Beginner: What essential gear to purchase?

MichaelW2

Veteran
First I would set a budget for commuting by any other means (public transport, motorbike etc). This sets a reasonable upper limit to your spending. Set a budget over 5 years of daily commuting. You may not ride every day but it is a useful excercise.

Regarding kit.
For bike
Sks chromoplastic bolt on mudguards.
Puncture resistant tyres of appropriate width.
Lights
Bolt on Rear rack
One rear pannier.

For you
Padded cycling shorts
Leggings
Gloves or mitts
Woollen socks
Buff
Windproof not waterproof top, bright reflective.
Waterproof top bright reflective.
Waterproof pants
Sealskins wp socks.
Wicking T shirt or jersey, short sleeve
Light fleece midlayer
Eye protection
Helmet

Carry kit
Spare inner tube
Puncture repair kit
Bike tool, pump, small blade for removing shards.
Ductape, zipties for fixing anything.
Basic first aid patch kit inc antiseptic wipes.

Clipless pedal shoes are optional but useful for longer faster rides.

You dont need premium brands.
Obvs you adjust your kit for weather conditions but you can often require an extra layer if you stop for repairs, return later at night.
Charged mobile phone can replace map, compass, torch, 10p coin and clean handkerchief.
 
That's what I've got. Comfy, doesn't make your head look like a mushroom and an added bonus, it matches my bikes. :biggrin:
 

davidphilips

Über Member
Location
Onabike
Looking at some peoples carry kit, you might think Shoot a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff!
LOl, Perhaps even have a lot more fun than cycling in the rain, breathing in the exhaust fumes and avoiding the car drivers that take great delight in trying to drive as close as they can with there horns sounding.
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
First I would set a budget for commuting by any other means (public transport, motorbike etc). This sets a reasonable upper limit to your spending. Set a budget over 5 years of daily commuting. You may not ride every day but it is a useful excercise.

Regarding kit.
For bike
Sks chromoplastic bolt on mudguards.
Puncture resistant tyres of appropriate width.
Lights
Bolt on Rear rack
One rear pannier.

For you
Padded cycling shorts
Leggings
Gloves or mitts
Woollen socks
Buff
Windproof not waterproof top, bright reflective.
Waterproof top bright reflective.
Waterproof pants
Sealskins wp socks.
Wicking T shirt or jersey, short sleeve
Light fleece midlayer
Eye protection
Helmet

Carry kit
Spare inner tube
Puncture repair kit
Bike tool, pump, small blade for removing shards.
Ductape, zipties for fixing anything.
Basic first aid patch kit inc antiseptic wipes.

Clipless pedal shoes are optional but useful for longer faster rides.

You dont need premium brands.
Obvs you adjust your kit for weather conditions but you can often require an extra layer if you stop for repairs, return later at night.
Charged mobile phone can replace map, compass, torch, 10p coin and clean handkerchief.
All cyclists have different opinions on what constitutes "essential kit". All I will say is that I've been cycling a few years now and have done several tens of thousands of miles and I don't have a lot of the stuff on the above list
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
All cyclists have different opinions on what constitutes "essential kit". All I will say is that I've been cycling a few years now and have done several tens of thousands of miles and I don't have a lot of the stuff on the above list
The OP was planning for a long commute. Short and medium length commutes can be done with less kit.
For my 2x5 mile commute I wear normal clothes but do carry the same toolkit as for long day rides. For 2-3 miles into town I don't carry any repair kit but my bike is always equipped with lights (dynohub), luggage rack and mudguards.
Out of habit I always wear a helmet and gloves, which have saved my hands from a skinning on two occasions.
 

icowden

Senior Member
Location
Surrey
Hmmmm....

I don't commute *that* far but I have almost everything on that list. I don't bother with leggings, special socks or tshirt and I wear sun glasses for eye protection. I have a windproof waterproof rather than two separate items. But then my regular commute is only 3 miles each way. If i were going the full 21 miles to work, I'd probably get the leggings and tshirt.

I have an Osprey backpack rather than a rack and pannier (drawback is sweaty back)

Carry kit I only take on long rides.

Pretty good list if you ask me.
 

MichaelW2

Veteran
Hmmmm....

have a windproof waterproof rather than two separate items. But then my regular commute is only 3 miles each way.
Few waterproofs are breathable enough for cycling, you just put up with the clamminess because the alternative is wetter. I prefer a windproof for cooler dry, damp and light shower conditions. They are far more breathable and comfortable. With a lightweight waterproof in the bag, you are ready for wetter and colder conditions. The cheaper windproof absorbs your everyday wear and tear better, I dont like ultralight stuff if I am wearing every day.
 

silva

Active Member
Location
Belgium
Clothes
- a raincoat from sturdy pvc (or goretex but espensive), big cap hanging deep enough, long so it covers pants partly and wide sleeves so you can put long winter gloves under it so water from the sleeves doesn't go right into the gloves.
- goretex (expensive) gloves or thick enough plastic with inner textile, make sure they fit / are big enough, you'll regret the slighest undersize.
- sturdy pvc pants with inner textile (drawback heavy) or flexothane (light but may peel off after a while - requiring repair stickers etc)
- shoe covers - wet shoes ruin your day, I made mine myself with epdm rubber with velcro tape sewed in it.

Bike
- get rid of gearing and freewheel - it eliminates alot problems and allows you to chose longer lasting drivetrain components.
- 2 spare inner tubes - having to repair inner tubes along the road is just crap and unreliable.
- 2 airpumps
- a spare chain, a few spare quicklinks may suffice in case a fat chain.
- put mud covers wherever you can to protect your drivetrain - it avoids alot maintenance.

Handy things to have avail anytime
- a little bag with ropes/tying material, even an old inner tube is better than nothing in case any tie up need arises along the way.
- a little compass, wherever you go and may loose track of where you are, with no sun and no sight, knowing north south east west is a major help.
- some tools, a small sharp scissors to get glass out of your tire, some keys for your bicycles components.
- a calendar with all the vacation days, there's nothing more crap than riding 20 miles to see a closed fence.
 

Mart44

Well-Known Member
Location
South of England
I feel lost without a rear view mirror, so I'd say to get one and attach it somewhere. Mine is on the end of the right-side handlebar. Letting you know when it's safe to pull across the road to turn right is one very useful purpose it has. It also gives a general idea of the traffic behind.

The Zefal Dooback 2 Bicycle Handlebar Mirror is a good one.
 
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