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  1. #1
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    Non-bike clothes on race-bike versus upright bike

    I used to ride the road race bike (drop bars) wearing a tracksuit before I was introduced to bike-specific clothing. Now I cant ride that bike without the bike-clothes, it's impossible, feels too uncomfortable/not-right/unnatural.

    Some of you guys wear regular clothes when cycling to work, but is that on non-dropbar bikes.... is it more comfortable to wear regular clothes on a more upright bike?
    1 cx bike, commuter (light off road), 2 road bikes (sportives and fair weather commuter), 1 mtb (off road fun and antics)

  2. #2
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter what type of a bike you riding. Cycling clothing or any other type of athletic outdoor clothing will always be more comfortable to ride in then regular clothes, especially if your commute is a little longer and involves extremes of weather. I'll choose my cycling shorts and knickers over jeans anyday.

  3. #3
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    More about the commute length than the kind of bike to me.
    What is bicycle touring?
    "So I kept looking and eventually found that a spark plug had same threads. So I cycled next two days until I got to Jackson, MS with a spark plug instead of right pedal." - mev

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    Like all things cycling related it depends on the individual. I'm comfortable in non-cycling clothes on any bike for any length of time I care to ride (12 hours a day). I can ride a road bike with drop-bars and spd-pedals in shorts, t-shirt and oddly enough I'm about as comfortable doing that wearing normal sneakers as I am wearing spd cycling shoes.

    I ride in jeans all the time, but I'm sure to some people that would be torture.

    Then again maybe it's not just things cycling related to which that applies. I'm sure some people wouldn't be comfortable wearing a suit and tie to work, and others wear that everyday and it doesn't bother them one bit.

  5. #5
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    You have to introduce all the relevant parameters into the discussion. People that have legs which rub together at the top have problems with chaffing whether they are on a bicycle or in a dinner suit. If you are skinny and wear loose clothing, I guess you can expect to be able to ride your bike in casual clothing. Guys with a large snorkel might also find they need appropriate secure packaging. Some girls I know ride every day in casual clothing with no apparent ill effects, whilst others say they get sore. I'd say if you wanted, you could identify which type of persons would need proper cycling garb, from looking at their body shape and their type of bike and the saddle.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
    I used to ride the road race bike (drop bars) wearing a tracksuit before I was introduced to bike-specific clothing. Now I cant ride that bike without the bike-clothes, it's impossible, feels too uncomfortable/not-right/unnatural.

    Some of you guys wear regular clothes when cycling to work, but is that on non-dropbar bikes.... is it more comfortable to wear regular clothes on a more upright bike?
    Yes, I think it does matter what kind of bike you're on. On a race bike you're more folded over, which means that non-stretchy regular clothes get more bunched up at the top of the legs. On a more upright bike, it's less of a problem because the body position is straighter, so there's less bunching.
    A few weeks back I rode to work in a skirt just to see if I could do it. My commuter is fairly upright, but nowhere near as much as the classic Pashley/Dutch style bike would be. I found that while the sloping top tube allowed enough clearance for a skirt, the bunching of all that fabric was really annoying. Trousers aren't quite as bad, but I wouldn't like to ride more than 20 minutes in them either.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Though I like to think of myself as not being too bothered by fashion concerns (and my choice of clothing usually backs this up), I feel really weird wearing tights on anything other than a road bike. I don't feel weird wearing "regular clothes" no matter what bike I might be riding but the length of time I can ride comfortably in jeans is limited, especially if I'm trying to ride fast.

  8. #8
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    i almost always use a baselayer (patagonia, etc) , but often something regular clothes or a jacket on top. i wear mostly hemp pants (i just think its an interesting, sustainable material). i did notice when i rode in jeans or dockers, that they would develop holes in the knees fairly frequently. the hemp pants seems to hold up much better

  9. #9
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Half of the reason I wear bike-specific clothes on the road bike is because I won't want my crack to show. On a more-upright bike, it's not so much of a problem.

    Half the reason I wear bike-specific clothes on the MTB is because I don't like having part of the clothes hanging loose, especially under my butt, when I'm getting on and off the saddle numerous times. So, yes, I even wear bibs with the MTB.

    On the upright commuter, I have neither of those concerns. Plus, I'm usually riding shorter distances and spending plenty of time off the bike, which would account for the other half of my reasons for wearing bike-specific clothes on the other bikes.

  10. #10
    Stealing Spokes since 82' Fizzaly's Avatar
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    I only have a problem when it comes to wearing pants on a bike, i really much prefer shorts, even tights just something being around my calves makes it hard for me to ride dunno why.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Trouser Clips, keep the pants out of the chain.

    Cycling in Knickers are popular again ..

