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Has the rising cost of gas prices has made a two-wheel, open-air, petrol-free ride seem very appealing? Are you looking to get more exercise, enjoy fresh air and/or bring a little cardio into your morning routine? Commuting by bike or electric bike will save you money at the pump and the mechanic, and can be the daily routine shakeup you’ve been looking for.
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If you’ve already got the bike ready and your route planned out, it’s time to think about little ways you can upgrade your ride to make commuting a joy. Whether you’re going to ride Monday to Friday or just when the mood hits, we’ve rounded up 11 must-have accessories that will take your bike commute to the next level.
1. A protective helmet
No arguments: You need to wear a helmet. While it’s on the pricier side, the Bern Hudson helmet is feature-packed: There’s a detachable visor for sunny days, a built-in USB powered light for night riding and a cut out that allows you to slip your lock through it for storage. It also has a classic shape and understated look that will protect your dome and keep your look business-ready.
2. A steady coffee cup holder
If your brain doesn’t achieve peak capacity until at least noon, a place to put the morning coffee during your commute is non-negotiable. This Ecity model is surprisingly sturdy—just be sure to ask your barista for a stopper to prevent any sloshing if you hit the brakes.
3. A low-profile water bottle holder (and bottle to fit)
When it comes to longer rides, hydration is almost as important as a helmet. There are an array of water bottle holders that fit on the down tube of your bike. However, before you go grabbing just any ole holder, be advised that not all popular water bottles will fit in every holder—make your life easier by buying a holder that comes with a water bottle.
4. A sturdy bike lock
Now that you’re going to be biking all over, you need a lock you can trust. One of the best brands on the market is Kryptonite—and we like this model because it’s key operated (one less password to remember!) and because as the heaviest-duty model, it promises ultimate security. Don’t forget to register your purchase—you can get a discount on replacement keys.
5. A useful basket
Every transport needs transport space, and if you’re switching over to that #BikeLife, a basket is non-negotiable. Some riders (me included) prefer to keep additional weight on the back of my bike as opposed to my handle bars, where it doesn’t interfere with weight distribution. This Axiom basket snaps on and off the rack easily, plus it has a light on the back for added visibility,
6. An oversized cloth tote
An oversized tote makes your basket even more useful—drop any shopping you’ve picked up or extra shoes for work directly into your bag. (On days when you’re making multiple stops, you won’t have to grab multiple bags out of the backet when you lock up—just grab one bag and go.) Any oversized tote will do, but this one has a simple design that gets the job done.
7. A hands-free fanny pack
Leave the basket and tote at home and grab a hands free bag for the essentials and be on your way. This Nike fanny pack can fit a book, a snack and even a 13-inch laptop to get you to and from work with ease.
8. A stylish bell
If you’re going to be riding in a city, a bell will become your best friend. This Pennant model has a classic design that will fit most handlebars—and the mixed metal design looks chic, too.
9. View-expanding mirrors
Riding in a city is fun and efficient, but if you’re sharing space with other bike riders, cars, trucks and buses, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. To minimize the frequency of turning your head to check for delivery bikes and school buses, pop on these little nifty mirrors—you’ll be able to take a quick look to know that it’s ok to turn or cross traffic. Just like you’d adjust mirrors before getting into the car, I always adjust and check before taking off.
10. A clutch tire pump
In the first few months of owning a bike, I took my bike to a shop for repair three times. Each time I braced myself for the bill…only to learn that tires needed air. In order to save yourself unnecessary trips to the pump (for air…not gas!!), get a tire pump to fill up at home!
11. High-visibility riding lights
If you plan to ride year round (or before dawn or after dark), you’ll definitely want to get some lights. These Bell lights are portable and you can charge them at your desk or on your lunch break, so you’ll always have enough light to guide you home.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.