Ooh, nice find, Ian! Fun stuff.
My impressions...open for debate, of course! Everyone is different, and what works well for one might not for another...
1) Backpack. I commuted with one for the better part of a decade before swearing it off. A nicely foam-padded back kept the sharp-pokies out of my kidneys, but the weight took a toll on my shoulders and my back was always wet from sweat. If I can manage it, I won't wear a backpack while riding again. However (in the "never say never" category!) I could see using a pannier that doubles as a backpack off-bike, as offered by Ortlieb ( http://www.ortlieb.co.uk/back-vario-ql3.html
)...if I could figure a way to match it with one on the other side of the rack. Riding an unevenly-distributed load eventually gets my back. That said, nothing beats a small day-pack for carrying loads while leaving hands free. The ultimate solution might lie in a backpack that attached firmly and securely to the rear rack-top. Yeah! That'd do for me.
2) Dry Lube. Just the ticket for many who have had better luck with it than I. Pete from Australia (aka Il Padrone, "the master") has gotten me on the Purple Extreme ( http://www.purpleextreme.com/
) track, and so far I like it. Good on ya, Pete!).
3) Casual-looking cycling shorts. I always wear my padded-bottom black lycra shorts when "riding with intent", but when I have to wear casuals, I go with my ExOfficio Amphi shorts, with built-in brief so they double as swimming trunks that launder with hand soap in a motel sink and dry in minutes in summer weather. They even have a nifty inner key pocket and webbing straps at the bottom of the legs to prevent ballooning in the water or when riding a recumbent. The pockets and brief are mesh for quick drainage of trapped water after a swim. USD$20 on sale as a last-season's closeout, yay! Of course, like many Good Things, they are no longer made (replaced with the de-contented Nio Amphi edition http://www.exofficio.com/products/details/mens-nio-amphi-short
). Prolly 'cos the originals were perfect and lasted forever.
4) Full fingers on summer cycling gloves seem a little anomalous to me. I prefer my half-fingered padded gloves (Pearl Izumi via a Chinese eBay seller whose goods might not really be authentic when the reference retail is USD$35 and his price is $12 postpaid?) for summer and my Danneaux-modded 1981 Early Winters ( http://www.oregonphotos.com/Early-Winters-1.html
) Gore-Tex Lobster-Claw 3-fingered gauntlet overmitts for wet, cold, or wet-cold weather, atop the summer PI gloves, of course!
5) Satchel/messenger bag. Ideal for many, I've foresworn them thanks to a grisly memory from my long-ago uni days, when I witnessed a young woman wearing one while riding. She was a bit careless and didn't cross-sling it diagonally across her body. The result? It swung forward and jammed between the front tire and the near fork blade. She rotated neatly around the locked front wheel and swallowed most of her teeth. I arrived in time to pick up several of them and drop them in a small carton of milk I'd just bought for lunch (the proper way to preserve separated teeth till they can be replanted). I couldn't do much for the broken nose or cheekbone, but walked her and the bike to the hospital emergency room a half-block away, then turned the bike over to her friends for safekeeping. Every time I see one of these things, I see a broken young woman. Irrational, I know, but there ya go. Ladies' shoulder bags can do the same thing, and you don't see me using one of those, either.
6) Lightweight jersey. Ideal; I have some light summer jerseys, and they really do make a difference wrt air flow. My recent purchase of two long-sleeved neon high-viz yellow-green jerseys are made of like stuff, have an SPF 50+ sun-block rating, and feel cooler than nothing at all, passing the breezes while wicking me dry. Mine were a sale item at 46% reduction here: http://www.nashbar.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=524336&storeId=10053&catalogId=10052&langId=-1
Zipper pull is on the "wrong" side and the zipper separates if you open it like a jacket, so don't. It still works fine if you consider it to be simply a really long-zipped neck opening and makes for easy on/off by pulling over the head. So bright, these make the house walls glow when I stand near near them. Wearable alone or over another jersey.
7) Helmet with detachable visor. An individual choice; some always wear 'em (me), some never do, and others kinda-sorta-sometimes might, depending. I prefer a lighter, more swoopy design than the one pictured, and have had terrible luck with visors. I have a small, narrow noggin, and the best-fitting most-comfortable and coolest helmet I've ever used is the Euro-market Bell Alchera, sold in the States with a visor as the Bell Influx. I liked the Alchera so much I bought two in different colors (one red, the other bloonwite [blue and white]) so I could wash and dry one and ride the other. Like having a Ghisallo at a bargain rate...that actually fits. USD$29 and $49 respectively, on sale. More (or less) now: http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/SearchDisplay?storeId=10053&catalogId=10052&langId=-1&cn1=&gast=alchera&URL=CatalogSearchResultView&searchTerm=alchera
8 ) Kryptonite EvoLite lock and cable set. I love the secure Evo2000 Kryptonite sent me free as compensation for the Bic pen-openable model I bought. Lacking only the hanging tang, it is otherwise identical to the one pictured, and free is hard to beat. Combined with my AXA Defender ring-lock, plug-in AXA cable, and a set of Atomic-22 security skewers and appropriate steerer-cap bolts, I'm set. Oh! and the motion-detecting security alarm on the seatpost.
9) Trigger-spray bike cleaner. I have good luck treating my shiny-finish frames with a co-polymer lotion intended as a post-wax gloss-enhancer on show cars. Any dirt that gets on the bike after treatment just wipes off with a damp cloth or slides off under a stream of water. Won't work on Sherpa's matte finish, so will use a gentle, phosphate-free detergent. Don't forget common hair shampoo, which has no phosphates that would otherwise pit and discolor raw aluminum (i.e. rim sidewalls). Gentle, safe, cheap stuff without
conditioner at the Dollar Store (baby shampoo is best)...and you really deserve a sweet-smelling bike, right?
10) Kevlar-belted Conti road tires. I'm a reluctant belted-tire convert, still somewhat unconvinced of their ultimate worth, but since flats always happen at the worst times...why not? The early models I tried when they were first introduced in the early 1980s were atrocious and often suffered from tread separations that were worse than the flats they were supposed to prevent. They got that straightened out, but rolling resistance went through the roof, and they felt like pedaling lead hoops through deep mud on a foam mattress. That seems to be largely addressed, so I no longer have an excuse except for grousing about the extra rotational mass. I do wish my Schwalbe Duremes would survive the steel belt shrapnel from exploded truck tires, but the little wires go through the tread and belt like a hot knife through butter. These things are the bane of highway shoulder-travelling tourists, but the belts have gotta help compared to the alternative and the problem really doesn't happen very often. Once, so far, so I can't complain.
So, there you have it; my two cents, adjusted for inflation.
All the best,
Dan. (who prefers "frugal" to "tight" or "cheap")