Accessories

Our independence enables your independence

Riding a bike is one of the most simple pleasures on the planet, and to maintain the bike’s performance it needs to be kept in tip-top condition, whilst fitting in with your needs and personal demands. To help you achieve this, Red Kite Cycles offers a broad range of quality accessories.

With our years of experience as riders and in the industry, we trawl the cycle shows and the trade fairs to bring you the best of what is out there. We don’t have any particular manufacturer’s axe to grind, nor are we driven by one-off opinion based internet reviews – we use our independent status as a shop to listen and focus on the kit that survives the best, that functions to spec, and that delivers results. It works in a feedback loop – we are constantly learning from our customers and from our own riding.

So our independence supports your independence. We invest time and knowledge in filtering and reducing down the vast array of accessories to the most suitable and practical for use. In visiting the shop you will dip in to the wealth of knowledge we have put in to choosing accessories to support your riding – and the acid test is that these are the products that we all choose to use and that you often recommend back to us.

Your satisfaction is our ambition, so all our ranges are backed up by our high quality service warranty and guarantee standards. We believe that riding a bike should always be a happy place – good kit is one more factor in making sure that’s true!

Browse the sections below to find out more about our offer: this is not an online catalogue, it is more a summary and flavour of our brand offer.

Nutrition

nutritionFeeding and hydrating whilst riding your bike are as important as a well serviced bike itself. In parallel with technological developments in bicycle design and manufacture, the last couple of decades have seen great leaps in the understanding of how the human body works. Today there is clear and proven evidence that a sensible choice of food and drink can energise your riding, help your recovery and make sure that you don’t get home with that gnawing un-fillable hunger! We have a mini-supermarket of nutrition choices in the shop, stocking a range of key brands that will match your tastes and needs. The main products for you to consider are a suite of drinks, gels, tabs, shots and bars all designed for in-ride consumption or post-ride recovery.

Torq – all natural ingredients and tasty too! Gels, drinks and bars to go.

SIS – brand leader with a reputation to match the quality of its offering.

ZipVit – extremely popular with customers. The products are effective and the flavours work well too.

High5 – renowned provider of quality nutrition and drinks products for sports people.

Clif Bar – homemade tasting energy bars in a range of tempting flavours that deliver performance nutrition.

Ask for advice in the shop, we can point you in the right direction, and then it comes down to taste and personal outcomes from using products. The differences between products are subtle but important; the difference between using and not using any energy products is very significant – and the more so the harder or longer you ride.

Sunglasses

sunglassesProtecting your eyes is as important as protecting your head with a helmet. Keeping grit, rain, flying critters and the like out of your eyes is imperative for safe riding. A sensible pair of glasses is not a bad idea each time you jump on your bike; at minimum they will give you the comfort of keeping the breeze out of your eyes as you bowl along, at most they can save your eyes from serious injury. Either way, you will look good and dodge the sun with our vast offering.

We’ve tried many brands of sunglasses, some with price tags to make your eyes water, and have found the ideal brand in Tifosi – their quality really does equal Oakley, their price points are a fraction. Choose from around 70 pairs in the shop.

Tifosi sunglasses combine state of the art sports lens technology with fabulous value. Their prices start from under £30 up to around £70. They come with shatterproof lenses and a whole host of frame styles, some have interchangeable lenses for different light conditions whilst others are photochromic (changing colour when exposed to sunlight). What’s more the designs look good off the bike too, so you won’t look like Robocop when you’re enjoying a sunny cafe stop. We like!

 

Groupsets

groupset

Red Kite Cycles are stockists and a certified service centre for SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo groupsets (the gears, sprockets, cranks and brakes that turn your effort into controlled motion). Each of these manufacturers have their specific qualities and we don’t believe in a ‘better vs worse’ comparison. Rather, we can see the relative merits of each manufacturer; even the staff vary in their loyalties and most of us have ridden all of them in one form or another at some point in our riding careers.

The groupset is a central plank in making your ride a pleasure. Maintenance of what you have is important, but so is a considered approach to upgrading and changing your drivetrain. You can consult with us on improvements in quality but also on gear ratios.

