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Bicycle Commute Essentials

Bradley Olin
The list author says: "In the process of converting from a road riding fiend to a daily commuter, I spent countless hours researching the best solutions for the daily slog to and from work. These are the things I decided to purchase.

I ride a 2010 Trek District with some minor upgrades as a frame of reference."
Cygolite Hotshot 2-Watt USB Rechargeable Taillight with USB Cable
Cygolite Hotshot 2-Watt USB Rechargeable Taillight with USB Cable
"2-Watt LED Tail Light?  Can't get much brighter than that.  Adjustable speeds and flash modes, AND USB Charging.  This is the current best available tail light."
Fibre Flare Full Size Red ( 29cm)
Fibre Flare Full Size Red ( 29cm)
"My philosophy on night riding and bike illumination is, "more is more."  Add one of these to each of your seat stays for additional visibility.  As an added bonus, these also look rad."
Brooks B17 Standard Bicycle Saddle Mandarine B-17
Brooks B17 Standard Bicycle Saddle Mandarine B-17
"You'll never look back after getting a Brooks Saddle.  The leather breaks in and molds to your sit bones for a personalized fit.  Worth every penny."
Topeak Explorer Bike Rack
Topeak Explorer Bike Rack
"Very well made bike rack.  I'm partial to Racktime racks, but they're unavailable on Amazon. This is a suitable second choice.  Light, sturdy, high carrying capacity.  Win."
Michelin Airstop PRESTA Valve Bicycle Tube
Michelin Airstop PRESTA Valve Bicycle Tube
"Great lightweight and reliable tube.  I've had horrible luck with both sunlite and kendas.  So far so good on these..."
Greenfield KS2 Alloy Black Bicycle Kickstand (285mm)
Greenfield KS2 Alloy Black Bicycle Kickstand (285mm)
"A basic black alloy kickstand.  Go with the shorter length.  285 mm is plenty long.  The design won't get in the way of your spin and the black is less conspicuous than silver alloy."
Continental Grand Prix 4 Season Road Clincher
Continental Grand Prix 4 Season Road Clincher
"I swapped these on to my ride from a pair of hutchinson fusion long distance 700x23s after taking a spill on a slick road.  The traction and durability can't be beat.  For commuting I recommend 700x28c to take additional loads and dampen vibrations."
CatEye Strada Wireless Bicycle Computer (Black) CC-RD300W
CatEye Strada Wireless Bicycle Computer (Black) CC-RD300W
"Great intuitive, and accurate multi-function computer.  Snaps on and off the mount so you don't have to worry about thieves snatching it while your bike is locked up.  Plus it comes in many colors!"
TiGr Lock 24-Inch Bow 125 Flexible Standard Bike Lock, Titanium
TiGr Lock 24-Inch Bow 125 Flexible Standard Bike Lock, Titanium
"Sleek, lightweight, ultra-portable...Titanium.  What's not to love? This fits nicely over your top tube and is coated to protect from scratching.  Having seen a video of someone cutting the .75" band with bolt cutters, I recommend the "thicker" version of the TiGr lock, for those who want maximum security of more metal for thieves to hack through to get at your prized means of conveyance."
Kryptonite 997986 Black 18mm New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock
Kryptonite 997986 Black 18mm New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock
"It's not bomb-proof (ask anyone with a disc grinder), but it's the best there is.  The small size keeps it close to the frame and makes it difficult for thieves to get in with their tools.  Use in combination with a thick cable lock to keep your wheels safe, too."
Avenir Tightrope Cables (12mm / 7 feet)
Avenir Tightrope Cables (12mm / 7 feet)
"I use this cable lock with my kryptonite NY mini lock with great success.  Again, nothing is fool proof (ask anyone with a hex wrench set) but it makes things very hard.  Most bike thieves will look for easier prey."
Sea to Summit DryLite Towel
Sea to Summit DryLite Towel
"The modern aged chamois.  For those who can't afford the space to bring a full towel, a large micro fiber towel can wick you dry after your ride or shower and be ready for use again the next day.  Also not a space hog in your pannier, backpack or locker."