  12. #12
    Stealing Spokes since 82' Fizzaly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Trouser Clips, keep the pants out of the chain.

    Cycling in Knickers are popular again ..
    Thats not really the problem, i thinks it be a mental thing.

  13. #13
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Trouser Clips, keep the pants out of the chain.
    So do socks.

    What, you're not wearing socks with your trousers? Go back to the sixties, ya hippie.

  14. #14
    Senior Member SactoDoug's Avatar
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    You must have a nice padded seat on your road bike. I know I could not ride my road bike for very long without bike shorts. My seat has no padding in it at all. I wouldn't be able to walk after a long ride without the shorts.

    On my mountain bike, I could ride it all day long with street cloths on. With the suspension and big tires it is like riding a Cadillac.

  15. #15
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I've ridden for 30- 40 minutes in street clothes on a road bike almost every workday for several years, so as long as it's not super hot out, I've no problem even rolling out for a 35 mile ride in Levi's.

    I typically ride on a SDG Belair - not super firm, not exactly plush. I just got a narrower, firmer PowerTools saddle, I find it's a little better for riding in jeans. Wider nosed saddles create more friction on the seams.
    Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 10-17-10 at 01:10 PM.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  16. #16
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    I wear slacks on my comuter bike and am fine If I wear salcks on my race bike my butt hurts . I believe this do to the saddle as both are drop bar bikes. The saddle on my comuter is a brooks that is designed for comfort/ touring and is very comfortable without bike shorts. The on my race bike is a Fitzik designed for low wieght and efficiency.

  17. #17
    Senior Member clasher's Avatar
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    I rode in work slacks last week for a 40k ride... I was expecting some problems as I'm normally in chamois-padded bike shorts but it was fine. I did go commando to avoid any underpants rubbing so perhaps that was a factor. The seat is a cheap POS too. I am well-padded subcutaneously FWIW

    I also used to commute 10k each way in work clothes and clipless shoes and didn't find any problems.

  18. #18
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    I ride either a schwinn mirada or a trek 7.2 to work (20.2 mi total) daily, and since May I've been wearing arc'teryx rampart pants. They're basically long legged swim shorts, so to speak, with a nice finish/tailoring fit for an engineering office. Wearing these along with a pair of exofficio briefs I've never notice any discomfort. This is not an advertisement thou just trial-n-error, jeans and cotton briefs are definitely off my list.

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    Dilbert ftw!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sadsack View Post
    This is not an advertisement thou just trial-n-error, jeans and cotton briefs are definitely off my list.
    These days I'm pretty much just wearing jeans and cotton briefs... That's what I wear between the time it's too cold to wear shorts (normal shorts), and not cold enough to wear an extra layer (long johns, or an extra pair of jeans). Though I guess cycling with two pairs of jeans on, puts me at the same extreme as people who ride without a saddle...

  21. #21
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    I wear slacks or jeans on my road bike sometimes. I don't like the feeling so much, and even with a clip or strap I always feel like I am going ruin my pants. It just turns out convenient sometimes. I never do this for more than 5 miles, however.

    Sometimes I ride in non-biking shorts. It is not terribly uncomfortable. I suppose it has been a while since going more than 25 miles like this, but as long as I am not riding aggressively I find it acceptable.

  22. #22
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    If you're looking at clothing from a fashion perspective, I think wearing a cycling-cut jersey and shorts would look a bit out of place on a cruiser or mountain bike.

    Then again, anything looks good on a road bike.

    These are my opinions though. I'd feel out of place wearing spandex on my MTB or a cruiser, but I'd be uncomfortable wearing anything else on any bike. My bike shorts, while not my co-worker's favorite garment I own, are my single most favorite item I've gotten for my cycling. Whenever I ride in jeans or standard shorts I realize how much I miss my spandex and chamois.

    The jist of it is that you need to ride in whatever you feel comfortable with.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bijan View Post
    "cycling with two pairs of jeans on"
    OUCH! No thanks! I don't have much riding gear for/or experience riding in weather below 20 deg f. I do have some motorcycle riding clothes (i.e. alpinestar longjohns) I may have to try out soon thou.

  24. #24
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    I started commuting wearing khakis, running shoes, and a t-shirt. Once the weather warmed up I switched to cycling shorts, but kept the t-shirt. That's how I commuted all summer. Now that it is cooling off a bit, I've gone back to the khakis, but find them uncomfortable on my commuter. On my roadie, I'd never ride in anything but shorts, cleats, jersey, gloves, glasses, and everything else roadies usually wear.

    I'm thinking of getting some padded tights, or some other type of full length cycling pants to use for the occasional commute.

  25. #25
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I ride in these most of the time - approximately March-October. I also have several pair of a style Target used to have : non-cargo version that seemed to be sewn from a lighter weight fabric.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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