As a newcomer you have an open choice in which way to go in groupset selection (it’s the shifting operation that is the major critical difference). As an established cyclist you may already be used to one over the others; your question is more about sticking with what you know or taking the plunge and moving to a new style of shift.

  • Campagnolo – classic Italian style and quality for road bikes. The hierarchy runs through 10 speed Veloce up to the fabulous 11 speed offerings of Athena, Chorus, Record and Super Record. And there are EPS electronic versions of these beautiful Italian 11 speed gruppos too. Perfect for style, value, technological innovation and exclusivity on custom built bikes.
  • SRAM – providers of MTB and more recently road excellence. Americans SRAM produce slick changing groupsets for MTB up through a number  steps past X5 up to the X00 range. SRAM have also led the way with “one by” groupsets. Road gruppos include Apex (a quality hybrid and touring favourite), Rival, Force and Red. All are excellent. Ideal on custom built bikes. New eTap electronic wireless groupset is a notch forward for the industry and cyclists.
  • Shimano – slick shifting groupsets from Japan. Road, hybrid and MTB – many manufacturers specify these as original equipment. They stand the riding and the usage with rewarding, clean and reliable performance. Like Campagnolo, Shimano does electronic versions at the highest levels – Di2 DuraAce and Di2 Ultegra. Shimano also produce quality hub gearing for leisure bikes. We stock spares and can advise on an upgrade path for you and your bike.

Tools

toolsGet the right tools for the job … whether you are looking for an emergency road side repair kit or a more extensive range of tools for the home workshop, Red Kite Cycles can advise and supply what you need.  In our shop you will find just about anything you could needto strip, service and re-build any part pf your bike at home. We select from a wide range and are suppliers of the following:

Lezyne – mini-tools, pumps and seat packs

Topeak – on the bike mini-tools that stand years of roadside use and are great for the basics of home maintenance too. And they do a great range of matching pumps and seatpacks too.

ParkTools – great workshop additions to make maintenance easier and more effective. From pedal spanners and chain whips to chain cleaning machines, these are proven performers that are in the armoury of many professionals.

Cyclo Tools – affordable and functional workshop essentials.

Juice Lubes – quality cleaning and lubrication to keep your bike running quickly and quietly with minimal wear.

Wickens & Soderstrom – Our favourite lube for a well maintained bike. No more to say.

Hope Shifter – this is a great product for getting bikes cleaner than ever before. Spray on, leave, wash off … cleaned and ready for fettling in five minutes.

Weldtite – wet and dry lubes that work like they should. General purpose TF2 – and generally very effective.

We also stock tools from other suppliers that will ensure you can keep the bike riding as it should. Of course for the “mechanically-less-confident” there is always our workshop to call on once a gremlin strikes…

Pumps

pumpsPumps make tyres work properly … could it be more simple? Correctly inflated tyres will give your bike the grip it needs and make it more resilient against puncturing. At Red Kite Cycles, if you are going to be more than a short walk from your home we recommend that you take a mini-pump and puncture repair kit with you for road side emergencies. For home, to achieve the proper tyre pressures for any bike, we recommend a ‘track pump’ – a bigger device designed to get the higher pressures that keep punctures at bay; these come with integrated pressure gauges.

Our range includes the following:

Topeak – the JoeBlow range is an industry standard for home track pumps. Enough said. The Topeak range for taking out on a ride with you is unparalleled. The new double function pumps that combine CO2 inflators with a conventional pump is a real move forward for mobile tyre maintenance.

Bontrager – reliable and great value track pumps; a shop favourite for value and performance.

Lezyne – this kit has really caught the cyclist’s imagination over the last few years with sleek design and compact build. It looks and works really to the highest standards.

We also provide a range of CO2 inflators and canisters for rapid roadside repairs.

Pedals

 

IMG_5010Clipless pedals have become a norm amongst any cyclists looking for that extra squeeze of both performance and comfort. By paying attention to bike fit and positioning your foot in a consistently correct position in regard to spindle, knee and saddle, all the clipless systems offer a gain.

At Red Kite Cycles we are happy to advise on which are best for your needs, just as we will help you in shoe selection to achieve a perfect combination for you at the right fit and price. And a part of our service is free cleat fitting and advice on future adjustment.

