Bike & equipment required for a long daily urban commute?

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Do you often ride from home to work and back?

Actually, as a senior rider, I have already ridden for a long daily urban commute over 5 years.

Having a good job that can not only support all the members in my family and give me enough time to enjoy myself is a wonderful thing. However, living a brilliant job in a big city is not a easy thing. What I have to think about is the expense of accommodation. It is really expensive to live near the company I work for. So I decided to buy a house in the urban. It saved me a lot! What is more, I can ride to work everyday so that I can exercise myself. Aha, I am much fitter than I ever was and I feel much better now. I enjoy my cycling a lot.

Are you puzzled? Do you want to save some bucks on the equipment?

What equipment you are required to own for a long daily urban commute?

Gears? Handlebars (e.g. flat or dropped)? Frame (size, shape, material)? Mud-guard/fender?

Wheels? Tyres? Clipless pedals and shoes?

Now, let me share my equipment to you. The basic thing you are required to have for a long daily urban commute is a commuter which also called an urban bike. You cannot ride without cycling equipment. And with the following, you can ride better.


It is the most important thing that can protect your head from being hurt. It can also give you sense of safety and make you feel comfortable while cycling. What is more, it can also prevent the sands going into your eyes.

Cycling jersey

In summer, you may feel hot while wearing it because of its close-fitting. But it can lessen the burning from the sun. If your skin are exposed to the sun for a long time, you are prone to get skin cancer, especially in hot summer. And the jersey can make your skin look better than those who do not wear cycling jersey. To some extent, if accident happens to you, you will be less hurt with jersey.

cycling jersey

Cycling shorts or pants

Sitting on the bike for a long time must be a hard thing for your hips, right? So you need to wear cycling shorts or pants in order to avoid hurting your bottom. Is there any difference between an ordinary pant and cycling shorts? Of course, there is one of big differences that a pad is inserted into cycling shorts. With it, you will not feel as pain as you are wearing an ordinary pants.

Cycling gloves

Owning a pair of cycling gloves can help you feel less painful and comfortable by griping the handlebar. Often riding can make your hands calloused and look ugly.

Cycling shoes

They play an important role in pedaling while cycling. A pair of good cycling shoes can help you save energy in pedaling while cooperating with Clipless pedals. Try them if you do not believe it, you may feel much better with them.

Wheels & tires:

The larger the wheels are, the faster you can ride.

700 x (28 - 38, maybe ~30), tires; with slicks or light treads which can make you feel better while you are ridding over an obstacle. Possibly puncture-resistant tires, especially if you experience many punctures. Check and reflate them weekly. With the narrower tires, you can have less difficulties in storm drains, streetcar tracks, dirt roads, and cornering especially fast and on wet roads.

Clipless pedals:

If you have them, you can have up to 35%-50% more efficient. Practice with them for 1/2 day to 2 weeks away from traffic first, because you must expect to fall off. The normal type of Clipless, for commuting, would be SPD: SPD are not impossible to walk in. The stiffer the sole of the shoe, the better it distributes force over the whole sole of your foot.


Internal-hub gears cost $300+ (which is more than derailleurs)which can contribute to multi-speed (e.g. 7, 8, or even 14-speed) ; internal-hub gears means lower maintenance, chain is less easy to fall off, easier to have a chain guard even, and you can change gears while stopped, maybe 2% less efficient that derailleurs, and takes a different kind of chain. Derailleurs are more common. A 2-position rather than 3-position derailleur on the front would be adequate if there are no hills.


Many people prefer flat rather than dropped; at commuting speeds, it's more a matter of comfort than aerodynamics. Dropped affords more wrist positions; you can ask for interrupter levers on dropped handlebars, to access the brakes from more than one hand position/location.


Disc brakes can work better and certainly more reliable than rim brakes, especially when the road is wet; and if you go downhill at 70 kph you might want hydraulic disc and not just mechanical disk brakes (hydraulics are more expensive, are difficult or impossible to self-maintain, require less or no maintenance or routine cable adjustments, and require less finger-force to actuate).


Usually, there are many kinds of bicycle frame in the market. It is astonishing that the more expensive the frame is, the better it is. Wrong here. It looks up to your need. If one of them which is not so expensive but meet your need, it’s the best for you. There is no need to buy a expensive frame.

Other equipment:

lights; fenders/mudguards; rack or saddlebag; bike lock(it need to be hard to unlock without key); maybe mirrors (it help you make clear the conditions behind you); a intelligent device ; a tire pump, able to inflate the tire; enough money (in case of any accidents).

All above are things I love and my cycling friends love. They really did a good job in my past ridding and will still help me in future.

Hope you enjoy your riding with the equipment I introduce to you!