By Rupert Radley published
Why should you commute by bike? Well, firstly, exercise is a great way to banish those January blues. Even modest cycling releases endorphins – nature's natural anti-depressants.
But, what’s even better than the endorphin buzz? The fitness that comes with it. Cycling to work will get you fighting fit and super strong. Plus, all that added fitness will help you smash those New Year’s resolutions you’ve made.
But starting a commute by bike can be a little daunting. Finding the correct route, the necessary kit and the extra time it takes can mean it’s difficult to get out the door.
Fortunately, we’ve put in some of the leg work for you. Here's our list of useful commuting kit that will make your journey to work that bit easier.
Bontrager Starvos MIPS helmet
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
While it isn’t illegal to ride without a helmet, if you’re anywhere near traffic then it just makes sense.
Fortunately, protecting your head no longer means breaking the bank. There’s a whole host of affordable and very good helmets on the market – such as the Bontrager Starvos, which sits in the middle of Bontrager's lineup and offers plenty of comfort.
Read our Bontrager Starvos helmet review
Proviz Reflect 360 jacket
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
A waterproof cycling jacket is likely to be a requirement at some point during January.
The Proviz Reflect360 provides wind and waterproofing, whilst also offering tons of visibility thanks to its fully reflective surface. Plus, plenty of vents will keep you cool. Just be sure to downsize as it comes up a little large.
Read our Proviz Reflect360 jacket review
SKS Race Blades mudguards
Sadly, it doesn’t need to be raining for you to get soaked on the bike. If the ground is wet and you’re not running mudguards, you’ll be soaked through by the time you reach work.
Fortunately, these SKS Race Blades provide enough coverage to keep you dry and splatter free, plus they’re a doddle to attach – they simple wrap around your bike frame.
Exposure Switch and Flare set
Chances are you’ll be riding after dark or in the gloom of a winters day - so you'll need a red light at the rear and white light on the front, as a legal requirement.
If you're sticking with lit roads, then you'll just need 'be seen' lights, but if you're travelling on unlit roads then your front light will need to be much brighter - at least 500 lumens and ideally over 1000. We've got a selection ofbike light setsreviewed here, so you can choose one that best suits your needs.
The Lezyne Micro Drive 400 XL Strip Light set offers a fair amount of brightness, with 400 lumens at the front and 25 at the rear. Both charge via USB and come with handy elastic mounts that will fit most bikes.
DHB Flashlight Jersey
Depending on the length that you’ll be cycling, you might want to consider having a separate top to wear. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a cycling jersey, but this dhb Flashlight jersey is an ideal addition.
Three pockets on the back and a concealed zip for your valuables make it a versatile top. What’s more, it’s high visibility, too. Which means you’ll be safe on the roads.
Endura clickfast mesh liner
If you’re riding a decent length to work then it might be worth investing in a pair of padded shorts. These liner shorts from Endura are a great option if you don’t fancy opting for a pair of lycra bib shorts.
They sit under your shorts or normal clothes and give you an extra level of padding. What’s more, they’re built well so you know they will last a while, plus they’re not too thick so they wick away sweat.
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