As with most bikes products, you get an upgrade in material qualities, robustness and weight as you pay more. With pedals this is important as they can take a good pounding and are one of the elements of the cycle that the rider is spinning away all the time they are riding (hence the need for lower weight).

Our main pedal brands are:

  • Shimano – road and MTB mainstays of the industry. The SPD pedal is a classic, coming at a range of levels, and the SPD-SL is a favourite amongst roadies. All offer quality bearings and a really good service life. We stock Saints and others …
  • Look – classics for the road from the original pioneers of clipless systems. Look pedals have a big and clean click-in and are available from £45 upwards. Replacement cleats are available in a range of ‘floats’ from zero to nine degrees.
  • Speedplay – fully adjustable float (for those with a sorer knee perhaps), and beautiful design for those with an eye on beauty. Speedplay pedals are innovative, robust and very serviceable.
  • Wellgo – magnesium platform pedals with replaceable pins and cartridge bearings. They’ll stand the test.
  • MKS – upgrade cage and platform pedals for hybrid, classic and leisure cycles. Quality materials and bearings leading to long service life.
  • Garmin vector – pedals for measuring power

See us in store for free fitting of pedals and cleats.

 

Tyres & Tubes

tyresAt Red Kite Cycles we appreciate the value of that small contact patch between rider and planet. Correct tyres in good condition are essential in making your riding safe and satisfying. But more than just a safety issue, tyre selection is about balancing the properties offered by different products: we can advise on a tyre choice that will give you the combination of grip, pace and resilience you are looking for.

Our range is selected to cover all eventualities from the biggest names in tyre manufacture:

  • Schwalbe – a mainstay of the industry, providing hybrid, MTB and road classics. A star performer in current cycle tyre R&D and  production.
  • Continental – a superb range of road tyres that includes the fabled Gatorskin, 4000 range and the Four Seasons.
  • Michelin – great fast road tyres… fast and supple clinchers that roll like tubs. We love Michelin’s ProRace 4.
  • Bontrager – come standard on Trek bikes and good enough for anyone’s machine.
  • Specialized – great value replacement tyres and innovative designs – put them on your list.
  • Mavic – as stockists of Mavic’s great range of wheels, we also stock their impressive road tyre range. They are round, they’re black, they work!

Tyre choice in Red Kite Cycles is backed up by a full range of inner-tubes and all the puncture repair equipment you will need to support your riding. We advise intelligent use of tyre pressures to get the most out of your tyres – speak to us and we will explain the parameters. We stock an excellent range of pumps in the shop.

 

Wheels

wheelsAfter the frameset, the wheels are the most critical thing in dictating a bike’s performance. The frame produces the ‘scaffolding’ off which the rest is suspended, but the wheels are the most critically dynamic element of a moving bicycle. Their spinning equals your movement. At Red Kite Cycles we will always preach the virtues of a true and well shod wheel (see our workshop and tyres section), and equally we understand the value in tuning your ride with an upgrade. We will happily swap over tyres and cassettes on new wheelsets as part of your regular service or as a one-off  job.

When choosing wheels – as ever – it is about matching suitable equipment to your riding style, budget and cycling ambitions. We are specialists in hand-building wheels in the workshop, which means we can custom match rims, hubs and spoking patterns to your needs. This is the case for MTB or road bikes. We regularly use Shimano, DT Swiss, Chris King, Tune, Miche or Hope hubs. Each are great in their way and we build with others too when asked to.

We are stockists of a range of OE wheels from main manufacturers, so can keep your bike in good running order as the rims and hubs wear – something that is inevitable on any bike that is used regularly.

Red Kite headline replacement wheels brands:

  • Mavic – we stock a big selection of this very impressive range of wheels. they are a shop and industry favourite. Strong, good looking and robust (sounds like our mechanics!).  A wide range of models are kept in stock.
  • Fulcrum – these wheels are robust, good value, light, etc … everything you want from your wheels. The range is broad – we keep a fair cross section to hand and get others in when needed. These are popular for good reason.
  • ENVE – newer to the market, ENVE are the new high end benchmark in carbon road and MTB wheels. They look right, and they are right. Marvels of technology. Built around hubs from the very legendary Chris King or DT Swiss.
  • Hope – fabulous quality UK hubs at the centre of handbult road or MTB wheels. The shop staff love them for their distinctive clicking hubs and great colourways.
  • Campagnolo – Italian classics for a perfect match to your Italian groupset. Strong, light and very pretty with their trademark G3 spoking pattern.

