Ten top commuting tips from the BikeRadar office

Nuggets of wisdom from those who've learned the hard way

It shouldn't surprise you to learn that most of us here in the BikeRadar office commute to work via bicycle each day, and we feel that the experience gained from doing so has left us with some pretty useful advice — particularly for beginner riders.

Read on to find nuggets of wisdom from each of BikeRadar's UK editorial team.

Oli Woodman on underwear

If you're anything like me then you'll probably forget at least one important thing each week — don't make it your pants.

A spare pair in your rucksack or locker can save you from accidental commando moments.

Aoife Glass on hygiene 

Muc-Off's Dry Shower comes thoroughly recommended from BikeRadar's Aoife Glass
Muc-Off's Dry Shower comes thoroughly recommended from BikeRadar's Aoife Glass

If you do not have showers at your workplace then dry shampoo and products such as Muc-Off’s waterless bodywash can be a lifesaver.

Jack Luke on speed

Don't be the idiot who races to the red light - you're not going to actually get to work any quicker.

Paul Douglas on road positioning

Boss your lane! This was a piece of advice that my motorbike instructor gave me — I’d hear her saying it through my wireless earpiece as I approached busy junctions — and I think it applies equally as well to cyclists in urban environments. 

I’ve seen too many cyclists timidly hugging the edge of the road in traffic, which puts them in line with slippery drain covers and the various bits of junk that accumulate at the side of the road, and increases their risk of a collision by leaving space for car drivers to squeeze past. Car drivers should give cyclists the same overtaking space as they would when overtaking another car, so don’t feel guilty about taking a more central lane position.

Equally, don’t sit too far out in your lane. In busy city traffic, car drivers are as likely to dangerously undertake you as overtake you if you give them the space to do so. Remember: “boss your lane!”

Matthew Allen on power management

The Anker Powerport 6+ is a saviour during winter months, claims BikeRadar's Matthew Allen
The Anker Powerport 6+ is a saviour during winter months, claims BikeRadar's Matthew Allen

I recommend getting a USB mains output charger, particularly in the winter months — this way you can charge all of your devices once in the office or at home. I'm particularly fond of this one from Anker.

Reuben Bakker-Dyos on visibility

Don’t give people a reason to say they didn’t see you. Wear bright colours on your feet and consider running lights in the daytime.

Oli Woodman on tools

Make sure you're equipped to take on any mechanical jobs you're likely to face. Carrying a tube is all well and good but there's little point if you're stranded miles from a pump, for example.

Make sure your multi-tool has all the Allen keys you may need - the lack of an 8mm key on many multi-tools has caught me out in the past.

Ben Healy on the rules of the road

Read the Highway Code. Do it now. If you've never read it because you don't drive then you have no business being on public roads. Even if not everyone is playing by the rules, the more of us who do the safer we will all be.

Jack Luke on keeping it casual

Jake Luke likes to keep it casual, sometimes too much so
Jake Luke likes to keep it casual, sometimes too much so

If you're not in a rush and the weather permits then casual clothing can be fine for a gentle and short commute. Don't be afraid of using a basket or pannier to carry your bag either, it's better than arriving to work with a sweaty back.

Joe Norledge on preparation

If you often struggle for motivation in the morning and the warm car is calling you then preparing the night before can make all the difference. Get all your kit together before you go to bed so all you've got to do in the morning is get your kit on and go. Oh, and coffee sure helps too.

  • Sponsored: UK readers — can you go the extra mile this summer? By running or cycling to work you can be a part of Red Bull’s UK-wide Million Mile Commute. Join the club in Strava to be eligible for a Red Bull sample kit to set you on your way. Don’t forget to share your commutes by tagging @RedBullUk and use #MillionMileCommute

Think we've missed any big ones, let us know in the comment box below

Oli Woodman

Section Editor, UK
With more than 10 years of experience riding mountain bikes, Oli knows the good from the bad when it comes to gear. He's a total bike nerd and loves few things more than fettling with spangly riding bits. Also, he seems to have a talent for crashing hard but emerging unscathed.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Loamy singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Marin Pine Mountain, Pinnacle Dolomite
  • Dream Bike: Honda RN01
  • Beer of Choice: Corona
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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