Essential Clothing and Gear for E-bike Commuting

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When commuting by e-bike, you need the right clothing and gear to make the commute comfortable. There’s nothing worse than when I start out my ride and realize I don’t have the right layer on, or that I forgot to attach my bike lights. So…

What is the essential clothing and gear for e-bike commuting?

There are the year-round essential items, such as a good helmet, lock, and lights, and then there are also cold-weather specific items you have to think about, such as the right gloves or rain coat. In this post we cover the full list of essential clothing and gear for commuting by e-bike.

What is the essential clothing and gear for e-bike commuting?


Bern Watts 2.0 MIPS helmet

Having a comfortable and safe helmet is the first critical item for commuting by e-bike. The average e-bike can travel up to 25mph and hitting your head in a crash at that speed could be devastating. Regularly replacing your helmet (~every 5 years) is key to ensure the protective plastic has not deteriorated.

I like the Bern Watts 2.0 MIPS helmet ($79). Bern is a reputable company that makes high quality helmets, and this particular one comes with an integrated visor and “MIPS” technology that helps reduce the risk of a brain injury from a crash. It’s also stylish and comfortable, which is nice for commuting where you don’t need a super aerodynamic one that looks like you’re about to go join a bike race.


Kryptonite Evolution 11-14mm U-Lock

An e-bike is an expensive purchase and locking it up wherever you go is “low hanging fruit” to avoid someone stealing it. If your office does not have a bike locker, you’ll want a very sturdy lock, such as the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Double Deadbolt Mini U-Lock ($153).

ABUS uGrip Bordo Folding bike lock

But even if your office has a bike locker, it’s always worthwhile to lock your bike to the rack to deter opportunistic theft. In these circumstances, I have used a less “hardcore” lock, and one that conveniently stashes on the e-bike when it’s not in use, such as the ABUS uGrip Bordo Folding bike lock ($58). It’s always on my e-bike, which is one less thing to think about and pack every day. The folding lock is also perfect for when I’m running a quick errand and will only be away from my e-bike for 10 or 15 minutes.

Rear Panniers or Backpack

Thule Panniers

Inevitably if you’re commuting by e-bike, you also have some stuff to carry, whether that’s your work laptop or your kids’ school lunch. Having suitable panniers or a good backpack are helpful to make your commute more comfortable and longterm realistic. I like the Thule Panniers ($169) for the rear wheel, which are water resistant and come with a carrying strap to use when you detach them from your e-bike, making them easy to carry to and from your e-bike. Thule, in general, makes great quality things.

You may have more stuff than can fit in your panniers, or you may just prefer a backpack, but either way, I also like Chrome backpacks, and specifically the Bravo 3.0 ($190) for commuting. Chrome has been making bags for ages and I’ve found their bags to have great utility over the years.

Extra Bike Lights

NiteRider Bike Lights

Many e-bikes come with built-in front and tail lights, but for better visibility, it’s always a good idea to add an extra light or two to your bike. I’ve had situations where we’re out and about and my built-in light stops working for some reason, and I was grateful to have my spare lights with me. I am partial to the NiteRider bike lights ($169) because they are so incredibly bright and easy to attach, which is especially great for the darker winter months.

Reflective Clothing

Speaking of high-visibility, another essential piece of gear is reflective clothing. Ideally you should be wearing a reflective vest on your commute, but to be honest those crossing guard reflective vests are uncomfortable to wear. That’s why we love these GOFLUO Reflective Vests. These vests are incredibly high vis and they also look great. They are designed to be worn over winter parkas so if you plan to wear it over lighter weight clothing then make sure to size down one size.

Use code “TYLERANDJODY” for 10% off.


Rapha Commuter Jacket

The right jacket can make or break how comfortable you are on your e-bike commute. There’s nothing worse than starting out and realizing you don’t have the right layers on (brrr)! A jacket that is specifically for cycling is ideal because then it won’t be too short or ride up when you have your hands on the handlebars. Tyler and I both like Rapha coats because they’re made for riding bikes. Tyler wears the Rapha Commuter Jacket ($145), which is high quality, lightweight, and stylish enough for everyday wear. And Rapha is my personal go-to for those rainy rides (details on that in the Winter section below!).

