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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-20-07, 07:20 PM   #1
Elusor
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Commuting Accessories

What do I need for commuting for my bike? Sometimes I go at night.

Recommendations for goods?
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Old 04-20-07, 07:40 PM   #2
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Rack, panniers, lights (front and rear), pump, patch kit, tire levers, spare tube, fenders, cell phone, rain gear (if riding in the rain), lock, cyclocomputer, etc.
If using a backpack or messenger bag you don't need the rack or panniers.
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Old 04-20-07, 07:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
Rack, panniers, lights (front and rear), pump, patch kit, tire levers, spare tube, fenders, cell phone, rain gear (if riding in the rain), lock, cyclocomputer, etc.
If using a backpack or messenger bag you don't need the rack or panniers.
Does rack include rack baskets?
Tell me about panniers, how they work. I lock my bike outdoors.
Recommendations for lights? Bike light from Raleigh? Add a Helmet?
Pump, patch. Tire levers, what are those?
Spare tube?

Show me pics of good fenders? I am dirty from roads. Cagers +1, Me 0
Cell phone, check
Rain gear suggestions? Rain coat? Wind breakers pants?
Lock, I have Kryptonite.
Cyclo computers? What is those? What it useful for?
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Old 04-20-07, 07:54 PM   #4
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Well, lights for night; what kind depends on the environment. If you're cycling in a city where there are street lights, you just need "be seen" lights so drivers can see you. An LED headlight is good for that. For the taillight, a Planet Bike superflash will be great.
If you will be riding where it's dark and you need a light to see by, then you'll need one of the higher power LED lights (in the $40-$60 range) at minimum, but for that money you can get into starter-level halogen lights. $100 buys a pretty good halogen light.

Nobody needs a cyclocomputer to commute. It's a toy, pure and simple. Sure, most people have one, but it's just for fun.

NEEDS are subjective.
For riding in the rain:
Fenders are really the first thing. If it's warm, many of us actually think it's fine to just get wet, but that's only if you're riding with tight cycling clothing. If you're wearing a T shirt and cotton shorts, getting wet is kind of miserable. In any case, you still want fenders because otherwise you'll be getting road crap splashed up on you.
If you ride in the rain when it's cold, you'll want a decent rain jacket. You can start with a lightweight plastic jacket for emergencies, but if you want to make a habit out of riding in the rain, get a cycling-specific rain jacket that has a long tail and vents to let the sweat out. Expect to pay $100 and up for a decent rain jacket.

You need something to carry your stuff. You can start with a backpack, but I personally don't like sweaty back syndrome; eventually you may want to get panniers which are bags that mount on a rack (you'll probably need to buy the rack too, most bikes don't come with them).

A cell phone is nice if you have someone who can either rescue you or needs to be let know if you'll be late.

If you're parking your bike in a place where it's prudent, you'll need a lock. I know nothing about locks but there are hundreds of discussions of locks in here.

Tools: The main thing is to learn to change a tube. Your bike shop can show you if you don't know. Carry a spare tube and a couple of tires levers and a pump, at minimum, unless you like long walks home. How often you flat depends on your location. I flat maybe once a year. Some people live where there's lots of broken glass and they flat once a week.

You may want to also carry a multitool, but honestly you can probably live without it. But you'll want one anyway unless you want to be a slave to the bike shop, and pay them every time a little thing needs tightening. If you have one anyway might as well carry it.
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Old 04-23-07, 12:40 PM   #5
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Many modern accessories use clip-on attatchments but bolt-on are much better. If your bike has threaded eyelets for rack and fenders use them. I have seen countless riders with very well designed commuter bikes festooned with clips and bindings. I have even seen fenders mounted on top of the rack !!.
This is how its done.

Note the rear luggage rack has a built-in bracket for attatching rear lights. I wish I had this.
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Old 04-23-07, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elusor
Does rack include rack baskets?
Tell me about panniers, how they work.
I assume by "baskets" you mean panniers. Most racks don't come with panniers they are sold separately. Most panniers attach to you rack using an elastic cord. If you carrying a lot of stuff you will most likely want them. Prices will vary depending on size and quality. Check out this thread. I am looking to purchase some panniers and there were several great links and options in there.
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