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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 02-24-05, 11:03 PM   #1
kenhreed
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Top What should I bring with me when commuting?

I just started commuting and would like some advice on what experienced commuters bring with them. As of now I bring
1-patch kit
2-spare tubes
3-small tool kit
4-pump
5-rag
I'm sure there's some other things that I'll wish I had, probably when it's too late. Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 02-24-05, 11:09 PM   #2
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how far is this commute? sounds like a long trip
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Old 02-25-05, 03:31 AM   #3
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What I take:

Lock (Abus, not Kryptonite)
Multi-tool + park chain tool + spare links (and these days I always check I got the chain parts as I seem to always drop a chain when I don't have these)
park Wheel truing key
Pump + repair kit
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Old 02-25-05, 03:43 AM   #4
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I carry:

Pump
Spare tube
Self-adhesive patches
Tyre levers
Multi tool (inc. chain tool & spkoe key)
Track nut spanner
Leatherman
Spare batteries for lights

Oh, and a short piece of duct tape :-)

I also carry some surgical tape and a couple of dressings since the time I had to do the 2nd half of my commute with road rash dribbling blood down my leg.
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Old 02-25-05, 04:14 AM   #5
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Seems everyone is much the same, but less is best and the idea should be to not break down. You wouldn't expect a car to why expect a bike to.

I carry

Spare Tube
Pump
Patch kit
2 allen wrenches
If it's not raining a light weight rain mac, (really light weight).

I've been commuting for about 15 years and never needed any more and only rarely needed the above with the exception of the rain mac.

You need to maintain your bike so it doesn't breakdown, cleaning lubing and tightening stuff once a week, with a full take to peices and put back together, about 4 times a year. (Replacing anything that is worn out). I commute about 50-100 a week depending on where work is. I have never been stranded except when I crashed my bike into a car being stupid. Me not the car.
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Old 02-25-05, 05:31 AM   #6
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in winter I carry
pump
1 spare tube
patch kit
allen keys from a Cooltool.
spoke key
leatherman mini tool
zip ties
first-aid graze kit
waterproof over pants
spare socks
plastic bags
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Old 02-25-05, 05:44 AM   #7
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HID headlight
Halogen headlight (for backup)
LED helmet mounted light (mainly for repairs)
2 LED blinkies
waterbottle
pump

In seat bag:
Spare tube
Pressure guage
Patch kit
Tire levers
Screwdrivers
8 and 10mm ratchets
Small, 10mm cresent wrench
Spare chain link
Chain tool
Spoke wrench
Metric allen wrench set
$20 cash
Bus fare
Health insurance card
Energy bar
Spare AAA batteries for LED's
Electrical tape wrapped around ratchet
Zip ties
I bought individual tools instead of a multitool because I wanted to have top quality tools for work at home, as well as on the road. A good multitool would replace a lot of what I carry, but it just hasn't made it into the budget, yet.

In my saddlebags, I carry my wallet, work clothes, and lunch (I keep shoes at the office). I don't carry a lock because I keep my bike in a closet at work. If I have an unfixable problem to or from work, I can put my bike on the bus. In the winter, I also stick an emergency blanket in the saddlebags.

At work, I keep energy drink mix and drip lube. Sometimes I need the sugar boost to get home at the end of the day. Sometimes my chain has an annoying squeek I don't want to hear on the way home.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 02-25-05 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 02-25-05, 07:04 AM   #8
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Spare tube
Patch kit
Tire levers
Pump

Change of clothes and lunch.

I have any tool I need at work other than a chain tool. I have never needed one other than for planned maintenance.
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Old 02-25-05, 07:18 AM   #9
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1) spare inner tube
2) spare halogen bulb for headlight
3) tool kit with, chain tool, spoke wrench, adjustable spanner and tyre levers
4) mini-pump
5) locks
6) waterproof jacket
7) waterproof overtrousers
8) pen and paper for taking driver details in case of non-fatal (to me) accident
9) lights and blinkies with spare batteries
10) rubber shoe covers
11) baseball cap for putting under helmet in case of rain
12) glasses with interchangeable dark and clear lenses
13) 2 plasters
14) sram chain link
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Last edited by royalflash; 02-25-05 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 02-25-05, 07:25 AM   #10
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I don't bring anything other than my wallet, keys, comb and cellphone. I think the best plan is to make sure the bike is unlikely to break down, rather than bring a lot of stuff.

