This is a sponsored article in association with Red Bull
Every year, the BikeRadar team clocks up approximately one zillion cumulative cycle commuting miles, and in that time we’ll face every possible scenario and mishap on our way to and from work.
Learn from that experience and all the mistakes it has entailed and check out these five top tips on how to make your cycle commute as stress-free and comfortable as possible.
- 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 challenge this July. To sign up, visit redbull.co.uk/MMC, follow the steps on how to register and start logging your miles via the Strava app, ensuring to tag your activities as a ‘commute’. More miles recorded mean more prizes, from Osprey backpacks to a Marin Fairfax bike, and be sure to grab your limited edition Red Bull 250ml Energy or Sugarfree can — a code under the ring pull unlocks 30 days of Strava Premium. Don’t forget to share your commutes by tagging @RedBullUK and #MillionMileCommute
1. Spare pants
The last thing you want is to get caught out riding in an unexpected downpour on your way to work and be forced to go sans-skivvies for the day.
Invest in a fresh pair of undies, hide them somewhere secure in your desk drawer and only break them out on emergency occasions.
2. Full-length mudguards and mud flaps
Bolt-on full-length super nerdy mudguards are an absolute must for any serious commuter — not only will they keep you clean, but they’ll also keep your bike clean, massively improving longevity and reduce maintenance.
For extra nerd-points, fit the front mudguard with a mud flap so large that it barely clears the ground. These help to deflect water towards the ground and away from your feet.
3. Grease everything
If you’ve just bought a new commuting bike or are servicing your existing one, take the time to invest in some high-quality, water-resistant grease and grease every bearing, every metal-on-metal contact point and every nut and bolt on that bike.
When we say everything, we really mean it! Pop the bottom bracket out, grease the threads, derailleur hanger bolts, brake mounting bolts, seatposts… everything! An hour spent doing this could save you huge headaches and cash in the long run.
4. Put sealant inside inner tubes
If your inner tube has a removable valve core, try popping this out and adding a generous squirt of high-quality tubeless sealant.
This will help seal up small punctures or, at the very least, slow down a puncture, allowing you to top up the tyre and limp home to perform a full repair.
5. Ride slower
This is the easiest and cheapest — free in fact — commuting hack out there.
It’s all too easy to get carried away when you swing your leg over a bike, but unless you’re using your commute to train, the likelihood is that arriving at work unstressed, dry and comfortable is your primary goal. Riding slow is the easiest way to ensure you start your day feeling fresh.
Don’t let the traffic-light-sprinters, cycle-path-KOM-hunters and Lycra-clad speed freaks get your goat — just enjoy the ride!