I’ve been asked a lot about the equipment I use, especially on my cycling trips, but also on my daily commute.
This post only includes items that I’ve personally used and that I highly recommend (see disclaimer at the bottom).
On my first cycling trips I’ve rented out panniers. Soon enough I found out that not only is it more expensive on the long term, but it’s also a risk – having great panniers can have a tremendous effect on your trip.
I highly recommend ORTLIEB Back-Roller City Panniers, Red One Color One Size.
I’ve used these panniers in my latest trips to Europe, as well as my daily commute in the past months. Prior to purchasing them, I’ve watched this review on Youtube.
- They are BIG – they are big enough to allow everything I need to get inside. When traveling Europe, I could fit everything I needed for two weeks inside of them. On my commute, I usually just put my backpack inside one of them and take it out when I get to work.
- They are waterproof – so when it’s raining I don’t have to worry about anything that’s inside them.
- They are easily attached/detached from the rack.
- They are easily carried – so when I get to work, I can carry them for a while before unpacking.
It took me a while to find headphones that really provide everything I needed. But I finally have:
I LOVE these headphones. I really do. Here are a few reasons for it:
- They’re cheap, compared to other high-quality headphones.
- They’re safe – when cycling, you don’t want your headphones to block all external noise – since you should be able to hear if someone honks, for example. These headphones are designed to allow you to hear ambient sound, so they are also safe to cycle with.
- They include a microphone, which also allows you to have phonecalls.
- They’re easy to operate while cycling. Their controls allow you to quickly receive or reject calls, adjust the volume, pause and play – all done very easily and quickly.
- Their sound quality is great.
- They don’t fall off your ears – the headphones drape over your ears and won’t fall. They also fit very comfortably under a helmet.
- They’re waterproof. It’s especially important if you happen to cycle in the rain.
- They’re easily charged – using a micro-USB cable.
I use them not only for cycling – but also when I wash the dishes, and also just while talking on the phone. They allow me to listen to interesting podcasts and learn languages during my commute, or just free my hands when talking to people.
One disadvantage I find is that it’s hard to have a call while cycling, as the other party might have hard time hearing you over the microphone. I’ve been able to bypass this by covering the headphones with a balaclava (see below) or just a sweater, and then I am able to have clear calls.
Lights are extremely important for two reasons: (1) to see; and (2) to be seen. Especially for the first, you’ll need a good light.
My choice is: CatEye HL-EL470RC Volt 700 Rechargeable Headlight
- The light is great. Even when cycling in almost complete darkness in parks I can see very well, which is obviously crucial.
- It’s easily mounted – the mount is installed once, very easily, and then you can just plug/unplug the actual light. Very simple!
- It’s easily charged – using a micro USB cable.
- It can be mounted either to your bike or your helmet.
You can find a nice video about this headlight here.
These lights won’t help you to see in the dark, but they are awesome in order to be seen. They are a great safety measure, and at the same time – they are just beautiful.
- They are waterproof, so you don’t need to worry when cycling in the rain.
- They operate on batteries (which are included).
- They operate in power-saving mode – so the lights will be off during daytime, and when you’re not on the move.
- Every pack is for one wheel only – so if you’d like to have lights on both wheels, you should order two of them.
A good lock is essential in case you ever leave your bicycle outside of home. I personally use the following lock:
That’s one of my favorite commute “tricks”. When cycling in Europe, I’ve used cycling pants for padding. Yet, it’s very inconvenient to use cycling pants for daily commute – as it would be necessary to change them once you get to your destination, and then put them on again before starting the way back.
A much more practical solution for your daily cycling is a seat cover. It’s not as effective as cycling pants, but it’s usually good enough for rather short rides. I use the following one:
A good balaclava is essential in some circumstances, and helpful in others. In the rain, it helps you cycle without feeling the drips. When it’s windy or cold, it keeps your head warm. A good balaclava should be flexible – allowing you to cover different parts of your face, depending on whether you need more air or better cold protection.
My choice is:
- The Power of Habit – a very interesting book to help and establish the habit of cycling on a regular basis (also on Kindle).
Looking for more?
As mentioned above, I only recommend items that I’ve personally used and that I can recommend.
If you’re looking for additional items, I trust the recommendations provided on Average Joe Cyclist. I have had very good experience with this website, and its host Joe is extremely kind and helpful. Be sure to check it out.
This page includes affiliate links. It means that if you click on those links and then make your purchase, I get credit for referring you to these products. I’d like to note two things:
- You do not pay any extra for using these links.
- I put links to products that I’ve personally used and that I honestly recommend.