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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    need advice on the best car rack, air pump, lock, helmets, etc.

    First let me say I'm so impressed with the help and advice and frankly the good cheer I feel on this board in just a week or two!

    While we won't be riding 'til April or May, we do have some accessories we need to equip our new bikes when the time finally comes.

    We have a 2009 Honda Civic. We'll need a car rack that is sturdy,dependable and not complicated to put on and take off each time. What's your experience and what do you recommend?

    What kind of air pump that is left in the garage. Electric or otherwise?

    And a good basic lock and helmets.

    What else should we be thinking about?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Oh! That British Bloke .. ThatBritBloke's Avatar
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    Is that a US Civic?

    Good car racks; Thule / Saris
    Workshop pumps; Blackburn, Joe Blow
    Good lock; most reputable brands use a grading system to indicate the degree of security
    Helmets; any on sale in the western world will meet the best standards

    But really, find a bike shop where you like the stuff and like the people and ask them ...
    Alan

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  3. #3
    Senior Member jdon's Avatar
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    A lot depends on whether your car has a trailer hitch, what type of bikes you are moving and your physical limitations. If your bikes are carbon fiber, you don't want a bike carrier that clamps down on the frame. Roof top carriers normally don't and most lower end hitch mount carriers do. My favorite for road bikes is hitch mounted Thule that clamps the wheels, not the frame. http://www.thule.com/en/CA/Products/...17XT%20T2.aspx A class 1/2 hitch receptacle is not that expensive to install. If you can manage lifting your bikes onto a rooftop carrier, then that may be a good option for you. I don't recommend rooftop for heavy bikes and don't like the thought of driving my bikes into a garage door opening by accident.

    Realistically, most floor pumps are adequate but if you want high quality, you will be looking at spending 50-120 dollars. the two mentioned above are good. Specialized has decent pumps but in my opinion, Lezyne http://www.lezyne.com/products/floor-pumps is the current gold standard. Get one with an accurate guage, high pressure capability and dual heads for schraeder and presta valves.

    Locks- sorry, I don't use them other than a Kyrptonite cable lock when stored in my garage.

    Helmets- Like your bike, get one that fits or can be fit to your head shape. Most safety analysts don't like to see points on the helmet although that is the current trend for aerodynamics and marketing. Bell/Gyro, Specialized and numerous others are good. I like the more expensive helmets with a carbon fiber weave. They are designed for multiple impacts as opposed to a single hit. This is an area I don't mind parting with a couple hundred dollars every five years. Yes, they do become brittle with age and yes, discard them after an accident.

  4. #4
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Welcome! You came to the right place, we love to tell people what to buy!

    Here is an option for a bike carrier, a Yakima King Joe. I use one on my Prius, it's very secure on the car and is easy on the paint, both the car and the bike. http://www.rei.com/product/738784

    I use a Specialized floor pump, but there are many good ones from Topeak and Blackburn and Lezyne. Don't buy cheap (like Walmart), they just don't last. Here is a good one at a good price http://www.rei.com/product/657109

    A local bike shop or REI will have all you need, and they are worth supporting with your business.

    Have fun shopping!!
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  5. #5
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Here's a site you might want to visit. There are tons of comsumer reviews. While the site reviews mostly bikes, you'll find a fair number of reviews for all the items you've listed. http://www.roadbikereview.com/

    Oh, yeah, and welcome aboard.
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  6. #6
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colpatrick View Post
    ......................................
    What kind of air pump that is left in the garage. Electric or otherwise?

    And a good basic lock and helmets.

    What else should we be thinking about?

    Thanks in advance.
    For the floor pump and lock, I recommend Planetbike.
    Their products perform well, come with a lifetime
    warranty and 25% of their profits go to cycling advocacy.

    http://planetbike.com/page/

  7. #7
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    Floor pump: Topeak Joe Blow

  8. #8
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Many people recommend the high priced car racks and for good reason. They are excellent products with many nice features. But I'll just throw in that I bought a cheap (under $100) Bell hitch mounted carrier from K-Mart several years ago which has reliably carried many bicycles, up to four at a time, to many destinations with no problems.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I wouldn't spend money on an electric air pump. Riders need to know how to pump up their tires just in case you get a puncture (flat) on the road. That way you will have some experience, albeit in the garage.

