18 Must-Haves for Bike Commuters from 18 Must-Haves for Bike Commuters

18 Must-Haves for Bike Commuters


18 Must-Haves for Bike Commuters


The number of cyclists is growing rapidly all across the U.S. The National Household Travel Survey showed that the number of trips made by bicycle more than doubled from 1.7 billion in 2001 to 4 billion in 2009. The trend is only going up. Biking to work is good for your wallet, health and happiness. Just one hour of riding could burn up to 500 calories and according to research, the average person loses 13 pounds their first year of bike riding. The following list is based on customer reviews and tests done by sites such as Outside Online and Outdoor Gear Lab.

Quad Lock Bike Mount Kit

Always think “safety first.” The Quad Lock Bike Mount Kit includes one quad lock case, one quad lock poncho, and one “quad lock bike mount Pro.” It’s made with a tough polycarbonate core with a durable TPU outer and has great impact protection. Reviewers on Amazon give it 5 stars. “I am very happy with this mount, it was extremely easy to install on my daily commute bike. The rubber bands hold the mount securely to the stem of my handlebars,” one person wrote. www.quadlockcase.com

Top Line BH1500 Mounted Cup Holder

You need a reliable cup holder for your hot or cold beverage. This product is a handlebar-mounted cup holder that is designed to fit the most common to-go cup sizes. It is made of brushed stainless steel. “Easy to install, sturdy, and works great,” a review on Amazon says. Many others are similar. www.toplinemfg.com

Giro Hex Bike Helmet

The helmet comes in several colors including this bright orange version, which gives commuters by far the least chance of getting run over by an absent minded motorist. Although it’s built to be a mountain bike helmet, its full-coverage design and 21 different cooling vents make it a great pick for commuters, too. The in-mold technology bonds the helmet's tough outer microshell to the impact-absorbing expanded polystyrene liner, creating a light, cool and strong helmet. www.giro.com

Patagonia Chacabuco 32L Pack

This is a versatile backpack that you can also use for day hikes and other outdoor adventures. The zipper against the back panel doubles as a hydration sleeve. The body of the bag is a polyester plain weave with polyester ripstop on the bottom for extra durability. The pack has been treated with a durable water repellent for deterring wet weather. The padded foam and Air Mesh straps provide cushion and comfort, keeping sweat away and drying out quickly. www.patagonia.com

The North Face Recon

This is a laptop backpack. It is Outdoor Gear Lab’s editor’s choice because it’s comfortable, versatile, offers the best water protection, and has great storage capacity. The shoulder straps are especially comfy. The padded, fleece-lined 15" laptop sleeve in the main compartment protects the device from bumps and falls. The two large compartments will store everything you possibly need for your commute or even a full day out in the city. www.thenorthface.com

Light & Motion Urban 350 Bike Headlights

The Light & Motion Urban 350 has been picked as the best headlights for years. It has four light modes, including one that can blink and shine light ahead of you at the same time. It is thoughtfully designed with daily commuters in mind. It is light, strong, bright and compact – everything you want in headlights.  Bright amber side cutouts increase your visibility to cars on both sides. It features a 350 Lumen output certified to the FL-1 Standard. www.lightandmotion.com

CygoLite Hotshot 50 Tail Light

This is a powerful 50 Lumen tail light with top technology that lets you independently adjust brightness and flash speeds. It has six lighting modes and lasts up to 500 hours on a single charge. Most people give the light 5 stars on Amazon. “I needed a “daylight” rear light and this baby BURNS! Haven't run the battery out yet but there is no question about being seen at a distance even in the day,” a recent review says. www.cygolite.com

Xtreme Bright Illumilock Blade Bike U-Lock

U-Lock is the most commonly used lock as it is considered the most reliable one, according to Bicycle Advisor. This lock is equipped with LED light system. It is ultra durable, made of military grade steel. It is also pick, light, drill as well as shock resistant and waterproof. You can remove the key only after you attach the clamp. www.xtremebrightlights.com

Power Gore-Tex Active Jacket

This jacket is made for bike commuters. It’s small and light so you can keep it your backpack at all times, just in case it rains. The jacket got good marks for breathability and waterproofness. Its fabric is 100 percent polyamide, Gore-tex membrane, and the shell inside is 100 percent polyester. www.goreapparel.com

Planet Bike Cascadia fenders

Fenders keep you dry, simple as that. Even the most beautiful days can have puddles, and the nastiest days are far more tolerable when icy water isn’t blasting your legs. Planet Bike Cascadia fenders are made from an unbreakable lightweight polycarbonate and with stainless steel hardware, so they’re made to last. Plus, 25 percent of Planet Bike’s profits go to supporting bike advocacy. www.planetbike.com

Spurcycle Ringer Bell

Its motto is “clear your path from 100ft away.” The Spurcycle bell is stunningly simple, beautifully crafted, U.S.A. made, all metal, according to Bicycle Times Magazine. Tucked neatly in a little sleeve is a raw or black bell and two lengths of metal strapping, making it a suitable choice for any size handlebars. www.spurcycle.com

REMA TT 01 Tour Patch Kit

Having a patch kit is crucial. A flat tire on the way to work is the last thing you want to deal with, a situation made all the worse by the prospect of pulling out traditional glue and vulcanized rubber patch kit. It has all of the necessities to quickly patch up your tires. “This is pretty much the gold standard of bicycle tube patching,” a review on Amazon says. Most others describe is as “perfect” as well. www.rematiptop.com

Caffelatex Espresso sealant

Nothing ruins a day like a flat tire, especially when you're on your way to a morning meeting. Carrying a cartridge of Caffelatex Espresso sealant is good insurance against the flat tire blues, as it instantly fills and seals a punctured bike tube. Better yet, put sealant in your tires now to avoid most flats altogether. It works for road and XC tires www.effettomariposa.eu

Banjo Brothers Waterproof Pannier

Rain should never be a reason not to ride. Banjo Brothers Waterproof Pannier offers the peace of mind of knowing your stuff will stay dry no matter how wet it gets. The tough nylon bag holds a removable waterproof liner and offers 360-degree reflectivity. It’s a well-constructed and thoroughly thought out design at a reasonable price. www.banjobrothers.com

Bontrager Turbo Charger HP Pump

Many pumps won’t reach the high pressure needed by road bikes. The Bontrager Turbo Charger HP Pump is different. It gets you on the bike with the right pressure faster with a piston bore customized for easier high-pressure inflation. A key feature is the steel construction and the replaceable internals that provide long-term durability. www.trekbikes.com

PDW Shiny Object CO2 Inflator

“The aptly named Shiny Object is not only an eye-catcher, but a smartly conceived CO2 inflator, according to Bike Magazine. Its control knob regulates how fast the CO2 is released and the full grain leather sleeve is conditioned with natural oils and waxes. Reviews on Amazon say this product solves all problems other inflators have. www.ridepdw.com

4ucycling Cycling Waterproof Shoe Covers

Unfortunately, bad weather is not a good enough reason to call in sick. You have to go to work but you don’t have to ruin your shoes. These covers’ short zipper design is ideal for avoiding heel friction and other injuries. The reflective material is perfect for night time riding. “I was skeptical on the quality due to the price, but was pleasantly surprised by the quality,” a review on Amazon says. www.4ucycling.com

Solos Smart Glasses

The company calls them the “world’s most technologically advanced smart eyewear “– designed specifically for elite cyclists to maximize real-time data without compromising the human mechanics of riding. Dual microphones and micro-speakers are built into the frame to support voice prompts, according to Wearable.com. The embedded battery lasts for about six hours. www.solos-wearables.com