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24

Equipment/Accessories: Fenders — keep you dry if it's rained recently. I prefer the "full-coverage" kind with a mudflap, but anything that keeps you from getting a stripe up your back is probably sufficient. Regular platform pedals (or even better: BMX style pedals) - clips or clipless and frequent stops don't go well together and might mean needing ...


24

Cycling gloves come in different varieties (like full-fingered or half-fingered). Typically: Cycling gloves have extra padding at the palms, which for me makes a difference when riding for hours at a time. They protect your palms in case you attempt to use them to break a fall. Like regular gloves, they can keep your hands warm in cold weather, especially ...


22

Some years ago, Bicycling magazine did a shootout on available locks and the Kryptonite "New York Chain" came out on top. Unfortunately, it weighs more than many bikes and is not easy to carry either. Fine if you can leave it where you lock your bike. I'm with the police department at a major university, and we have a program through Kryptonite where we ...


21

I've had both. A really nice trailer and a child bike seat -- where the child sits between the rider and the handlebar (like the WeeRide Kangaroo Child Bike Seat). My daughter was ok with the trailer, but absolutely preferred the seat. I found with the seat in front of me, the weight didn't affect me almost at all, and if the bike was going to fall, I'd ...


20

Here I'll summarize everyone else's answers (because of all the Q+A scattered through in the comments), with some additional information that I got elsewhere from reading inspired by people's answers. Wheels+tires: 700 x (28 - 38, maybe ~30), tires; slicks or light treads, not knobbly. The larger wheel makes it faster (because of 'gearing') and the ride a ...


18

The answer, as others have said, is "both." However, if you are only going to use one light, there is a disadvantage to that one light being helmet-mounted. When the light is mounted close to the eye, everything that is illuminated is "flattened" since, from the eye's perspective, there are no shadows to provide information about depth. In particular, it's ...


17

Cycling gloves do a few basic things: reduce friction between your hands and handlebars, which could otherwise cause blisters dampen vibrations which might cause hand/finger numbness reduce pressure on your ulnar nerve, which also causes numbness Of course, if none of these are problems for you, it's fine to ride without them. Other types of gloves ...


17

If, by stands, you mean bike mounted kickstands, then the reason most mountain bikers don't use them is three fold: Safety. The kickstand is usually a relatively cheap piece of metal, bolted on wherever it will fit. Its shape and style lend themselves to ending up in your wheel or otherwise damaging the bike, if they are not secured to the frame so they ...


16

I would never use anything but a trailer for safety reasons alone. The amount of force which can be applied to a small child's head from a fall from a bike seat can cause a severe injury. Even as an adult riding carefully on a bike path I've had an accident (dog running in front of me). With a trailer it is nearly impossible to flip or cause other blunt ...


16

Minimally, you want to be able to tighten all of the bolts on your bike (likely a few hex keys will do this) and an appropriate screwdriver for adjusting derailer & brake pulls. Separate from a multi-tool, a pair of tire levers are the other tool you should carry with you. I would add a chain tool to the above list after being left in a state where I ...


15

Messenger bags still get your back sweaty, sometimes even moreso than a backpack since messenger bags are often wider than a backpack. I find a messenger bag more convenient than a backpack for shorter trips, but a pannier better for rides of greater than a mile or two. A messenger bag is quite handy if you have to make a lot of stops and don't have a lot to ...


15

A messenger bag is great when you: Are not transporting a heavy load Have to put items into the bag, or remove items from the bag very often. Are doing short trips, or having to leave your bike a lot as part of a longer trip A rucksack is great when you: Wish to be able to easily carry the load while off the bike You have to walk a long way after your ...


15

A mobile phone. These days, irrespective of where you're riding, what you're riding and over what terrain or distance, there's no excuse for being deliberately out of contact. We can't guarantee being in an area of reception, but if you haven't got a phone you'll never know. Additionally, a huge benefit of smart phones are the apps that can do more than ...


14

Protective plates? You mean Fenders/Mudguards? I can think of 3 things that could help, other than simply bringing a change: Bigger fenders (wider, and/or go down the tire more). Basically, some fenders are better than others. A front fender that's wider than the tire with a stay (rod) going back for support that hugs the tire fairly closely and ...