Lightweight hat for under your helmet

Castelli cycling cap

When the breeze picks up and you need something to take the edge off, it’s nice to have a lightweight hat under your helmet. In the Winter you’ll want something thicker, but for the cooler Spring or Fall days, I like the Castelli cycling cap ($20). It’s also what I wear on my runs.

Cup Holder

HandleStash Cup holder

For Tyler’s morning commute, he likes to bring some coffee in his Yeti coffee mug, and the HandleStash Cup holder ($45) makes that possible. It’s one of those things that he didn’t know he needed until he got it and then it was a game changer! It has built-in shock absorbing technology, which is perfect for e-bike commuting. His coffee doesn’t slosh around too much, and the cup holder stays securely on the handlebar. He also likes that the opening where your cup goes is adjustable so it holds your drink in place no matter the shape or size. It’s suitable for all different handlebars with various angles and sizes because the clamp can be rotated 360 degrees and uses a grippy strip of rubber to keep it from slipping or rotating.

In addition to the classic black one (which is the one he has), it also comes in some pretty fun patterns and colors.

Use code “ebikecommuting” for 10% off.

What is the essential clothing and gear for e-bike commuting in the winter?


DeFeet Wool Duragloves

The winter commutes where I’ve forgotten to wear gloves are always so cold because of how my hands are the first thing for the wind to hit! On the crisp, dry days (>45 degrees), I love my DeFeet Wool Duragloves ($30). They come in high visibility colors — Tyler has the bright pink ones, but I have the black ones because I wear them outside of my commute as well. I like that they work on my touch-screen phone so I don’t have to take them off to switch my Spotify song, etc. They also come in various sizes so they work quite well on my small hands.

Rapha Winter Gloves

On the <45 degree days, or the rainy days, I go with Rapha’s super warm and water proof Winter Gloves ($110). These are more expensive but so worth it because they are insulated but actually flexible enough so that you can still move your hands while you wear them. They really make the difference on those cold and wet commutes.

Heavyweight hat for under your helmet

POC Thermal Cap

While I like the Castelli Cycling Cap, mentioned above, for slightly cool days, on the really cold days I opt for the POC Thermal Cap ($57) under my helmet. It comes down far enough to cover my ears, and it still has a nice visor to help keep the sun or rain out of my eyes. POC is a reputable European manufacturer and all of their cycling clothing is super high quality.

Rain Coat

Rapha's Core Rain Jacket

To truly be comfortable riding your e-bike in the rain, having the proper coat really makes a difference. Fortunately, the jacket that Tyler and I like for year-round commuting is great for the rain too. As mentioned above, that’s the Rapha Commuter Jacket ($135), which is high quality, lightweight, and stylish enough for everyday wear. The zipper is sealed to be water-proof and all the seams are sealed to prevent any water leaking in. Tyler has this jacket and loves it. I wear Rapha’s Core Rain Jacket ($150), which is cut for a slightly more extreme riding position but it also works for commuting. Both jackets are great because they come down far enough in the back to help with any up-slash from the wheels/mud.

Rain Pant

On those really wet days, rain pants are worth wearing because you know you can get to your destination, quickly change, and not have to worry about wearing wet pants all day. I like the Outdoor Research’s Motive AscentShell Pants (Men’s and Women’s) ($150). They’re flexible and lightweight so you don’t feel like you’re wearing heavy plastic bags on your legs – just super comfortable for commuting.

Rain Boots

XTRATUF Deck Boots

Along with rain pants, on those really wet days, it’s nice to have rain boots so you can just change your shoes when you get to the office. Tyler wears XTRATUF Deck Boots ($79). We’ve actually gifted these boots to several family members for the holidays over the years. They’re comfortable enough for riding and don’t feel super heavy, which can often be an issue for rubber boots, and they can be worn on or off the e-bike. They ensure that your feet are dry when you arrive.

Kid’s Rain Gear

Kids Winter Clothing and Boots

If your commute involves kids, like mine does, then it’s helpful to have your kiddo outfitted for the weather and temp as well. I like to put our son in a muddy buddy rain suit ($50) over his winter coat ($108) and rain boots ($60) for the wetter rides. He’s dry and warm when we arrive at daycare.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Also looking for a new e-bike? We’ve got you covered!