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Commuting with a suit

Old 08-27-17, 04:40 PM
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gsa103
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Commuting with a suit

I'm re-locating to a new job. The good news is that it's only ~2mi away.

The bad news is that it's Virginia (humid), and I'll need to wear a suit everyday. Unfortunately, I don't think the office has any sort of changing area or showers, making things doubly difficult.

Is this even realistic? Any suggestions? e-bike?
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Old 08-27-17, 04:49 PM
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Short sleeve dress shirt, roll up the jacket and put it in pannier. At one point it was hard to imagin riding a bike without a suit.
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Old 08-27-17, 09:01 PM
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Not completely unrealistic. Just also probably not very convenient.

Before I knew my job had showers, I cleaned up with baby wipes and changed in a bathroom stall. Before I had a rack and panniers to minimize back sweat, I packed everything in a backpack and used an eagle creek clothes folding thing that reduced wrinkles and creases in my clothes.

It's not hard, but it does take some planning. I have had all my questions answered on here and then some. Just ask away.
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Old 08-27-17, 09:32 PM
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If you can coordinate separates, it might be worth hauling in 2-3 jackets and pants at the beginning of the week, so you can take it slow that day. You could also do multiple shirts so that you're not hauling anything 3-4 days a week.
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Old 08-27-17, 09:58 PM
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I'd just use uber.
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Old 08-28-17, 06:39 AM
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In addition to the good advice you have received so far, perhaps there is a fitness center nearby with a shower. You could simply join or negotiate a shower only price.

Also, when comfortable, do not be shy about asking your employer to install a shower. After all, you are helping them with reducing their health insurance costs and parking.
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Old 08-28-17, 07:38 AM
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Drive to work on Mondays with 4 extra suits/shirts/etc and leave them there (assuming you have some place to put them)

Ride the other 4 days.

It's a 2 mile commute so it's not like you're losing out on a ton of exercise for your 1 missed day.

You could also just leave your suit jackets at work (assuming you have a place to store them) all the time. It's not like you need to dry clean them after every use. Suit pants will be okay in your panniers for your 20 minute ride. A dress shirt might or might not be. You could leave dress shirts at work with the suit jackets, then just bring them home in the panniers at the end of the day. They can either be quickly ironed or cleaned at home so you don't need to worry about getting them wrinkled on the way home.

The pants will be fine though. I do it nearly every day. And I wear khakis, which are more wrinkle prone than your average suit material.

As for sweating, don't sweat it (haha I crack myself up). It's a 2 mile commute, not an endurance race. I live in Maryland so I have a similar climate as you and have a similar 2 mile commute with hills. I get 'slightly sweaty' on the hottest mornings at worst.

Remember that even on the hottest humid day in the mid atlantic, it's usually 75 at worst before 9 am. (I said USUALLY. On those insane July days during a heat wave that we get sometimes, just drive)

On my ride TO work I don't push it too hard. I give myself plenty of time and have a nice relaxing ride. I show up to work, towel off and change and I'm fine. On my ride home I push the bike hard and get a really good workout in, often making my 2 mile commute into a 10 mile meandering joy ride and I get hot and sweaty and gross....but when I get home there is a shower and change of clothes waiting for me. So who cares?


EDIT: I just realized you were from the SF Bay Area...okay so the humidity is going to kill you...for about 3-4 months. Then you'll get used to it and it won't be a big deal. When I was in the Marines I did a 3 month training in Southern California with the 72 degrees and 0% humidity. I felt like I could conquer the world in that climate after growing up on the East Coast. It was like I was hooked up to an oxygen machine 24/7. I had so much energy I had trouble sleeping! Then I got used to the dry climate...and I felt normal. Then I came back to the East Coast and I could barely breath for a couple months and felt like I was drowning just from walking around in the soup we call air. But I re-adjusted to the East Coast moisture soon enough and all is well now.

So if you're just coming East and aren't used to the humidity yet, it's gonna suck. But once your body adjusts the sweating on a 2 mile leisurely morning commute when its' 75 out really won't be that bad. The ride home when it's 95 and 80% humid will was a wet disgusting mess no matter how long you live here.

Last edited by Skipjacks; 08-28-17 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 08-28-17, 08:19 AM
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Sometimes I see a guy in a sit on my route going pretty fast on a part of my commute on steel Gios road bike. Usually he's a few minutes before me so I don't know if he rides in the crazy hear and humidity because I haven't seen him lately. However, at only 2 miles you might be okay if you take it easy, then again if it's not and humid I'd be sweating just standing outside (actually cooler while riding then waiting at lights).
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Old 08-28-17, 08:29 AM
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https://www.betabrand.com/mens/pants...-onesie-hybrid
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Old 08-28-17, 11:26 AM
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Depends on the speed you want to do, or need to do because of the distance. Get an upright bike with full fenders and chaincase, and it's not a problem at all, just don't heat up.
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Old 08-28-17, 04:45 PM
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Um, that looks nutso.
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Old 08-28-17, 04:54 PM
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Likewise, I work about 2 miles from home and I bring a suit with me to work 1-2 times per week (just wear a dress shirt and tie most of the time). Typically I wear the shirt and some shorts, carry the suit in a garment bag, and I use a bathroom at work to change on arrival. My trick is to put my panniers on the bike first, then put the hanger for the garment bag around my seatpost, then secure the folded-over bag flapped over the panniers with a bungee cord.
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Old 08-28-17, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Um, that looks nutso.
That is just wrong
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Old 08-28-17, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Um, that looks nutso.
Lol right? Who is the market for this-people who want to spend as much as they would on an actual suit, but want something that looks terrible?

