Commuter Cycling Safety and All Weather Gear

With the right kit, riding rain, hail and shine becomes a passion and joy that will see you loathe your time in the car or on public transport.

High visibility – yes you might think it looks a little dorky, your children might poke fun at you, your friends make remarks about you being under the thumb. But, ask yourself this question – if you were taken out by a car and found yourself with a broken limb, or worse – would you really think you’d made the right choice in prioritising your vanity over your safety? If you maimed yourself properly would you really be happy with your decision? Probably not.

Our guide to everything you need for safe and all weather cycling:

High Visibility Jacket

High Visibility Jacket

  • Maximum visibility by covering your arms
  • Choose a jacket that includes reflective strips for better visibility in the dark
  • Ensure it’s waterproof for riding in the rain
  • You can skip the jacket and just wear a vest over the top of a normal waterproof jacket. Personally I keep both a jacket and vest in my pannier all the time. The jacket comes out in the wet and the cold, it’s light weight and means I’m never caught in unexpected showers.
High Visibility Vest

High Visibility Vest

  • A vest can be worn all year round including in warmer weather.
  • Wear it directly over your normal clothes to avoid the need to change.
Overpants with hi vis

Over pants

  • Look for something you can take on and off over your shoes. Either a wide fitting leg or full length zippers (be careful as they can leak in heavy rain).
  • High visibility and reflective strips for night riding.
  • Keep these in your pannier at all times.

Overboots / OVER SHOES

    • Quick to take on and off they’ll keep your feet dry.
    • Look for loose fitting overshoes for ease of use when commuting.
    • High visibility versions are also available.
    • Keep these in your pannier at all times.
hubbub mirrorsZefal Cyclop Bicycle Mirror

Bike mirrorS

  • Install either a helmet mirror or handle bar mirror on your bike.
  • The mirror lets you constantly monitor traffic around you so that when something unexpected happens you can rapidly manoeuvre in a safer manner.
  • Being able to monitor traffic behind you means you can safely ride in the middle of car lanes on quiet streets without obstructing traffic. This keeps you maximum distance away from parked cars and provides the highest buffer zone and visibility for any other vehicles on the road.
  • Having used both – I’d highly recommend a helmet mirror over a handle bar mounted mirror
    • A helmet mirror means your eyes deviate from the road in front less to use it.
    • Handlebar mirrors most often extend from the side of the bike and get knocked or in the way when moving through traffic.
    • Helmet mirrors suffer from much less vibration and hence provide a better view.
    • You can turn your head to mov the mirror to check a range of areas behind you. A helmet mirror mounted on your right side allows for quick checks over your left shoulder with very small head movements.
  • Helmet mirrors take 1-2 weeks to get used to. At first it felt very strange and I thought I would have to abandon it. Once you adapt you’ll find it much more usable though.
  • Having used a mirror for sometime now I feel very unsafe without one when riding amongst traffic. Highly recommended!
  • The hubbub mirror is handmade in the US.




Ortlieb Pannier


  • A bike pannier is a must – just to keep all of your cycling gear in.
  • High visibility options don’t look so great once you’re off the bike but they’ll help remind the cars you’re there.
  • Quality brands include Vaude, Ortlieb and Topeak

Mud guards

  • Commuting by bike in the wet without mudguards isn’t really an option.
  • Don’t buy cheap guards! They will rattle on every ride, they’ll be impossible to adjust correctly and they’ll constantly get out of line. Don’t skimp on this one, buy only quality mudguards.
  • We recommend either SKS or Planet Bike mudguards.


  • Don’t skimp on these either. Buy the best quality brightest lights you can afford.
  • There are now many USB re-chargeable lights that are much more convenient than fiddling with batteries.
  • Make sure you use flashing mode. Not only are you more visible but your batteries will last much much longer.
  • Ideally you should have two lights at the rear a meter or so apart, say one on your helmet and one on your rack. Two lights makes it much easier for drivers to judge how far away you are as they approach from behind.
  • Moon lights are our favourite.


  • Seam tape to repair leaking wet weather gear
  • Next time your helmet is due for replacement – choose a high visibility version
  • Try out some Albedo100 invisible reflective spray or reflective tape.


See also

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