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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 10-05-17, 07:26 AM   #1
asmac
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NY Times article on commuters dressing for work

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/03/f...=76449345&te=1
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Old 10-05-17, 08:41 AM   #2
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This is kind of funny as I was in Copenhagen yesterday (for one day only, sadly) and it was nice to unchain by bike at the station and cycle over to the uni and to a friend's place. I'd say the bulk of people were still in their work clothes ... as was I

Glad to see that people in NYC don't end up spandex warriors though.
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Old 10-05-17, 10:56 AM   #3
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Those guys who arrive to work as sweating soggy messes need to slow down. After all, I'm going to rest at a stoplight sooner or later anyway. I'd feel disgusted if I had to breath in other people's stench from an air conditioner in a small office. I hope they wear deodorant because nothing is worse than a bicycle commuter who reeks of BO. It helps that I keep a change of clothes in my backpack/office that I can change into.

My 5-7 mile morning commute I don't mind cruising at 15mph in the morning, it still wakes me up and I feel refreshed all day. I can save my workout for my trip home. My shower will be ready after my ride : )
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Old 10-05-17, 12:20 PM   #4
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Sweat is an issue only a few months out of the year where I live, and only in the morning, and only on the few days when the humidity and temperature is high. Of course, leaving home before the sun rises helps. But even when it is warmer you can mitigate the perspiration by not pushing too hard. A bike that is more upright helps, not just with more surface area for cooling, but being upright somehow is conducive to a more relaxed effort.
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Old 10-05-17, 12:31 PM   #5
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This is kind of funny as I was in Copenhagen yesterday (for one day only, sadly) and it was nice to unchain by bike at the station and cycle over to the uni and to a friend's place. I'd say the bulk of people were still in their work clothes ... as was I

Glad to see that people in NYC don't end up spandex warriors though.
I commute in work clothes, but I don't sweat a lot. It's worth noting that the climate in most US cities is at least 10+ degrees F hotter and colder than Copenhagen.

I also think that the fear of spandex is way overblown. Wear what you like.
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Old 10-05-17, 01:21 PM   #6
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I like riding fast. I use my commute as a daily workout. One does not need to do this, but I just like it. I used to ride in regular clothes, but now I wear cycling clothes. At work, I like to say I'm changing from my Superman costume to my Clark Kent costume.

This winter, I'm not sure what I'll do. I'll see as time and weather progress.
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Old 10-05-17, 02:22 PM   #7
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I commute in work clothes, but I don't sweat a lot. It's worth noting that the climate in most US cities is at least 10+ degrees F hotter and colder than Copenhagen.

I also think that the fear of spandex is way overblown. Wear what you like.
What's 10C in F?

I agree with wearing what you like.

I just don't want to see your junk.
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Old 10-05-17, 02:40 PM   #8
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What's 10C in F?

I agree with wearing what you like.

I just don't want to see your junk.
10 C is 50 F. Temperatures in my locale range from -15 to +95 F, or -26 to +35 C.

Don't look.
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Old 10-05-17, 07:30 PM   #9
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Alex Lightman's description of how his coworkers understand his sweatiness is one factor why many people don't cycle to work. Otoh, he provides inspiration for others to do the same.

Materials is important. Doesn't wool wick as well as prevent odors? Polyester stinks. When I used to work, I had several changes of shirts there. I was lucky. My employer had three showers.
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Old 10-06-17, 05:58 AM   #10
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Wet but not raining.. not a bad temp overall. Typically I don't meet anyone in the hallways when I get to work. But since they've started flu shots on the floor underneath us I run into groups of nurses. Apparently it's quite a shock to them to see a bicycle.. my eyes are up here ladies!
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Old 10-06-17, 06:20 AM   #11
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What's 10C in F?

I agree with wearing what you like.

I just don't want to see your junk.
Yes you do cause you can't stop looking can you.
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Old 10-06-17, 08:20 AM   #12
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Yes you do cause you can't stop looking can you.
Sorry, I just feel sorry for people in spandex unless they're seriously racing.
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Old 10-06-17, 08:41 AM   #13
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I commute in work clothes, but I don't sweat a lot. It's worth noting that the climate in most US cities is at least 10+ degrees F hotter and colder than Copenhagen.
What's 10C in F?
A difference of 10 F is nine fifths the difference in Centigrade, as you already know 5.6C

Your question made me wonder, maybe for the first time, why on earth Fahrenheit normalized his scale at 32 for freezing. It turns out that he just used the earlier Roemer scale, which was based on an alcohol thermometer, and multiplied everything by four, later adjusted by a couple of degrees for a more accurate mixture of ice water. So, basically arbitrary and almost random.

