Gear for Becoming a Bike-Commuter ::

Contemplating a car-free commute is an endeavor that needs some planning up front. While this wasn’t a difficult decision for me, it was one that I’ve mulled over and done a good deal of research about, sought the advice of fellow Tour de Fat car-for-bike traders throughout the U.S. and made lists of what I think I need.

Over time, that list has changed and it will likely keep changing as I become fully immersed and invested as a bike-commuter. I prefer to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple and straightforward) though there may be some reasonable and rationale justification for special gear. Here’s a good video produced by the City of Fort Collins on winter bike gear.

Here’s my (current) list:

  • A bike – needs to be comfortable, flexible for riding in different conditions and on multiple surfaces, well built with durable, high quality components
  • Bike trailer – ideally, one that can carry my pups, Gus and Bailey
  • Wheel sets – different wheels/tires for different road conditions
  • Fenders – got to keep the road muck off of me as much as possible
  • Lights – white on the front, red on the back for safety and, because it’s the law in Colorado
  • Disc brakes – more stopping power in all kinds of weather is why disc brakes, versus rim brakes, are important
  • Mirrors – for safety and to help me get a “heads up” about what’s approaching from behind
  • A basic tool kit and repair kit – hex wrenches, tubes, patches, milk lever, etc.
  • Tire pump
  • Racks and packs – waterproof and easy to hook up/remove for storing tools, clothing, snacks, water, etc.
  • A bell – letting other’s know I’m coming around the corner, entering/exiting tunnels and blind turns and passing along side is important to increase safety
  • Bike helmet – with a light on the front and back
  • High-visibility jackets and pants – waterproof, windproof
  • Merino wool – baselayers, midlayers, hats, socks and glove liners. I LOVE merino wool in the summer too! Breathable and naturally resists odors
  • Eye protection
  • Shoes – insulated, waterproof, windproof
  • Bike lock – U-lock and cable lock is a must in FTC! Bikes are a hot commodity in the front range and get stolen frequently if not locked up or out of sight

Am I forgetting anything? What would be on your list?


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