Published: February 2nd 2024

We’re all familiar with some of the bigger cycling shops online. They’re forever telling you this item will make you cycle faster, is lighter and (most importantly) will make you look unquestionably cool. I don’t need to tell you that these businesses have spent a great deal of money on marketing and copy editing, honing their message to get you to get your wallet out and buy.

This article is not about any of these items.

This article is about the non-cycling related items that make my life a whole world better.

  • They are not necessarily found in cycling shops.
  • They are relatively inexpensive (relative to cycling!).
  • They are not shiny or fluorescent yellow.
  • They will probably not make you cycle faster.

1. Electric shoe dryer

This is my favourite gadget, let alone my favourite cycling gadget. When you’ve been out for a soggy ride and your shoes are holding as much water as your bidon, you want to ensure you’re able to dry them thoroughly, especially if (lucky you) you’re out riding the next day. Not just from a comfort perspective, but from a health and relationship perspective (honk honk).  

Enter the electric shoe dryer. This handy gadget has been a life (and relationship) saver over the years. It holds four pairs of shoes and takes even the wettest of shoes to bone dry. For particularly wet shoes we have a rubber drip tray that slips under to collect that delightful road water. It’s also perfect for drying gloves, buffs, booties and anything else that’s had a soaking.

Trust me, it’s a complete game changer.

If space is a premium, this smaller one from Snowpeak is a good compromise (and was apparently featured on This Morning):

2. Old toothbrush

I cannot remember the last time I threw away a toothbrush. Sure, some of the bristles on a few are now completely black (there’s no coming back for these ones), but my collection of old toothbrushes are undoubtedly used on a weekly basis for cleaning various parts of my bike (and house for that matter).

So you haven’t sat for an evening in carefully cleaning each link on your chain with an old toothbrush? Call yourself a cyclist…

3. Cable ties

These are a mainstay in the kit I carry with me cycling. Over the years I’ve managed to fix all manner of things whilst out on the road, including shoes, pannier racks, bottle cages, helmet straps and plenty more. Suffice to say, they are incredibly useful and I’d feel naked without them in my saddle bag.

I tend to go for these reusable ones because let’s face it, most of the time it’s a temporary fix and it’s one less piece of plastic in the ocean.

4. Boot bananas

Closely linked with item 1, these Boot Bananas are excellent. Once your cycling shoes are dry, pop these in and your cycling shoes will smell like lavender and other unrecognisable (to me) scents.

What other non-cycling items make your life as a cyclist easier?

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