Bike commuting can be overwhelming. First there’s finding a safe route, then there’s learning the rules of the road and, of course, the daunting element of gear. When you want to start riding, but don’t want to deal with long lists of comfort items, just start with the absolute essentials.
A Trusty Bike
You can’t exactly bike commute without one of these. Do your research and invest wisely—if you’re short on cash buy a used bike.
Self-explanatory and not at all optional—keep your cranium safe and put on a helmet.
A Set of Lights
It’s always nice to be able to see that pothole on your way home in the dark, but even more important than that is being seen by drivers. Invest in a set of bright lights that charge by USB and keep them with you always.
A Set of Locks
Even if your office has bike storage, you’ll want to invest in a few great locks. You never know when you’re going to want to make a pit stop after work or meet a friend for dinner on the way home, so it’s best to have locks you can trust on-hand.
A Loud Bell
Drivers don’t always pay attention, pedestrians almost never pay attention, get a bell—it’s well worth the $10 you’ll spend.
For those rainy days when you don’t want to walk around with stains, fenders are essential.
A Clean Up Kit
No one wants to show up at the office covered in sweat, but sometimes it happens. Keep baby wipes and deodorant at your desk (and if possible, a change of clothes) and you’ll be all set for that morning meeting.
A Repair Kit
The second worst part of bike commuting is fixing a flat on the side of the road, the single worst part of bike commuting is not being able to fix the flat because you don’t have any tools. Put together a repair kit and know how to use it.