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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-04-14, 11:53 AM   #1
5matt
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Wet clothing suggestions

I've ridden for many years but haven't had a job I could ride to until now. commute will be about 27 miles each way, initially I may ride in one day, take bus home then ride home the next day. I have shower facilities at my office, but I'm looking for suggestions on how to deal with my wet (sweat) cycling clothing so I can ride home the same day. I won't ride every day so I can leave some work clothes at the office, but I have no bags on my bike.
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Old 02-04-14, 12:25 PM   #2
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I've ridden for many years but haven't had a job I could ride to until now. commute will be about 27 miles each way, initially I may ride in one day, take bus home then ride home the next day. I have shower facilities at my office, but I'm looking for suggestions on how to deal with my wet (sweat) cycling clothing so I can ride home the same day. I won't ride every day so I can leave some work clothes at the office, but I have no bags on my bike.
I shower at work as well and I just hang my cycling clothes to dry. As long as they are hung they have always completely dried out by the ride home (for sweat at least, heavy rain might be different). I am lucky that we have a limited amount of hanging space in our shower room. In the summer when there are more people riding I often hang stuff under my desk in my cubicle with whatever I can rig up (boxes, etc).

Do you have a way you can hang stuff up? Is your cycling gear good quick dry gear? If not I recommend getting some.

Alternatively you could leave extra cycling clothes at work and cycle through and replenish the days you drive.
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Old 02-04-14, 01:20 PM   #3
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I used to hang them up during the day, or lie them flat.. but really, they were just gonna get wet about 5 minutes into the ride anyway.
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Old 02-04-14, 01:24 PM   #4
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You have a few options.

1. Put an extra shirt/shorts in your backpack/pannier for the ride home.
2. Hang them to dry somewhere. (In the shower area, end of the coat closet if there is enough room (and no complaints from co-workers), get a hanger or three for your cube, etc)
3. You'll make them wet with sweat again anyways, so suffer thru the gross feeling of putting them back on.
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Old 02-04-14, 03:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. My cube is small, quarters close-I'd have complaints if I hung them up. You guys are right, they will be wet 5 minutes into the ride home anyway so probably best to just deal with it. I also considered rinsing them out and wrapping in my towel to get as much of the water out as possible. What sort of jerseys are quick dry? I have some thin craft bib shorts that should work, not so sure about my jerseys.
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Old 02-04-14, 03:34 PM   #6
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During the summer I just bring in a plastic bag for the wet clothes and a fresh jersey and bibs in my backpack for the ride home. It doesn't take up much room. Winter is a problem though because you might have several layers of wet clothes and that can make for a load.
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Old 02-04-14, 08:36 PM   #7
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I've ridden for many years but haven't had a job I could ride to until now.
It could be just me, but I'd say that that is still the case. IOW you still do not really have a job you can ride to.

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commute will be about 27 miles each way, initially I may ride in one day, take bus home then ride home the next day. I have shower facilities at my office, but I'm looking for suggestions on how to deal with my wet (sweat) cycling clothing so I can ride home the same day. .
Well... aside from the fact that a 54mi. round-trip with a standard working day sandwiched in-between is hardly practical, I would invest in cycling clothes that are absorbent and breathe and maintain your comfort even when wet. Since the first of the year I deal with commute sweat by wearing a merino wool baselayer. My problem with the sweat wasn't odor, it was the very uncomfortable condition of the cold, wet, clothes next to my skin. I shower at home and even though there are shower facilities at work I don't use or need them. I submit that after a 27 mile one way you shouldn't have time to do a post ride shower and change of clothes. My present assignment doesn't require a button down shirt, I just wear a turtleneck layer over the baselayer under my softshell outerlayer. I dry out as the day progresses and everything is dry by days end for the ride home (7 to 10 mi. each way depending on route).

