The best set up for a smooth ride includes big wheels and a lightweight frame. Worth considering is the Women's Globe City 7 www.specialized.com, from specialty bike maker Specialized, which is accessorized with front and rear lights, fenders, and a rear rack large enough to hold your prized Marc Jacobs tote. The bike's low frame guarantees modest mounting on skirt days. Available in Navy. Note: Carry extra AAA batteries for when lights burn out.
Consider this a necessary investment. OnGuard's Brute STD 5001 U-lock www.onguardlock.com features steel shackles much tougher than even the brawniest bolt cutters and pry bars - they can withstand up to 10 tons of pull force. Mounting bracket included.
Hydration is key for the biking commuter. Bell's 25 oz. water bottle and cage www.bellsports.com attaches to your bike frame with two screws (included), making it easy to reach at a red light.
Riding is safest with a bell that can be heard from at least 100 feet away. If you're feeling funky, opt for Bell's Be Alert Bugle Horn www.bellsports.com. Its hee-haw sound warns "coming through" in the quirkiest of ways. For a bit more muscle, Bell's Navigator Bell has a floating compass and comes with a universal mounting bracket ($10).
In-the-know bikers call it a pannier, the bag that attaches to your bike and can hold all your workday needs. Ortlieb's Back Roller Plus www.ortliebusa.com is watertight and has a shoulder strap so you can carry it in the office like it’s a Kenneth Cole. Pannier reflectors increase your visibility on the road—and your street cred with fellow cyclists. Available in black, red and black, and blue and black.
When a wheel deflates, Blackburn's Air Stick is an easy-to-use pump that will keep you clean ($20). If your tube gets punctured, Bell's Universal Inner Tube (700, X35/43C) will fit most bike wheels ($5). For a quicker fix, Bell's Deluxe Patch Kit, with 20 glue-less patches and three tire levers, will also do the trick ($8). Pop in the local hardware store carry and pick up a mini tool to tighten any lose screws.