Essentials for Bike Commuting from 16 Essentials for Bike Commuting
16 Essentials for Bike Commuting
Essentials for Bike Commuting
From key items like helmets and lights to awesome add-ons like smartphone mounts and coffee cup holders, these are the 16 essential pieces of gear no commuter should be without.
The Allston Helmet by Bern
When designing their first helmet specifically for cyclists, Bern sought a wide-range of feedback from bike messengers to cyclecross racers and everyone in between. The result is one of the most well thought out bike helmets on the market. A total of 16 vents ensure breathability in warmer weather, a detachable visor keeps the sun out of your eyes and their ZipMold technology means maximum head protection at minimum weight.
Volt700 Headlight by CatEye
For those nights you work a little too late and you have to commute home in the dark, two things are crucial for a safe ride home—you need to see and be seen. A powerful, practical light is a must for all commuters and the Volt700 from CatEye is a top choice. With five lighting modes, a high capacity lithium ion battery and the ease of a USB charge, you can’t go wrong with this compact workhorse.
cateye.com; find it here for $97
Flare R Tail Light by Bontrager
With a reported 40 percent of all cycling fatalities in the U.S. attributed to a rear-end collision, according to the League of American Bicyclists, there’s no denying the need for a rear light. The Flare R Tail Light by Bontrager packs in 65 lumens to keep you visible from a mile away, day or night. Two daytime modes and two night time modes, a battery save mode and USB charging ability make this a great choice for any commuter.
The New York Fahgettaboudit Mini by Kryptonite
Just as tough as the area it was named for—the New York Fahgettaboudit Mini will keep out every bike thief. The company backs their lock with a 10 out of 10 security rating and $4,500 in insurance money, if thieves somehow manage to get away with your bike. 18mm of steel and double deadbolt locking protect your favorite mode of transportation.
kryptonitelock.com; from $110
If you’re not sold yet, check out our round-up of other intense bike locks.
Bike Wallet by Syncros
The only thing worse than getting stuck fixing a flat in the pouring rain is getting stuck in the rain without any tools at all—be sure to invest in a small, but practical tool kit (and learn how to use it). When you need a quick repair or even a small adjustment for comfort’s sake, you’ll be glad you have what you need. This ride wallet is a great, compact option that packs in the necessities—just remember a spare tube to make the ordeal a lot less painful.
syncros.com; ride wallet and tools sold separately
Ride Wallet $25
Mini Pump $20-35
Tire Levers $5
Multi Tool $16
Patch Kit $2.49
SKS S-Blade Road Bike Fender
When the clouds roll in and the rain starts to fall, you’ll be glad you have fenders to protect you from becoming a mud-covered mess. The SKS S-Blade fender is great for those with road bikes who are trying to save on weight. It goes on and comes off in seconds, it looks sleek and it’ll keep your back and butt dry. The perfect fender for you depends on your wheels and your preference. There are many options out there, shop around.
ELITE Barrier Jacket by Pearl Izumi
UA Core 2.0 by Under Armour
Debris from the road, bugs hitting you at super speed and the rising sun taking over the horizon—right there you have three great reasons to remember eye protection on your commute. Any pair that’s comfortable and doesn’t slip off your nose will work, but we like Under Armour’s Core 2.0 for cycling.
underarmour.com; from $115
Kursk by Chrome
Chrome has been making shoes for the most discerning riders around for almost 20 years and the Kursk urban rider carries on tradition. With a sturdy sole and an upper that’s 25 times stronger than canvas, this durable shoe is perfectly rigid, with a classic look.
Hand-Painted Bike Bells by dringdring
Bike bells a crucial when it comes to city riding. Although there’s a serious need for these handlebar-bound pieces of gear, it doesn’t mean they have to be boring. These decorative bike bells are hand-painted with eco-friendly paints and then baked to make them resistant to treacherous weather.
These small, often overlooked pieces of gear save bike commuters everywhere from losing their keys along their route. Especially if you’re one of those people who likes to ride bag-free, invest a couple bucks and gain peace of mind.
The Spin Series by Osprey
Osprey has been making gear for 40 years and that legacy is clear in this well-designed bike commuter pack. Smart features like the helmet clip, blinker light attachment, protected laptop sleeve and the rain cover make this a standout pack for cyclists. The Spin series comes in two sizes, a 22-liter and a 32-liter and both are made with heat embossed nylon.
ospreypacks.com; from $140
Let’s state the obvious—cycling can get a little sweaty. For those times “a little” actually means “a lot,” you’ll need to clean up before your morning meeting. Action Wipes and products like it are great for regaining a fresh feeling when you don’t have access to a full-on shower and deodorant simply isn’t enough.
actionwipes.com; $24 for a 30 pack
Noe Commuter Pannier Tote by Timbuk2
For those commuters who couldn’t imagine their 12 mile commute with a backpack, there are panniers and this one from Timbuk2 is both durable and sleek. From pannier to tote and then into backpack, this convertible bag is a great commuter option.
Universal Smartphone Mount by Quad Lock
Users have given this mount a four-and-a-half star rating and glowing commendations for its secure hold, ease of use and for the fact that it doesn’t obstruct the phone in any way. Some of the commenters even said they use the holder on their mountain bikes, so a few bumps in the road won’t be an issue.
The Bar-ista from Portland Design Works
Any true commuter ride had better accommodate a good cup of coffee. The best way to do that? Put it front and center on the handlebars. The aptly-named Bar-ista is a low cost option that solves the most pressing bike commuter question of all—what the heck am I supposed to do with my coffee?