Fashion on wheels: Gear for urban cyclists

T he right gear can help make your daily commute a lot more convenient and comfortable this summer. Here are items to help accomplish that.

1. Convertible clothes

Pants with zip-off legs are useful when temperatures and conditions vary. Eddie Bauer’s Travex pants zip off to make 10-inch shorts, and the quick-dry nylon fabric also has a sun-protection factor of 50; $69.95 (more at Nau’s Chrysalis dress, $235, right, does triple duty as a hooded jacket, a dress, and snap-off sleeves that turn it into a vest.

2. Use your head

Helmets are a biking essential, but can give you hat hair and cause you to swelter on hot days. Giro tries to address some of those things in its women’s Skyla helmet, $35, which has 20 vents and lightweight construction. At REI stores and

3. The right bottle

Even if you have a short commute, being able to tote your favorite drink straight from the bike path to your workplace is a time and money-saver. Styles such as Klean Kanteen’s wide-mouth, insulated, stainless-steel bottle promise to keep beverages hot or cold for hours. The 20-ounce design is $27.95 with a loop cap; for four dollars more you get a coffee-cup top.

4. Pay by watch

A watch tells more than time when you can use it as a payment device. Rumba Time’s Perry Go watch, $50, has a removable chip holder that can be used to pay for purchases, eliminating the need to carry cash or a wallet. It’s also attractive, in such colors as vibrant blue or with preppy stripes on its band. It’s water resistant and has a quartz movement. After buying the device, you’ll need to set up a payment account with Visa using an eight-digit number on the watch. Next, a payment card will come in the mail; insert it into your watchband and use the account when making purchases at participating businesses. More at

5. Bag it

Whether you like a backpack or messenger bag, sling or briefcase strapped to a rack, the choice of a preferred storage device is personal and based on how much you have to carry. Some find backpacks too hot and heavy for summer rides, preferring the ease of a design slung across the body.

6. Hands and feet

Fingerless gloves can absorb road vibration and moisture, giving you a steadier grip on the handlebars. For short commutes, just about any shoe with a non-slip sole will suffice, but for longer rides, you might want to consider styles with stiff soles that are matched to the bike.

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