Thinking about riding your bike to work but aren't sure you have what it takes? A fews ago, for “Bike to Work Week”, I decided to share my 5 "Must Have" accessories for riding your bike to work. In case you missed the Instagram livestream, here's a recap of my list. Let's go!
This may sound obvious, but the most essential part of riding your bike to work is having a bike that you love to ride!
My current ride is a Norco Search S2 (“S” stands for Steel). This bike has a Chromoly steel frame, which makes it a little bit heavier than aluminium, but it also makes it much more compliant – meaning it's not as stiff and it smooths out some of the bumps (which is a huge benefit when riding on the bumpy roads of Winnipeg). What also smooths out the bumps is the fact that the Norco Search 2 is a gravel bike. A gravel bike essentially is a road bike with wider space in-between the forks for the wheels.
My current setup has 40 width wheels, but you could probably go as high as 50 width wheels; which would be super cushiony (but a little bit slower) but less likely to flat, less likely to get jarred off your bike, or to spill your morning coffee on your ride to the office.
Even if you’re not riding at night; having a light on your bike is an essential part of staying visible on the road.
On the front of my bike, I have the Serfas True 750. I use the “flashing” option when I'm riding during the day; and in the dark, I set it to “solid” for a bright continuous light source. It comes in two colours, with the option of a 500 or 700 lumens brightness rating; which is perfect for seeing the path in front of you, and for getting noticed by other vehicles. I also love that it’s loaded with USB rechargeable batteries; so when the battery starts to die, or if you're just a heavy user and you want to have a backup battery, you don’t have to be caught in the dark – you can simply replace them with another battery.
I also ride with a strong rear light that flashes during daylight, and at night I set it to solid so that I get seen (because humans who are driving cars don't necessarily pay attention to bicycle riders on the road).
If you’re going to ride your bike to work, and make it back home again in one piece, it’s a brilliant idea to put flashy lights on your bike.
I love riding with my trusty Garmin bike computer! Having an onboard bike computer gives me as much feedback or data as I want. In winter, I use it on my training bike to provide lots of data about my ride (because I'm not moving and I can stare at my screen as much as I want). During the warmer outdoor months, I typically set it to show less data, or I’ll set up a route map. A few weeks ago I was involved in a 100km race, so I downloaded it onto my Garmin and was able to follow the route on my bike computer. It was awesome!
You don’t need to use a Garmin like mine. In fact, my current computer is almost 7 years old and needs to be replaced with one of the latest versions from CatEye, Giant, and Garmin.
Looking for a bike computer? Buy one now from Olympia’s online store.
4. Water Bottle
It should come as no surprise that a water bottle is a must-have if you’re planning to ride to work – but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for the boring plastic water bottle from your neighbourhood tire shop. These days there are lots of great designer options from brands like Camelbak and Hydro Flask to help keep you hydrated. But there’s no reason to stop there – I’ve got a fancy cage on my bike from Supacaz that adds that extra “bling” to my ride. It’s made of lightweight aluminium and comes in some pretty cool colours; making it a fun way to customise your bike and make it your own!
If you’re going to be riding regularly, you’re going to want to take stuff with you; and the best way to do that is by investing in a quality backpack or saddle bag.
My backpack of choice is the Evoc Explorer Pro 30. It's actually pretty huge! I've chosen to use a backpack for my commuting, mostly because I use my bike for so many activities. I don't always want a rack on the back, so a backpack is a great alternative. It's got a ton of pockets and it was designed for explorers in mind.
It's got room for my shoes, it's got venting on the back so my back doesn't get sweaty; and I've there’s plenty of room for all my accessories too – I've got a spare tube, tools for performing roadside maintenance, a patch kit, and a CO2 inflator that can refill my tire in just a few seconds. (It is a great addition to my bag, and should really be #6 on this list of essential items…it’s that invaluable).
So there you have it, my 5 Things You Need For Riding Your Bike to Work. I’d love to know what you’d put on your list. Drop your Top 5 in the comments below.
To find these items and other great biking accessories shop our online store at olympiacycle.com
I’m Coach Robb. We’ll see you on the trails!