Happy National Bike to Work Day! On May 20th, millions of citizens all over the country will cycle to work or school in an effort to encourage bicycle commuting as a healthy, sustainable and economic transportation option—and a fun way to get to get around!
Biking doesn’t have to be a once-a-year activity. Minneapolis ranked number one on the Forbes top 20 bike-friendly cities in the U.S. report for 2015, and cities across the U.S. are following Minneapolis’ lead and investing in welcoming infrastructure and bike-sharing systems for cyclists. Coming up behind the “City of Lakes” are San Francisco, Portland, Washington, D.C. and New York City. And biking is not only for big cities and small towns—the U.S. has plenty of open-air biking areas from National Parks, mountains and valleys to beaches and boardwalks.
Didn’t ride your bike to work today? That’s okay, because the entire month of May is National Bike Month, so you still have the rest of the month to partake in the celebration! We like to honor the sport year ‘round, which is why we’ve shared our guide to the truly necessary items for pleasant cycling. You can even find great deals on cycling gear at Splender.com and receive cash back on every purchase!
If you’ll be riding along the city streets, like the 120 miles of on-street bikeways of Minneapolis, you’ll need a good road bike. This Vilano Aluminum Commuter Road Bike from Sears.com (with 4% cash back) is a great affordable option for road biking beginners. It provides a reliable, eco-friendly alternative to get you to work and around town. The bike is made of durable steel and aluminum, yet is super lightweight and is available in a wide selection of sizes.
For women, this Fuji Absolute 2.3 Stagger Women’s Flat Bar Road Bike from Performance Bike (with 4% cash back) will give you a smooth, resilient ride for commutes, dashing around town or fast workouts.
The Diamondback Lux Sport 27.5 Women’s Bike from REI.com (with 4% cash back) offers extra suspension for a comfortable ride and shock absorption, as well as a wide gear range that lets you tackle more varied terrain.
The Charge Bikes Cooker 1 Complete Mountain Bike for men from Backcountry.com (with 8% cash back) has a light steel frame, yet a rugged aluminum construction and strong grip fat-bike tires perfect for all of your hill-conquering adventures.
If you live near the beach or enjoy casual riding, consider a beach cruiser like this Firmstrong Adult Urban Man Single Speed Beach Cruiser Bike from Dick’s Sporting Goods (with 2% cash back). The cool, curvy style of this retro-style bike is eye-catching and sleek.
This similar model for women (also from Dick’s Sporting Goods with 2% cash back) is perfect for casually riding around town. Its dual seat springs absorb impact for cushy comfort while you’re enjoying a summer breeze.
Repair Kit and Air Pump
Once you have your bike, your shiny new steed is going to need a few accessories to ensure a safe and fun ride. This Pro Combipack with Storage Bottle set from Competitive Cyclist (with 6% cash back) is a solid start to everything you need in your emergency cycling kit. The set includes a tiny, but efficient, multi-tool with six Allen keys for quick fixes on the road and three fiber-reinforced tire levers, along with a 550ml repair bottle and a mini air pump in case you find yourself with an unfortunate flat tire.
Bike-specific clothing makes for a comfortable ride that can help you perform better and ride longer. Tight-fitting and breathable clothes are best. Now, we’re not saying you need to go out and buy Lycra shorts and form-fitting, logo-covered jerseys, but clothing especially made for cyclists has its perks—comfort, fit and easy movement are just a few.
This Terry Soleil Bike Top from REI.com (with 4% cash back) is a modern take on the traditional bike jersey. At first look, it appears to be a casual long-sleeve shirt, but it’s actually specifically outfitted with rear pockets and sun protective fabric so you can ride in comfort—and style. Plus, it offers an anti-bacterial and moisture-wicking material to keep you dry and odor-free throughout your ride.
Similarly, this Giro Venture Sport Jersey for men from Backcountry.com (with 8% cash back) is perfect for those days when you want more of a casual look without sacrificing comfort and ease. It provides moisture-wicking fabrics and three pockets across the back for your tool kit, snacks and other essentials.
While helmets haven’t always been considered cool, let’s face it—accidents happen. And protecting that noggin of yours used to mean wearing a bulky block of plastic, but biking helmet companies have stepped up their game in the past decade, melding functionality with super-sleek designs for helmets that are lighter, more breathable and perfectly fit to your dome.
The makers of The Giro Air Attack Helmet sought to create one of the most aerodynamic helmets with a more compact design than traditional, sometimes goofy, styles. The Air Attack boasts the lowest aerodynamic drag of any road helmet tested. It also offers exceptional cooling power and a lightweight fit, perfect for prolonged use.
Find this helmet at Competitive Cyclist where Splender members will earn 6% cash back.
Lastly, we can’t stress enough how important it is to hydrate before, during and after a long bike ride, especially in the upcoming summer heat. A water bottle cage can be attached to your bike for easy access while riding. This Serfas NC-200 Starfighter Nylon Cage from Paragon Sports (with 4% cash back) is perfectly suited to hold your water bottle on both road and off-road bikes. This 25 fl. Oz. CamelBak Podium Big Chill Insulated Water Bottle from REI.com (with 4% cash back) uses double-wall construction to keep water cold long after you start pedaling.
If you’ve been clipped into a spin bike all winter, now’s the perfect time to cut loose. Cycling season is upon us, and there are many places across the U.S. that are perfect for exploring by two wheels. Welcome summer and head out for a spin with these cycling essentials. Whether you’re on the road, hitting the hills or commuting to and from work—get outside and start riding!
And remember, it’s not all about the bike. It’s about the ride. Enjoy it!
Be sure to shop through Splender.com for all of your cycling gear. Not a member? Sign up today!