights for the front and back of your bike (white for the front, red for the back). You will also want to check any rules where you plan to ride – many places require bike lights during certain times of the day.

Rear Bike Light on Seat Post

 Basic lights are small and easy to purchase from your local bike store if they are not already fitted at the time of purchase. They can be as simple as a small silicone case that quickly wraps around your handlebars or as advanced as a permanently attached high-powered LED light with a built-in dashcam. The latter might be worth considering if you plan to use your commuter daily in peak traffic. If you prefer something that adds style to your cool new ride day or night, consider a set of retro lights to match your cruiser’s vintage aesthetic.

Drink holders

If you are riding on hot days or commuting a reasonable distance, you will want to stay hydrated. Bottle cages are attached out of your way to the bike frame, usually to the downtube behind the front wheel. These come in every color you can think of, so they can blend with your frame or make a personal statement of style.

Another choice is a cup holder. These mount to the handlebars and are a great way to hold a water bottle or your morning coffee. Cup holders have a larger range of functionality and style variety than bottle cages. For example, you can pick a simple ring in a range of colors, something modern that also holds your cell phone or a vintage-style cup holder in leather.

Handlebar Grips

Ergonomic handlebar grips can reduce hand fatigue during long rides and change the look of the bike. The grips go on the ends of straight handlebars and create extra padding for your hands. Some even have a slightly fatter end to take some pressure off your wrists. This is especially great for longer rides or slightly rough surfaces. You don't want sore hands and wrists when you arrive at the office and have to type!

You can opt for grips with smooth or contoured surfaces. Like other accessories, they come in a range of colors and styles. You can choose handlebar grips that match the handlebars or colors on your bike, stand out in a different color to your bike, or have a leather look.


Not all bikes come with a kickstand, so where you will keep your bike is an important consideration. Will you need to place the bike somewhere other than on a bike rack or against a wall? If so, you will want to look for a bike that comes with a kickstand or can have one added by the bike store.

Cruiser Bike with Fender and Kickstand


Fenders can be an important part of your bike’s aesthetic. They also help keep your clothes dry and clean from road spray. Fenders come in different thicknesses and lengths. The thickness will be determined by your wheel size, which depends on the type of bike you purchase. Remember, cruisers have wider wheels than commuters. If your bike doesn’t come with fenders (some come color-matched to your bike), it will likely still have fender mounts, so you can add them later.

Have your new bike and ready to purchase your incredibly functional pannier?

Clink the link below to check out our Sunnyside Wicker Pannier!

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