Coleman PVC/Nylon Rain Suit
Coleman PVC/Nylon Rain Suit
"Essential for the all-weather commuter.  I prefer the duck yellow for improved visibility."
Comfort Bath Value Size! Personal Cleansing, Ultra-Thick Disposable Washcloths, 4 packs of 8
Comfort Bath Value Size! Personal Cleansing, Ultra-Thick Disposable Washcloths, 4 packs of 8
"Basically diaper wipes to wipe down sweat and grime if you're not lucky enough to have a shower at work."
Tingley Mens 1400 Pull-on Boot
Tingley Mens 1400 Pull-on Boot
"Snap-on galoshes for wet weather commuting.  Arrive to work dry."
Ergon GP3 Bicycle Handlebar Grip
Ergon GP3 Bicycle Handlebar Grip
"Remember, almost 40% of your body weight is being distributed on your handle bars. One of the first upgrades to my commuter was to put on better grips to absorb shock and reduce wrist pain/numbness.  These also offer a wider range of hand positions.  Highly recommended.  The BioKork version looked cool, too, but I wasn't sure about durability so I stuck with graphite color."
Ergon PC2 Pedal
Ergon PC2 Pedal
"Many schools of thought on the right kind of pedal.  Clipping in for city rides is miserable if you have many stops, and mtb pedals have pins which can ruin dress shoes.  Track pedals are one sided, and cages are ugly. See a great independent review here: http://www.thecyclistsite.com/reviews/2011/10/12/ergon-pc2-l-pedals-follow-up-review.html"
Recycled Bicycle Tube Reflective Pant Leg Straps by Green Guru Gear
Recycled Bicycle Tube Reflective Pant Leg Straps by Green Guru Gear
"Pants in crank = bad.  Reflectors = good."
Planet Bike Black Hybrid/Touring Hardcore Fenders (45 mm Wide)
Planet Bike Black Hybrid/Touring Hardcore Fenders (45 mm Wide)
"I consider these optional for those who live in drier climates like the southwest.  These are perfect fenders for a road or hybrid bike.  They will cut down on the mud/sand/dirt spray from wet conditions.  Generally speaking, a rain suit for the occasional rainy day if you live in a dry climate like me is enough."
3M Scotchlite Reflective Striping Tape, Orange, .25-Inch by 50-Foot
3M Scotchlite Reflective Striping Tape, Orange, .25-Inch by 50-Foot
"Orange reflective rim tape, for added visibility and reduced weight.  Now you can ditch those crappy plastic reflectors in your spokes.  It also looks really cool, I think."
H&M CB12 Corrosion Block 12oz
H&M CB12 Corrosion Block 12oz
"A must for anyone with a steel frame or small steel parts who lives in a coastal region or rides in snow on salted roads.  This stuff will keep salt and water from oxidizing and rusting your precious bike.  Unlike WD40 it also forms a hard film for longer lasting protection."
Boeshield T-9 Waterproof Lubrication 12 oz aerosol
Boeshield T-9 Waterproof Lubrication 12 oz aerosol
"I recommend use in combination with Corrosion Block.  Use Boeshield on your frame and larger parts, and CB on connecting parts, bolts, and componentry."
Kool Stop Supra 2 Bicycle Brake Shoes (Threaded, Salmon)
Kool Stop Supra 2 Bicycle Brake Shoes (Threaded, Salmon)
"Ditch your crappy stock brake pads and grab some Kool Stop Salmons.  These are distinguished by their orange "salmon" color.  They are superior to graphite/composite brake pads in most conditions, but most notably in wet weather."
Park Tool Home PCS-9 Mechanic Repair Stand
Park Tool Home PCS-9 Mechanic Repair Stand
"They say you don't truly own your bike until you know it inside and out.  Maintaining your own ride is both cost saving and empowering.  This is the best bang for the buck stand out there."
Park Tool SK-1 Home Mechanic Starter Tool Kit
Park Tool SK-1 Home Mechanic Starter Tool Kit
"This kit has everything you need to avoid the shop.  Consider it a one time investment.  The average cost of a full tune up is $100.  This kit pays for itself after two tuneups, not to mention everything else you'll use it for."
2 list items are no longer in our catalog.