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what are your best accessory/component purchases that you use on every commute?

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what are your best accessory/component purchases that you use on every commute?

Old 04-21-15, 08:06 AM
  #1  
InTheRain
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what are your best accessory/component purchases that you use on every commute?

Is there a great purchase you made that you have been using 5+ years on every commute? These might be the actual accessories or components that have stood the test of time and need to be considered by commuters that are just starting out. Give us the approximate cost if you can. For me:

1) Brooks B17 saddle - $50 on special - these are usually $150 - $200... I'd still do it for that price
2) Tubus cargo rack - $110
3) Ortlieb panniers - $90 for the set (used)
4) Shimano hub dynamo & wheel to power lights - $100
5) B & M front light ($125) and rear light ($40) powered by hub dynamo

There are some other things, but they are situational... rain gear, helmet, more lighting, and some other things that haven't hit the 5-year mark.
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Old 04-21-15, 08:25 AM
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Papa Tom
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1) Crappy Schwinn-branded rear rack trunk/pannier that I bought at Walmart for $25. My first one of these turned out to be defective, so Walmart replaced it after about six months without blinking. I have now been using this model for about two years. I don't think you can get it anymore, but my point is that you probably don't need expensive panniers for commuting.
2) SanDisk AAA-operated mp3 player and a great handlebar speaker I bought off eBay. The 4gb mp3 player cost me $9 as a close-out and has been working great for, I'd say, 6-7 years. The speaker was $12, I think, and pumps just enough volume to get me singing on my morning commute without being a distraction from traffic.
3) A retractable back scratcher ($3.99 at 7-Eleven). I often get itchy on my commute. This is an indispensable tool I keep in my bag.
4) Cuff Clip to keep my pants out of the chain.

Last edited by Papa Tom; 04-21-15 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 04-21-15, 08:39 AM
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SouthFLpix
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1- Cheap Velcro strap to keep my pants from getting caught in the chainrings (eBay - $2)
2- Onguard Mini U lock. Has kept my bike safe for years. I also have a full size U, but I use the mini more often. (About $25 from Amazon).
3- Topeak rack (about $30 from Amazon). Riding with a backpack didn't agree with me (back pain).

Last edited by SouthFLpix; 04-21-15 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 04-21-15, 08:47 AM
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TroN0074
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Best purchase I've done is the Hub Dynamo and the B & M lights $320, installed and ready to go.
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Old 04-21-15, 08:48 AM
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Fenders couldn't live without. I forget the price around $50.
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Old 04-21-15, 08:58 AM
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2 bungee cords to keep my bag strapped onto the rear rack... :-)
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Old 04-21-15, 09:22 AM
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Hmm...Brooks saddle and Axiom panniers that cost like $65 for the set and are holding up very well.
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Old 04-21-15, 09:28 AM
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Air Zound Air Horn.
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Old 04-21-15, 09:36 AM
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1 - bike lights. i now i have cycliq fly6 light/camera combo and now that i record everything i can't stop. it's amazing the things that happen.
2 - gloves if it's cold and handkerchief for hair, headband when it's hot, otherwise the sweat pours into my eyes.
3 - bike lock - i carry it when i commute but i use it maybe 1x-2x a week maybe out of 5 days, sometimes none.
4 - strava, garmin forerunner watch and heart rate monitor.
5 - bag. featherweight "backpack" - the material is like a recycleable bag. or the messenger bag.

stuff i don't carry anymore: small bike pump, extra tube, tire levers. i should start tho.

things i could use: cycling glasses. b/c of the wind my eyes tear always, everyday without fail. i thought it was the cold weather. it's the wind.

EDIT: i wear a helmet too. Giro. and use SKS raceblade fenders. i'm not sure i call these accessories but others might.

Last edited by snow_echo_NY; 04-22-15 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 04-21-15, 09:49 AM
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Wait...I guess I should include my bike.
'87 Peugeot: $50
Deore RD: $35
Nitto Randonneur bars: $40
Crank fixing bolt: $5
Bar tape: $8
cables/housing: $10
Dia-Compe 750 extra long reach brakes: $65
RibMo tires: $44
____________________________________________

Total Bike costs: ~$260

Free parts: cassette, truvativ gxp crank/chainrings & bb, ultegra left brifter, DA right brifter, 700c wheels (came with 27")

Hopefully selling my Volpe for $150, so if that happens, grand total will be $110.
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Old 04-21-15, 01:40 PM
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I've only been commuting for 2 years (this time around), but here goes:

