Top tips for commuting on your bike

A lot of people would like to be able to cycle to work. The truth is that it’s not that hard and it offers loads of benefits. It saves money, it’s greener, it makes you healthier and happier.

Just try it once. Cycle to work for one day.

Use your current bike

Use your current bike to give commuting a try. If it’s a mountain bike then consider putting slick tyres on it. Remember to buy narrower gauge inner tubes for skinny tyres.

If you want to buy a bike for commuting then keep it simple.

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Panniers

If your commute is relatively long and/or you’re intending to ride in to work most days then panniers are a worthwhile investment. If your commute is shorter (under 5 miles say) then using a rucksack or courier bag will be fine.

Saddlepack

Put together a specific commuting saddlepack that you only use for commuting. Put inside it: inner tube, puncture repair kit, tyre levers and a multitool with a built-in chain tool.

Learn how to repair a broken chain if you don’t already know by watching this quick vid.

Lights

Get some lights that recharge via USB. That way you can probably charge them up while you’re at work desk.

Bike MOT

Check your bike over at the end of every week. Check tyres for pressure and damage. Check your QRs are suitably done up. Check your brake pads for wear. Check your chain for rust or excessive grime. It’s a good idea to clean your bike at least once a month too.

The day before

Take your clothes and shoes in the day before. If you’re intending to ride in every day then take as many clothes as you can in at the start of the week.

It’s a good idea to keep a spare set of clothes at work at all times just in case you forget something (underwear, belt etc) on a future commute.

Claim the lane

Ride at least 1/3 of the way into the road.

Drivers will give you more room when they pass, you’ll be more visible, you’ll avoid gutter debris.

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With the increasing numbers of cycling commuters, drivers are getting used to sharing the road these days.

Behave like a car

Follow the rules of the road to get respect.

Don’t go through red lights. Try not to undertake moving (or potentially moving) cars. If you want to pass, overtake.

Eye contact

Make eye contact with drivers at roundabouts and junctions to ensure that they’ve noticed your presence.

Lock it up

Buy a decent lock if you can’t take your bike into your workplace. Consider removing your front wheel and taking it into your workplace if you can.

Pannier bags
Saddle packs
Light sets
Locks

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