Friday Fun: Crazy Commuting Accessories!

We’ve all seen them: bike accessories that make you go hmm… whoa!… huh??!…weird…I wonder who came up with that??

Granted, quite a few of these show up on our friend Matt C.‘s blog Bikehacks… but some of them actually make it out into the world as retail options!

Some of these things aren’t necessarily bad – many fulfill their intended function, at least to some extent – but they either look silly, make you feel ridiculous, or just plain ARE ridiculous simply by existing! With that, here are a few of our picks…

1. Bike Umbrellas.


Yes, this technically might work (especially if you’re riding a Dutch bike in the Netherlands, though even then I’m skeptical). However, it looks kind of ridiculous… and I know on my commutes rain often is not falling straight down!
You could also, of course, just protect your head:

The Nubrella

2. Leather handles to carry your bike. Some may call it brilliant… we call it kinda silly!

Walnut Studiolo's bike carry handle

3. If handles to carry your bike are silly, then we don’t even have words for this (image courtesy Gizmodo):
All I can say is that the makers of this have clearly never had the bottom of a six pack fall out… and also need reminders about things like “panniers” and “backpacks.”

4. Sideways safety flags. Granted, these appear to work at keeping cars a little further away from you… so if that’s a problem, you just may be a candidate for one of these (though the one we reviewed apparently is no longer available). But… they look just a little bit too much like you forgot to remove something after a parade.


5. Huge pants-cuff-savers. Do they work? For the most part, yes. Do they make you look like you’re riding against doctor’s orders? Also yes.

But I have a note!

6. Skinny jeans for cyclists. Umm, yeah. Maybe people who only walk next to their bikes can fit into these, but for the most part the guys and gals here can’t… and it’s not because of our rear ends! We have calves and quads, people!

7. This next one’s not technically an accessory… but it deserves inclusion. It is… the Fliz. All the disadvantages of biking combined with all the disadvantages of walking… plus you get to stick your head in the middle of the frame! What could POSSIBLY go wrong??

We’re sure there are other crazy commuting accessories out there – what gems do you have to share??


  1. Karl

    You’ll often see old men and women riding in Taiwan with a home made version of the umbrella holder – but more often as a parasol. They tend not to be riding that quick so it seems to work. I’ve also seen a large parrot on a bike before (in Taiwan). I’m not sure it was accessory – perhaps some eco-GPS unit.

  2. dgaddis

    The nubrella guy needs some air in his tires.

  3. Ghost Rider

    Parrots are a common handlebar accessory in Florida, too. Must be all the “Buffettheads”.

    Hey, what happened to “Da Brim”?

  4. BluesCat

    Hey! I’m gonna take issue with you about the leather bike carrying handle.

    I have a two-bike, free standing rack at home. Sometimes, I’d like to leave my bags on the bike I’m gonna lift up to put on the upper arms.

    A couple of times, as I’ve been wrangling the bike up there, like a technical climber looking for some nubbins to grab, my hand has unconsciously searched in the area of the frame exactly where that leather handle is located.

    Would be nice, however, if they made the handle with a quick-release function.

  5. bigbenaugust

    #4: Sideways Safety Flags: That’s what giant panniers are for. πŸ™‚

  6. JaimeRoberto

    With the sideways safety flags I’d be worried that some passenger in a car will want to play flag football while I’m riding.

    As for the beer holder, maybe the full bottles already dropped through the bottom. The bottles are empty and are not the usual green Pilsner Urquell bottles.

  7. MRFIG

    #6 Looks like a medical apparatus. And the head through the frame is a real winner…. at least for the person who wins the law suite that is waiting to happen. LOL

  8. MRFIG

    #7 ^^^^^^^^

  9. Mir.I.Am

    @Matt – #1 , yes yes sir, I have received this holder as a gift before! Maybe I should break it out right now since it is warm weather and a downpour in Hawaii…. I’m opting to just wait out the rain and show up at my destination late… πŸ™‚ I asked for rainy season to test out these new duds, and now I got it!

    I want the hilarious head bubble!!!!

  10. Mike Myers

    I agree they all seem kind of silly and of very limited usage—except the sideways flag. I have one on my camping/commuting bike, and I’ve received compliments from several motorist, especially when riding at night.

    I’ve added 3M Diamond Grade reflective tape to both the flag and the flats of the arm(it’s cruciform in shape). Since it sticks out further than the panniers, and it waves, it definitely catches motorists’ eyes, and it creates an illusion of width. The only problem is the thing could be longer, but since it’s designed to fold up and hook to the seatstay when not in use, it’s as long as possible. A telescoping version that stuck out 18″ or more would be great.

    Yes, I run a dorky Flash Flag, and I’m not ashamed of it.

  11. Matt

    @ dgaddis – Yeah, good catch! Though you never know… maybe he’s running tubeless! πŸ˜‰

    @ Bluescat – You’re always looking on the bright side of things! I can see how a handle might be useful in that situation – though I think w/ my two-bike rack it would only be useful for the first couple feet – after that I always have to hold the down-tube from the bottom to get it up far enough.

    @ JaimeRoberto – nice catch! I’m not familiar with that beer so I didn’t pick up on the bottle/six-pack discrepancy.

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