  10. #10
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    Lock: Kryptonite Fuhgettaaboudit mini

  11. #11
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    I wouldn't spend money on an electric air pump. Riders need to know how to pump up their tires just in case you get a puncture (flat) on the road. That way you will have some experience, albeit in the garage.

    Moving your arm back and forth ain't rocket science.
    Most men learn that skill around the time they hit puberty.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Helmet advice: helmets-bhsi.org

    Car rack:
    1. Install 2" hitch receiver.
    2. Choose a rack that fits a 2" receiver and supports the bikes by their *wheels*

    Pump: Lezyne.

  13. #13
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    About that pump--Try before you buy.

    I must have bought 3 or 4 floor pumps on reputation or price and that was when I was Mountain biking. They worked ok but it was when I went road that I found they were not good enough. Went to the LBS and they suggested the one they use in the shop---"And try it out- there's a few wheels over there need pumping up"- Tried it and the pump worked so that was the one I bought.

    Helmets--Try as many as you can within your price range. Some look good but are not comfortable- Some are neither- but as soon as you find one that is comfortable and looks good for you- get it. If a helmet doesn't fit or doesn't suit you- you won't wear it.

    But other things to get for a "New" bike. Frame pump- Puncture repair kit- tyre levers-a spare tube- a Multitool and a bag to put it on the bike under the saddle. Punctures do not occur in the garage unless you are very lucky.

    And on the frame pump--Topeak Morph series may be pricy but they work.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  14. #14
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    A note on racks: trunk racks are more convenient for day trips. If you are going on a long trip, you will want a roof rack so that it doesn't impede your access to the trunk. Also, roof racks have to potential to destroy your bikes if you have a senior moment driving into your garage. When the bikes go up, the garage door opener goes in the glove compartment.

    Our $40 Allen rack is great for the trunk of our echo, and we have a Yakima for the roof (from craigslist).
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  15. #15
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    I think these guys have the best value in bicycle racks: http://www.hollywoodracks.com/
    Best helmet on the planet earth: Lazer Genesis
    Best pump: http://www.topeak.com/products/Pumps/JoeBlowAce

  16. #16
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    For the rack, it really depends on budget. Roof rack would be ideal, IMHO, but good ones are expensive. I've got the Yakima King Joe 2 bike rack mentioned above and it works great ($10 thrift store find). I also have a Yakima King Pin 4 bike receiver-mounted rack and it is really solid and stable ($50 CL find). Finally, I have a pair of off-brand roof mounts that attach to the factory roof rack on our Astro ($35 each but you'd need a rack to mount them to). I'd keep an eye on CL to see if something pops up before spending a bunch of money.

    I have a 12V pump in the garage as well as pumps mounted on all my bikes. The 12V works great especially when I'm topping off a dozen tires. I got enough practice pumping tires by hand to last me a while before I swapped the tires on our road bikes for Gatorskins.

    Helmets are helmets. You can spend a lot or a little. The more expensive are typically lighter and have better ventilation (and may look cooler) but they all do the job you're buying them for.

    We only carry light-weight cable locks ($10 at Walmart) as we are never far enough from our bikes to need more.

  17. #17
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oilman_15106 View Post
    I think these guys have the best value in bicycle racks: http://www.hollywoodracks.com/
    Best helmet on the planet earth: Lazer Genesis
    Best pump: http://www.topeak.com/products/Pumps/JoeBlowAce
    I'm helmet shopping right now. What about the Lazer Genesis makes it so special?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  18. #18
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colpatrick View Post
    We'll need a car rack that is sturdy,dependable and not complicated to put on and take off each time. What's your experience and what do you recommend?
    Saris Bones. I have one and it's sturdy, secure, and easy/quick to put on the car and take off.


    What kind of air pump that is left in the garage. Electric or otherwise?
    Topeak Joe Blow Sport. You'll also need a pump to carry on your bike. Topeak makes several good models.


