Some Ebike components, which are often optional accessories on sports bicycles, are standard features on utility bicycles to enhance their usefulness, comfort, safety, and visibility. The chainguards protect clothes from oil on the chain while preventing clothing from being caught between the chain and crankset teeth. Kickstands keep bicycles upright when parked, and bike locks deter theft. Front-mounted baskets, front or rear luggage carriers or racks, and panniers mounted above either or both wheels can be used to carry equipment or cargo.
Toe clips and toe straps and clipless pedals help keep the foot locked in the proper pedal position and enable cyclists to pull and push the pedals. Technical accessories include cyclo computers for measuring speed, distance, heart rate, GPS data, etc. Other accessories include lights, reflectors, mirrors, racks, trailers, bags, water bottles and cages, and bells. Bicycle lights, reflectors, and helmets are required by law in some geographic regions depending on the legal code. It is more common to see bicycles with bottle generators, dynamos, lights, fenders, racks, and bells in Europe. Bicyclists also have specialized form-fitting and high-visibility clothing.
Children’s bicycles may be outfitted with cosmetic enhancements such as bike horns, streamers, and spoke beads. Training wheels are sometimes used when learning to ride.
The most basic maintenance item is keeping the tires correctly inflated; this can make a noticeable difference in how the bike feels to ride. Bicycle tires usually have a marking on the sidewall indicating the pressure appropriate for that tire. Bicycles use much higher pressures than cars: car tires are normally in the range of 30 to 40 pounds per square inch (210 to 280 kPa), whereas bicycle tires are normally in the range of 60 to 100 pounds per square inch (410 to 690 kPa).
Another basic maintenance item is regular lubrication of the chain and pivot points for derailleurs and brake components. Most of the bearings on a modern bike are sealed and grease-filled and require little or no attention; such bearings will usually last for 10,000 miles (16,000 km) or more. The crank bearings require periodic maintenance, which involves removing, cleaning, and repacking with the correct grease.
The chain and the brake blocks are the components that wear out most quickly, so these need to be checked from time to time, typically every 500 miles (800 km) or so. Most local bike shops will do such checks for free. Note that when a chain becomes badly worn it will also wear out the rear cogs/cassette and eventually the chain ring(s), so replacing a chain when only moderately worn will prolong the life of other components.
Very few bicycle components can actually be repaired; replacement of the failing component is the normal practice.
The most common roadside problem is a puncture. After removing the offending nail/tack/thorn/glass shard/etc., there are two approaches: either mend the puncture by the roadside or replace the inner tube and then mend the puncture in the comfort of your home. Some brands of tires are much more puncture-resistant than others, often incorporating one or more layers of Kevlar; the downside of such tires is that they may be heavier and/or more difficult to fit and remove.