Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby nezumi » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:41 pm

As a dangerous combination of new mid-distance commuter and gadget geek, I find myself at risk of buying... *everything* when looking at what I will need to take on my bike.

So, what do you have on your commuter setup, how far do you travel - and what could you sacrifice?

I am currently poised to purchase a Vivente World Randonneur, which will include dynamo lighting and a rear rack. I am also considering panniers, although initially I hope to leave clothes at work and avoid taking much on the trip with me.
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by BNA » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:51 pm

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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby AndrewBurns » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:51 pm

Rack and panniers are very useful, leaving clothes at work is fine but if you get stuck one night thinking "gee tomorrow's weather looks amazing, wish I could ride to work but I don't have clean clothes there" you'll want some. I leave some jeans and shoes at work but take in the rest of my clothes in some waterproof panniers, I also ocasionally leave some clothes at work and ride the road bike in for some fun.

Mudguards are also awesome, they keep the water off you and the road grit off the drivetrain so it lasts longer and you need to clean it less.

Good quality front and rear lights are important, waterproof bright and rechargable are what I generally look at. Chuck in a few spare tubes and a good quality pump (very important) and you're good to go.
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby gretaboy » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:52 pm

You will quickly know what you need and dont need...it is all personal too re panniers or backpack...so what some use you may not like

I have clothes and food at work. I use a backpack, and have tried panniers and basket. In winter backpack is great as it keeps the back warm, this upside is the downside in summer. Have a light, garmin, two water bottles and go pro on rear. My backpack holds 2 spare tubes, 3 CO2 canisters and a pump. Sometimes a laptop is included plus my lunches.

My distance is 45-55, depending how I feel, each way.

##Edit: mudguards are essential if you want to ride on anything other than a clear dry day
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby Dragster1 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:15 pm

On my longer rides anything over 6kms. I carry a saddle bag with a multi tool (that has a chain breaker and joiner),spare tube, puncture repair kit with a couple of $2 dollar coins taped up in there, Two Co2 canisters and the valve that plugs on the end, a brass valve adaptor for presta valve to servo type inflators and one water bottle on the frame mount. when I get around to it, I will throw in a bandage of some sort in case of a decent stack and I leak everywhere. If I need anymore than this I just have a backpack, you can never have too much its just a pain lugging it around.
Last edited by Dragster1 on Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby MattyK » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:50 pm

8km daily, repeat of what others have said. Mudguards, rack, pannier (containing rain jacket and allen keys as the only reserve items), good lights, SPD pedals.

No present: computer, tubes/tools (mobile phone, good tyres, and a bike shop half way home are sufficient).
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby lobstermash » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:18 pm

I travel very light. Allen keys, wallet, phone, lights. If I need to bring anything in I'll take a backpack. In know the puncture fairy's listening, but Maxxis Re-fuse seem to be doing the job so far. I keep my work clothes at work
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby jasonc » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:31 pm

I commute 5 days a week. 4 mornings are extended commutes. Monday is a load lugging day. I just use a backpack

This morning was different for me. I brought in 3 lunches, a pair of pants and a towel
I had 7 shirts at work.....
On a normal day, it's 1 set of clothes (shirt, socks, undies), 1 lunch, extra snacks (corn thins, nuts, vegemite, apples)
Occasionally, I ride my roadie in. I prefer not to backpack on the roadie, but because of the above, I have spare everything at work.

N+1 works for work clothing too... the towel and pants get changed over once a week.

I always carry a pump and 2 tubes. The roadie also has a C02 and cannister, but the pump is still carried.

Food is my big problem....
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby rangersac » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:56 pm

30-60km daily depending on work location. I'm a subscriber to the rack and pannier version of commuting, for me just much more comfortable than a backpack. Long coverage mudguards are a definite must.
In the pannier permanently are the following:
Toolkit: Puncture repair kit, spare tube, pump, multi-tool with chain breaker, spoke key (spoke key and repair kit are a bit OTT with solid wheels shod with Marathons, but they have saved me on a couple of occasions)
Miscellaneous: Light waterproof jacket, bike lock (always handy for popping to the shops even if you have a lock up at work), bungy strap (useful for strapping down any large items on the rack top)

Since you are likely to go Dyno, this is pretty irrelevant but for what it's worth the bike has two rear lights, one an easily removable USB rechargeable Li-ion battery type, one a permanently rack mounted AA type. I go with two in case one fails, and I recommend that one is a regular AA type as these dim before they die, rather than the Li-ion ones which are either going or dead. On the front I have a removable USB rechargeable blinky that is bright enough to act as an emergency get home light in case the helmet mounted Ay-ups fail. Otherwise I run a basic wireless computer as it's nice to know how far you've gone, and whether you are having a good run that day! I only have one bottle cage, and unless it's really hot in summer I don't bother taking a bottle.

At work I leave a set of shoes and a shower kit, and often use one set of clothes for two days as sitting behind a computer doesn't exactly make you sweat. Food I transport every day.

