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Cycling to work - what do I need.

(22 Posts)
gscrym Tue 08-Sep-09 11:03:10

Once I get back onto shifts, I'm going to start cycling to work. I've got a decent bike with lights that was recently serviced, trainers, a flourescent jacket I got for running and a helmet. The journey is a ten mile round trip. Should I get anything else? It doesn't matter about getting wet and mucky as I change into overalls at work. Also the roads'll be quiet when I'm going.

bearhug Tue 08-Sep-09 12:36:48

Good on you! You don't need much more really. I would take: A spare inner tube + some tire levers in case you get a puncture. A panier, saddlebag or small rucksack. Spare socks. Spare batteries fof the lights. Is your jacket waterproof? If not, definetely get one.

You may find it motivating to get a little computer that records how fast + how far you are going - Amazing how far the miles add up if you cycle every day!

lljkk Tue 08-Sep-09 13:06:16

I would get a blinking red LED rear light. You can't make yourself too visible.
You can get very powerful front lights, that's what DH had; put out as much light as some of the smaller mopeds.

In long run you want some SPD pedals and shoes. You may want overshoes in bad weather to keep your feet from getting soaked, too.

gscrym Tue 08-Sep-09 13:25:50

Thanks. I've got a blinking red light on the back just now. I'll probably go with the rucksack for the moment and if I get on okay, will think about panniers.

I'll go look for the tools. Are Argos okay for these sorts of things. Saw how much the bits and bobs DH was looking at in the local bike shop and was surprised at how much everything was. I suppose if that's your hobby, then yu don't mind.

2madboys Tue 08-Sep-09 13:31:23

Hi gscrym - I've also just started cycling to work and alongside the other stuff you mentioned I've got a velcro strap with reflectors on which acts like an old-style cycle clip to keep trousers out of the chain. Haven't had to use it yet though, as it's been warm enough for shorts/crops!

ShauntheSheep Tue 08-Sep-09 13:32:49

Wilkinsons do cheap bikes bits and are fine for repair kits and inner tubes. Brakes are crap tho.

If you have a locker at work Id keep a spare set of clothes in there too as you will have a day where you get soaked through and it is no fun going home in damp clothes and wet shoes.

2madboys Tue 08-Sep-09 14:06:56

On the subject of wet clothes - when the weather starts to be a bit cooler/less reliable, I'm planning to wear walking trousers for cycling to work as they repel water/dry quicker so I won't be putting wet jeans back on at the end of the day. I too am bringing spare clothes in on days when I drive as I need to be a bit smarter at work.

fridayschild Tue 08-Sep-09 21:59:17

You get a lot less sweaty with panniers. But I think your list is pretty complete.

Shaun's tip about keeping emergency dry stuff at work is a good one.

I've just changed my ordinary pedals for cages, which has taken about 5 minutes off my 50 minute cycle. I just got them from Evans for about £20, but I bet they'd be cheaper somewhere else if you looked.

gscrym Tue 08-Sep-09 22:16:50

I'm a bit scared of cages. My friend decided to get them for her bike and couldn't get her feet out when she fell off. She had some horrible bruising and grazing.

girlwithapearl Tue 08-Sep-09 22:21:48

Have you got a good lock for the bike or will you be leaving it somewhere secure at work?
I'm also about to start cycling to work and so pinched one of my DH's cycling mags as they were doing a review of locks - where I'll be leaving the bike isn't necessarily that safe. Anyway I'm getting OnGuard Bulldog Mini LS - scored really well on their test, it's small and reasonably priced.

