The Equipment Checklist for Bicycle Commuting
You’ve bought your new bike and now you’re ready to go! That’s mostly true, you can just get on the bike and ride wherever you want to but you are taking unnecessary risks that could lead to disaster later on.
Consider the bicycle to be the most important part of your bike commute. The tires have to be filled properly, the seat must be adjusted right and the chain must be clean. This is a great start but it will only be complete once you have the rest of your equipment ready as well. Here are the essential accessories you need before commuting regularly.
You need lights on the front and the back of your bike. Lights are not optional, they are a primary safety standard. The lights on your bike are important for low visibility conditions such as late evening or at night. Motorists cannot perceive shapes very easily in the dark and they might see you on your bike too late to react. Make sure you have lights that pulse or flash as well since they are clear indicators that you are present on the road.
Bike locks that fasten your bike chassis and wheels safely to another structure are important. You don’t want anyone to steal your bike so you need to secure it at all times. Bike locks come in many shapes and sizes but you want something that is sturdy yet lightweight so you can carry it around without too much encumbrance. Keep in mind that two locks is probably better than one as people more than happy to bring some crafty tools to break your lock. With two locks, they are less likely to steal your bike because it is not worth the extra effort!
You’d be surprised at how many people do not have a bell on their bike. It seems innocuous enough but a bell actually makes a lot of sense on a commuting route. You don’t just have to deal with cars but other bikers and pedestrians as well. If you need to pass another biker or you are travel at some speed towards a crowded crossing, a bell would be useful to let people know that you are coming. Some people feel shouting is enough but a good bell is just more dignified!
Surely, you don’t need a lecture about why helmets are important do you? Let’s take this time to talk about some of the nicer bike helmet features that are available today. Get a helmet that ergonomically fits on your skull and something that has a nice aerodynamic design with space for air circulation. Lightweight helmets are preferred as they cut down on weight.
There is no need to carry an entire toolbox with you every day but a small bike tool roll that holds a few essentials can be good enough. Small bike tools are easily available and some have been designed to take up no space at all. Consider carrying a spare inner tube and a mini pump in case you get a flat tire, these are not essentials but they can make all the difference if you get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere.
With the boom in commuter biking and this incredible list of bike parts and accessories, the humble backpack has evolved into a commuter backpack. We’ve listed many important accessories already and unless you have huge pockets, it is very likely that you are going to need to store them in a bag. Vincita has a commuter backpack that fits all the parts we’ve mentioned already. If you want some other types of bicycle bags, don’t worry we’ve got you covered.