    And a good basic lock
    How long will your bikes be out of your view? Good neighborhood? Bad neighborhood? What will you be locking the bike to? Anything from a heavy duty Kryptonite to a simple cable lock. Remember, you'll be carrying the lock on your bike.


    and helmets
    Giro or Bell. You pick the style and colors you like.


    What else should we be thinking about?
    Bottle cages so you can carry water.
    Seat bag to carry a spare tube, tire levers, multitool, patch kit, etc.

    All of these items are available at your local bike shop.
    Last edited by RonH; 01-11-11 at 01:16 PM.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  19. #19
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I'm helmet shopping right now. What about the Lazer Genesis makes it so special?
    I've had a Lazer O2 helmet since May 2009. Similar to the Genesis. I like the RollSys helmet securing system. It's hard to describe. Maybe you'll get the gist of it by reading this.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

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  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    colpatrick, As far as the house pump goes, buy quality. I have an old Schwinn from when they branded good items and it's worked wonderfully for nearly twenty years. Any of the above suggestions are good with my nod to the Topeak. You'll also need a frame pump, Blackburn is good and Topeak is better.

    Helmets really need a hands on fit, commonly available are Bell and Gyro.

    I prefer hitch racks, then roof racks and then the strap ons. I'm fairly sure U-Haul, or a locally owned trailering store can install a small reciever on your Honda. Thule builds quality racks for roof and hitch, a Softride like I have is possibly too heavy for your car, but outstanding even with nearly 100 lb. of kid's bikes. My roof rack is from Performance and worked great. As far as the strap ons, I've three, but thanks to my daughter I can't find one, pretty sure it's from Performance and above average quality. The only one that fits my daily driver Mustang is a cheapie Bell rack, which I consider Emergency Use Only and an Outback that fits my '89 Mustang, but I haven't actually used it as that would be an Emergency Emergency Use Only situation. The last two were from craigslist.

    I've quite a collection of seat bags and really there's not one on the market that can't carry the tools and supplies you likely will need out on the road. Count on one spare tube per bike a small pair of needle nose pliers or tweezers, a patch kit, a cotton ball to find anything stuck in the tire, a set of tire tools, mini multi tool and perhaps a CO2 inflation system.

    I'm sure I missed something!

    Brad
    Last edited by bradtx; 01-11-11 at 02:07 PM. Reason: forgot an item

  21. #21
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    I use this rack on my 2009 Honda Civic and works great, of course you'll need to have hitch. I like the Joe Blow shop pump. Helmets need to fit and look nice on your head so you'll wear it, they all provide the same function.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Bare Feet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    . . the tools and supplies you likely will need out on the road. Count on one spare tube per bike a small pair of needle nose pliers or tweezers, a patch kit, a cotton ball to find anything stuck in the tire, a set of tire tools, mini multi tool and perhaps a CO2 inflation system.

    I'm sure I missed something!

    Brad
    I haven't heard of the cotton ball or the tweezers, so I'll be adding those to my bag. Thanks!
    2011 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 - WSD
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  23. #23
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
    As far as the house pump goes, buy quality.
    +1
    I am still using the Zefal Husky floor pump I bought in 1990. Not sure if they still make it. I did have to replace the hose and got one with a Topeak Smart Head on it. I would make sure to get one with a steel pump body.
    Last edited by BluesDawg; 01-12-11 at 12:25 PM.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  24. #24
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bare Feet View Post
    I haven't heard of the cotton ball or the tweezers, so I'll be adding those to my bag. Thanks!
    Easier to just rub your hand inside the tyre- When things take on a red Hue--You have found the glass The tweezers I have found superfluous though- By turning the tyre inside out you can push the Thorn/ glass/ Flint back through the tyre and it is easy enough to pull out.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  25. #25
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bare Feet View Post
    I haven't heard of the cotton ball or the tweezers, so I'll be adding those to my bag. Thanks!
    In my BikeEd classes I suggest using a small rag. It will snag on a nail, glass shard, etc. Safer and less messy than a bloody finger.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

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