Three Commuter Essentials

Three Commuter Essentials
Utilitarian frame bag... nice.

This is the third article of our three-tip series... that has to be lucky, right?

In this article, we'll cover three pieces of gear to make your bike more utilitarian. With a few small upgrades, your bike will start to become something that can rival a car's convenience for short trips around town.

This is also the first time I'm using Amazon affiliate links, so hey: if you choose to buy one of these items, use the link! I'll get 0.01% and Jeff Bezos will get the rest. #SupportLocalBusiness

Without further ado: the three things you need to make your bike more utilitarian.

  1. A bag

You probably guessed this from the cover photo. It's true - frame bags, feed bags and top tube bags are awesome for holding your keys, phone, and AirPods case. Burrito bags are alright, too.

Yes, you could just carry it all in your pockets, that's just not comfortable. Keys in tight jean pockets, repeated jammed into your thigh with every pedal stroke... no thank you. Plus, what if you don't have pockets? Really, a bag is a must-have.

  1. A lock

Duh. But here's the thing: it always has to be attached to your bike. That way, you'll never forget it. Throw away that combination cable lock. Sorry, I've seen too many of those locks broken. Your best bet is one of these:

  • U-Lock: classic for a reason. They work. Get this holster if you have saddle loops. Otherwise, grab a frame mount. Give your bike some love and don't just slap the lock on your frame and ride off with it clanking around. Your bike thanks you profusely.
  • Folding Lock: Low profile, slick, more versatile than a U-lock. The Bordo Lock by ABUS is my favorite and what I currently ride with. It has a nifty cage that bolts onto your bottle cage bosses. Slightly pricier. Worth it.
  1. A flat kit

One way to realize how great bikes are is to get a flat halfway through your commute to the grocery store. A short bike ride quickly becomes a long walk. To prevent those un-fun situations, you'll need a small accessory bag which must be a dedicated flat kit. It should be just big enough to fit the following items:

  • Multitool - you need a 4mm, 5mm, and 6mm wrench at the very least.
  • Pedro's tire levers - those who have tried to improve upon this design have failed. Get Pedro's levers and stop asking questions.
  • Tube - I won't link a tube here because the dimensions vary. You'll want one that fits your wheel diameter and tire size.
  • Hand pump - this also mounts to your bottle bosses. This exact pump has gotten me out of many sticky situations, and isn't one-shot expendable like a CO2 cartridge.

That's about it! Bag for your stuff, lock so people don't take your stuff, and a flat kit so you can fix your stuff out on a ride.

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