From the article: Essential Bike Commuter Gear
If you commute to work or school, you know there are certain items you have to have no matter what. Share what's on your list of essential items, those things absolutely required to make your bike commute happen. Share What's On Your List
Aluminum frames break
- I'm not the lightest cyclist, but not the heaviest. Broke my Specialized Hybrid alum frame at top tube/seat tube juncture after touring with about 30 pound packs. Broke my Giant OCR same place after 3 years of day tripping and touring. Aluminum frames fatigue. That's what they said at the bike shop. I ride with saddle toward the rear of seat post. Maybe that has something to do with it. Also remain seated as I climb hills. While frames are guaranteed for life, there is still labor at the bike shop to remove and reinstall components. Sure miss my old Chrome/Moly frames. The bike shop replaced the frame with a combo alum/carbon fiber frame from Giant. Hope it is more forgiving.
towelettes, baby powder
- There are no showers at work, so moist wipes can provide a modest but refreshing clean up. Also, baby powder generously applied to your sweaty private areas can dry you off and keep bacterial problems from developing. I keep this stuff in my desk drawer. Btw Michael, I was rear-ended and taken down by a moron on a mountain bike. It happens.
- —Guest johnoliverfrokmorton
- Getting rear-ended on a bicycle is fairly rare. Let's not put fear where it doesn't belong. Most crashes are t-bone types when either party is turning.
- —Guest Michael
- A lock is a must have, even if you have a secured parking at work/school where you don't need to tie your bike to anything. It allows you to stop on your way at a store or anywhere else where you can't take the bike in with you.
- —Guest Kerina
- I always have a full water bottle attached to the frame. Never know when it will come in handy (not just for drinking!)
- —Guest Brad R
- I always carry my phone and wallet (Or anything else important) in a quart plastic bag, rain or shine.
- —Guest Jonathan
Odds and ends
- If you do not change clothes dr your commute, you will need pants clips or straps to secure your pants cuffs from entanglement in the bike chain and other components. I ride the subway so I have devised a parking brake by tightly wrapping the rear brake lever with a velcro strap available from an outdoor recreation store. This brake allows you to lean the bike against the wall unattended in a moving train. If part of your commute includes the subway, you will most likely finding yourself carrying your bike up long flights of stairs to avoid long lines at elevators and escalators. The common carrying technique is to rest the top bar on your shoulder. You may want a top bar pad available at most bike stores.
- —Guest Gary
Helmet, bell, mirror, computer
- Great article, a couple things missing. Helmets are required by law in several places, and are common sense anyway. I know my head is worth the $55. Bells are regulated now, too, and if you're commuting around pedestrians and residential neighborhoods, they are another common sense idea. Bikes get squished by cars. 90% of the time is from getting rear-ended. Mirrors allow you to see what the idiot in the big pickup behind you is doing. Computers are handy for having a clock, measuring speed and distance, and on some higher end, cadence. Not a necessity, but useful information nonetheless.
- —Guest Brad