Commuting by bike: helpful hacks

Commuter biking on a bridge at sunset

Riding to work can be intimidating, but with a little practice and know-how, it might even become the best part of your day. We have assembled some of our most helpful hacks to get you on the road. 

Man commutes through London via bike

Prep the night before

Like with many things in life, preparation is the key to success when it comes to commuting. Gathering your essentials the night before allows you to find misplaced items and will make getting out the door in the morning much smoother. 

Less faff in the morning = a more leisurely ride. Fact. 

Night before checklist

  • Bag packed
  • Outfit picked
  • Bike gear next to bike or packed into panniers 
  • Bike in an easy-to-reach place
  • Lunch made

Top Tip  

Use a pannier instead of a backpack and get your bike to do all the heavy lifting. No back pain or sweat patches when you arrive at work, plus you can often fit more in!

Picture of bike locked to bike stand in a city. The sun is setting.

Plan the easiest route

Find the best route for you with a bit of research. We’d recommend doing a dummy run on your day off so you can suss out any difficult turns or roundabouts, test out timings and become more familiar with your route. Making the trip on Monday morning will seem a lot less daunting if you've already tried it out. 

Quick pointers

  • Swap main roads for minor ones
  • Remember that the quickest route might not be the easiest
  • Download a route planning app
  • Invest in a bike phone mount to track your route as you ride

Don’t rush

Commuting to work isn’t a race. Leave yourself plenty of time, take in your surroundings and enjoy the ride. This way you’ll turn up to work less frazzled and more energized. A slower commute also reduces the chances you'll need a shower at work. Win-win.

Quick pointers

  • Leave 15 minutes extra time
  • Don’t compare yourself to the speed of others
  • Start riding to work once a week and work your way up 

Man stands with bike smiling in a park, he wear a helmet.

Bring spare clothes, just in case

Weather forecasts are never 100% accurate so avoid getting caught out by bringing spare clothes. That means spare undies too! Ideally, keep a few of the essentials at work for emergencies.

Quick pointers

  • Always dress as though it’s warmer outside than it actually is, you’ll be sure to get hot once you get going
  • Layers, layers, layers
  • Gloves are essential on cold days (trust us ‘brrrrrr!’)

Remember your lights and charger

Even if you’re not going to be cycling home in the dark, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to bike lights. Charging your lights at work avoids the risk of dim or low-battery lights on your journey home. 

Quick pointers

  • USB rechargeable lights are quick and easy to charge at work
  • Pack your lights and charger the night before
  • A helmet with a light on is a great way to increase your visibility 

Woman cycles on road with a light on her helmet

Fold clothes over a book to avoid creasing

Depending on the length of your commute, you may not need to bring spare clothes at all. But if you do, this is a great hack to avoid pesky wrinkles whilst saving space in your bag. Important meeting or appointment - sorted! 

Meme showing a white shirt being folded around a book to avoid creases, followed by a thumbs up

Learn a couple of bike maintenance basics

Learning a few essential skills is the perfect gift to your future self and they don’t take long to learn. Check out our basic bike maintenance tips to get to grips with fixing a flat, giving your bike a quick check and making sure you're ready to roll. Once you've got these bike basics down, you'll feel more confident when you head out. You can practise patching or replacing your inner tubes before you head out. Once you’ve got this down, inner tubes can be replaced in a matter of minutes.

Basic Bike Toolkit Checklist

  • Bike pump
  • Tyre levers
  • Multitool
  • Spare tube
  • Puncture repair kit

Top Tip

If you've got the space, duct tape really can be your best friend in times of need. It’s the perfect emergency solution for punctures, patches and holes. A cable tie is also useful for holding loose spokes, bulging cables and anything else that might be in the way.

We hope you found something useful in these handy tips and don't forget to share your own on our social page. Happy commuting!

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