Monday, June 20, 2011

Beginner’s Guide to Bike Commuting in Singapore: What to Bring?

You don't have to bring anything when commuting - everything is optional.

But, if you had brought some tools, some of your hassles can be easily ameliorated. Below are some of the most importan things to bring.

1. Mobile phone
HTC A8181 Desire Unlocked Quad-Band GSM Phone with Android OS, HTC Sense UI, 5 MP Camera, Wi-Fi and gps navigation--International Version with Warranty (Brown)
 
A modern smartphone is a GPS, speedometer and camera all rolled into one. However, in the most urgent of situations, with a mobile phone, you can dial a taxi or call for an ambulance. The mobile phone brings many contacts a lot nearer, and this can help you solve many contingencies.

2. Repair Kit
A repair kit is highly optional, but the truth is that the most basic of repair kits only require a few tools to fix punctures. Ideally, a repair kit should have, in order of importance,
Park Tool TR-1 Tire and Tube Repair KitTopeak Super Bicycle Chain ToolTopeak Alien II 26-Function Bicycle ToolLezyne Pressure Carbon Drive Hand Pump Carbon/Hi Gloss, S
  1. Tyre lever, pump and patch kit (tubes are a luxury)
  2. Screwdrivers/Allen keys or a bike-specific multitool
  3. Chain tool (you'll probably use this once every 2 years)
The most common repairs are probably punctures, followed by loose screws and bolts and then broken chains. Any tyre levers would work, but where pumps are concerned, look for mini-pumps which connects to your valve via a tube. You don't want direct-connecting pumps because all the forces which you use to pump will be transmitted to the valve, weakening it and causing another risk of tears at the valve's stem. And as for patch kit, a pre-glued patch kit will help a lot in saving time for glue to set.

You can throw this in a saddle bag, but don't forget to take it when you are locking your bike outside!

3. Raincoat 
Carhartt Mens Lightweight Pvc Rain Coat, Green, Large 
A quality raincoat is heavy, bulky and often not used. Therefore I would recommend that you only bring it with you when necessary - that is, when the weather reports say unfavourable things. Of course, you could also keep those thin PVC raincoats in your bag. However, my impression of them is that they aren't much good other than for emergencies.

Or you can just take the bus... forget it.

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