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  1. #1
    Some Guy on a Bike
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    4 MI RT Commute - Can I do this in my Work Clothes

    I'm curious if anyone has done something similar. I work just over two miles from my office and the ride is mostly downhill. It would be great if I could do this in my work clothes (slacks and a button up shirt). Does anyone else commute without donning full cycling attire? Advice?

  2. #2
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    When my commute was about that same distance I just wore my work clothes.

    I'm not sure if what I wear now really counts as full cycling attire or not. I wear bike shorts and a wicking t-shirt.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 07-30-09 at 11:32 PM.

  3. #3
    Noobie of the year :) MijnWraak's Avatar
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    Yep that's easy as pie. I'm sure you could ride 20 miles in your work clothes, if you wanted, as long as you don't wear a full suit.

  4. #4
    No lugs? No hugs. Exit.'s Avatar
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    I have a 15km commute, and I've never done it in anything other than work clothes.
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  5. #5
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    Absolutely you can do that, presuming the climate in Walnut Creek is temperate. I commute year round (10 miles round trip) in office attire in Boston with very little trouble. On hot, muggy days (85 degrees plus) I sometimes change my shirt when I get to work, and I don't carry my wallet in my back pocket because it tends to wear a hole in my chinos quickly, but other than that, for short commutes like ours, wearing cycling clothes seems to be more trouble than it is worth.

  6. #6
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    People do it in fair weather. It's harder in bad weather.
    You have the right to your own opinion. You don't have the right to your own facts.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Depends on you. For instance, I'm a sweater. Couple of days ago I decided to go from work to the post office and back, which is all of 1 mile round-trip, flat, with a stop in air conditioning for 5 minutes. I was wearing a short-sleeve shirt and khakis. I took it really easy, and I was still starting to sweat pretty hard when I got back.

    So basically, only way to find out is to try it. I sweat a lot, some people don't. It'll help that you don't live in the Land of Humidity, so it could work out OK.

  8. #8
    Non-Spandex Commuter jdmitch's Avatar
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    Perfectly doable. However, as Mr A mentioned, you'll need to try it. You may need to plan to arrive a few minutes early to let your body cool off.

    Better yet, stop at a nearby shop for a drink and cool off before you get there.
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  9. #9
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    It's easier if your pants have a bit a stretch in them. I wouldnt want to ride more than a 100 yds in denim jeans.

  10. #10
    xtrajack xtrajack's Avatar
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    I wear Carhartts (pants or shorts,depending on the temp.) when I ride. The only bike specific gear I have is helmet, vest, gloves and dork bands.

  11. #11
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    In our 4-season climate, I commute year-round in office casual attire. We have low humidity and during the summer it usually cools overnight at least into the 60s, even on our triple digit days.

    For your short ride and 2-season climate, it should be a piece of cake.

  12. #12
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtrajack View Post
    I wear Carhartts (pants or shorts,depending on the temp.) when I ride. The only bike specific gear I have is helmet, vest, gloves and dork bands.

    Do you work in shorts?

    Just curious because the question wasn't about bike-specific it was about riding in the clothes you work in.

  13. #13
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    I have done a 8.5 mile r/t commute for 2 1/2 years, work clothes (business casual, no jacket/tie).

    Morning is mostly downhill. I only really break a sweat on days like today -- 75 degrees and 90% humidity in the morning.

    Evening has a big uphill (315 vertical feet). I get sweaty, but I'm going home & don't care. I have to
    wash my pants after each wearing, so they have worn out faster. I use ankle straps to keep the pants clean.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    I commute in my work attire. Just carry an extra shirt to change into when I arrive. I sweat a lot some days, so the extra shirt keeps me from stinking.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Pinyon's Avatar
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    If you don't have to push hard, anything under an hour or so is definitely doable with street clothes. I ride 3.5 miles to work every day in my office clothes. I also keep an extra clean shirt at work in the summer, and an extra pair of socks and pants as well in the winter. Just in case I get splashed/rained on while riding, or in the event that I get too sweaty and smelly on the way to work (traffic detours in hot weather, whatever).

    The only time that I wear cycling shorts and a jersey, is when I'm doing a 35+ mile training ride added onto my commute (work on college campus, with showers available just a couple of blocks away from my office). Bring and/or keep some backup clothing in your office, and you should be fine.


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  16. #16
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    I do a 5 mile each way in normal work clothes (khaki's and Polo shirt).

    You are in Wally Creek and should have no problem doing your commute as we are blessed with good weather. If you lived in a place with high humidity/temp it could be different... 2 miles one way is just warming up.
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  17. #17
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    I've never owned any cycling clothing. Why change? -- biking is less effort than walking. Based upon my experience, your distance should work well, and the act of entering a hot car would probably make you sweat more than would an easy two mile ride. You might consider fenders for times when the road is wet - the puddles you may splash through may contain oil.

    One caution -- bike geometry can be a factor. I found my wife's road bike put me into a posture that Brooks Brothers never envisioned. There is a reason why upriight bikes are the norm in places where cycling to work is the norm. However, for most combinations of bike and weather you should be fine for two miles.

    Paul

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    You'll need to tell us what your work clothes are if you want a better answer.

    You'll likely need on of those ankle straps to keep your right pant leg from getting caught up and ripped up by the chainring.

    I also commute in jeans, but for 2 miles it's not that big of a deal. For better or worse, I also wear Under Armour underwear which seems to keep any chafing from happening - I commute 3 miles to work. It's way more comfortable in my relatively baggy jeans, though.

    I get sweaty in my 3 miles commute, but I could easily not get sweaty if I just wasn't 100% pushing my speed all the time.

    I don't see why not!

  19. #19
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    I have nearly the same length commute and I do it no problem.

  20. #20
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    I used to get my jeans a little greasy and wear out the jeans seat pretty fast bike-commuting in them when I was in college with 2-3 mile commutes. Road splat could also be an issue (fenders don't prevent it when a car splashes you) and getting caught in the rain was no fun in cotton. But - hey - I was just a student. I used an ankle band to keep the 'ol bell bottoms out of the chain, the calf still got dirty. The rattrap pedals also chewed up my sneaker/loafer soles pretty fast.

    I am a heavy sweater. And as a Clyde-class Athena, I am more comfortable wearing compression-providing shorts when I am physically active.

    Bicycling isn't easier than walking. I have some substantial hills that I struggle to summit standing on the pedals for a minute with my heartrate at 100%. After that it's still another few minutes before I finish the uphill ride. You better believe I sweat on that, especially with the hill in a humid area and summer temps around 95F at the time I ride. There is no way I would be sweat-free walking outside for 25 miles each day, either.

    To the OP - just do a "dry run" on a day off from work and see how it goes.

    YMMV.

  21. #21
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    Yes. You could also ride it without any clothes or in a dracula costume.

  22. #22
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    I also have a short commute. Most of the time I ride in my work uniform. When it gets hot and humid, I'll bike to work in a t-shirt and either bring my uniform shirt in my backpack or keep a spare one in the office. We don't have a shower at work; but I'm able to wash off in the bathroom if I sweat. I also recommend getting clips for your pants so they don't get caught in the chain.

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