9 Must-Have Bike Commuter Accessories

Top gear to get you there safely without sacrificing style

Freeing yourself from the confines of subway cars, busses and SUVs certainly has its perks. Commuting cyclists cut their carbon footprint, fit exercise in twice daily and enjoy the sights of their city in a distinct way. [slideshow:954]

Sure, there are some drawbacks; no one likes sweating before work, helmet hair is awful and riding alongside cars can be deadly. But with the right knowledge and gear cyclists can be better protected against sweat, bad hair days and car accidents.

See: Must-Have Bike Commuter Accessories

Across the country people are seeing first-hand that the benefits outweigh the risks—the number of bike commuters in the U.S. has been rising substantially. The most recent U.S. Census data on habits of American commuters estimated a total of 864,883 people commuted by bike in 2012. That number, though still a small percentage of the commuter population (only .64 percent of the country commutes by bike), is an almost 10 percent increase from 2011. As a reference, Census data shows a 61.6 percent increase in total bicycle commuters from 2000 to 2012.

The League of American Bicyclists turned the data into a chart highlighting major spikes in various U.S. cities. The data shown below is from 1990 to 2011.

The growing population of bike commuters is beneficial for the group as a whole. More people riding means a higher demand for safe bike lanes, improvements in technology and a better selection of commuter gear.

Recent advancements in lighting technology like Retro-reflection and Revolights have given cyclists better options for night-time riding. Redesigned helmets make the commute more comfortable and more stylish than ever before while offering maximum protection and bike mounts ensure everything you need is securely at your fingertips.

Little things like the right accessories can make or break your commute, so choose wisely and check out our must-have bike commuter accessories.

See also: Q&A with Legendary Mountain Biker Rebecca Rusch