Join Date: Sep 2005
Bikes: Windsor Fens, Giant Seek 0 (2014, Alfine 8 + discs)
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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.
Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.