When you commute in your car, you know precisely what you need to start the day right. An industrial-size caffeine IV drip, your portable massaging seat cover, your soothing speed metal mix, and your briefcase full of memos you’re never going to read. When you switch to pedaling your way around town, just because you don’t have all the space of a car doesn’t mean you need any less stuff, you just need different stuff, because the cup holder on the bike works oddly. If you aren’t sure what you need, or just need a few suggestions, we’re here to help.
When it comes to choosing the must-have stuff for bike commuting, we picked only the items that would make life easier without weighing you down to pump in as much fun as we could into heading to the office or the store. Each piece is designed to add pleasure, safety, and ease to the harsh world of the bike commuter and a sense of enjoyment into the daily grind.
BIRZMAN Velocity Mini Pump
Bringing a CNC machined body with expandable hose that pumps out 160 psi yet takes up the minimum of space, the Mini Pump is the go-to air supplier for serious riders who know the importance of getting a decent pump out on the road. Able to engage with both Presta and Schrader valves, this is the cyclists fix-a-flat system for dealing with goatheads and curb pinches.
Cygolite Metro 360/Hotshot 2W Combo Light Set
Literally a matter of life and death, particularly for the city commuter, a nice pair of lights is how cars know not to run you over. With 360 lumens out the front and a super bright rear light, this lights up the night and keeps you safe. Completely rechargeable with multiple flashing settings, unbreakable waterproofing, and extended battery life, you’ll end up buying a second set for evening runs and nighttime hiking trips.
Forget about clips and cuffs, the Leg Shield keeps your pants protected and out of the workings of your bike so that no only do you avoid tearing your Brooks Brother’s slacks, you don’t need to fret over the road grime and grease that frustrates your dry cleaner. Created with a thin neoprene layer, the Leg Shield fights stains, pairs seamlessly with reflective gear, and is breathable for more comfort and less sweaty trouser legs.
Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug
Here’s your coffee delivery system. Using a one-handed flip-top lid, it’s easy to crack open and the body fits into most water bottle cages, so no aftermarket alterations to your bike are needed. Using a stopper that comes entirely apart, the mug is easy to clean and a stainless steel body prevents it from cracking on concrete.
Spurcycle Black Bell
This isn’t a dainty little dinger for signalling to Susie that you want to go to the malt shop. This is a serious, modern piece of equipment that is intended to cut through traffic noise on busy streets so you’ll never go unnoticed. The compact body and directional reverberations create a sharp, noticeable sound while the hardened body prevents oxidization or wear and tear from hard use.
Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant
Streets are filthy places full of grit and filth that will gum up your gears, degrade your derailleurs, and choke your chain, making every movement arduous. With Tri-Flow, you can easily keep your stuff clean and moving slick and smoothly. It uses both a light oil that penetrates deeply to cut through surface sludge, then adds in flakes of teflon to facilitate movement so that even after the oil has wiped away, you’ll still have loads of lube to help you along.
Pure Fix Coolidge
Fixed gear and single-gear bikes have come back in a big way and are prized by commuters for their lightweight and simple, fail-free design. Among all the options out there, the reasonably priced Coolidge with its 4130 chromoly frame, flip-flop rear wheel that can change from fixie to lone gear quickly, drop handlebars, and standard Thickslick tires has everything a newbie commuter needs with everything an old hand could want.
Kryptonite 18mm New York Fahgettaboudit U-Lock
New York is the home to more bike thefts than almost anywhere in the world. Leaving your cycle for more than a few minutes in the Big Apple will almost guarantee it will be stolen, unless you lock it down with the Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit. Made to fight the mean streets of the toughest city in the world, this can’t be broken by picks, bolt cutters, black magic, or anything short of an angle grinder and a lot of time.
A stylishly vintage bike helmet that is compact enough to go anywhere but tough enough to keep your cranium intact, the Thousand Helmet can lock to your bike easily, uses vegan leather straps to affix it to your head, and has loads of ventilation so your gorgeous mane is never soaked in sweat. Made in three colors and sizes, it’s more than tough enough to take serious spills, even at speed.
VeloChampion Multifunction Tool
18 different functions including a chain tool, several screwdrivers, and hexes for all the bolts on your bike make this tool from VeloChampion a king among paupers. Slim enough to go in your pocket, backpack, or saddlebag, yet able to cope with any problems thrown its way, this is an investment in peace of mind. It’ll keep you on the road long after other tools would have failed. It even fits away in its own carrying case so it won’t grease up your daytime duds.
The stripe up your back from riding a bike is a humiliating mark of shame for anyone who ever hopes to be taken seriously as a human being. For a cheap, effective way to prevent that skunk striping from ruining your ride, you need an Ass Saver. Made of foldable plastic, you can take it anywhere for a stripe-b-gone solution that doesn’t add weight to your vehicle or detract from the clean lines of your bike.
Aer Fit Pack
Simple, stylish, incomparable, the Fit Pack is a tiny, subtle bag for storing your essentials. With a moisture resistant polyester pocket, sweaty commute clothes can disappear the moment you hit the office and not taint the other essentials with their funk. Just the right size for the stuff you need with a look that’s 100% pro, it will never weigh you down.