Commuting by bicycle definitely has its advantages. You can breeze by cars (while obeying your city’s bike and traffic laws, of course) and revel in the great outdoors before and after work. If your preferred mode of transportation is on two wheels, there are a few bike-commuting essentials that every rider should consider for their arsenal. These are our six tried-and-true picks to make your travels safer and more convenient.
GEAR ESSENTIALS FOR BIKE COMMUTING
- Mission Workshop Rambler bike bag, $305
- Polar Bottle Breakaway Insulated 20 oz. water bottle, $14
- Thousand Bullitt Gloves, $38
- Urban 900 Commuter Combo bicycle lights, $100
- Ortlieb Twin City Urban pannier bag, $180
- Kryptonite New-U Evolution Mini-7 bike lock, $70
WATERPROOF BIKE BAG, $305
You never know what’s going to be thrown your way when you’re cycling. That includes the unpredictable weather. Be prepared with a waterproof bicycle bag like the Mission Workshop Rambler. The minimal unisex design is actually quite deceiving because it nearly doubles in size for those days when you need to make make a quick Whole Foods stop. It has a water-resistant main compartment and can be secured with either a roll-top or flip-down configuration depending on what you’re carrying. Best part? It’s made in the U.S.A.
PORTABLE CYCLING WATER BOTTLE, $14
No matter the climate in your city or length of your bike commute, you need to stay hydrated. It’s important to quench your thirst before, during, and after the ride. Of course, there are hundreds of bottles to choose from, which makes this decision unnecessarily difficult. An ideal option is the Polar Bottle Breakaway Insulated 20 oz. water bottle. At 4.5 oz., it’s lightweight and compact, keeps liquids nice and chilled and has a grippy layer to make holding and squeezing a cinch.
COMFORTABLE BIKING GLOVES, $38
Riding a bicycle several times a week can take a toll on your hands. Keep calluses at bay with our vintage-style Bullitt biking gloves that are both sleek and functional. The perforated surface allows air to flow through, and the padded palm adds extra comfort for rides of all kinds. Plus, the supple, leather feels oh-so-smooth against the skin.
FRONT AND REAR BIKE LIGHTS, $100
It should come as no surprise to you that we’re all about safety. That’s why we believe you can never be too safe, especially when it comes to visibility. We recommend both head- and taillights for your mountain bike or road bike. The Urban 900 Commuter Combo is a combo pack that’s affordable and powerful, and comes with a 900 Lumen headlight and 600 Lumen tail light with premium CREE LEDs. One feature that sets it apart from other lights is its enhanced amber side lighting that aims to prevent intersection collisions. It’s also waterproof and built to withstand drops up to 3.2 feet (1 meter).
DURABLE PANNIER BAG, $180
If you prefer to cart your belongings on your road bike instead of your back, your best bet is a bicycle pannier bag. The Ortlieb Twin City Urban is a convertible option that you can affix to your bike and then carry as a shoulder bag. The system is adjustable and can attach to any bike without a tool. It’s big enough for a tablet or small laptop and the essentials like keys, wallet, phone, snacks and lock.
THEFT-PROOF BIKE LOCK, $70
Bicycles often become targets for thieves looking to make off with a set of new wheels. While there’s no perfect bike lock solution, one that withstands almost any attack is the Kryptonite New-U Evolution Mini-7. The 13-millimeter steel shackle, with a patent-pending hardened double deadbolt, is one of the toughest U-locks on the market. The additional 4-foot cable helps secure the front wheel, and a generous one free year of Kryptonite’s anti-theft protection helps sweeten the deal. (P.S. This bike lock also fits the signature PopLock feature on all Thousand commuter bike helmets.)
Ready to ride? There’s just one more essential that you can’t forget – your helmet! Shop our collection of vintage-inspired bicycle helmets here.