The Chainlink

What's Your Favorite Piece of Non-Bike Gear that Happens to Work Great on a Bike?

There's lot of talk about great bike-specific apparel shoes, bags, etc. But what are some pieces of gear that weren't originally intended for use on a bike, but work great for it anyway?

For example, I love the Kuhl Renegade pant. It happens to be meant for hiking and rock climbing, but since it's stretchy and wicks away sweat, it's my go-to for bike commuting. In the summer, I often wear the Renegade shorts for mountain biking and recreational riding:

Anyway, I'm interested to hear what people recommend.

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The green of the milk crate does match the bit of green in the logo. Looks legit to me.

I use a soda crate (intended for 8 pop bottles) and it works just fine, not quite as imposing as the milkcrate.

Have a photo? I'm interested to see what this looks like!

I love simple skirts, tights/leggings, and tall boots to ride my bike around town. Very comfortable. 

I like stuff from the construction world, where impacts/abrasions, visibility, and the outputs of exertion are also concerns. One of my favorite pieces of winter gear is a pair of high-viz gloves (about like this) that cost me like $12 at a hardware store. 

But above all, zip-ties.

I'd bet the work gloves are way more durable than cycling-specific ones.

Better than milk crates, I often use landscapers or gardeners crates, like those for shipping tulip bulbs, on my cargo bikes. They're almost twice as big and accommodate odd sized objects and groceries even better.

Makeup bag for tools & swag.

On a similar note, I've found bike gear that makes pretty good non-bike gear:

*Pearl Izumi Barrier lobster gloves. I didn't see why I should have to buy a new pair of winter gloves when I already have a perfectly good pair of winter gloves that happen to look a little strange. These should have been my only winter gloves from the beginning.

*My balaclava came in handy a couple of polar vortices ago. But if you think people are looking at you like you're crazy now, just wait until you wear one on Metra. Without a bike. Or any evidence whatsoever that you have ever been near one.

*My bike shorts are now gym shorts. (See "why I should have to buy" above.) I've saved hundreds of dollars on a chic new workout wardrobe, plus I already have years of experience in not giving a bleep what people think of me wearing them.

*Pit zips are useful for when one arm is in a sling.

I use bike tights as long johns when I'm going to be out in the cold for extended periods (non-biking). They are snug, go all the way to the ankles, are easier to layer socks over the calf than my other long johns.

Seems that my not bike specific gear is all for cold and snow.  Lands End snow boots a half size too big are great for layer socks on and off the bike.  Foul weather pants are great for sloppy weather on the boat or on the bike. Lands End Polartec mittens, and a pair of wool knit, fleece lined mittens bought at Costco are the best thing I have found for flexibility (relative) and warmth in the extreme cold.  

I love my sailing foul weather gear [on the bike and the boat]! I've been riding in my spray pants all winter. The are great for blocking the wind and keep me dry from all the road slop.  In the spring/summer I usually pull out my spray top for rainy days [although, at this point, that weather seems so far off...]. 


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