Paul
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Old 02-25-05, 09:43 AM   #11
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Ah yes tire levers, otherwise the pump, inner tube and puncture kit can become pretty useless. I can get my tires off without a lever in a warm dry house, but by the side of a road in the wet and dark, I doubt it.
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Old 02-25-05, 09:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigmikepowell
Ah yes tire levers, otherwise the pump, inner tube and puncture kit can become pretty useless. I can get my tires off without a lever in a warm dry house, but by the side of a road in the wet and dark, I doubt it.
In a crunch, your quick-release levers might work.
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Old 02-25-05, 10:17 AM   #13
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I carry similar to above, but would like to add:
An extra key for your lock. esp. if it is a lock that does not need the key to lock it. (i.e. padlock)
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Old 02-25-05, 10:28 AM   #14
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Aside from change of clothes, I don't bring anything for commuting that I wouldn't normally be carrying on any other ride. Same as a lot of the other posters: spare tube, patch kit, pump, tire levers, combo tool, presta/schrader adapter, and a few dollars.
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Old 02-25-05, 04:30 PM   #15
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pump
multi tool
wound wipes/dressings
money (bus.. also emergency boot for tire)
cell phone
lunch
poncho or rain suit
and the most important things:helmet, lights and spare batteries(I commute before daylight and sometimes after dark)

spare dry clothes at work
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Old 02-25-05, 04:31 PM   #16
kenhreed
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Thanks to all, I haven't even thought of bringing $, or tape, or anything to fix my chain,...and a few others. I appreciate your patience with the newby. F.Y.I., my commute is 13 miles one way, a mix of streets and bike path.
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Old 02-25-05, 07:25 PM   #17
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Some are uncomfortable without alot of stuff on their commute. Generally, the most you need is what is necessary to fix a flat. That is of course if you keep up the maintenance on your bike. In general most commuter bikes take a beating and require regular checking over, even more attention if your an all weather commuter. A well cared for ride will seldom break down on the road.
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Old 02-25-05, 09:19 PM   #18
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I don't even bring the stuff for the flat. I wouldn't be able to fix a flat anyway. I'm ashamed to admit I don't know how. I've never been able to pry the tire back on again.

I've got a phone, though, so I can call for a ride. Sensible shoes so I can walk.
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Old 02-25-05, 09:21 PM   #19
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I carry two multi-tools, actually (Topeak Toolbar, Topeak Alien)... along with a patch kit and CO2 inflators. I do not, however, carry extra tubes. Obviously my other normal stuff such as wallet, keys, cellphone, etc.
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Old 02-26-05, 12:02 AM   #20
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When I started commuting last year I carried so many tools it wasn't funny. I've pared it down to my pump, self adhesive patch kit, 4mm-6mm allen wrenches (two 5.5's for my seat post), a 15mm end wrench (for my rear wheel- single speed), multi-spoke wrench, two tire irons, and a screw driver thats double sided with reversible bits on each end. If I break down worse than that on my commute, then I'll just call for a ride. On longer rides than my 6 mile commute, I also care spare chain links and my chain tool. Oh and of course I carry my celphone.
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Old 02-26-05, 12:34 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I don't even bring the stuff for the flat. I wouldn't be able to fix a flat anyway. I'm ashamed to admit I don't know how. I've never been able to pry the tire back on again.

I've got a phone, though, so I can call for a ride. Sensible shoes so I can walk.
learn it is a shame to have to depend on someone else to fix your problem. don't be one of those females that are clueless about their transportation. I am sure your LBS can show you.
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Old 02-26-05, 02:23 AM   #22
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I carry this in my seat pack..

Topeak Hummer Multi-Tool w/Chain Tool
2 - Spare Tubes
2 - Tire Levers
1 - Crank Bros Speed Lever
1 - CO2 Inflator w/ 2 cartridges
1 - Park Tire Boot, in case you blow your tire
1 - Park Self Adhesive patch Kit
1 - Spoke Wrench
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Old 02-26-05, 04:42 AM   #23
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Spare tube, patch kit, the main three Allen wrenches, spoke wrench, tire levers, some duct tape, a piece of tuffy liner (for temporary fix on side wall puncture on the tire), rubber band, and a small bungee cord (one that will fit in the side compartment of the saddle bag, and an old sock.
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Old 02-26-05, 04:54 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I don't even bring the stuff for the flat. I wouldn't be able to fix a flat anyway. I'm ashamed to admit I don't know how. I've never been able to pry the tire back on again.

I've got a phone, though, so I can call for a ride. Sensible shoes so I can walk.
We all have our ways of dealing with things, but changing a tire is a basic skill. I'm a total klutz, and I even can do it. Practice at home on a day you don't need to bike. Get a good set of tire levers and a bike maintenance book you understand (you can use the library if you don't want to buy the book). Your LBS might be willing to show you. If they balk, offer to pay them $10 for "labor."
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Old 03-01-05, 11:50 PM   #25
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I carry the following always:
Spare tube
patch kit
Park tire boots
pump
tire levers
folding hex wrench
extra SRAM powerlink (I use SRAM chains...if it breaks I fix it with a powerlink)
water bottle
lunch
day's change of street clothes (I leave shoes at work)

If my ride is extended (basically if I add miles that day to exceed 20 one way) I also carry:
spare folding tire
2nd spare tube
chain tool

Last but not least if I ride the singlespeed I carry a couple of extra chain links...kinda need every one
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