It's been about 10 years since I last rode on a bike. My wife and I have decided that we need to get ourselves into shape, and one method we've decided on, encouraged by our daughter, is to bike back and forth to work.

According to Google Maps, I have approximately 10 km commute each way. This will take place in the morning (generally 7:30 AM start, but sometimes earlier) and the afternoon/evening (generally 3:30 finish, but sometimes later).

I already have my helmet and lights. What other accessories are recommended? Also, what kind of training should I look at before I go with the full daily commute?


I already have my helmet and lights. What other accessories are recommended?

It depends on the weather:

  • Rain coat and warm clothing
  • Fenders (aka mud-guards)
  • Rack and pannier (to carry e.g. any spare clothing, wallet and keys)
  • Cycling gloves, and cycling shoes
  • Shorts
  • Adequate tires (size, width, pressure, thickness, tread, puncture resistance)
  • Snack, cell phone, optional first aid for you and/or for the bike, ID, public transit fare
  • Tire pump (to keep at home, but to keep your tires at the right pressure; may need to use it at least weekly)
  • Lock (a U-lock is difficult to cut, but a cable is very easy to cut)
  • Weather report and forecast
  • Disc brakes (if it's wet or muddy or hilly, or heavy braking)

You asked about accessories and not the bike; ideally (because a good bike is more fun) your bike is of a kind that's worth servicing, and has been serviced recently: so the wheels spin freely, the brakes work well, the chain is newish, the seat and everything fit you, and the gears if any.

Also, what kind of training should I look at before I go with the full daily commute?

With a good bike and not too much traffic, 10 km is about 35 minutes.

So take your bike out for half an hour or more. Maybe twice in a day. Scout your routes in advance. Enjoy doing it. Feel better for having done it. Do it again.

  • Just would like to emphasize on travelling the routes beforehand, on a weekend or so. While biking you might need to take different routes (no highway) and things might get a little tricky sometimes (how did I ended up here..?) :P also you there could be some long hill thats tough and will take longer to travel than you expected and such Oct 21 '11 at 17:28

You should have:

  • Bike (obviously)
  • Helmet
  • Suitable shoes -- What's "suitable" depends on how aggressively you bike and what sort of pedals you have
  • Lock -- Whether you need a lock and how secure depends on your local conditions
  • Some sort of rain gear (unless you have an alternate arrangement for getting home if you get a surprise rain)
  • Some way -- backpack, rack with baskets/panniers, etc -- to carry stuff to and from work (including your rain gear, when necessary)
  • Light -- you mentioned this, and you may want to see this thread for further info
  • Tools&pump -- not required, but some like to carry such stuff to handle a flat tire and other simple repairs

With regard to clothes, you can either wear cycling-specific clothing (especially the shorts/tights) and change at the other end, or you can wear "street clothes", so long as they're reasonably comfortable and provide sufficient range of motion. For anything much longer than 10 km street clothes would tend to chafe and get too sweaty, but for that distance they may be OK.

But if you wear long pants be sure to get a leg strap to secure the chain-side leg of the pants so it doesn't get caught in the chain and doesn't get grease on it.

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