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    City Slicker- bike commuting the right way

    Jun 26, 2014

    COMMUTING by bike is a potential win-win-win situation. It decreases your carbon footprint, saves you time (by avoiding traffic), and makes you fit. To achieve all three, you’ll need proper equipment. Here’s how to roll:

    The Cannondale Bad Boy Commuter A (P30,000 at Bikes Per Minute, Makati) is more stealth fighter than murdered-out clunker. A lightweight alloy frame, disc brakes, urban- oriented riding position, built-in fenders, and a reflective paint job make this bike as street-smart as its name suggests.

    Pairing high tech with high visibility, the B Lezyne Micro Drive Combo (P3,900 at at Bikezilla, OrtigasCenter) charges via USB, ensuring a hassle- free way for your blinkers to be always topped up with juice.

    If a roadside repair is in order, the C Serfas Mini Stick and the Lezyne V10 Multi-Tool (P500 and P1,350 at ROX, Bonifacio High Street) are ready for action. The Mini Stick’s pumping ability rivals that of bigger barrels, and the V10 has all the essential hex wrenches and tools to keep your ride tight.

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    These, as well as your other commuting essentials (see “Pre-Ride Checklist), can be stowed in the DTimbuk2 Showdown OS Backpack (P5,290 at ROX), which has organized interior pockets, a cavernous main compartment, and a separate padded sleeve for your laptop. Padded shoulder straps and a sternum cross-strap keep the load balanced and yourself comfy. You should never ride your bike without a helmet, and the E Lazer Beam (P1,950 at Bikezilla) ticks all the requisite boxes. It’s lightweight, with huge vents to scoop up air and keep you cool, and a custom-fit that makes it seem like it’s barely there—all at a price point that almost can’t be beat.

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    Since we’re talking about safety and security, consider the F OnGuard Bulldog U-Lock and the G OnGuard Akita Cable (P900 and P400 at Bikezilla). They’re as tenacious as their canine counterparts and are a proven deterrent to bicycle thieves. Just make sure you thread the cable through your front wheel and frame, then to your U-Lock. Finally, the U-Lock itself should be secured to an immovable object (such as a steel post) as well as to your rear wheel and frame. The process is more complicated than it sounds, but it’s a necessary measure if you want to keep your ride and joy.

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    Venturing out onto the city by bike involves more than just hopping on two wheels. Here’s how to make your journey a smooth one— regardless of destination

    Prep Yourself

    Get familiar with the basics of bicycle maintenance and troubleshooting. Like fixing a flat or turning a drivetrain (Park Tool’s channel on YouTube covers these)

    • Plan your route carefully to avoid a high volume of vehicles
    • Internalize the basic hand signals and rules of the road—your safety depends on it

    Prep Your Gear

    Have these essentials:

    • Spare change of clothes
    • Cleaning wipes
    • Hand towel
    • Ziploc bags
    • Bike toolkit
    • Spare inner tube
    • Money in small denominations
    • Rain jacket
    • Candy or energy bar
    • Pack your commuting bag the night before

    Prep Your Bike

    • Make it a habit to do a pre-ride check: ensure the tires are inflated, the bolts are tightened to spec, and the drivetrain is clean
    • Always schedule monthly maintenance visits to your neighbourhood bike shop
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