The only other thing I have on my bike, which comes under the optional category is a handlebar mounted mirror. I rode without one of these for years, however I thought I'd try one out as on my commute I have a few points where the road becomes very narrow (bridges, slip lanes merging in and out) and the traffic is travelling at speed. It makes planning for these areas much simpler as I can keep an eye on what's coming up behind me and can claim the lane when a decent gap appears.
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby RonK » Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:00 pm

Since you are planning to buy a bike already equipped with rack, mudguards, and lighting (excellent choice, the VWR), what you'll need is a pump, patch kit and spare tube, and some all weather cycle clothing. And since you'll have a rack, a pannier makes sense. I'd also recommend you buy a floor pump.
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby ShogunHy » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:05 pm

I find the rack /bag and pannier combo works well with a large under-saddle bag for the repair gear which can stay on the bike whilst the (topeak) bag /pannier combo is easily removable. Nice pair of warm gloves is a must to save th aching hands on a cold morning with another fingerless pair in case things warm up!!
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby BrownBike » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:32 pm

How long is your commute?

Mine is 7-8km one-way. I found that once I got reasonably fit I could get away with not even having to change clothes at work, but in case it rains I keep a spare set plus shoes in my bottom drawer in the office. I carry a light cycling-specific rain jacket in case of unexpected showers or a really cold morning. Good mudguards work a treat.

I may be tempting fate but I don't carry any spares or a pump (although as my tyres wear I might carry a hand pump and patches). I have Bontrager hard case tyres that have so far been indestructible, despite going over ridiculous amounts of broken glass, currently up to over 1500km. I have an internal hub on belt drive do if I get a rear flat I'm pretty stuffed anyway, but my commute isn't out in the sticks so help/public transport/a lift is easily at hand.

As I don't change clothes at work I use a pannier which saves my back and shoulders from getting sweaty.

Loving not driving to work!
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby nezumi » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:33 pm

The commute is looking at 18kms by road or 20kms if I take the safe route of bike paths.

I used to cycle to work when I was at a cafe several years back. I have decided that even though I will be showering at work I will avoid using a backpack, and will favour panniers or a racktop bag.
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby nezumi » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:38 am

In addition to the bike (Merida Cyclo Cross 4) I am planning on getting the following:

*SKS Longboards
*Topeak Disc specific touring rack (because I also want....)
*Topeak MTX slide-on trunk bag

*Lights - Lenzyne?

*Handlebar mount for phone.

*shoes, knicks * 2 and jersey * 2, jacket.

*Abus lock
*Kryptonite backup cable
*Security skewers? (pitlock?)

*New helmet

*Garmin of some sort?

*Hornit/airzound

Stand for home
Workshop stand
Toolkit


Like I said... I like shiny new things!
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby MattyK » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:22 pm

pedals...
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby jasonc » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:41 pm

spare tubes.
spare tyres

i'd go for more than 2 sets of knicks and jerseys
gloves - 2 summer, 2 winter
2 pairs of shoes in case one pair cops it

re lights - i have a lezyne super drive xl on my roadie. it's good. almost as good as my magic shine
have a spare blinky too

rear lights - i run 2
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby nezumi » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:02 pm

MattyK wrote:pedals...


I *knew* I was forgetting something! :P

I am actually unsure what to do there. CX style vs tourer/commuter pedals.
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby irrelevant_apple » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:09 pm

Thinking beyond the norm. Reflectives for pedals and wheels. Arm leg warmers, jacket if riding at night or early morning.

A rear view mirror if handling roads.
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:11 pm

Pedals? HERE you go :)

They'll be my next commuter set unless something better comes along before the current set of 3.5 yo M540s die...
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby jasonc » Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:25 pm

^ I run the M540s
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby Xplora » Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:17 am

If you are going dynamo, then pitlock skewers are a good idea, because replacement is REALLY pricey. You have to have good lights, front and back, because nothing protects you on the road more than that. NOTHING. It's sad but true.

I would consider a bell and just have a think about the AZ - I haven't found mine to be very useful at the speeds I ride. The simple fact of the matter is that once you are riding 30+ you do not have any time to use it unless it is under your finger - and unlike boognoss, I will not sacrifice my drops to fit it under the hoods. Might not be an issue if you get the flatbar. 20-25kmh, you are slow enough to be "unusual" and the trucks and cars might not expect you to be there. I just feel that 30-35kmh they react very very differently to my presence.

If you're doing smartphone on the handlebars, then don't bother with the Garmin. You're overrating the importance of GPS standalone unless you are using a powermeter because most phones won't talk to power meters. You won't be setting any sprint Strava KOMs on a Vivente. So don't stress. You should be able to hook up your phone to the dynamo system for extra power too.

I'm in two minds about mudguards, I found that they were great on my Kona, but I couldn't make them fit on my Trek and I haven't really missed them at all. Running a nonabsorbent shoe like a road racing shoe stops a lot of the issues you get with rain. I'm a "change my clothes on arrival" kind of guy though. Some prefer to arrive ready for work.

I think you'll be better served by Shimano's touring shoes than CX shoes. You aren't running through the mud, so you end up with extra weight in the shoe that just gets worn down. It's not really safer to have a flat sole, but it feels a LOT more secure if you need to push off. My Speedplay cleats have a shim on them and it is really really bad news if I need to push off up a hill and haven't changed down beforehand. Got stuck last week and basically had to wheel the bike through a busy roundabout because I just couldn't get moving without risking a clipstack.
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Re: Commuter kit - beyond the bike.

Postby nezumi » Mon Sep 02, 2013 6:10 pm

I have bought the Merida Cyclo Cross 4, with the following to go on it:
*Lezyne 400 Lumens front light (Power drive???)
*Abus Mini U-lock
*Topeak Super Tourist DX (disc)
*Topeak MTX DXP trunk bag w/panniers-at-a-pinch
*Shimano M530 pedals (on order from CRC)
*SKS Longboards (as for pedals)
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