Wheel speccing is an integral part of building up your custom project from Storck, Condor, Enigma and also around the high end frames of Trek and Specialized. Getting the balance of your budget right between the different components is critical; see us in-store for an honest discussion about how to combine the most bang for your buck with serviceable reliability.

Hydration

bottles

For anything more than a quick commute or leisure ride you will need to keep yourself hydrated.  That means carrying fluids on either your person or on the bike, and also thinking about the nutrition you are putting into your body. Sports drinks have seen a vast growth in use over the last decade as more and more people understand and experience the benefits of looking after themselves whilst exercising. Their critical function is to replace lost fluids whilst also supplementing energy and lost minerals.

At Red Kite we have an excellent range of bottles and cages to meet your needs. This includes a mix of colours and brands to ensure the right look and fit on your bike. It is a really nice way to perk up your bike with matching bar tape and other bits of  detailing.

For MTB riders (and others too) we also sell the CamelBak range of ‘hydration luggage systems’. This pioneering company has established itself as the No.1 in this market area.

Luggage, Racks & Guards

Whatever your needs for carrying “stuff” and more “stuff” we can help.  From the smallest seat pack for the road rider, through to double pannier sets for the adventure cyclist, the choice is broad. A rack is often one of the first accessories we fit to a bike; they open up the ability of a bike to act as a commuter workhorse, as a holiday machine, as a shopping trolley and more.

At Red Kite Cycles we will advise on what will match your needs – and you will get a hands-on experience of your luggage choices – fiddling with clasps, attachment systems and straps. The detail is always important with luggage, as it is with clothing and most things technical; we look for this when selecting the ranges we stock and pass on our experience to you.

Key brands we stock are:

Altura – great touring and commuting luggage. Includes the Night Vision range and a selection of bar bags. The more basic parts of the range offer great value, whilst the Dryline range gives total waterproof confidence

Carradice – UK made and classic styling. Each piece comes signed by the person who has sewn it up for you. Nice touch.

Vaude – quality heavy duty ‘plasticised’ construction means you can rely on these robust and brightly coloured panniers and bar bags into the future.

Topeak – innovative integrated rack and pannier systems. The RX for lighter road riding and the MTX for the rougher days on a bike. Both are intelligent and adaptable – a shop favourite.

Racks & Mudguards – we have a range of these to fit a range of bikes from lightweight audax racks to commuters, through to off road racks for mountain bikes with disc brakes. And mudguards for MTBs, hybrids and road bikes to keep you that bit drier and cleaner. We sell M:Part, SKS Bluemels, Race Blades, Whyte and more.

Spares

sparesWe can service and fix your bike, or you can do it. Either way there comes a time when the wear of riding begins to take its toll and you need new parts for your bike.

The standard wear items are in the wheels, tyres, drive train and bearings. Some require a simple bit of will and sense to fix them, others require specialist tools. Whether we do it or you choose to do it yourself, we will support you in getting a good job done.

We would always advise though that good maintenance and cleaning will ensure that your service needs and intervals are further apart. We stock a full range of cleaning products and brushes to make sure that your bike runs cleaner and sweeter.

Along with tools, tubes and tyres, you can see us in-store for a broad range of spares and replacement parts that your bike needs. And our super-experienced workshop can advise on what will fit, what will work with what, and they may be able to share a tip on effective fitting to your particular bike. Local specialist knowledge – it’s part of the Red Kite service.

Lights

lightsCyclists need to be seen to be safe. Sensibly coloured clothing will help, but when the sun goes down, there is no substitute for a well chosen set of lights. We supply mini ‘get-you-home’ lights for an emergency, whilst having everything the urban commuter needs and a range for those that venture into the darker corners of nocturnal riding!