12

I bring enough to dress small cuts and stop bleeding, at least until 911 could get to me. If you're riding in areas you might not be able to be reached by emergency services, or if you have particular medical issues that need specialty supplies, a kit like this would insufficient. Bandages/band-aids of a few different sizes Gauze -- usually a small roll ...


12

Your best bet is to find a good way of attaching it to the rear rack. Anything attached to the main triangle much larger than a bottle is likely to cause interference with your legs. One way you could attach it to the rear rack would be to buy some pannier hardware and make your own pannier for it. Or possibly attach the hardware (zip ties?) to one of the ...


12

We live in the country, and ride on gravel roads pretty much exclusively. We used a trailer for years and have kept it even though the kids outgrew it long ago. It remains useful years later when the kid(s) are riding solo. Our trailer is over 20 years old and we used it just last week, riding out to pick up our CSA veggies, which probably weighed more than ...


11

I'll not speak for the trailer, so much as against the rear child bike seat. My sister, was at 2 years old, riding in a high quality, bike shop sold and properly mounted bike seat. She was strapped in, and all was well. My dad was the captain of the vessel, and they were having a grand time. My dad hit a broken bottle on the road. Never saw it, he said. ...


10

For repairs, I always carry with me: a saddle bag to conveniently carry all my supplies a multitool for adjusting anything, fixing the chain, and anything else a spare tube to repair flat tires two CO2 cartridges and a CO2 nozzle to inflate my tires back up to high pressures; I bring two so if I waste one on a punctured tube, I have a backup on hand a pair ...


9

Cycling gloves dampen the vibrations coming into your hands from your handlebars. I find that if I cycle for more than one or two hours without gloves I slowly loose feeling in the tips of my fingers and I get a tingling feeling in the pinky side of my palms near my wrist. This slowly spreads to essentially make both my hands feel numb. It goes away ...


8

Saddle Bag It may seem too small at first. But check what I can fit in with my Specialized Saddle Bag: Two spare inner tube boxes Cell phone Keys Money Train travel card 3 tire levers Small toolset


8

As well as getting a powerful set of front lights on your bike, get yourself a good head torch (or helmet light). You wish to light what you are trying to look at that may not be in the same direction your front wheel is pointing. Combining two front lights so you have a wide beam and a long beam can work well. By using two lights you have a backup when ...


8

Go to your local bike shop or MEC and talk to them. You want a commuter - also called urban bikes. Thin(ish) tires so you aren't doing too much work, straight bars, hydraulic disk brakes would be good. Hub gears mean everything is internal so out of the weather - but if anything goes wrong you're stuck, dérailleur gears are fine if you clean the chain ...


8

I have wrestled with this issue for a long time. After commuting on a Trek FX Hybrid and moving to a Masi Speciale CX Cyclocross bike I am convinced now that Cyclocross bikes make the best commuters. They are built for speed - Let's face it bikes are slower than cars. So when you are out there you want to save as much time as you can. Speed helps. They ...


8

The number-one situation cyclists will face on a ride (aside from experiencing the awesomeness that is riding) is a flat tire. To fix that, you'll want either a spare tube or a patch kit -- or both. Of course, these are useless without something to pump them up! A frame pump or a C02 inflator will take care of that. Make sure to bring a cartridge for the C02 ...


8

I've used both and prefer the trailer. Weatherproof, able to be swapped from one bike to another easily, able to be used on my good racer and mountain bike that would never fit a seat rack and a much lower center of gravity, you almost don't notice it's there while the child seat makes the bike less stable. Plus you can also fit a picnic bag our shopping in ...


8

I use both (we have an 18 month year old and a 3 year old). The trailer for going riding on tracks, small roads and old disused railways at the weekends, the seat for taking the older one to nursery on 'bigger' roads. The trailer is fun for both of them, plus they can sleep in it, and we can cover a bit of distance - the seat is probably more comfortable ...


8

There's no single answer to this other than "do what works for you". While the optimal answer to this question is to have both a helmet light and one mounted on the bike, not all cyclists have the money to do that. That said, there are a few things that can help you decide, Mac or PC helmet- or handlebar-mounted light: Will you be using more than one ...


7

Another cargo solution is a messenger bag or backpack strapped to a porteur rack or in a front basket. You have all the flexibility of a human-designed bag plus the ability to easily carry large/bulky loads when needed. Many bicycles handle quite well with even a moderate front load, but the lower the load can sit the better.



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