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  1. #1
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    The #1 thing you've bought that has made your commute easier

    For me, it's the ridiculously-expensive-but-totally-worth-it pair of Outlier OG Pants. Being able to hop into a pair of nice slacks that stretch, wick sweat, and repel water/dirt/stains has been awesome. I rode through a heavy rain, had a little moisture on my thighs, but was totally dry within 15 minutes. I spent the rest of the day lecturing to my students but still looking professional. I know, I could just get rain pants for when I think it's going to rain and then change into cheap slacks at work and yadda yadda, but it's just easier to wear the same thing to work and at work--and it's great knowing that if there's an unexpected shower that I'll still be fine.
    "To me, it's always a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, 'Hey, can you give me a hand?,' you can say, 'Sorry, got these sacks.'"

    -- Jack Handey [Deep Thoughts]

  2. #2
    Still spinnin'..... Stealthammer's Avatar
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    Quality headlight.
    Just your average 'high-functioning' lunatic, capable of passing as 'normal' for short periods of time.....

    “The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has its limits.” - Albert Einstein

    “We all know that light travels faster than sound. That's why certain people appear bright until you hear them speak.” - Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nitram612's Avatar
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    I bought a studded tire for the front wheel on my fixed gear commuter this winter, and the difference is incredible. I feel like I can safely go at least 5 miles faster over icy roads than I would have with a non-studded tire. I just climb over icy bumps that would have sent me sliding before.

  4. #4
    Steel is real, baby! frpax's Avatar
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    I have 2 items

    1. Rack w/ trunk bag
    2. NiteRider headlight

  5. #5
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    My wife commutes by bike everyday and she lists her top three things as:
    1) rear rack/panniers- commuting just would not be happening without them
    2) fenders- without these rain/snow days would be miserable
    3) Pletscher twin leg kickstand- this addition really rocked her world as she didn't have to struggle loading/emptying her panniers with her bike leaning against a wall

    She also has other accessories such as lights and apparel that I think are just a given if you ride a bike.

  6. #6
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    Pedals.

  7. #7
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    Pretty similar to the OP, but I picked up a great, and expensive, pair of professional-looking riding pants from a company from Chicago called Nonetheless.

    Other than that, a solid head light
    2011 AeroCat R505
    2006 Specialized Allez
    1974 Schwinn Varsity

  8. #8
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Fenders. Close behind are quality panniers and lights.

  9. #9
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    The ring lock.
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata Six Ten | 1970 Hercules Three-Two-Speed
    Wife's Bike: 2008 Globe City 7

  10. #10
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gear View Post
    Pedals.
    +1
    When I put pedals on my bike, it cut down the commute time by 685%.....
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    - Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  11. #11
    Senior Member swwhite's Avatar
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    Ortlieb waterproof messenger backpack. Having all gear totally dry in pouring rain is well worth the money.
    Riding in search of the simple life.

  12. #12
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Not sure if this qualifies as "Things I've bought" maybe more like "best money spent".

    Membership and donations to the Charles River Conservancy and Livable Streets Boston- 2 organizations that proactively advocated for improvements to the Charles River bike path and bike lanes on Commonwealth Avenue- my 2 routes into work. After 30 years of riding an inferior and crumbling bike path and battling for respect and space on Commonwealth Avenue these improvements have made my commute easier than any rain gear, cycling shoe, pannier, studded tire...

    They have also made the city more bike friendly with more bike racks. MASS BIKE, was useless for about 25 years with regards bike infrastructure but they've finally changed their tune and I've appreciated their past efforts to allow access to public transit for cyclists. The bike racks on buses and particularly their efforts with commuter rail trains has made some of my longer commutes much better.

  13. #13
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stealthammer View Post
    Quality headlight.
    +1

  14. #14
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    Two quality head lights... one for the bar and the other for my helmet.

    Also.... gatorskins. Thank goodness for that.

    Neoprene socks. they rock.

    Ortlieb paniers. I love them.

    Brooks Saddle!

  15. #15
    Senior Member MNBikeCommuter's Avatar
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    Ditched the backpack for a pannier.

    And the list could go on, but as you only asked for #1...

  16. #16
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    1. Bright headlight (MiNext 600 Cordless)
    2. Quality tires (GP 4 Seasons)

  17. #17
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNBikeguy View Post
    +1
    When I put pedals on my bike, it cut down the commute time by 685%.....
    **************************************************
    The El Paso Bicyclist/

  18. #18
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    I'm with Andy_k - my headlight (MiNewt 600 Cordless) and my tires (Continental SportContact)
    **************************************************
    The El Paso Bicyclist/

  19. #19
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Okay, since nobody else said it... a bicycle.
    2011 Felt Q620
    2010 Motobecane Jury fixed gear
    2010 Surly LHT
    1992 Trek 1200
    1977 Schwinn Le Tour II fixed gear

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNBikeguy View Post
    +1
    When I put pedals on my bike, it cut down the commute time by 685%.....
    Hey that's no joke. When I was a kid, we weren't exactly dirt poor, but dad couldn't get around to fixing everything immediately. I stripped out a pedal on my 20" sting ray bike and rode around the entire summer with one pedal! My friends were always amazed that I could keep up with them by just contorting my foot and pushing on the top of the crankarm. The odd thing is, my dad repaired my bike by welding the pedal back on and it was not exactly perpendicular to the crankarm. I can still remember that strange, eccentric wobble of the pedal as the cranks went around and that bugged me way more than riding with one pedal!

  21. #21
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Rear rack.
    It served as a rear fender at the same time. I just attached a bag that has my lunch and extra clothes via a bungee cord. Best $$ spent, besides the bike itself.
    "Cycling is for pleasure not penance"

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvald001 View Post
    For me, it's the ridiculously-expensive-but-totally-worth-it pair of Outlier OG Pants. Being able to hop into a pair of nice slacks that stretch, wick sweat, and repel water/dirt/stains has been awesome. I rode through a heavy rain, had a little moisture on my thighs, but was totally dry within 15 minutes. I spent the rest of the day lecturing to my students but still looking professional. I know, I could just get rain pants for when I think it's going to rain and then change into cheap slacks at work and yadda yadda, but it's just easier to wear the same thing to work and at work--and it's great knowing that if there's an unexpected shower that I'll still be fine.
    +1 for Outlier pants. If your commute is short enough you don't wear bike shorts underneath, consider merino boxer briefs too. They don't cling or stink

  23. #23
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    #1 - Replaced my platform pedals with SPD pedals a couple years ago. That alone cut my commuting time by 10%-15%.

    Close #2 - Using the right tires. Slicks in the spring-summer-fall. Studs in the winter. (Instead of the stock knobbies that come with you typical mountain bike.)
    Last edited by DJ Shaun; 01-28-12 at 08:19 PM. Reason: typo

  24. #24
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Durable components... not the crap they sell to people who buy a bike and leave it in the basement.

  25. #25
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scroca View Post
    Okay, since nobody else said it... a bicycle.
    Ha . . . . . . . ha . . . . . . . . ha . . . . .
    **************************************************
    The El Paso Bicyclist/

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