Red Kite Cycles stocks just about everything from Cateye – a long established industry leader in bicycle lights. Cateye’s range goes from the minuscule  to the powerful, with all sorts of versions and sizes in between.

We are also stockists of Lezyne lights; they are small, powerful, robust and beautifully designed. Their range, like that of Cateye, is pretty exhaustive and will cover your needs.

It is increasingly common for lights to be USB rechargeable and this has liberated many from the purchase of repeat sets of batteries. It has also meant that it is effectively free to run your lights. This gives riders the choice of always running lower powered daytime lights to enhance visibility, whilst multiplying the number of lights that are practical at dusk and at night. It has never been more convenient, cheaper or easier to be visible to other road users.

Computers, GPS & Heart Monitors

computersRiding with just the simplest information on speed and distance is rewarding to just about all cyclists –  it’s great to know how far you’ve been and how fast you’ve averaged. We cater for those basic needs but are also stockists of more sophisticated cycle computers and GPS driven systems. And for fitness you can use integrated heart rate monitors and power meters to develop a better picture of your performance.

See us in the shop for:

Garmin – the industry standard that has opened up GPS to the world of cycling. We keep all the key models from the cycling range, including the sophisticated touchscreen Garmin 1000 and the entry level 25. In between you will find a mix of navigation and performance aids without parallel. You can combine these guys with power meter pedals and heart rate monitors to really work on your cycling.

Cateye – the biggest provider of cycle computers in the industry have a fabulous range of computers from basic to more sophisticated. We recommend them for all our beginners and returners to cycling as they enable you to take an overview of how you are doing in terms of mileage and pace. Cateye also make great lights of course.

Bars & Stems plus seatposts

barsOne of the most effective things you can do to your riding is make your bike fit you personally. At Red Kite Cycles we provide a a range of handlebars and stems that will give you a custom fit. Visit us in the shop for measurement by the staff and a discussion about your “shape” on the bike – we can tweak your position for both more comfort and greater efficiency.

Enve – highest end, relative newcomers to the bar and stem market – matches their superlative carbon wheels. Racing drop and compact shapes available in 40-44cm.

3T – a huge reputation in product innovation across cycling accessories is focused in on a range of shallow and deep drop. We stock the three quality/technology levels and a range of sizes.

Thomson – great strength in stems and seatposts over the years, and now with new carbon bars added to the range.

Deda – versatile kit at a keen price.

Storck – highest quality finishing kit for the nicest bikes.

Enigma – for our titanium custom builds of course.

Condor – for Condor custom builds and beyond.

Once you have chosen what you want, we offer a fitting service to swap over your new bars and stems through our workshop – a swap will normally require new bar tape (we keep a broad range of colours and styles) and you will often need to book in when we are busy. Alternatively, a bar and stem swap can be a part of your planned service.

We also offer a broad range of seatposts to match your needs from the above manufacturers and from many others too. We are specialists in the sale and fitment of dropper posts for MTB rides.

Saddles

saddlesYour points of contact on a bike are your hands, your feet and your backside. And one of these three is notably more sensitive than the others! A good saddle choice is important – it is linked to a well set up riding position that distributes your weight across the bike properly.

At Red Kite we believe that finding comfort on a bike will lead to you being a happier rider, and therefore a more willing one. And more miles is always a healthy thing. As a major contact point your choice of saddle is critical, but it’s not just about finding one with the initial impression of comfort; it’s more about finding a saddle that suits the hours you put in and the position you adopt when on a bike.

We stock the following leading saddles:

Fizik – industry leading profiles and technologies across road and MTB bikes. We run a demo “try before you buy” programme on these saddles. There is also a custom programme to get you colour detailing matched to your ride.

Specialized – with ‘Body Geometry’ R&D Specialized have created a quality offering with a strong following. People who get on Specialized generally do not get off.

Bontrager – great fitting saddles at a full range of prices and sizes. Good WSD (Women Specific Design) offerings.

Brooks – legendary and made locally over in West Bromwich in the Birmingham conurbation … need we say more?

Bodyfit – comfort upgrades for hybrid and leisure cyclists, and others looking for a little more padding down there!