These are great for spds on road in the dark, it means that you can carry on using your normal pedals but with reflectors and despite what the review on the link days they are quick and easy to swap on and off
Commuting by bike...
Lots of good advice here. The only things I would add are:
Choose your route based on enjoyment and survivability. If I took the dual carriageway I would probably save 10 minutes on my 20 mile each way commute, but it would be hideous and I'd probably be dead in a year. I ride further on country lanes where I often don't see a car for my whole ride and it's great!
Ride it, don't race it. Especially at first. If you go flat out, you'll be knackered for the ride home or at least the rest of the week. Keep to a comfortable pace and you'll be able to do it more often.
I'm lucky with lockers and showers at work, do a 15 miles each way with cat 5 climb, but due to kids and stuff only get to do it twice a week.
I run a pompino with alfine hub (indestructable) and alfine hydro front brake on bingo bars.
I like a rucksack (evoc cheap thing from crc sale) in winter as it keeps me extra warm, I sweat a lot so my clothing is geared up to keeping me warm, wicking and a gilet on top to keep the worst of the wind off.
Helmet hat in deep winter is good and I haven't read of the suggestions so far. Has to be stupidly cold to wear a face thing (on ly did it 3 yeas ago).
I have a full set of everything at work, but I'm in labs so can wear t'shirts/jeans etc and have to wear safety shoes. Definitly have a full second set of tools and stuff (summer in a saddle bag, winter in the rucksack).
The levels of smug cycling into work on spikes when the rest of the world is spinning around or catching the train is epic!
Best thing I bought last winter was studded tyres - total confidence no matter how icy. Left them on for about 3 months cos in the early mornings you never know when you might hit black ice. I kind of like the "riding on rice crispies" noise too. Biking home in the snow was ace!
15 miles round trip 4 days a week on country lanes, usually a mix of lanes and tracks on the way home.
Work dress code means I can wear my everyday clothes, Montane Terra trousers, merino shirt.
Paramo Quito jacket is waterproof, breathable and has big side vents as well as front zip.
I find Rainlegs a good alternantive to full on waterproof trousers.
I tend to take it easy at 12-14mph average and that way don't need to worry about washing up at work.
Mudguards and spare lights are good calls.
Schwalbe Marathon Winter studded tyres have been great in ice, but not so nice when it's not icy. I'm going to try Conti Winter tyres this year to see if they're a reasonable compromise.
Ipod and open back headphones provides additional entertainment and still let's me hear approaching cars and tractors.
Nice way to start and end the working day.
STW massive, thanks very much indeed!!
Just got a load of stuff from PX...lights etc, will order the reflective bag cover soon.
Very helpful you lot.
Commute year round, every day I'm in the office, usually miss 3 or 4 days a month when I'm out seeing clients.
Casual dress in the office so leave trainers there full time, usually take jeans/shorts in twice a week. Carry t-shirts/pants/socks everyday.
I wash my towel on a weekly basis, no showers so it's a good old wash in the sink for me. Leave deodorant etc at work.
Shortest route - 6 miles each way, generally I push this out depending on how I'm feeling, weather etc.
Kit carried in a rucksack - tool kit, spare tubes, lightweight rain jacket. My rucksack is big enough to get my laptop and bits & bobs in if I need to head out the following day.
Bike - I use my single speed cross bike most of the time, proper mudguards fitted, if it's dry I'll take my MTB, I try and avoid getting muddy.
I park my bike against my desk so no need for a lock etc..
Already been mentioned, appropriate clothing is a must, I wear merino LS base layers for 2/3rds of the year, short or long sleeved tops in spring autumn, with shorts/or 3/4'ers.
Winter, merino base, winter bib longs, waterproof jacket, thermal cap under my helmet & Endura MT500 shoe covers. Gloves warm dry hands are a must!
It was pouring down here today, still rode the longer way in & home, I love it.
Just started commuting this week and loving it! Only 6 miles each way and very very flat! Found a nice route that follows the river, perfect on my singlespeed fixed (zero maintenance! wooo) Decent weather so far so some of the tips in here I'm sure will be very useful soon once the weather really turns.
Already getting slightly addicted, cruise along in the morning trying not to break a sweat and cane it home after work! Great fun.
20 miles each way, 5 days a week, but I get the train home quite a lot of the time. I ride on a Genesis day one alfine - disc brakes and hub gear mean very robust and little to go wrong.
Prepare night before. For the first few weeks until you figure it out, it will seem like massive faff, but it gets easier.
Fix things as they go wrong, rather than putting up with a shoddy bike.
Buy decent, robust stuff.
Buy consumables in bulk - always have spare tyres, chains and brake pads at home so you can immediately replace them when they fail.
Take the commute easy (especially to begin with and when ramping up miles).
Be nice to people, including car drivers.
Bike and kit
Full length mudguards
Overshoes (or winter boots)
Keep all commuting tools in a bag. This means you need 2 sets of tools, but also means you don't get stranded as you forgot to put something back in your commuter bag.
Decent winter gloves that last (I love my sealskins lobster claws)
Lights you can charge at work
2 back lights (have both on, just in case one dies)
I have an ortileb large saddle bag, and it's great.
Tape up your bike with electrical tape to make it less nickable.
Balaclava for when it's really cold
It's great. I love my commute.
Mine is a 22 mile round trip too.
I don't think you need anything too specialist, but
luckily I have a shower and washing facilities at work.
For years I did it on a 26" Kona full sus.
As long as you're warm in winter that's all that matters.
The coldest my bike computer has read has been -18, but it makes you feel like a badass.
Just make sure your hands and feet are well wrapped, and wear a buff under your lid.
Merino base layers really help limit stinkyness.
Apart from that everything else is covered.
(40 miles one way, train other way, twice a week)
5 miles to work all down hill, 5 miles home 1000ft climb.
I find I freeze on the freewheel to work and overheat on the way home. I don't like riding with a bag on my back as it makes me sweat so I use one of these:
Its big enough for my gear and my clothes. I find panniers are a bit bulky.
I keep my shoes, coats etc at work.
Best thing I bought this year is a gore windstopper coat. Keeps me warm, dry and packs up small.
Swopped my road bike for a cyclocross disc bike for better brakes and able to take a wider tyre in winter when the weather turns.
I also use a powerful headtorch on flash which I try and aim at drivers ready to pull out in front of me to try and let them know I'm coming.
As well as extra lights and reflective kit I bought a roll of scotch bright from eBay for a couple of quid and covered my bike in it. You don't notice it until a light shines on it.
This week I have reluctantly put my full mudguards back on.
Continental gatorskins hahardshell 25mm!
Its been a great summer this year and I have enjoyed committing this year.
12km / day. Clothes in backpack. Just wear trainers at work and shorts in summer. Can be a right pain in summer to cycle as it's 35c+ and hard work but nice in the evenings riding back.
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