Marv’s city commute checklist

The Breakaway

I’ve been riding to work on and off for 6 months now and built up a bit of list the gear I’ve found most useful. I’m sure there are literally hundreds of similar lists on the Internet, but this one works for me and possibly for you ;-).

The Leadout

Its probably a bit lame, but anyooohooo I’ve split the list into categories to ease the discussion.

The Peloton

Bike – I’m using my Canondale F4 as my commuter bike after I swapped out the dirt tires for a set of semi-slicks. The difference rolling friction was worth the $120 I paid for the tires.

Helmet – I’m using 2010 Specialised helment that I bought at Freedom Machine in Port Melbourne. I’ve come to realise it was a smart purchase as its really easy to mount a strong 450 lumen light on. The flat edge at the back is perfect for Velcro-ing the battery against.

Transit Items

  • Water – (in bottles or hydration pack)
  • Eye protection – (sunglasses or clear lenses) – I have a pair of yellow lenses for low light and polarised ones for bright light.
  • Medical info/emergency contact card – in case it all goes horribly wrong.
  • Lock – at some point I’m going to write and article about locks. I’ve been seeing heaps of reviews and youtube clips of people using portable angle grinders…..shudder 🙁
  • Fenders – I’ve been the using the new DeFender™ XC11, its light weight and a real improvement on the older model.
  • Cycling computer/GPS – or you could be a cheap skate and use something like Endomondo on your phone.
  • Heart rate monitor – I quite like the Suunto watches for this.
    Cash for a taxi – in case it all goes horribly wrong.
  • Headlight – I’ve got three at the moment, a pair of 220 lumens for blinking mode and a helmet mounted 450 lumen spot light.
  • Taillight (with blinking option) – I’ve mounted a pair of 120 lumen blinkers. I want motorists to see me.

Repair Items

  • Spare tube or tubes (and/or patch kit)
  • Pump
  • Tire levers
  • Cycling multi-tool – complete with hex keys.


  • Backpack, waistpack or hydration pack – useful for wallet, keys, phone and work pass.
  • Messenger (sling) bag – I’ve been using a Henty Wingman. Made in Tassie they are the business, if you a corporate suit wearing type.


  • Portable Rainjacket – a must in Melbourne, preferably light weight gortex.
  • Insulation layer – I quite like merino as it reduces the hot sweat smell
  • Visibility vest – you would be buts not to wear one of these around CBD of Melbourne.
  • Padded shorts or tights
  • Wicking jersey or top – I quite like the drifit material tops.
  • Gloves
  • Bike-specific footwear – I’ve been wearing Shimano boots with SPD cleats.
  • Buff or Cycling cap


  • Chamois cream/skin lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Deodorant
  • Cologne
  • Shampoo
    Tooth paste and brush
  • Thongs/flip-flop – for the shower
  • Hair brush and gel