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Commuting essentials...

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.

Commuting essentials...

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Old 07-25-08, 11:36 PM
  #1  
thebeard
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Commuting essentials...

What do I need? I've been going to school and everywhere on my bike for quite a while, but I'm going to do a lot more serious riding this year. There's probably a thread about this, and if so, someone please simply post the link. I just want to know a concise list of stuff to keep in my seat bag and messenger bag. I know some of the obvious ones, but include them in the list anyways. If you have a good multi-tool to recommend, that would be awesome as well. In fact, if you include an item, post what you feel is a good brand of said item.

Thanks,

max

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Old 07-26-08, 12:06 AM
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Here's what I carry:

In seat post bag:
* Pre-glued patches (from Park Tools, works well)
* Tire levers (Pedros)
* Spare tube
* Chain tool (collapsible model from Park Tools)
* $5 emergency money / also serves as tyre boot
* Multi-tool (Bell, bought at Walmart, works well)
* Spoke wrench (Crank Brothers)
* Cellphone

On Frame:
* Topeak Road Morph pump
* Two water bottles, one CamelBak Podium, the other generic...
* In plain sturdy aluminum bottle cages, nice and secure.

If I'm carrying panniers, I carry most of the stuff inside them.
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Old 07-26-08, 12:17 AM
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eAspenwood
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crank bros 19 mutil tool.
spare tube
soma steel core tire levers
pump ( i like my planet bike roadie frame pump, but the topeak road morph seems pretty popular)
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Old 07-26-08, 12:25 AM
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Well, when I commute to work, I don't even take a seat bag. I put my tube patching kit and multi-tool in a plastic bag which I toss in my messenger bag. Most authorities in this forum advise to take spare tubes instead of patches. I get my accessories (tube patching kit, tire tools, multi-tool) from walmart and all of them are Bell brand. I've been pretty happy with Bell brand accessories. I also take my tire pump. My morning ride is in the dark, so I use my Bell headlight and tail light combo (there are WAY better brands out there!) and my Bell mirror which fastens to by handle grip with a large velcro strap. I hate to sound like a Bell commercial but I grab an armfull of accessories at Walmart. I also take my cable lock which I keep on my bike frame. Once I get to work I cable lock my bike, use the U-lock (which I leave at work). I remove my headlight, taillight, mirror and tire pump. If you take a seat bag, remove it at school or your nice multi-tool may turn up missing. So my list is, in messenger bag:
tub patching kit
spare plastic tire tools
multi-tool
and then, my personal items.
On bike:
Headlight
Taillight
Cable Lock
Tire pump

Ernest

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Old 07-26-08, 12:40 AM
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eAspenwood
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^^^. oh yeah, lights and lock are key too.
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Old 07-26-08, 04:15 AM
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The other lists are pretty complete. I would add:
1.Mirror--Will give you confidence riding in traffic, a must have
2.Rain gear/big zip locs for vauluables, spare clothes/shoes
3.Yes, you need a tube+pump, but if you run w/ puncture resistant tires, it will save you most of the trouble.
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Old 07-27-08, 09:53 AM
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thebeard
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Thank you guys sooooo much!
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Old 07-27-08, 10:49 AM
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All i carry is my rear blinkie for just in case i need to ride home at night. Its nice to have a bike shop EVERYWHERE.
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Old 07-27-08, 10:55 AM
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My minimum gear for the commute includes my toolkit, front and rear lights, patch kit, spare tyre, pump, and rain gear.

It all fits in a smallish backpack that also has a hydration pack... it is very easy to become dehydrated and I find that with the pack I drink more than I do when I have a cage mounted bottle(s).

A cel phone can also save your butt.
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Old 07-27-08, 11:11 AM
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general multitool
hex wrenchs
small channel locks
patches
levers(3)
money ($2 in bills, 1$ in change)
Tube(s)
Phone
wallet
extra ziplocks
water bottle
pump
plastic bags when using panniers (for water protection)
granola bar (kashi)
This fall, will add a good set of lights as well.

I have had to change flats and perform quick emergency adjustments, and this loadout has served me well. The tools, levers, and patches go in the seat bag. The pump and water on the frame, and the other things in either my trunk bag or my panniers when installed.
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Old 07-27-08, 08:07 PM
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There's no point in carrying a tool you don't know how to use...

...and if you know how to use it, you already know what tool you want to carry.
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Old 07-27-08, 08:20 PM
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I carry/have:

in seat bag:
allen wrenchs (park)
spare tube
generic multi-tool

messenger bag:
shirt, socks
cereal bar
pump
wallet
cellphone
lock(s)
keys

on bike:
rear blinkie (red, only for early morning, sunset, i don't ride at night)
water (!!!)
cyclocomputer

and i wear gloves and a helmet. and i'm thinking about getting a mirror soon. jeez. i thought it was pretty minimal till i listed it all out. guess not...
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Old 07-27-08, 08:24 PM
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My toolkit... it now includes a vintage lock-ring / wheel wrench tool for a vintage Perry hub and a bb tool.

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Old 07-27-08, 08:34 PM
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A Decent freaking travel PUMP!!!!!!!

Went on a ride with a bunch of friends today and we had 3 flats! (none were me I planned my tire choice better)
One bike had 2 of the flats and the second was the patch was cheesy. Cheap bike and thank god I had my leatherman with me to help get the back wheel off their bike. They thankfully had a spare tube.

Their pump sucked and we couldn't get the tire aired up with it. One of the other folks had a sealer inflate Jobey. The tip broke as we tried to use it and shot sealing foam all over the place.
Another guy had a CO2 set up. That worked really well but a one time deal.