Camelback Podium Chill water bottle - keeps the water cold throughout the entire ~1 hour commute: ~$10
Various water bottle cages: $5 to $20 (depending on which bike I'm commuting on)
Topeak Road Morph G pump - I've only used it once in the past 2 years, but I was very glad I had it: ~$35
Arkel Randonneur Seat Post Rack and Arkel Tail Rider trunk bag - Much more secure than my previous seat post rack, and much lighter than my previous rack and trunk bag.: $100 and $115, respectively
Dinotte Quad Red taillight - way bright makes me feel like I've at least got a fighting chance at being visible: $189
Niterider Lumina 650 - Excellent bar-mounted light: ~$90
Dinotte XML-3 helmet light - Allows me to see where I'm going as I do around downhill corners, see what exactly is that noise off in the bushes, and lets me "Light up" the inattentive drivers who are rolling through red lights to make their right turns just as I'm making my U-turn (with the green left turn arrow)
Bells - Cranes on a couple, Spur Cycle on the road bike - Allow me to alert pedestrians and other cyclists (sometimes) that I'm coming up behind, and also shoo away wildlife on the MUP: ~$15 to ~$40.

Last edited by KenshiBiker; 04-21-15 at 01:43 PM. Reason: Forgot the bells . . .
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Old 04-21-15, 01:51 PM
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My helmet. And a crane brass bell.
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Old 04-21-15, 02:21 PM
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caloso
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Planet Bike Superflash blinkie.
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Old 04-21-15, 02:39 PM
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fietsbob 
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LED Head and taillights powered by front Hub Dynamo . no reason to turn them off.
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Old 04-21-15, 02:41 PM
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Hypno Toad
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Planet Bike fenders - $30
Planet Bike SuperFlash Turbo rear light - $30
NiteRider 750 front light -$140
Chrome Citizen bag - priceless - I've had this thing for ~7 years. Keeps my stuff dry in driving rain, never loses anything, always comfortable, amazing capacity.... straight up my favorite accessory ever!
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Old 04-21-15, 03:23 PM
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Papa Tom
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What interests me most about this thread is how many of us (including myself) don't really remember what things cost us, even though we tormented over spending the money in the first place. This should teach us a lesson that when you pull the trigger on something that is going to make your life better, you won't miss the money as much as you thought you would.

Last edited by Papa Tom; 04-21-15 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 04-21-15, 03:37 PM
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That's really hard to say, since my commuter is a frame up build and nothing really stands out. The accessories that come to mind as the most used or handy would be the "Cree" headlight from Amazon (about $15-$20 currently), sunglasses, and assorted generic jerseys. I couldn't do without the jerseys for the pockets. I have some neoprene shoe covers that I like and which look pretty good, but honestly the DIY ones are more effective.

Wheels, I really like my Vuelta Corsa Pro wheels and would do it again but I'd probably choose the Lites over the Pro's.

Most everything else is DIY: fenders, tail light, mirror, bar and stem mounts, frame bag, tool compartment.

I'm not as newbie as all this probably sounds, not being all that excited about components and accessories - I'm at about 94% total commutes by bike the last five years (19,000 miles), and exclusively by bike for a couple more before that (with a department store bike) so I do have some experience.

Last edited by wphamilton; 04-21-15 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 04-21-15, 04:51 PM
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MKS Sylvan Touring pedals
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Old 04-21-15, 04:57 PM
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I don't consider the saddle or fenders as accessory so I will have to say Pletscher rear rack. Nothing else is as convenient, useful or reliable.

Marc
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Old 04-21-15, 04:57 PM
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- Fenders are most useful to me, it was the first thing I bought after buying my bike.
- I also like my roll-top waterproof backpack and my messenger bag.
- Bell
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Old 04-21-15, 06:03 PM
  #21  
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I really like the comfort of my SPD SL pedals and shoes. Then of course lights, gloves, cages and bottles. I think I'll get one of those under the saddle topeak bags sometime...
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Old 04-21-15, 06:49 PM
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Sunglasses in the sun, and clear safety glasses for low visibility conditions. They were about $4 each.
My contacts dry out from the wind if I don't protect them.
My eyes are sensitive to light so I always wear sunglasses outside in the day.
One crash I slid on my face but the tinted safety glasses kept road crud out of my eyes.
There are big goopy bugs around sunset on a good portion of my routes. The safety glasses keep bugsplat out of my eyes.
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Old 04-21-15, 08:58 PM
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The only thing I use on EVERY commute is the one light that I can't afford two of - my DS500 taillight - which moves between bikes, and my bag, which is a Topeak rack trunk on the matching racks on both bikes.

And I guess my shoes, which are Sette mountain shoes bought on sale about 5 years ago for $35. They're just now showing a hole, so I guess I'll need to replace them before next winter. I'll probably hang on to them and use them for foul weather/summer though when I don't care about holes.
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Old 04-21-15, 09:13 PM
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My bike was made with steel rims, so I'd say that the absolute best improvement was building a pair of alloy wheels. So far as accessories, a Wald 585 basket for about 20 bucks. I've always preferred baskets over panniers for some reason.
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Old 04-21-15, 10:29 PM
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Hydraulic disc brakes.
Carbon fork.
Having the same drive train on all my bikes.
Replacing heavy full-coverage fenders with race blades.
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