I often get asked what gear is needed for cycling to work. Below is my gear list and a few tips for cycling to work. I take a fairly minimalist approach. I have separated the list into what I do each “Weekend”, what I do the “Night” before, what clothes I put on in the “Morning”, and what I grab on my “Way Out”. I also have a list of what is “Already at Work”.
Pack Tools in dry bag in rucksack. ( Multi-tool / Levers / CO2 Inflator & Canisters / Inner Tube / Pump )
Pack Clothes in dry bag in rucksack. ( Boxers / Socks / T-Shirt / Jeans ( Monday Only ) )
Pack Personal items in rucksack. ( Wallet / Keys / Passes / Phone / Prescription Eyewear )
Pack Lunch in rucksack.
Cycling High Viz Soft Shell.
Buff / Balaclava.
Already at work…
Jeans. ( taken Monday )
A few cycle to work tips…
Clean and maintain your bike. Clean your bike, lube the chain and inflate the tires if required every week for efficiency, safety and longevity. Learn how to do basic maintenance on your bike, especially fixing punctures, most cities now have free regular cycle maintenance workshops.
Buy tires with puncture protection. I was averaging a puncture every 200 miles until I swapped to Schwalbe’s Mountain Marathon Plus range. Since then I have done over 1500 miles and still no puncture. The inconvenience of changing punctured tires in bad weather can be demoralising.
Leave stuff at work. Don’t carry a heavy lock to and from work, buy a separate lock to keep at work. If like me you wear the same jeans all week, take them in on Monday and taken them home Friday. Don’t carry cosmetics into work every day, just leave a batch at work. I use a micro fibre towel at work like those from outdoor shops for travelling, it dries quickly and can be washed at work. Leave a pair of shoes or trainers at work too.
Spend wisely. Your hard earned cash is best spent on things like tyres with puncture protection, decent lights, quality tools and of course a bike with longer lasting higher quality components. These things will save you time, your life, and money in the long run.
Weatherproof yourself and the bike. Fit mudguards to your regular commuting bike. Or if that is too uncool try crud catchers. They not only keep you clean but also help keep your bike clean and protect parts from the horrific mixture of water, oil, mud, leaves, grit and corrosive salt that our roads are covered in during the winter months. Decent gloves, balaclavas and buffs keep your commute enjoyable in winter. Overshoes are also worth investing in for winter for the same reasons. Protective glasses both clear and tinted are in my opinion essential at all times of the year. And don’t forget sun cream during the summer if your commute is long and you don’t sun stroke or those lines on your legs.
Backup Lights. Buy yourself a pair of Knog Frog Strobe lights and leave them on your bike, they are tiny, discreet, surprisingly effective and cheap. One day you will forget your lights or run out of power and these will save you.
Use Common Sense. Wear a helmet. Use decent lights. Make yourself seen. Always be ready for anything to happen at any time. Don’t run red lights. Don’t cycle down the side of vehicles as approaching junctions, instead slow until you are between them. The vehicle that is now just behind you can see you and if the one that is now just in front of you makes a sudden manoeuvre you will be ready. Don’t listen to music.