Urban Cycling

6 Signs You’re Obsessed with Cycling Gadgets

A cyclist surrounded by cycling gadgets

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Runners think their activity is harmonious – striding out down the sidewalk and into the park – arms pumping, tasty beats coursing through their eardrums. But the truth is that we cyclists know the true feeling of harmony – bike and rider together as one.

That said, the days of simple bike setups and plain-clothes bike riding are long, long gone. Cycling gadgets have gone well and truly mainstream. Bike gadgets have weeded into bicycle components, helmets, and even bicycle apparel.

Are you a gadget evangelist? Yeah, you’ll recognize these six signs on our list. But the funny thing is, even if you’re a gadget dodger, you might find yourself nodding along with our last point.

A bluetooth icon on a smartphone

1. Your Smartphone’s Bluetooth Device List Is as Long as Your Arm

Most cycling gadgets these days are ‘smart’ – connecting with the smartphone in your pocket. The method these gadgets use to connect to a phone is Bluetooth. That funny little triangular logo that is now so, so familiar to all of us – not just cyclists with fancy widgets hiding in their backpacks.

If you find yourself in absolute dire straits, you may find that your favorite cycling gadget appears not once but twice in your phone’s Bluetooth list. In our experience, that’s a sign that you’ve really gone deep on cycling gadgets. 

Cyclist tracking ride gadget

2. You’d Never Consider Not Recording a Bike Ride

In the past, riding a bike was a simple activity that didn’t require any fancy devices. However, nowadays, the proliferation of smart devices has made us addicted to data, even if, arguably, we don’t need it. And so for the gadget-obsessed cyclist, they’d never, ever consider not recording one of their bike rides.

That means you’ll find the gadget-obsessed cyclist sliding their smartphone out of their pocket and tapping start before a pedal is turned. Or if the cyclist runs a GPS bike computer, you’ll spot them faffing with buttons or swiping and jabbing at the device’s screen before the off.

But the question does need to be asked. Do we really need all this data? Probably not – though tracking the mileage you put on certain pieces of kit can be useful to manage wear and tear. Is it necessary? Not really, but for those who manually track this stuff, it could be useful. Ultimately, in our book, there’s a point of diminishing returns – the right amount of data adds something to a ride. Too much, and the data could take away the joy from the simple act that is cycling.

smart devices on charge

3. Near a Plug Sits a Tangled Web of Charging Cables

With all these cycling gadgets in your armory, you’re most definitely going to need some charging cables to power these things. Luckily these days, most gadgets are moving to a standard USB-C charging cable, meaning all manner of gadgets can be juiced up from just one lead, and just one plug.

That said, for the long-time bike rider, they’ll probably still own a few bits that are charged via Micro USB and, hell, something even charged by Mini USB! These things still exist!

The enemy of the gadget-obsessed cyclist? The proprietary charging cable – Du Du Duuuuuu. Why did these little blighters ever come into existence with their funky cable ends? It is frustrating to head for a bike ride only to find your favorite device is low or out of battery.

cyclist head lamp

4. Has it Got a Light on it? Great, I’ll Have One

Arguably, there’s a direct correlation between how gadget-obsessed cyclists are and how long they’ve been riding a bike. More miles in the legs; more gadgets in the garage. As such, most long-time riders will fit in a bike ride any way they can, even if that means riding at night. 

Riding a bike at night can be a different kettle of fish to riding during the day, but ultimately, for techy riders, this opens the window to a world of buying opportunities. Lights, lights, and more lights, please. 

After they’ve bought a good set of lights and, inevitably, a backup pair, it’s all about embellishing your bike (and you) for riding at night. We’ve seen lights on bags, lights on helmets, and lights on cycling shoe covers. If something has a light on it, the gadget-obsessed rider has probably bought it!

With the rise of electric bikes, standalone bike lights may well become redundant in the future, but for now, extra visibility is something any gadget-loving cyclist won’t mind paying for.

Cycling website Discerning Cyclist

5. Your Favorite Cycling Website is Bookmarked

“So you visit said website with the sole intention of learning about the latest bike product to hit the market?” “Yeah, that’s right – is that okay with you?”

Oh, yes, every cyclist who likes a gadget spends a good portion of their daily waking hours perusing websites to unearth the latest new item that everyone is talking about. From the latest bike release from one of the biggest cycling brands on planet earth to a niche product from a boutique manufacturer, gadget-loving cyclists – and we put ourselves in this camp – love to digest this kind of thing.

Just promise us one thing, would-be gadget-loving cyclist. That website is discerningcyclist.com, though, yes?

Cyclists speaking

6. Weight, Waterproof Rating, Battery Life – This Is the Language of the Gadget-Obsessed Cyclist

Cyclists’ love of all things techy extends to their bikes, components, and even the clothes they wear to ride said bike.

Now, here’s the thing. Not all cycling gadgets are electronic. Not all gadgets need an onboard battery. Gizmos in cycling extend way, way beyond electronics and into many, many other realms of cycling-related products.

These products need attributes, ratings, or specifications, and these words have passed into the language of obsessive cyclists up and down the land.

It’s no surprise then that online bike and accessory retailers are spitting out web pages as long as your arm with sections like “technical information,” “features,” and “specification.”

“Is that jacket rated 10K waterproof?” “What’s the carbon weave on your road bike?” These are two questions to ask your cycling-obsessed buddy the next time you see them!

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