OTOH that company also sells a dress shirt with poo emojis all over which I am severely tempted to purchase.
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Old 08-29-17, 07:28 AM
  #15  
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Garment bag?

https://www.redoxx.com/flying-fortre.../91034/product

Instead of paying the outrageous price on that one just go the the thrift store and look around.
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Old 08-29-17, 12:41 PM
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I commuted most of this summer (~1.5 miles) wearing my work clothes. However, I didn't have to worry about a jacket or tie. Just slacks and a buttondown shirt. We don't get the humidity here that you do, but it's been a brutal summer with lots of triple digit days.

I found that taking my time while on the bike in the evening was key. Also, route-finding on well-shaded streets makes a big difference. So even on days when I rode home in triple digits, I stayed pretty comfortable and didn't sweat much if I pedaled along at an easy pace while taking advantage of the breeze. I think I was staying much cooler than folks who were walking along the same route.
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Old 08-29-17, 02:02 PM
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Growing up back East I remember that sometimes one could work up a sweat just trying to dry off after a shower. Most of the year it should be ok if you take it easy, but in the summer........ probably not.
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Old 08-31-17, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Lol right? Who is the market for this-people who want to spend as much as they would on an actual suit, but want something that looks terrible?

OTOH that company also sells a dress shirt with poo emojis all over which I am severely tempted to purchase.

The serious commuter will want these aerodynamic pants.

I'm not convinced the site isn't a parody. It screams tragically hip, and I'm not referring to the band.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SloButWide View Post
The serious commuter will want these aerodynamic pants.

I'm not convinced the site isn't a parody. It screams tragically hip, and I'm not referring to the band.
I actually saw someone with a product from them, I think it was a backpack or something, so I know it exists. They've got some innovative things with potential on there, but they've also got some way too clever for it's own good things too.

The onesie suit, however, is just... wow.
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Old 08-31-17, 02:46 PM
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I went to a professional conference last year and mentioned my need for new clothes to a colleague I had just met. He recommended betabrand to me. So I went on their site and bought a pair of pants. It was painful to pay $100 for a pair of synthetic pants, but I figured I should try them since it came with such a strong recommendation. It's not a joke. It is hip, and whether it's tragically hip is up to you. They are stretchy and comfortable. I got the ones called dress yoga pants. They look like dress trousers but feel like athletic wear. The deception is very handy, I gotta say. But it's not as breathable as wool, so I tend to get hot in them. I'm open minded to trying more of their stuff, but I'm not in a hurry since the prices are so high.
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Old 08-31-17, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I went to a professional conference last year and mentioned my need for new clothes to a colleague I had just met. He recommended betabrand to me. So I went on their site and bought a pair of pants. It was painful to pay $100 for a pair of synthetic pants, but I figured I should try them since it came with such a strong recommendation. It's not a joke. It is hip, and whether it's tragically hip is up to you. They are stretchy and comfortable. I got the ones called dress yoga pants. They look like dress trousers but feel like athletic wear. The deception is very handy, I gotta say. But it's not as breathable as wool, so I tend to get hot in them. I'm open minded to trying more of their stuff, but I'm not in a hurry since the prices are so high.
Yeah I bought some dress pants from ministry of supply - same concept, dress clothes made from performance oriented synthetics - and they're super comfy.
Roughly the same price as traditional quality dress clothes, although the fabric started showing some wear rather quickly. So I'm open to the concept.
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Old 09-01-17, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I went to a professional conference last year and mentioned my need for new clothes to a colleague I had just met. He recommended betabrand to me. So I went on their site and bought a pair of pants. It was painful to pay $100 for a pair of synthetic pants, but I figured I should try them since it came with such a strong recommendation. It's not a joke. It is hip, and whether it's tragically hip is up to you. They are stretchy and comfortable. I got the ones called dress yoga pants. They look like dress trousers but feel like athletic wear. The deception is very handy, I gotta say. But it's not as breathable as wool, so I tend to get hot in them. I'm open minded to trying more of their stuff, but I'm not in a hurry since the prices are so high.
I might check that out...as well as the whole stretchy jean craze. I'm a bit naturally oddly shaped to begin with...lean, small waist, but big butt and thighs, exacerbated by the miles I put on the bike. Pants are impossible to find unless I just get everything a size or two big, and then it looks lumpy and sloppy. Which I honestly don't care all that much about...but I've thought of upgrading lol.
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Old 09-01-17, 10:05 AM
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Regarding the OP's initial question - it's only two miles, or 10 minutes tops, barring serious traffic. Get a nice, comfy upright bike, put a basket on the front so you can fold your suitcoat in half and lay it in there. You'll be just fine on a hot day for 10 minutes if you go slowish. Hell poodling along at 10mph might feel cooler than walking.

Your only real concern if you're going to be riding in a nice suit is the chain. So...either roll up, get a chaincase, or skip oil and start waxing your chain, which does not leave grease marks (I might still be SLIGHTLY leary of the chain with wax, but only if you're wearing a very, very light colored suit. The wax will occasionally get dirty and flake off onto your hands if you grab it...but you can generally just wipe it right off with no stain).
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Old 09-01-17, 10:12 AM
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So bring pants*, wear shorts, [Note the Brompton world championship attire for the race, for men is jacket, shirt and tie.]

*Put them on, change, in the men's room.

Polyester gaberdine slacks will last a longer time actually riding, in them, than fine wool..
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Old 09-01-17, 10:19 AM
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Amazon has a couple really nice looking Panniers that are garment bags...
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