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What should you wear for a bike ride?

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes,” they say. Just like choosing the right type of bike (or e-bike!) for your lifestyle, choosing the right clothes and accessories is equally important! It can affect your range of motion, level of protection against the elements, and even your confidence. When planned right, you’ll never need to compromise between safety, comfort, or style. Let’s cover the basics!

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Safety first!

Cycling isn’t just pedaling from A to B, it’s also about keeping yourself and others around you safe. Pedestrians aren’t always aware of their surroundings (or paying attention!) so you might want to keep an extra eye out for them when cycling past. Here are your must-haves every time you hop on your bike:

  1. A bike helmet: Though wearing a helmet is optional in some areas, we recommend always wearing one when you’re out on your bike. In metropolitan cities like New York or London, where the streets are flooded with lights and other distractions, wearing a helmet helps boost your visibility and safety as they often come in bright colors. Always try a helmet on so you find the most comfortable fit. Rain or shine, make sure you wear one!
  2. A night bike light: This accessory is especially important when riding a bike in low-light conditions and during seasons when visibility is an issue. Night lights help you see and be seen. You can fix the light either on the helmet or at the front of the bike, wherever you prefer. Choose a light that’s bright enough to light your surroundings but not blinding to other cyclists, pedestrians, or drivers!
  3. A reflective jacket or vest: They aren’t always a style statement but they’re absolutely necessary (and sometimes lifesaving!) when you’re cycling in low-light or generally less visible conditions. The reflectors on the vest make sure you’re  seen when a vehicle is approaching from in front or behind you. You can also take it up a notch and add reflectors to the bike pedals, back of the bike or even your ankles to increase your visibility.
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Dress appropriately! Dressing for the right weather is just as important as wearing the right thing! You wouldn’t want to freeze or sweat profusely on your way to work, would you? Depending on where you live, different climates call for different innerwear and outerwear. If you live in a city like Vancouver, where it’s rainy most of the year then you’ll want to add these pieces to your wardrobe:

  1. A waterproof jacket: This is a must if you want to keep your work clothes clean and unruffled! Most waterproof jackets are also designed with reflective surfaces to improve visibility.
  2. Waterproof pants: These can often be layered on top of your actual pants. They’re usually designed with zips around the ankles to make it easier to put on without having to remove your shoes.
  3. Waterproof shoes or covers: You know that mushy feeling when your socks get wet? Waterproof shoes or covers help prevent that! Some may even add a bit of extra grip to protect your feet from slipping! Another alternative could be simply to bring an extra pair of shoes – whatever works!
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As an added bonus, Momentum offers fenders (the bit that covers the wheels) that stop mud and water from splashing on you. We also have bike accessories that let you easily carry a bag with a spare change of clothes. Double win!

If you live in a city that can get cold in winter, like New York City then aim to ride with the following accessories:

  1. Gloves: We often forget about them, but our hands are fragile and the most exposed body part. Invest in a comfy pair of gloves that provides warmth and protection against the elements. They’ll last you ages.
  2. A neck warmer: Similar to your hands, your neck is another ultra-sensitive body part. A nice neck warmer will help you enjoy your bike ride in any weather.
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Get creative with what you already have

Who said we could only shop for clothing at cycling brands? Many brands offer stylish and comfortable innerwear and bikewear. If you like working out you’re probably already a fan of brands like Under Armour or Uniqlo which sell different bike shorts, thermal shirts and tights, and waterproof jackets in vibrant colors. You could also open your closet before you open your wallet! It’s highly likely you already own great biking essentials like gloves and neck warmers.

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Keep it safe and comfy - and have fun!

Whatever you decide to splurge or save on, we recommend putting your security and comfort first. Take a peek at the weather before you head out, pick the right clothes and accessories, do a quick warm up before you go! These simple steps can greatly improve the quality of your bike ride. Most importantly, enjoy the ride!

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