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Your guide to essential commuter kit

Your guide to essential commuter kit

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If you're thinking about taking up bike commuting there are a few things you'll need to make sure you're kitted out properly for the job.

As standard, most bikes are fully commute ready but with a few well chosen accessories, you'll be all set. There's also advice on a few essential items of clothing and safety gear that will keep you comfortable and safe on the way to school, university or work.

Bike - Thanks to the popularity of bike commuting, at every price point, there are now commuter bikes to fit every style, from upright Dutch to flat backed fast commuter. Let’s take a look at the different bike choices out there and outline their strengths and weaknesses.
Tyres - Tyres are a critical component on every bike in every application. In competition, the right tyres can mean the difference between winning and losing. It is also true that in the field of the daily commute, the right tyre can mean the difference between winning and losing the race to work.
Mudguards - Adding mudguards to your bike turns into from a piece of sports equipment into something suitable for daily commuting use. Mudguards will not only keep you and your clothing clean, they’ll also keep your bike a lot cleaner too.
Racks and Panniers - For carrying your gear to and from work, there are two main options, carrying stuff on your back, or letting the bike take the load. If you prefer the idea of the latter, then you’ll need a rack and panniers to do the job. Here’s what to look for.
Lights - As the days become shorter it's likely that some or all of your commute will be in the dark or low light conditions. Therefore it's a good idea to take a look at the lighting options available for commuters, to make sure that you stay safe and visible on rush hour roads.
Helmet - Within the commuter market there is a wealth of choice in terms of helmet design, with traditional designs bumping heads with urban designs, inspired by skate, bmx and snowboarding helmets. Let’s take a look at the many options available.
Jacket - If you’re warm and cosy, you’ll be able to enjoy your commute and be in a fit state to do a day’s work at the end of your journey. Therefore wearing the right jacket for your needs is really important. We look at the features that count.

Overtrousers - As unglamorous as they sound, a good pair of overtrousers enables you to perform that rabbit-from-hat trick of riding through a deluge and arriving at your destination looking box-fresh. For commuters who like to ride in their normal clothes a decent pair of overtrousers is a must.

Rucksack - While many cyclists favour panniers, a good rucksack is nonetheless a good option for commuting size loads. There’s lots of choice about, with bike specific models and designs for general outdoor use. No matter what you choose, its capacity and features that count. Here’s what to look for.

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