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I won't ride every day so I can leave some work clothes at the office, but I have no bags on my bike.
Maybe get some bags for your bike? You've asked your question on a commuting forum. Maybe if you ask on the road racers forum you will get answers more aligned with someone who wants to get some miles in during the week and use the miles to the office to do so. I, and others here use our bikes the way you would use your car, or the bus. Daily. Or very nearly so. I save $5.00 every day by riding and my investment in two commute bikes and their peripherals are fully paid for by the savings on mass transit. If the buses in your city have bike racks you could ride half-way to work and finish on the bus. Do the same thing going home. Maybe do the whole thing by bike going home a couple times.
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Old 02-05-14, 08:25 AM   #8
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I asked my question on a commuting forum thinking that was the best place, sorry if you feel my choice was inappropriate, I wouldn't want to invade your "serious commuters only" turf.
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Old 02-05-14, 08:32 AM   #9
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plastic bag for the stuff you can't reuse on the ride home and stow it where no one can see it. bring an extra set of shorts etc so you have fresh stuff for the ride home. reuse whatever you can. dealing with the clothes is a whole thing man. my last job was ideal with a boiler room all to myself, plus a shower. so I could ride year round and dry my stuff in private all day. I reused whatever I wanted. the boiler room was great for drying the outer layers and base layers especially on rainy days. I forget if I reused the shorts or not. I seem to remember hanging them to dry. I always showered at home before riding in so my clothes were only wet and didn't stink. food is the other major thing you'll need to juggle.
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Old 02-05-14, 09:00 AM   #10
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I've been known to get some of the small 3M command hooks and an air freshener and hang my stuff in my knee hole of my desk. That was back when I had a desk with a huge knee hole, but it worked 90% of the time and no one ever said anything to me about smell or unsightliness.
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Old 02-05-14, 11:18 AM   #11
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Thanks again for the workable suggestions, I may try the kneehole hanger approach. Food I can plan for, I can bring in lunch the day before since I won't be commuting every day. I'm trying to get all my planning done ahead of time so I won't be caught out. I'm allowing myself 2 hours to make the trip, it's mostly flat with only one nasty hill-my bus trip now is 1 hour, plus 20 minute walk to the busstop so riding will not add a lot of time-leave house at 6 am, 15 minutes to shower and dress, ready to go by 8:15. My work schedule is somewhat flexible so a few minutes late (flat, mechanical) shouldn't make a difference.
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Old 02-05-14, 01:45 PM   #12
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Another idea that may help is a light weight base layer. I have started wearing a base layer under my jersey, often even on the more mild days. It seems to get more wet then my jersey, but the really light weight base layers also seem to dry much faster then the jersey. They are also small and light so you could bring an extra with you in a jersey pocket if needed.

Curious why you won't consider a bag of some sort - pannier or a backpack? It would let you carry spare clothes, etc and probably have minimal impact on your overall speed.
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Old 02-05-14, 03:16 PM   #13
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I asked my question on a commuting forum thinking that was the best place, sorry if you feel my choice was inappropriate, I wouldn't want to invade your "serious commuters only" turf.
I don't think your choice was inappropriate. Dealing with clothes and such at work is a commuting question whether your ride is 5 miles or 50, or whether your bike is a Brompton or a Ridley. Had you asked this question in The 33, I would have suggested you pose it here because the answers in Commuting tend to be practical, snark-free, and allowing that there is no One True Way to commute.

At least that's how it's traditionally been. I hope it continues to be so.
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Old 02-05-14, 08:36 PM   #14
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I don't think your choice was inappropriate. Dealing with clothes and such at work is a commuting question whether your ride is 5 miles or 50, or whether your bike is a Brompton or a Ridley. Had you asked this question in The 33, I would have suggested you pose it here because the answers in Commuting tend to be practical, snark-free, and allowing that there is no One True Way to commute.

At least that's how it's traditionally been. I hope it continues to be so.
Sorry if I came off as snarky, I was reacting to leisesturms response only. His opinion and mine of what constitutes a commute obviously differ.
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Old 02-06-14, 12:20 AM   #15
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Hey 5matt,

Other commuters in this forum told me my commute was too long, as well. Don't let them get you down. There are others out there in the same situation as you. My current commute is 23 miles one way with roughly 300 ft of climbing. Some days I take the bus part or all of the way, if I'm sick/bad weather/lazy.

Here are my work amenities:
Shower
Lockers
Coat rack in my communal office

When I get to work, I go straight to my locker and get my shower bag and work clothes. It's a mesh bag with flip flops, body wash, a loofah, a microfiber towel and deodorant. I keep 3 days of work clothes in my locker... I have been known to rotate through the clothes without washing during the week. Obviously at this point I get clean and put all my shower artifacts in my mesh bag. In the office I hang my clothes off the rack, and point a small office fan I purchased directly on the mesh bag and my hanging clothes. Wool clothing gets a serious nod here in the winter - it doesn't stink. In the summer I will rinse my cycling gear in the shower with me to avoid stinking up the office. During the day I will attend to the rack a few times and move items around to ensure they are dry by the time I leave work. It has the nice side effect of giving me an excuse to a few minutes break here and there. Nobody complains about me or my gear smelling up the office

My greatest asset to this routine is the small office fan. Without it, my wool clothes were still damp come quitting time. Others have commented that they will get wet again soon after getting on the bike... but if its cold outside I would prefer to delay the onset of chilly nipples.

I try to plan meals for the week before I hit the grocery store. Since I'm saving so much by not owning a car, I splurge on occasional meals out for lunch. This is one area I'm not too religious on.

