A bike that fits you well and is in good shape makes all the difference. Get the right gear for the job and you’ll be grinning your way around town.

You don’t need an expensive state-of-the-art bike, but your bike will need to be safe, comfortable and the right size for you.

Carefully consider how you want to use your bike. Is it primarily for transport or will you want to use it for mountain biking, trail riding or road biking?

It’s best to try before you buy to get the feel for a few different types of bike and see what suits you.  You can borrow one from a friend, hire a bike(external link) or go into your local bike shop(external link) for a chat, test ride their bikes and see what accessories are available.

If you have a bike you haven’t used for a while, consider taking it to your local bike shop(external link) to check that it’s safe and roadworthy.  

You’ll also want to consider some other gear, from the essentials down to some practical optional items:

  • Helmet, which is a legal requirement in NZ.
  • White front and red rear lights, visible from 200 metres away.
  • A D-lock or a heavy-duty chain lock. Always lock your bike through the frame, not just a wheel, to a solid object. See Consumer NZ(external link) for a free guide to independently tested bike locks.
  • Rainproof jacket.
  • Hi-vis or brightly coloured clothing.
  • Puncture repair kit, a spare inner tube, tyre levers and compact pump.
  • A basket or panniers.
  • Mudguards for biking in any weather.

Getting started - ABCs

Basic bike safety

Correctly fitting your helmet

Dealing with punctures

If you ride regularly, at some point you may get a puncture. The most important thing is to have a plan for what you will do when that happens.

You might be able to hop on a bus to complete your journey, or you might choose to learn how to fix a puncture so you can carry on riding.

Spare inner tubes are small, light, easy to carry and relatively quick to change. Puncture repair kits are also easy to carry, but fixing a puncture can be trickier than changing the tube.

Some people carry a spare tube while they’re riding and keep a puncture repair kit at home so that they can fix tubes in warmth and comfort.

Basic bike maintenance