With Cleveland becoming more and more bike friendly, we've been seeing a lot more people using their bicycle as their main form of transportation, especially to and from the office. It's a simple concept, really, but can quickly become overwhelming when figuring out what exactly you need as a new bicycle commuter.
So what do you really need and where do you begin?
1. Bicycle Tune Up: It's always a good idea to make sure your bike is functioning as it should. A tune up will go over everything on the bike, such as checking the breaks, adjusting the gear shifting and making sure the wheels are nice and true. The sooner you get your bike in to the shop, the sooner you can get it back, but expect to leave your beloved two wheeler for at least a day or two (a few more if the shop is a little backed up).
2. Helmet: Ahhh, the helmet! The single most important accessory in my opinion. Cheeper than an E.R. visit and far more stylish than bandages. There are a ton of different helmets out there, and the biggest difference between them is going to be fit, weight and ventilation. The more comfortable your helmet is, the more likely you are to wear it. So try some on and find the right one for you!
4. Lights: White headlight and red tail light. Again, these can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Obviously, the brighter the better. (We have some awesome rechargeable lights from Light & Motion!)
6. Bags (!): Finding the right bag may take some time, especially when deciding which style will work best for you and your commute. The simplest form is to get a messenger bag/back pack. We love our Chrome Industry messenger bags, as they have a perfect fit, are water proof and come in a few different sizes.
If you need more cargo space, investing in a rack and a pannier set is a must! You can get single panniers or a set that comes as a connected pair. We have several options, from waterproof Chrome panniers, to a simple and economical pair made by Blackburn. Each one/set offers it's own benefits, so feel free to stop in and check them out!
3. Hydration: A bottle cage and a bottle. Of course, like everything else, there are many options (including hydration packs) but go with whatever fits your budget. As long as you have water on you in some way, you're good to go :)
5. Lock: Stopping for any errands on your way? Can't take your bike into the office? Don't get stuck without the proper security measures for your beloved two wheeled friend. Again, options, options, options. Cable locks are the most convenient as they are long, compact, and come with either a key or combination. U-locks are the most secure, for sure, and with that security comes a bit more weight. But hey, that just means you'll burn more calories, right?!
7. Flat Repair Kit: Spare tube, tire levers, hand pump OR CO2 cartridge and something to carry it all in.
So those are the essentials... Stay tuned for our Luxury List!