On bike-only days, I leave 2 hours before work and this gives me 100 minutes to ride, 10 minutes to shower, and 10 minutes for leeway. It takes about the same amount of time to get home. On good days it only takes me 80ish minutes to do the ride. It's a commitment, but you will feel accomplished.

Hope my experiences help!
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Old 02-06-14, 10:55 AM   #16
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Sorry if I came off as snarky, I was reacting to leisesturms response only. His opinion and mine of what constitutes a commute obviously differ.
You weren't.
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Old 02-06-14, 11:25 AM   #17
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Thanks again for the workable suggestions, I may try the kneehole hanger approach. Food I can plan for, I can bring in lunch the day before since I won't be commuting every day. I'm trying to get all my planning done ahead of time so I won't be caught out. I'm allowing myself 2 hours to make the trip, it's mostly flat with only one nasty hill-my bus trip now is 1 hour, plus 20 minute walk to the busstop so riding will not add a lot of time-leave house at 6 am, 15 minutes to shower and dress, ready to go by 8:15. My work schedule is somewhat flexible so a few minutes late (flat, mechanical) shouldn't make a difference.
How fast can you ride? How hilly is your commute?

I have between 400 and 600 feet of climbing in ~15 miles each way. 27 miles in 2 hours is an average of 13.5 MPH. I can do that and faster with a tail wind, but with a nasty headwind like yesterday I didn't even break 10 MPH average. I'm just generally a slow rider, something I haven't really been able to improve.
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Old 02-06-14, 02:43 PM   #18
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How fast can you ride? How hilly is your commute?

I have between 400 and 600 feet of climbing in ~15 miles each way. 27 miles in 2 hours is an average of 13.5 MPH. I can do that and faster with a tail wind, but with a nasty headwind like yesterday I didn't even break 10 MPH average. I'm just generally a slow rider, something I haven't really been able to improve.
Strava really helped me improve my average speed
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Old 02-06-14, 03:08 PM   #19
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Shower facilities ? Good. Rinse and dry in a locker? Laundromat @ lunch with dryer? I leave my car @ work so I sometimes let them dry inside. I too could not put on damp clothes, i usually just drive in monday am with all the work and bike clothes i need for the week. Repeat friday pm with dirty clothes. I'm 18 miles each way. 2-6 trips per week.
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Old 02-06-14, 03:16 PM   #20
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Strava really helped me improve my average speed
Come again? I logged 2,500 miles last year on Strava but it sure as hell hasn't helped me improve my averages.
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Old 02-06-14, 03:22 PM   #21
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Silly question OP: Have you considered an outer layer waterproof setup? I have riding rain pants and a jacket I just shed them when I get to my location and I'm fairly dry other than my beard, but I have a towel for that.
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Old 02-06-14, 03:32 PM   #22
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Thanks for the suggestions. My cube is small, quarters close-I'd have complaints if I hung them up. You guys are right, they will be wet 5 minutes into the ride home anyway so probably best to just deal with it. I also considered rinsing them out and wrapping in my towel to get as much of the water out as possible. What sort of jerseys are quick dry? I have some thin craft bib shorts that should work, not so sure about my jerseys.
I've been hanging sweaty bike clothes in a small cube for years now, and never had a serious complaint. ("I can't see! It's too bright!!" I don't take as a serious complaint.) Standard poly jerseys and lycra shorts do well, as long as you wash them between daily rides. They may smell a bit after the second ride in a day on the ride home, though.
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Old 02-06-14, 03:42 PM   #23
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Silly question OP: Have you considered an outer layer waterproof setup? I have riding rain pants and a jacket I just shed them when I get to my location and I'm fairly dry other than my beard, but I have a towel for that.
He's asking about wet, sweaty clothes. Not wet from rain clothes.

I'm the same. It can be in the 20's outside, but my inner 2 layers will usually be quite damp with sweat by the time I get to work.
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Old 02-06-14, 04:14 PM   #24
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He's asking about wet, sweaty clothes. Not wet from rain clothes.

I'm the same. It can be in the 20's outside, but my inner 2 layers will usually be quite damp with sweat by the time I get to work.
I see, silly of me! But it makes me even more confused... wicking clothes don't tend to stink too bad even sweaty and dry extremely fast IME.
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Old 02-06-14, 04:22 PM   #25
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yes, sweat is my issue. I can average 17-18 MPH on this route, but I haven't done it with a lot of traffic so I am over-estimating my ride time until I get comfortable. Only one hill of any significance, balanced by an equal downhill on the other side. I think I can wash my shorts in the shower, wring them out in a towel and then let them dry out, possibly with a fan, under my desk. The jersey I may have to leave a clean one at the office or just put a damp one back on-not so much of an issue in the summer when I'll do most of my commuting. I'm not planning on too much riding in the dark, so I won't be a full time commuter-some sketchy areas and some fast traffic.
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