Between the many advanced disciplines of cycling, it’s easy to forget how many people just ride bikes to get from place to place. Thankfully commuters aren’t ignored by industry folks, but rather enjoy a huge variety of products designed to make two-wheeled travel easier and more comfortable.
In this roundup we’ll check out Thousand’s new line of Epoch helmets, which were released to celebrate the brand’s second birthday. For those hauling their daily needs, TimBuk2 has added to their Transit line with two new backpacks and a briefcase. Finally, Levi’s has released new pieces within their commuter collection so you can enjoy functional garments with a touch of timeless style…
Thousand Epoch Helmets
Not long ago, California’s Thousand broke into the cycling world with their retro-inspired commuter helmets, and it seems people have taken to their unique styling. The company is now celebrating their second anniversary by releasing a new Epoch line.
The three Epoch helmets display design aesthetics that hark back to specific influences from the past- The Speedway Creme model (pictured above) is a nod to the automotive action films of Steve McQueen. Seen below, the Willowbrook Mint pays homage to Chevrolet’s iconic Bel Air, and the Nordic Wood model (which is made using color water dip technology) is a reference to Nordic modernism.
Construction-wise, the Epoch models bear the same features as all of Thousand’s helmets. Seven vents and three cooling channels keep your head from overheating, and their removable pop-lock plug allows you to securely lock the helmet to your bike through the shell. They also utilize pinch-free magnetic buckles, copper hardware and vegan leather straps. The Epoch helmets sell for $115 USD and come in S/M/L sizes.
TimBuk2 Transit Bags
San Fran’s cargo hauling experts TimBuk2 have recently added three new bags to their Transit line. This collection offers premium construction paired with formal, workplace-friendly appearances. The new models all have durable and quick-drying Nylon Faille exteriors, unless you choose the extra weather-resistant Fog models made from coated Melange 600D fabric.
The Division Pack is a flat-bottomed 22L backpack with a large main compartment, a rear-access laptop pocket with quilted padding, a stretchy water bottle pocket on the side and external compression straps to keep things slim and trim.
The pack also features airmesh ventilation on the back panel, removable sternum straps, a top carry handle, reflective details and a blinker light loop. The Division pack sells for $109 in Jet Black Static, Surplus, Nautical, Jet Black and Fog (light grey) colors.
The Authority pack asserts its power with its size – at 28L it should easily haul all your needful things for a day at work, and there are plenty of pockets and dividers to keep items organized. This spacious pack has two large top-access compartments, a protective laptop pocket, two zippered exterior pockets and a side pocket for water bottles.
The pack’s bottom compression straps sit atop reflective accents, and the zipper pulls are reflective as well. The Authority pack retails at $129 in Jet Black, Jet Black Static, Surplus, or Fog color ways.
The Closer is a messenger bag/briefcase that’s designed to withstand the elements to keep your documents and mobile devices safe inside. The Closer features a laptop compartment that can be accessed with the bag still on your side, and side-entry pockets so you can pluck items out without opening the main flap.
A slip pocket on the backside does double duty as a pass-through to attach the Closer to a luggage roller, and there’s a grab handle up top for hand hauling. The Closer also features a removable shoulder and cross-body straps, a side water bottle pocket, a blinker light loop and reflective accents. The Closer comes in two sizes, small (8L) or medium (10L). The Small sells for $149 and the Medium goes for $159. Color options are Surplus, Jet Black, Jet Black Static and Fog.
Levi’s Spring/Summer Commuter Collection:
Last month, Levi’s announced some new and updated pieces for their 2017 Men’s Commuter Collection. Their cycling garments are made from durable, water repellant stretch fabrics with reflective details, and of course Levi’s classic styling.
The Commuter 511 Slim jeans offer a modern fit that’s snug from the hip to ankle, but leaves a bit of room to move around. Their stretchy but tough denim is a cotton/Cordura/Elastane blend, which repels water and dirt. Cyclists should appreciate a higher rise in the back for full coverage in riding position, and cuffs that flip up to reveal reflective 3M Scotchlite tape. You can also clip a U-lock into the waistband (but I’m not sure that would be too comfortable on bumpy roads). MSRP for the Commuter 511 Slim jeans is $98.
If denim isn’t your thing, the 511 Slim Trouser is available in a blended fabric that’s a bit more business casual over jeans. Other than the fabric, the Trousers share the same fit and bike-friendly features as the 511 Slim jeans. They sell for $98.
For cooler days, Levi’s has added a Packable Bomber to the Commuter Collection. This jacket features ultralight insulation and a durable rip-stop fabric that still stretches for comfort in motion. The Packable Bomber is a functional outer layer with its water and dirt resistant coating, but should also work well as a mid layer thanks to its simple design. The jacket is cut with a lowered rear hem and the waist can be adjusted for a close fit. Best of all, this jacket can be smushed down into an included drawstring bag. The Packable Bomber retails for $198.
Levi’s offers a wide range of sizes and color options on most garments, so check out their website for details and to see the full commuter collection.