Bike Commuting essentials/bag options

So I have decided that I am going to start commuting to work for the summer, regardless of the lack of facilities here. Im just going to make some space in my cube for the bike and deal with it. I have a fairly short commute (~14 miles).

What do you guys use for carrying stuff? I figure I will leave a pair of shoes/small toiletries at work, but need to pack my clothes (long pants/collar shirt) and a small lunch. I will also have what I normally carry in my small pack such as phone/wallet/key/ tubes/multitool. Is there anything else you guys carry?

I have a carbon BMC and cannot add a rear rack, nor can I afford a beater commuter. I am debating going with a seatpost rack like the Topeak RX carbon ( or a large saddle bag like the Revelate Designs Viscacha ( I like that the Revelate can expand/shrink based on my needs. Are there any other bags that I should look at?

I have multiple bikes, one of which is a designated commuter. It is an inexpensive fixed gear (it’s flat as a pancake here, no need for gears).

My direct commute is only 8 miles. And in the morning, I do the direct 8 miles. Going home is a different matter. I’d say for 3.5 days of the week I take a 24-mile route home. I do the 8-mile direct home on Fridays (I usually do 3-4 hours Saturday morning) and on the occasional other days where I can’t “waste” time on a bicycle.

Work is business casual. I carry trousers, t-shirt and a pressed shirt in a messenger bag. I wear commuting specific cloths on the bike. They hang on a hook in my office after I change. Also typically in the messenger bag is lunch, wallet, phone and eye glasses (I wear sunglasses when I ride, even in the rain). Occasionally there is other stuff as needed in the bag. I also can attach a front basket to the bike but I have only used it once while commuting. I also use this bike as a grocery-getter and that is when I use the basket.

At work I have a pair of work shoes to wear instead of my “lovely” Diadora cycling shoes. And I have the added benefit that we manufacture a disposable wipe for bathing. On hot days where I have some perspiration on the way to work, I wipe down in the office. I will shower at home after the 24-mile ride.

I also am a backer of the Orp horn and look forward to receiving it soon for the commuter.

Below is a picture of the commuter before I converted it to a fixed gear.

I use a back pack. I found that I was always fussing with a messenger bag even when I used a waist strap. I have a really casual office so i just leave some jeans and t shirts at work and rotate through them. I have some flipflops and shoes that I leave here too. Lunch and gym clothes are always in the bag. I keep some ziploc bags for my wallet and phone for rainy days. It might be good to get a small pump. Lezyne (sp) makes a nice CNC AL one with a tiny foldout floor stand so you can actually get some pressure into the tire.

I really wonder why you guys these common things along with you and what kind of work you were all doing… Though miles apart thinking about back home is different… dont miss your family life while going a long way with work… If you choose work you will miss your family but if you choose family you will never going to lose your work, instead you can handle it very easily and happily. And ensure you carry a first aid kit while travelling what ever may be the mode of transport think that it may be useful for others…

Except riding is neither work nor family time.

It is me time.

If my work or my family wants to join me, that’s fine. But they should be prepared to be dropped like a bag of wet sand :wink: .


Riding to work (when I had the option) was the absolute best part of my day. Sun, rain, snow, wind, didn’t matter. I wasn’t at home, and I wasn’t at work. It made me work better because I had time to think to myself while getting a little exercise. I was more focused and more energized.

I really need to start riding to work again…

Friend Remember that you are also a part of the wet sand :sunglasses: :unamused:

And I agree with NURB on this, Riding is a part of life where we can take that as a exercise which is health beneficiary… Just mentioned for workacholic people not all…

those who want to enjoy their life happily they can definetly enjoy it all the way they wish and its their rights… But when you look back there should be some people around you to share and increase the happiness you have or decrease the sadness you borne alone… :exclamation: :neutral_face:

Dont know whick BMC you have but probally a rack will look kinda lame on it, backpack would be the way to go.

Yeah. I’ll come find you and steal the rack off the bike if you put a rack on a BMC. Watch your back for the cycling police.

If you have a carbon BMC you really shouldn’t even put as much as a under-saddle bag on it. Think of it like a giant cancerous goiter dangling from your nether regions. See Rule #31.

What the hell is Hiscon talking about? See Rule #11.

I get unreasonable amounts of joy and happiness from the random encounters to be had while riding. Most of the people out riding are in pretty good moods (except for racers trying to get their training in) and a non-committal chat for a few miles with a total stranger with nothing in common except a love of titanium cyclocross bikes is really nice. So there.

I advocate leaving as much at work as possible, don’t muck up your bike with anything except some lighting and bottle cages, and get a good cycling-specific backpack. Not a courier bag. Get a Deuter SuperBike bag in the largest size, or spring for a Mission Workshop bag with hip strap.

+1 on the Lezyne pumps. +2 actually, I keep one in each one of my bike bags. Yes I have several. I’m not ashamed.

Sick Cinelle iab.

By the way, thanks for posting all this because it prompted me to begin commuting by bike again recently. I switched employers 2 years ago, and the distance tripled and the commute was no longer straight down off street paths. I found a good route and now my mind and body are thanking me.