Everyone knows cyclists have an affinity for socks. Adorned with polka dots and stripes, encouraging slogans and pints of beer, pairs of socks spill out of our drawers. But while you may know that they keep your feet dry or warm, we bet you didn’t know that they’re one of the most versatile pieces of gear available to bike commuters.
It’s easy to get caught up in the race for the latest and greatest in gear and technology. But sometimes the best gear you can have is also the simplest. That’s not to say socks aren’t high tech. If you haven’t checked out a pair of athletic or cycling specific socks, you can learn more about their benefits here. For this tech tip, we’re talking specifically about longer socks like the mid-length ones often used by cyclists.
Keep a pair of these mid-length sport socks in your commuting bag, their many uses may surprise you. For one, if your socks get wet—maybe there’s an unexpected downpour or a car sprays a puddle next to you—putting on a new dry pair will make the rest of your day infinitely better.
While that use is a bit obvious, there are plenty of other reasons to keep extra socks on hand. On a cold day, double up your socks for extra warmth, or use them as makeshift mittens—there’s almost nothing worse on a commute than frozen hands. You can even wear a pair of socks over your shoes for additional warmth (so long as you ride flat pedals—riding clipless pedals will require cutting a hole in the socks for the cleats).
Need to keep a few small items together but don’t have a bag? Put them in a sock and tie the top. And if you need to transport something delicate, placing it in a sock will add extra protection. Combined with a simple strap—a pedal toe strap fits the bill perfectly—a sock transforms into a sleek repair kit that stows handily under your saddle. Just fill it with a spare tube, tire lever, mini pump and maybe a multi-tool or patch kit and you’ll be set to take care of any mishaps that may happen while on the way to work or while hauling home some fresh produce from the farmers’ market.
Along the lines of transporting things, wrapping a sock around a cold beverage from the store on a lunch run can beef it up just enough to fit it in a bottle cage. Plus, it can double up as a koozie, keeping your drink cold and your hand warm.
We’re sure there are many more uses out there for extra socks waiting to be discovered, so go ahead and throw a pair in your bag. You never know when you’re going to need them—or what you’ll need them for.