Guess who had the next flat? Yep the guy that gave up his CO2.

Got our hands on a better pump and got him back but never did get him up to full tire pressure. Even with the better pump his tires were 120psi and I doubt we got 90lb in them before our arms were ready to fall off. REI has some good reviews on pumps.
I'm liking either the Topeak "Morph's" or the Road master.
http://www.rei.com/category/4500131
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Old 07-27-08, 09:17 PM
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Here's what I carry...



















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Old 07-27-08, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Grim View Post
A Decent freaking travel PUMP!!!!!!!
<snip>
I'm liking either the Topeak "Morph's" or the Road master.
http://www.rei.com/category/4500131
Topeak Turbo Morph G
For some reason REI doesn't carry it so I bought mine from ModernBike. On sale ATM too. Good pump. ModernBike shipped quickly too.
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Old 07-27-08, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Technojunkie View Post
Topeak Turbo Morph G
For some reason REI doesn't carry it so I bought mine from ModernBike. On sale ATM too. Good pump. ModernBike shipped quickly too.
Hay I like that one. Does it come with a mount?
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Old 07-27-08, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by shubonker View Post
All i carry is my rear blinkie for just in case i need to ride home at night. Its nice to have a bike shop EVERYWHERE.

I live in Manhattan. I intend to buy a bike this week (hence joining this board for research). I've been shopping around. I was reading through this list and thinking, "Hmm, there's a bike store in Manhattan about every three blocks..."

So I'm not crazy to think that.
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Old 07-27-08, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Grim
Hay I like that one. Does it come with a mount?
Yes, though I carry mine in a pannier.
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Old 07-27-08, 11:08 PM
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Keep em' coming! And, thanks soo much again!
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Old 07-28-08, 09:56 AM
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Minitool with chain breaker
Stick on patch kit
mini pump
band-aid
cable lock
extra tail and headlight
2 tire levers

Rain jacket (haven't seen this one on the list.)

In the fall/spring I add leg and arm warmers.
In the winter I add dry socks, a full face balaclava and disposable instant hand warmers.
In the winter you may be plenty warm cranking along, but suffer a mechanical problem and you can get really cold really fast while walking or fixing your bike. You have to prepare for that.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris_G View Post
I live in Manhattan. I intend to buy a bike this week (hence joining this board for research). I've been shopping around. I was reading through this list and thinking, "Hmm, there's a bike store in Manhattan about every three blocks..."

So I'm not crazy to think that.
But the store could be closed, or quite busy, or want $10 to tighten a screw. Do you want to wait 15 minutes because the screw popped out of your rack and your rack now rattles around while you ride? Everything and the kitchen sink may be overkill when you are commuting in a dense city but I would still carry basics:
- multitool with screwdriver and allen keys
- spare tube
- small but useful pump (i like the road morph)
- levers IF you need them to get your tire off your rim
- zip ties (I rarely seem to have these on me but they are indispensable)

If you get a flat you can always say hey I don't want to bother with it, I'll go to this LBS in two blocks. But if the LBS goes hey we're really busy it will be an hour, you can do it yourself and have already stocked up on cheap tubes and not have to buy them at whatever they are charging.

Oh and to the OP list I would add a rain coat (if you commute with panniers, just stow it inside all the time). (depending on temperature) I don't know how many times the weather has looked great but a downpour has quickly moved in.
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Old 07-28-08, 10:31 AM
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i carry:

1. rear blinkie (permanently attached to bag)
2. $120.35
3. a willingness to carry my bike through any conditions and over any terrain.
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Old 07-29-08, 01:49 PM
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LIGHTS!!!!!! Get high powered strobes front and rear, not just the cheap blinkers.
I even use a flag. I trimmed it down in size and height so I don't look like an idiot.
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Old 07-29-08, 02:19 PM
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I pack very heavy. I have a long, fast, hilly commute on 25c tires on rough roads, so I've had some pretty bad commutes - multiple broken spokes, tire/tube blowouts, multiple flats, deraileur failures, broken chains, etc. The good news is I've only had to call for help once when BOTH headlight systems failed on the same night (I have a love-hate relationship with NiteRider).

I generally try to keep the items on this as compact and cycling-specific as possible:
2 Tubes
2 CO2 cartridges
2 Park tire levers
CO2 injector (the itsy bitsy tiny one)
Topeak Alien (has almost everything)
Park frame pump (full-size, baby!)
Clif Bloks
Park Tire boot
SRAM Quick link
Hand sanitizer (tiny size)
Roadside first-aid kit (renewable, cycling specific in a nylon zipper-bag)
$20 cash
Cell phone w/camera
Small water-proof notepad (believe it or not - from REI)
Tiny Fisher Space Pen (works like a champ in sub-freezing weather after sitting idle for a year)
NiteRider Trinewt (actually had a car pull to the side of the road one morning when it was in strobe mode)
Annoyingly bright dual-flashing taillight
And for experimental routes: Garmin Nuvi 260 on a handlebar mount

What I'm thinking of adding:
Flat roll of duct tape (for true emergencies)
Spare folding tire (It seems like everytime I put it back in the trunk bag, I slash a tire - am I jinxed?)
Needlenose Pliers (for pulling metal out of tires, etc)
Scissors (for apocalyptic commutes)

What might come in handy, but I will probably note ever carry:
Gun
Knife
Spare wheels
Minipump (Great for inflating soccer balls but not road tires)
A first aid kit large enough to actually treat road rash
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