2madboys Wed 09-Sep-09 09:32:27

I've got a fairly good lock and it will be locked up to a 'toast rack' style bike rack at work. However, where I work is well known for cycle theft. I'm just trying to remind myself that it's only a bike and if it's get stolen the insurance will pay out! The lady at the bike shop was horrified when I told her where it would be left, but it's where I work so there's not much I can do about it.

gallery Wed 09-Sep-09 14:34:26

Good advice here- I cycle to work too but not every day.
On days not cycling, try to bring my lunch, clean underwear and smart clothes in so small supply at work- shoes are heaviest item so always have at least one pair at work
Get some waterproof trousers- even if it is not wet setting off, if there are puddles, you will get wet (and your socks too as well as leggings). I keep spare dry socks at work and shorts in case it turns into hot day.
I have cages- they break out easy, it is my SPDs that caused lots of falls and couldn't get out of.
I use Wiggle online for bike gear and equipment purchase.
I have bright lights on front, back light, wear fluorescent jacket (and sometimes those velcro strips)
Does your company do a cycle to work scheme- ask about it, if they will do it, then you can also buy equipment and safety stuff as well as bikes and get tax free, it does not have to be for bike purchase only.
If you wear a rucksack, it will wipe out some of the fluorescent jacket- consider adding a blinking red light to the strap of the bag or some fluorescent striping. I try to cycle with no bag by bringing in what I need on other days- my pass and wallet can go in my jacket pocket- I can even fit some paperwork in my back jacket pocket (got proper cycle jacket)

gscrym Wed 09-Sep-09 18:48:46

Lots of good advice, thank you.

I don't have to take clothes to work as such, I wear overalls so all overalls, socks and thermals are provided. If my stuff gets wet on the way on, I can hang it on a radiator in the changing room. They do the cycle scheme and I worked out I can get a £400 bike for £13 per month so I might treat myself to a nice new one and some more safety stuff.

Roll on January.

gallery Thu 10-Sep-09 16:05:17

Hi gscrym
The cycle scheme accepts clothing too as part of the package - so anything related to your bike to work counts as long as you can get from the shop that is doing the stuff for you. I got short, shoes, pedals as well as lights etc

fridayschild Sat 12-Sep-09 07:46:35

I saw a tip in a cycling mag which explains a lot to me - if your bike will always be parked in the same place get a really good lock and leave the lock chained up on its own when the bike is not there.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Sat 12-Sep-09 08:18:25

dh takes panniers as a rucksack gets sweaty plus covers your flourecent gear. He also has waterproof over trousers (but then he wears his jeans to cycle in that he also works in)

He has normal pedals as those lock ones are a pain in the bum.

gscrym Sat 12-Sep-09 15:58:46

I'm childless and husbandless today so as a tactic for avoiding my impending essay for uni, I thought I'd cycle to work to see how long it'd take me. Had to take DH's posh bike as my tyres were flat and I couldn't find the pump. It took me an hour to do there and back. Not very quick but I quite enjoyed it. Not sure how I'll feel in the chucking rain and snow but at least I know I can do it.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Sun 13-Sep-09 08:47:55

its 5 miles? That sounds about right. I always allow 30 mins for 5 miles (and dh does 5 miles to work too). And the bestt hing is, it will always be 30 mins. Congestion wont hold you up or a missed bus or finding somewhere to park.
5 miles in this city by car can take anywhere between 15 mins (at 2am with clear roads) to nearly 2 hours, Unpredictable. But 5 miles by bicycle is always 30 mins.
And you'll never need to go to the gym grin

Clary Sun 13-Sep-09 09:01:07

Good advice on here.

I agree with Riven, one big advantage of cycling/walking/running to work is that you know exactly how long it takes grin

Good luck - and remember, it only rains in the early morning 5% of the time! (or something....)

fridayschild Tue 15-Sep-09 21:33:11

Sorry I disagree on the timing. Everyone going back to school has just slowed me down a whole lot - even when I am cycling at times which cannot possibly be part of anyone's school run. But maybe that is just London. I also get delayed by football matches at a Premiership ground I go quite close to.

Spillage21 Tue 15-Sep-09 21:51:15


Well done on the cycling. I cycled for years to and from work: it's so liberating.

I have ortlieb panniers, they've got really good reflectors and keep everything super dry. Rucksacks just make your back sweaty!

gscrym Sun 27-Sep-09 18:48:10

That's week one over, my bum is yet to forgive me. I treated myself to padded shorts, a gel seat cover and a wee computermabob.

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