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Kit List for New Commuters

photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,211
edited August 2018 in Commuting general
Hi. As a seasoned weekend and anytime road cyclist I have decided I want to commit to commuting to work on a more permanent basis. I was going to get a bike of the C2W scheme but I found a bike I love that was heavily discounted but would have cost more if I bought it through work so I decided to buy it myself and thought I'd buy clothese and accessories through C2W so in effect my Employer will own my bibshorts!! :lol:

What would you say is a good set of clothing to buy to see me through Autumn and Winter commutes foe 4 days a week. Also looking at a set of lights too. Route is urban so well lit at night. Mostly looking at DHB stuff from Wiggle as I find it good value. Maybe winter shoes too? Perhaps helmet a glasses? I'd like to have my best set for my "fun rides" and a working set for commuting if you see what I mean?

Any advice most welcome.

Nic.

Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    How long is your commute ?

    If you ride at the weekend in winter you'll already have everything you need.

    I've never bought winter boots as I find overshoes work pretty well. You may just need a few more bibs. One pair of longs over the top and unpadded will last a week. Make sure they've reflective on. And a light gilet with reflectives on to go over the top of whatever it is you're wearing to work.

    I've taken to running lights in the day as well as night now they're USB rechargeable.
  • mw22mw22 Posts: 78
    I think one of the main issues is having flexibility morning and night. Unlike a normal ride where the temperature/conditions don't vary that much - commutes 10 hours apart can be vastly different.

    Skull cap and buff - can double up if needs be
    Carnac helmet from planet x - cheap and cheerful and fit me well (or get an aero one with less vents to keep the rain out)

    Arm/Knee/Leg warmers - can completely transform your kit and easy to carry
    Gilet thats either packable or breathable
    Packable rain jacket
    Selection of gloves - esp something good for going down to zero degrees

    DHB toe covers - find these are just easier to leave on all time rather than faff of overshoes

    Lights - for me, moon on the back. Love their lights. Front, I've still got an ebay cree special run alongside lezyne flasher.

    Spoke reflectors (low key but mega effective). The straw type ones https://www.amazon.co.uk/TOOGOO-Bicycle ... reflectors

    Waterproof/reflective rucksack or cover (hump or proviz).
    Road: Kuota Kebel
    TT: Canyon Speedmax
    Work: Norco search
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    It can be no different to just going for a weekend ride - just usually a bit shorter and no cake :(

    I tend to wear the cheaper stuff for commutes as I'll invariably wear a small rucksack - and don't want the wear & tear of the straps on my decent kit.

    Other than that - because you're using it frequently, it will wear out quicker - and you'll be less inclined to clean it each time - so ride home in the rain and you've got to get it all dry ready for the morning - or have a spare set you could use instead.

    Bike wise - it may be wise to leave some spares in the office - spare tubes could be handy if you use one on the way in. Plus work out where you're going to leave your work clothes and how you're going to get your food - don't under-estimate the food requirements, I'm hungry as soon as I get in and want a little snack ... :)

    Lights - USB rechargable are great - can you charge up at work?
  • andy9964andy9964 Posts: 930
    Mudguards
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,211
    Hey, that's great. Thanks for all the useful tips. Very helpful.

    I've done quite a bit of commuting over the summer when it was very hot and dry so just needed bibshorts and jersey. I'm just more concerned about how mcuh kit I realistically need when it is cold and wet and dark and washing and drying kit on a daily basis.

    Fortunately my commute is only 4.5 miles. Flat from home until I hit a mile long hill up to work that averages 9%. By the time I get to the top of that I'm a hot, sweaty mess. Work has great shower facilitites so that's not an issue. My manager will provide a large locker for my stuff so that is a plus too. I'll usually drive in on a Monday to take in fresh shirts and underwear etc and take the dirties home on a daily basis. Also take in a weeks worth of fruit and snacks (which is surprisingly heavy! Apples weigh a lot) and take in sandwiches on a daily basis.

    So far I have a winter weight waterproof and some old thermal bib tights. Looking at getting the following:

    Aeron Full Protection Softshell
    Flashlight Bib Short x2
    Flashlight Thermal Bib Tights
    dhb Toe Cover Overshoe
    Endura Gridlock Gilet or Castelli Squadra Long Gilet or dhb Flashlight Windproof Gilet
    Cateye Volt 100 XC / Rapid Micro Light Set

    Charging USB lights or even AA/AAA batteries at work is not an issue as I work in a photo studio and forever charging batteries!

    Mudguards - bike I have just bough is a Felt VR30 (105 with hydraulic discs - very nice!) and it has fitted hiViz reflective mudguards whichis nice.

    Good idea about spares in the office. Useful tip.

    All very helpful advice.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,029
    Mudguards.. if it is anything like a commute , I'm used to, plastic guards have a very finite life span measured in weeks sometimes. I switched to PDWs , 2 years ago and they are still silent and serviceable - with the aid of a rivet gun from Halfords, the other week.
    Have a stash of normal clothes and kit at work if you can. Sometimes bad things happen in a January and you wake up to -6 and somehow it still sleets.
  • spatt77spatt77 Posts: 321
    hi, all of the above seems good advice, I like my leyzne helmet light, you can look at drivers when coming up to junctions which seems to catch their attention.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,542
    Bike to work is for "safety" accessories, so hi viz, reflective tyres and bags. Tyres would be a good buy as they wear more quickly and it's good to have options as the weather changes.

    Maybe get a whole spare set of wheels set up - much quicker to changecwheels than tyres (especially the non folding type). Whatever you like cycling in during winter, get a second set.
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,211
    mrfpb wrote:
    Bike to work is for "safety" accessories, so hi viz, reflective tyres and bags. Tyres would be a good buy as they wear more quickly and it's good to have options as the weather changes.

    Maybe get a whole spare set of wheels set up - much quicker to changecwheels than tyres (especially the non folding type). Whatever you like cycling in during winter, get a second set.

    Yes, they wouldn't accept the Toe Covers on the quote as it wasn't high vis or safety. Those and another few items were refused. In the end I went with this:

    1 x dhb Waterproof Jacket, Large Fluro Yellow £35.00
    1 x dhb Aeron Full Protection Softshell, Large Fluro Yellow/Black £77.00
    1 x dhb Flashlight Bib Short, Medium Black £50.00
    1 x dhb Flashlight Thermal Bib Tights, Medium Black £65.00
    1 x Lezyne Femto Drive Duo Front and Rear Helmet Light, Black/Black £16.96
    1 x Cateye Volt 100 XC / Rapid Micro Light Set, One Size Black £22.99
    1 x Castelli Squadra Long Gilet, XL White £24.99

    So a cost of £24 per month but after tax savings it is £17 per month cost to me. Seems quite reasonable. I'd have added a Garmin 520 Plus if they allowed, but alas no.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    That softshell is my extreme weather jacket. It's really warm. It doesn't get a lot of use.

    The hybrid softshell is better for me. Wider temperature range.

    But if you're really talking about a 4.5 mile bike you can wear just about anything.

    Just wear unpadded tights and any cheap pair of bibs underneath unless you're going to extend your rides.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Taking clothes in on the commute - fold and roll a shirt & trousers- it won't get (too) creased.

    The only bit I try not to carry on the bike is shoes- everything else can be brought in/taken back piecemeal.
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