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Opinion: The 6 Most Useless Cycling Accessories Ever Produced

By Martin Atanasov

Accessories are the soul of your bike. They tell a lot about you as a rider and as a person. So, when you’re accessorising your bike, be mindful of what you put on your precious two-wheeled friend. Thankfully, some of them are already discontinued, but others have developed a cult following.

Roll-up mudguard


Let’s start with something that might even seem like a good idea – a roll-up mudguard. This piece of engineering genius is supposed to protect your rear from mud, and when you’re done using it, you might just strap it around your bike or take it off and put it on your hand like those strap-on bracelets we had as kids. Ah, nostalgia, what a wonderful sales tool it is indeed. Still, if you spent more than two seconds thinking about it, why would I ever wrap a muddy piece of plastic around my bike, let alone my hand? Moreover, what’s the point of it being roll-up? If you decide on having mudguards, just install mudguards and be done with them. Are you that insecure that you don’t want people to see you riding with a mudguard when it’s sunny? So, while I do get the initial appeal of this accessory, it’s utterly useless when you come to think of it.

Bike Balls


Whoever thought of these must have been a genius. Creating something like that and making it a global phenomenon needs a marketing genius and kudos to the creators. The Bike Balls are small silicone sacks filled with two glowing balls that you strap under your seat. They can even change colours, but no matter how you look at them, they are your balls, dangling beneath your seat. As the manufacturer will tell you, “IT TAKES GRIT, WIT, AND BALLS TO RIDE, SO SHOW ‘EM WHAT YOU GOT!”

A normal backlight will do a much better job, and other participants on the road won’t struggle to interpret what they just saw.

Leather banana holder

While the previous two accessories might have some appeal, the leather banana holder is nothing but a waste of money. Biken had some truly outstanding vintage-looking accessories, but introducing the leather banana holder for bikes was a huge swing and miss. Who thought you’d take a single banana, strap it on your bike, and take off? Moreover, no matter where you are riding, the banana will be constantly bombarded by debris from the road. The only positive thing is that you will turn some heads when you pass by. Well, it does look like it has been made from premium materials, and if you are a hipster who likes to stand out for all the wrong reasons, you can try and find one online. Thankfully, this series has been discontinued, though you might try finding a second-hand one.

Leather wine rack

Bicycle wine holder

Yes, bananas strapped to your bike are a bit much, but having a leather wine rack on your bike sounds perfectly normal. Who doesn’t love to ride around with a bottle of red wine conveniently placed, so if you fall and the bottle breaks, you will roll over the broken glass? Delightful. On the upside, you won’t have to worry about blood stains, as wine is far more difficult to clean. This masterpiece of bike accessorising is still on the market, and the only thing that would be more French would be a baguette holder. There have been some rumours about such an innovation, but alas, I wasn’t able to find one.

So, no more carrying a backpack for a single bottle of wine. But still, where should I put the cheese and grapes?

Bikefast plate

If you’ve ever wondered whether you could dine on your bike, now you have the answer. Definitely! With the Bikefast Plate, your bike transforms into a dining table, and you can grab a bite while riding to work. It’s essentially a plastic plate that’s fixed to your handlebar. So, if you’ve ever dreamed of eating hot soup while riding your bike, congrats, now you have the chance. Of course, this  innovation was created for commuters only, but still, have these guys ever ridden a bike before? What happens when you hit cobblestones? What happens when you have to take a turn? Are people so desperate to save 10 minutes by combining cycling with breakfast? So many questions, yet the Bikefast plate ain’t the answer to any of them.

Bicycle umbrella

Bicycle Umbrella

Staying dry on your bicycle while riding in the rain has been a dream for many commuters. Still, while I won’t tell you to just deal with it, I will tell you that buying a bicycle umbrella is definitely not the solution. You know that rain doesn’t always fall vertically. It can hit you from the side, front, and back. Not to mention that you will literally ride in the water, inevitably making you wet. If the point is to keep your head dry, wear a hat. Having a bicycle umbrella will do only two things: slow you down due to wind resistance and attract lightning. Both are not a good solution to your problem. So, just put some water-resistant clothes on top and accept the fact that you will get wet. No need to spend 125 euro on whatever this is.

So, if you’re left with mixed feelings about this list, I get it. Especially if you already have one of these absurd accessories. But don’t worry, no judgement here. You do you, mate. You do you.