Six Urban Cycling Essentials

Woman riding bike in city

Living in London during lockdown means public transport is a no-go at the moment, so I have fully embraced the urban cycling life to get from point A to point B. Here is some gear which I have found essential for my commutes around the city.

Thousand Chapter MIPS Helmet: If I am simply commuting around the city, I don’t want to look like I am out for a full on training ride. The Chapter MIPS helmet not only adds a level of urban chic, but comes with some well thought out city-appropriate features.

To aid in visibility, a 50-lumen rear light attaches magnetically to the back of the helmet. It runs for around an hour on solid mode or two hours on flashing mode before needing a recharge—plenty of time to get you to where you need to go if you should get caught out in the dark. The helmet comes with an adapter if you also want to be able to attach the light to your seat post instead of the back of your helmet.

When you lock up your bike, it’s nice to be able to leave your helmet but not something you are going to do in the middle of the city, right? Well, Thousand added a pop out disc in the side of the helmet so you can slip it through your lock to secure it to your bike instead of carrying the helmet with you. Genius. And with MIPS technology in addition to the standard foam protection, your noggin will be well-protected in case of an accident.

bike lock

Kryptonite D Lock with Kryptoflex Cable: Over 20,000 bikes get stolen in London every year. That’s crazy. I was originally planning to buy a £50 beater bike to ride around so I wouldn’t be heartbroken if it got stolen, but thanks to the pandemic, bikes are more than hard to come by these days.

That means I am riding my road bike around London and I am more than a bit nervous leaving it locked up somewhere out of sight. For a bit of extra assurance while I run into stores or grab a quick coffee, I bought this heavy duty Kryptonite lock. By securing the frame, back wheel, and front wheel, the lock will at least give any bike thief a second thought before stealing.

Adidas trainers

Adidas Gazelles: I am not going to ride around London in my road cycling shoes when running errands or meeting up with friends so these cool kids Adidas not only look great, but work pretty well perched on top of my Shimano road pedals. I played soccer (or football for the Brits) growing up, so I have a soft spot for Gazelles.

Timbuk2 Messenger

Timbuk2 Classic Messenger: By carrying this classic messenger bag, I’m bringing a little slice of San Francisco to the streets of London. Made by Timbuk2—the master in bike commute bags—you know the messenger is packed with bike-friendly features and makes a great bag for trips to the farmers market, weekend getaways, and standard supermarket trips. If I am just popping out for a coffee or to meet a friend, I use my Pacsafe Slingpack instead. And if I am off for a big supermarket shop, I’ll throw on the Tailfin rack and bags.

bike light

Knog PWR Commuter: This 450-lumen front light is a breeze to  take on and off your bike and the battery serves as a backup charger for your phone in case you run out of juice while navigating around the city.

bike fender

Ass Savers Fendor Bendor and Speed Mullet clip on fenders: It’s England. It rains. A lot.

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