We like it better though. Zero is terribly cold and 100 is uncomfortably hot, it works pretty well for that, more of a metric scale than Centigrade from that perspective.
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Old 10-06-17, 09:05 AM   #14
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A difference of 10 F is nine fifths the difference in Centigrade, as you already know 5.6C

Your question made me wonder, maybe for the first time, why on earth Fahrenheit normalized his scale at 32 for freezing. It turns out that he just used the earlier Roemer scale, which was based on an alcohol thermometer, and multiplied everything by four, later adjusted by a couple of degrees for a more accurate mixture of ice water. So, basically arbitrary and almost random.

We like it better though. Zero is terribly cold and 100 is uncomfortably hot, it works pretty well for that, more of a metric scale than Centigrade from that perspective.
I was a recent piece on the Rmer scale. Interesting because it was one of the first calibrated scales, which is a cool idea and very modern (1700s IIRC).
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Old 10-06-17, 09:05 AM   #15
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So much kerfuffle over what many bike commuters figured out long ago...


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I used to ride in regular clothes, but now I wear cycling clothes. At work, I like to say I'm changing from my Superman costume to my Clark Kent costume.

I've felt the same, but I can never quite tell. Is it the mild mannered cyclist popping into the handicap stall and out comes Super Engineer in the morning, or the other way around in the afternoon? I like the sound of "Super Cyclist" better, myself.
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Old 10-06-17, 09:19 AM   #16
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Sorry, I just feel sorry for people in spandex unless they're seriously racing.
...because we have no idea how ridiculous we look...or we prefer to not sweat through our cotton t-shirts and trousers...or because even though we don't race we like to wear cycling-specific clothing when we are on the saddle for six hours and the idea of having our nether regions chaffed raw is unappealing...or that we don't give a rat's ass about what judgmental folks think of us when we wear spandex.

Which is it?
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Old 10-06-17, 09:32 AM   #17
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I have tried commuting in both regular clothes and cycling specific clothes. Regular clothing would be great because you look normal and can hop off the bike and go to work without changing. Comfort level however? My commute is just under 8 miles and the temperatures here roll into the 90's in the summer with humidity and below 0 in the winter. I work second shift so often my summer commutes are in full sun and full heat just after the hottest part of the day. Long pants and a cotton shirt? Not a chance. Tried this and showed up to work drenched. Cycling clothes like jerseys and bibs have helped but it is still hot and you still sweat. Nice to change into something work appropriate after cooling down and getting cleaned up in the bathroom.

There is all this talk about upright bikes and regular clothes and you won't sweat after riding to work. I challenge those people to come here in the summer and ride with me for my commute. There is little to no shade and it is just under 8 miles. I tried riding slowly in a more upright position and guess what? I was sweating just as much, and was exposed to the sun and heat for a longer time, making me sweat as much if not more.

People at work know that I ride in more than I drive for the most part, and if they see me in cycling attire they know that I rode in. It isn't a big deal. When I walk in, I hold my helmet over my lower region to prevent people from being uncomfortable. Once you get a routine down, you figure out what works for hygiene and what you need to not stink. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing cycling clothes to ride a bike on. You shouldn't be looked down upon for choosing a healthier method of transportation.
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Old 10-06-17, 09:34 AM   #18
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It's never been a question of riding in work clothes for me, weather and road conditions never permit. But I did resist cycling specific stuff until I started doing some longer rides at which point it was easier to stick w/ that than to wear other non-work but mud-OK type clothing. Actually my work also involves mud but the mud-OK work clothing is way too heavy to ride in. I do still avoid cycling jerseys although I have a couple just 'cause I like the pattern if not the function.
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Old 10-06-17, 09:35 AM   #19
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There is all this talk about upright bikes and regular clothes and you won't sweat after riding to work.
Especially if you keep it under 10mph and live close enough to work to fit in a commute at that speed.
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Old 10-06-17, 09:36 AM   #20
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I commuted to work by bicycle on Long Island for ten years. I wore cycling specific clothing the entire time. 40 miles minimum round trip. Longer when weather was nice.

