Between red light-running drivers, road hazards and oblivious jay-walking pedestrians, biking to work can be the most stressful part of your day. These seven tools will inject some peace of mind into your morning rides.
A proper lock is paramount if you don't want your afternoon commute to be worse (as in bike-less) than your morning commute. The Loop-Lock is a set of steel bars that fit through your front and rear wheels and attach to your normal bike lock. Because wheelie-ing all the way home is just embarrassing. ~$US35.
You wear a helmet to protect your head, so why not use a seat that protects your... er, you know. The Adamo Time Trial has a cut-away centre that allows for increased hip rotation (which means a stronger stroke and faster speed) with reduced nether-region numbness. $US225.
If there is one constant in bike commuting, it's that you will get a flat every time you're late for a meeting. With the 10-pocket Morpha bag cinched under your seat, even if you do spring a leak, you'll have a convenient way to stow the tools you need to get it patched and get you back in the saddle. $US44.
Unless you ride a fixed gear or have really monstrous mitts, you'll likely need two hands to to work your front and rear brakes. So how do you effectively ride and carry a six-pack at the same time? With the Takeout Basket, obviously. Just attach the basket to your front handle bars; the included roll top bag holds five burritos' worth of gear and secures with a snap. $US120.
The problem with rear lights that clip onto your belt or your bag is that they can easily be obscured by clothing and the like. Bikelit lights avoid that problem entirely by clipping to the underside of your seat, away from your coattails. With an LED that can be seen up to a mile away and two glow settings, the Bikelit will let everyone on the road know where you've been. $US14/set.
Look, you're going to get a bit sweaty when you ride and that's fine (expected really), unless of course you're en route to your office for a big sales presentation. If you need to look top-notch the moment you get off your ride, then you'll want to take a look at the new Blaze2 dress shirt from Outlier-Feit. It's designed to maximize sweat resistance and breathability without looking like a cycling jersey. The Blaze2 also incorporates a patent-pending Pivot Sleeve design that grants you more flexibility and freedom of movement as you ride - great for those of us not built like the average 175cm, 60kg Tour de France rider (you know, with shoulders). $US175.
Clip-in shoes are fantastic... until you have to get off your bike. Then you're waddling around like an inbred penguin. The Kursk Pro Heroes from Chrome solve this issue by sinking the SPD clips into the sole of the shoe. On the bike, they work like standard clip-ins. Off the bike, they work like normal sneaks - no more hobbling about, no more need to drag a second pair of shoes everywhere you ride. $US95.
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