The beginning of a new school year marks a fresh start regardless of if you are a student, faculty member or none of the above. Why not start your year off right by doing some of your fall campus commutes by bike? Our Back to School Gear Guide for the bike commuter will help you get started.
Bike Commuter Gear for Carrying Things on Your Bike
Of course your trusty old student backpack can carry your load, but we encourage you to explore other options to keep your back from getting sweaty while lugging around textbooks and laptops.
The first thing any bike commuter ought to acquire is a rear bike rack, which makes carrying things infinitely easier. If your bike doesn't have one, visit a local bike shop and ask them to install one for you. Prices for rear racks can run the gamut, but as a bike commuter, you can pick out simple, lightweight aluminum one (usually around $35) that will carry up to 40 lbs.
Po Campo Loop Pannier in Black Waxed Canvas $99.99
With the bike rear rack in place, pick out a bag or basket to help carry the things you need for heading back to school. For bags, we are impartial to the Po Campo Loop Pannier, our handsome laptop pannier that can hold laptops up to 13". Unlike other panniers that have sharp hooks that can snag your clothing, the Loop Pannier attaches to the rear rack with simple faux leather straps that make it comfortable to carry while traipsing from classroom to classroom across campus. Now 15% off with code BTS2015.
Wald Bike Basket ($20)
Another option is to mount a rear basket to your rack that you can throw any old bag into. If opting for this method, we recommend picking up a cargo net to wrap over top to keep things from popping out of the basket if you go over a bump.
Upgrading Must-Have Bike Accessories
New bike accessories for the bike commuter are coming out all the time and back-to-school is a great time to upgrade to some of the latest gear. Three essentials to take a fresh look at are bike lights, bike helmets, and bike locks.
Lezyne Zecto Drive bike light pair ($70)
The days are getting shorter which means a good bike light is in order. We can't imagine living without a USB rechargeable bike light. Our favorite for the bike commuter this back-to-school season are the Lezyne Zecto Drive lights. They're super bright and easy to clip-on and off.
Nutcase Metroride Helmet in Technicolor ($79.99)
Got a new back-to-school 'do that you don't want to muss? Poor ventilation is the main culprit behind helmet hair, which is why we're bananas for Nutcase's new Metroride helmet. Its lighter and airier design is kinder to your hair, and it is available in ten great prints so you don't have to sacrifice style.
ABUS Bordo folding bike lock ($100)
Finally, what about bike locks? The ol' U-lock still serves its purpose, but there are a lot of different options on the market now that might meet your needs better. The ABUS Bordo lock is a lightweight folding bike lock that is easy to carry on your bike and gives you the versatility to lock your bike to just about anything.
Having Fun with Bike Commuter Goodies
Along with your new bike commuter back to school gear, why not pick up some things that may not be essential but are still a lot of fun?
We recommend the Levi's Commuter collection for clothing that looks good and performs great while riding a bike. Both the men's and women's collections have stylish tops and bottoms perfect for the classroom.
Incredibell Original Bell ($12)
A new bell can make an old ride seem new. We like the Incredibell for it's cheery ting. It's more of a "coming through!" than "get out of my way!" – making it a pleasant addition to the sounds of the quad. Click to hear how it sounds.
Bookman Handlebar Cup Holder ($39)
Lastly, how about a coffee cup holder for your morning bike commutes? That way, you can bring your fresh cup of joe with you when you're running out the door to make your 8 a.m. class. The Bookman Handlebar cup holder doesn't require any hardware or tools to attach, so you can clip it on without trouble – event pre-caffeinated.
What is some of your favorite go-to back to school gear that we left out? Please share in the comments below!
Other posts you might be interested in: