The Best Bike Accessories for Commuting in 2020
New year, new you. As we start 2020, the gyms are packed with new year resolutions to get fit and burn off the extra holiday weight. However, you can avoid the crowd and get fit by riding your ebike to work or school. Yes, it’s true - you can get fit by riding an ebike. Save time, money, and reduce your carbon footprint are all additional benefits of being an ebike commuter. If you haven’t commuted by ebike, you’re definitely missing out!
It could be overwhelming to think about all the gear and accessories you will need for ebike commuting, but we’re here to help you with that “pedal assist”.
First and foremost, you’ll need a bike. You can ride a regular push pedal bike for your commute but trust us, it’ll be much easier to commute on an ebike. No one wants to be all sweaty and dirty from riding to work or school. Our Pace 350 and 500 models will help make your commute fun and less sweaty! Pro tip: make sure you have an extra charger for your ebike at work so that you can charge it there to make sure you have enough juice to ride home.
Wear a helmet
The first rule of bike riding is safety first. While you can get away from not wearing a helmet on a short stroll around your neighborhood, we highly recommend wearing a helmet on your commute. Look for a helmet that is certified by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). If you’re outside of the United States, make sure the helmet is certified by whichever country you’re in. Look for a helmet that is well-ventilated and comfortable to the shape of your head.
Bring your mobile phone
This one is obvious but it’s worth mentioning. Always have your mobile phone for those emergencies. You’ll definitely need it when you have to call an Uber or Lyft. You should also have your wallet with your ID, credit and some cash.
Carry a backpack
You’ll definitely need a backpack. Look for a backpack that is designed for commuters. Avoid messenger bags because they are not stable for on-the-bike use. Make sure that the backpack is big enough (we recommend at least 40L) that can fit a change of clothes and a padded laptop compartment. Waterproofing and ventilation are also key to a comfortable commute, but they can be pricier. If you can afford it, definitely buy a backpack with these two features. Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to be seen on the road. A hi viz backpack will make you stand out and be safer.
If you’re not a fan of wearing a backpack, you can mount panniers to your bike. They are designed to carry bike gear and accessories so that you have more freedom of movement and take the stress off your upper body. Our Pace ebikes are designed to have panniers mounted with ease.
Comfortable clothing is key. You can probably get away with wearing regular clothing on your commute but you’ll be better off wearing some padded cycling shorts and a moisture wicking cycling jersey. They might feel and look weird at first, but your tush will thank you after many miles. But no one wants to be in their bike shorts all day, so remember to bring a change of clothes. And on that note, it’s a good idea to carry a toiletry kit with wipes (baby wipes work great) or a towel in your backpack or keep them if your office if there are no showers available.
Use lights, not just reflectors
Going back to the safety theme, lights are essential to ebike commuting. You’ll need bike lights to see and be seen on the road. We recommend getting front and rear lights, both of which can be easily mounted on our Pace ebikes. A high quality bell mounted to your ebike’s handlebars is very helpful to alert other riders of your presence. Lights with higher lumen are brighter but they do cost more. If you can afford it, buy lights that are weather-sealed and charged by USB rather than batteries. Remember to charge those lights - a good way to remember is when you charge your Pace, you can charge your lights at the same time.
Know how to fix a flat and bring along tools
It’s always a good idea to have a bike repair kit with you in case have a mechanical issue on your commute to avoid being stranded. Even though our Pace ebikes are built to be sturdy and rugged, it’s best to be prepared for the unpredictable. These items should be included in your kit: tire inner tube, mini hand pump or tire inflator with CO2 cartridges, tire levers, tire patch kit, and a multi-tool.
Since we’re on the subject of being prepared, you should also pack a first aid kit in your backpack. You should include an emergency contact card and keep it in your kit. The card should have your full name, address, and phone number of your contact person if something happens to you. Sunscreen and lip balm are also good items to include in this kit.
Food and drink for commuting
If your bike commute is longer than 30 minutes, it’s wise to bring some food and water. Bike-specific portable food such as energy bars and gels can be purchased at bike shops and most grocery stores. Water is another essential, especially on hot days when hydration is important. For a little energy boost, you can add a sport mix to your water for your sodium and potassium loss during your commute. Even though your ebike will make your commute easier, you still don’t want to be dehydrated and tired once you get to work or school.
Lastly, these other accessories would make your ebike commute better and more enjoyable but not absolutely essential: chamois cream, bike-specific shoes and socks, gloves if you live in a cold climate, leg straps for pants (you wouldn’t want to get your work pants dirty with chain stain), hi viz jacket or vest, base layer, and perhaps a rain jacket.
This list is by no means comprehensive; each rider will have his/her own preferences but we hope you find this helpful as you learn more about ebike commuting. Visit Aventon.com to buy ebikes online!