The Perfect Bike Commuting Kit

Pedaling to work is a lot more fun with the right setup

Aug 13, 2015
Outside Magazine
The Perfect Bike Commuting Kit

Finding gear that's cycle-friendly but also business-casual is every bike commuter's challenge. We've made things a little easier for you.    Photo: Inga Hendrickson

Research has shown that bike commuting is better for your health than driving, but without the right gear, the trip can be a hassle. Fortunately for you, we've found the goods to make pedaling to work a breeze.

Acre Meridian Alpine jacket ($455)

  Photo: Acre

This sleek city rain slicker is packed with cleverly disguised performance features, like zippered pockets on the sides to keep clear of a pack and a snap-off hood that’s cut to fit over a helmet. The Polartec NeoShell fabric breathes better than a bike courier doing block sprints, and the tailoring is so good it could have been designed just for you. 

Specialized Utility vest ($180)

  Photo: Specialized

Unlike the vast majority of synthetic puffers, which can cause you to sweat like you’re wearing a garbage bag when pedaling hard, this vest adapts to regulate your temperature, thanks to military-grade synthetic insulation. Even better? Reversible versatility: staid two-tone gray for the office and traffic-cone orange for low-light conditions. 

Kitsbow Power Wool base layer ($115)

  Photo: Kitsbow

Merino on the inside of this top bumps up the warmth on chilly days, and the fabric on the face spirits away moisture. It’s also insulating, despite the thin-as-a-T-shirt feel. The cut is a touch large, so size down if you plan on layering. 

Cadence Collection Raw Denim jeans ($120)

  Photo: Cadence Collection

Cut from the stiff stuff, these trim-but-not-restricting jeans have a reinforced seat and double back pockets that will hold up to several seasons. Reflective hits on the back patch are great for after-hours riding, and the fabric breaks in after a few weeks in the saddle. 

Mission Workshop Sanction backpack ($195)

  Photo: Mission Workshop

This top-loading rucksack holds everything you need for a day at the office (and a stop at the gym on the way home), while the soft waterproof interior and waxed-canvas shell protect a laptop from nasty weather. 

Giro Republic LX shoes ($200)

  Photo: Giro

Though it looks as classy as an Italian loafer, this lace-up is an SPD-compatible cycling shoe, with a stiff shank for efficient pedaling, a recessed cleat, and sticky pads on the outsole to keep you from clambering like a crab once the bike is parked. 

Fairwear Spruceton shirt ($90)

  Photo: Fairwear

The airiness of this lightweight button-front comes from the fabric: a bamboo-polyester blend that feels great while riding. More important, the material doesn’t wrinkle or accumulate moisture, so you’ll roll into work looking pressed and crisp. 

Trek Lync 5 ($1,340)

  Photo: Trek

The aluminum Lync 5 comes with everything you need—pedals, fenders, lights, and a rack—to hit the road right out of the box. Because the headlight and rear taillights are built into the frame and run off a down-tube-mounted, USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery, you’ll never have to worry about getting caught after dark without them. And while the bells and whistles are great, Trek didn’t overlook the basics, including a triple crankset for a huge gear range, reliable Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, and Bontrager tires that proved sticky as Velcro even in the rain. The only thing missing? A kickstand. 30.2 lbs.

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