I would change into dockers and a polo when I got to work and cycling clothes went into a gym bag or got hung up in a closet for the commute home. I never smelled and no one ever complained about body odor. The only time my cycling clothes smell really bad is when they were worn for a long time after riding.

What anyone thought about what I wore didn't concern me in the slightest although I did arrive late one day and the older ladies made it a point to express their approval of a fit man in cycling shorts walking through the office.


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Old 10-06-17, 09:39 AM   #21
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Especially if you keep it under 10mph and live close enough to work to fit in a commute at that speed.
Under 10mph would put me outside for at least an hour in the blazing sun and heat/humidity. Doesn't matter what you are doing or wearing at that point, you will be a drenched mess. 94F and 89% humidity on a bike for an hour or slightly less? In regular clothes? Cotton underwear? That is just gross.
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Old 10-06-17, 09:45 AM   #22
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Under 10mph would put me outside for at least an hour in the blazing sun and heat/humidity. Doesn't matter what you are doing or wearing at that point, you will be a drenched mess. 94F and 89% humidity on a bike for an hour or slightly less? In regular clothes? Cotton underwear? That is just gross.


Not to mention you'd be uncomfortably damp for at least a couple hours after getting into air conditioning. Nor that you'd smell worse by 2:00 than that other guy who rode his bike fast into work, wiped down or showered, and changed.
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Old 10-06-17, 09:47 AM   #23
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I commuted to work by bicycle on Long Island for ten years. I wore cycling specific clothing the entire time. 40 miles minimum round trip. Longer when weather was nice.

I would change into dockers and a polo when I got to work and cycling clothes went into a gym bag or got hung up in a closet for the commute home. I never smelled and no one ever complained about body odor. The only time my cycling clothes smell really bad is when they were worn for a long time after riding.

What anyone thought about what I wore didn't concern me in the slightest although I did arrive late one day and the older ladies made it a point to express their approval of a fit man in cycling shorts walking through the office.


-Tim-
This is how it is for me now. I hang my wet cycling clothes on a tall stool, and I point a box fan at them to dry them out. I told my officemates to complain if they smell anything, and there hasn't been a smell yet. After a couple of hours, I turn the clothes over to make sure they dry completely. My smelliest garments are my gloves. I'm going to replace them, as they are synthetic, with gloves of natural materials. My cotton and leather gloves that I use upstate don't take on any disgusting smells.

Some fabrics are better at dissipating and preventing odor than others. Wool is very good. Some synthetics are good, some are mediocre, and some are very bad. I have some synthetic jerseys I can wear only once or twice and some I can wear many times. My wool clothes can go the greatest number of days between washings.

The one thing I am most fastidious about is socks. Feet can stay wet and gather fungus, so I change my socks very frequently. Always synthetic, preferably wool, and never, ever cotton.
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Old 10-06-17, 09:48 AM   #24
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Not to mention you'd be uncomfortably damp for at least a couple hours after getting into air conditioning. Nor that you'd smell worse by 2:00 than that other guy who rode his bike fast into work, wiped down or showered, and changed.
I have a high surface-area-to-mass ratio, so I cool down and dry off quickly. I'm also a warm body, so I don't get cold from being damp. Still, it's nicer to change than to sit in wet clothing.
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Old 10-06-17, 09:57 AM   #25
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People at work know that I ride in more than I drive for the most part, and if they see me in cycling attire they know that I rode in. It isn't a big deal. When I walk in, I hold my helmet over my lower region to prevent people from being uncomfortable. Once you get a routine down, you figure out what works for hygiene and what you need to not stink. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing cycling clothes to ride a bike on. You shouldn't be looked down upon for choosing a healthier method of transportation.

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I told my officemates to complain if they smell anything, and there hasn't been a smell yet.

Some fabrics are better at dissipating and preventing odor than others. Wool is very good. Some synthetics are good, some are mediocre, and some are very bad. I have some synthetic jerseys I can wear only once or twice and some I can wear many times.

These are all really great points from experienced commuters.

After a while we figure out what works, the infantile snickering stops and everyone goes about their work day.

It is literally no big deal.
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