Editor's note: Spring is finally here, and urban commuters are dusting off their helmets and returning to bike lanes everywhere.
We asked Libby McComb, the manager of Bicycle Habitat Brooklyn, to select some of the best accessories on the market for people who commute to work by bicycle. Her picks are below, in her own words.
Get a helmet you’ll love to wear. If you’re riding to work every day, your head should be cool and comfortable. Try the Echelon II from Specialized ($70). This helmet comes in three sizes and is fully adjustable. It also recently received a rave review from Consumer Reports.
A rack and pannier set gets your laptop, gym clothes, and groceries off your back for a breezy ride. The Bontrager Lightweight Back Rack ($74.99) holds 50 pounds without weighing you down.
For panniers, we love the Backroller Classic pannier set from Ortlieb of Germany ($165/pair). These are fully waterproof, extremely durable, and easy to attach and remove.
Keep your bike secure with a great lock like the Kryptonite New York U ($100). This lock has a high- security cylinder that locks the 16mm case-hardened steel shackle in two places to send thieves away empty-handed.
If you’re riding at night, most areas require a white front light and a red rear. Stay safe with the Light & Motion Vis 180 Micro/Urban 200 light set ($150). The front light is an incredible 200 lumens, the rear is 25, and both have yellow lights on the side to provide you with 180 degrees of visibility. They’re also fully USB-rechargeable with an indicator light to let you know when you’re losing power — never buy batteries again!
If you think clipless pedals and shoes are just for racers, think again. They can get you to work faster and more comfortably. The M-324 pedal from Shimano ($95) offers a traditional pedal on one side and an SPD interface on the other.
The Specialized Tahoe Sport shoe ($100) is available for both men & women, and has an ultra-stiff and comfortable Vibram sole that you can walk on when you’re off the bike. A big plus – if you take spin class, you can use your shoes there as well.
If you ride all year, a good set of fenders will keep you & your bike clean and dry. The SKS Race Blade Fenders ($70) come in varying sizes to work on just about any bike. They’re simple to install and remove, add very little weight, and have a clean look.
Why not get credit for all of those miles you’re putting on? The Garmin 510 GPS ($330) allows you to keep track of every aspect of your time on the bike (even altitude and temperature!) and interfaces wirelessly with your computer or smartphone through GarminConnect. You can set up different profiles for different riding styles and even race your friends with live tracking. This full-color touchscreen is waterproof with a 20-hour battery life.
Two great bikes for commuting: The Trek 7.3FX & 7.3FX WSD ($660) are ultra-comfortable without compromising speed. The 7.3 has 9-speed shifting for climbing those hills and going fast on the flats, as well as puncture-resistant tires and IsoZone inserts in the handlebars and grips for unparalleled comfort and vibration-damping. This bike can accommodate any equipment you’d like – racks, fenders, you name it!
The Specialized Sirrus Comp and Vita Comp ($1050) are unbelievably fast and sleek, weighing in at less than 25 pounds. The Comp has a road-style 10-speed drivetrain, an aluminum frame and a carbon fiber fork with Zertz inserts to calm down the buzz from the pavement. Ride to work in style, and beat all of your friends on those weekend fitness rides.
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