5 Things I Wish I Had As A College Bike Commuter

Written by Michael Hendricks, on August 15, 2022

     On my college campus of nearly 50,000 undergraduate students, I cruised around in between classes on a 90’s single-speed with distinct dark green paint. My friends were able to recognize me amongst the masses of students as my commuter bike made me stand out from the rest. For those who noticed my bike parked outside of a coffee shop or the library, it became almost a billboard invitation for them to come in and say hello. My college commuter bike became fused to my identity and was essential for my daily routine. Recalling this fond time biking around on a college campus, here are five essentials I always had or wish I had during my experience commuting. 

Let’s Talk Locks

If you’ve ever locked up your bike and had it stolen, you already know that locks don’t stop true bike-stealing ninnies. This is the unfortunate truth. We can only hope that the ninnies local to your area are lazy and easily deterred by a lock. The only thing easier to steal than a well locked bike is a completely unlocked bike, more or less. There are a couple of different options when shopping for a lock. 

  • The Abus Buffo U-lock offers double locking security at an affordable price
  • If you don't want to keep track of a key (who has time for that) try Kryptonite Keeper 790 combination lock. Lock up that code tight in your brain. No key needed. Available in-store. lock 

Announce your arrival 

Commuting on campus can involve a lot of bobbing and weaving. This can be a real danger zone, but it doesn't have to be. Give a little heads up to let people know you're rolling through, for safety. Or give a lil ding-ding to garner some extra attention. That's also a very valid reason to use a bike bell. 

  • The Spurcycle Bell will let people know you are COMING THROUGH. So watch out world. 
bells

See and be Seen 

A proper lighting system on your bike strips away the curfew caused by lack of sunlight and allows you to be more clearly seen by others. Headlights and taillights can be used during the daytime or nighttime to make your presence on the street or path known. It’s always worth it to pack a lighting system as visibility goes a tremendous way. 

We recommend keeping your future bright, while still shining a good light on your past. AKA headlights and tail lights. 

Protect Your Investments

This is a no-brainer, but you need a helmet. At Contender Bicycles, we never ever condone bullying unless you are gently bullying someone into wearing a helmet. It’s 2022 and by now I think we can all agree that helmets are cool, and protecting your head is cool. Are there dorky looking helmets? No doubt. Fortunately we carry a nice selection of helmets, most of which are not dorky, and come in a variety of colors to fit your aesthetic. 

The Smith Convoy is a classic, easy look. 

But if that's not your style, we've got a whole bunch more on the website HERE.

Best of luck calculating which helmet you want.

a meme about picking helmets

Repair Kit

As cyclists, any commute home could lead to a spontaneous redirect miles away. It’s essential to be prepared for these impromptu adventures by making sure a repair kit is ready to go and allow you to make it back home. You’ll need a stashed bike pump and/or CO2 cartridges, tire levers, an extra bike tube and patches for your commuter setup. This kit gives an extra sense of preparedness which goes a long way, especially when pursuing extravagant detours. 

Every good repair kit should have (but is not limited to...)

collage of repair kit

Pro Tip

Don’t forget to get a tune-up! Having a professional take a look at your bike will uncover potential issues that could arise later down the line. Save yourself from future trouble and make sure your bike is in solid condition.

 


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