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Cycling In work clothes.

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Cycling In work clothes.

Old 01-10-19, 03:13 AM
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Cycling In work clothes.

I was wondering if anyone on here commutes to work in the clothes they are going to wear for the rest of the day. I'm doing a design project that's trying to improve the experience for people who cycle in formal clothing and so was wanting a bit of feedback about peoples experience doing this, i.e. what sort of bike are you riding, what clothes do you wear (including foot wear), how far and any specialized kit you have on your bike. Information about the changing arrangement at your place of work would also be helpful. Basically anything to do with cycling in smart clothes would be very much appreciated. I'd also be interested to here from people who may have done this but found a better solution.

Thanks in advanced for any input given.
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Old 01-10-19, 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by oj. View Post
I was wondering if anyone on here commutes to work in the clothes they are going to wear for the rest of the day. I'm doing a design project that's trying to improve the experience for people who cycle in formal clothing and so was wanting a bit of feedback about peoples experience doing this, i.e. what sort of bike are you riding, what clothes do you wear (including foot wear), how far and any specialized kit you have on your bike. Information about the changing arrangement at your place of work would also be helpful. Basically anything to do with cycling in smart clothes would be very much appreciated. I'd also be interested to here from people who may have done this but found a better solution.

Thanks in advanced for any input given.
I've always cycled to work in office clothes. This included in Stockholm (5km each way), Frankfurt (11km each way), Copenhagen (5km each way), Northern England (10km each way), Southern England (3km each way).

Usually in leather shoes, coloured trousers, button down shirt, blazer and cap.

Wear XC ski gloves and a scarf when it's cold.

In CPH/Stockholm, I had an other Monarch (Swedish) city bike. I had a hardtail MTB in Germany and a FGSS in the UK.

When it rained, which was infrequent (probably a few times a year), I would roll up extra clothes and change at work and wear GoreTex waterproof Nordic Trekking shoes. Every place had lockers and shower facilities. Most times a hair dryer would dry out anything that was wet if it was a light sprinkle.
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Old 01-10-19, 04:05 AM
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I should note that I do have premature wear in trousers, which can be quite expensive at £100/€100 pair. Otherwise, it's been great. I also often stop on the way home or the way into work at the pub/supermarket/other shopping and can't really wear cycle-specific clothing/shoes around for fear of looking like a weirdo.

Here's my old commute in CPH:

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Old 01-10-19, 06:10 AM
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Thanks for your response. Did you have any issues regarding pedals and dress shoes. This is something I have come across myself but I don't know if It's just a personal issue. Also I should point out that video shows well what I think cycling should look like here in the UK, rather than the daily Lycra clad race which I usually see.
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Old 01-10-19, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by oj. View Post
Thanks for your response. Did you have any issues regarding pedals and dress shoes. This is something I have come across myself but I don't know if It's just a personal issue. Also I should point out that video shows well what I think cycling should look like here in the UK, rather than the daily Lycra clad race which I usually see.
I'm on a small island now (Portsea) and thankfully don't see any commuting lycra-clad wannabe racers as the distances are quite short. Banter would surely ensue should they been seen: "Are you in the lead mate? Out for a long training ride matey?" and such.

I also see many more drop bars in the UK/US when commuting than I did in any other country in which I've lived/visited. Part of it has to do with the language ... in most Germanic languages bikes with drops are known as Rennräder (literally race bikes), whereas they're simply known as road bikes in English.

No issues with shoes and pedals right now. Clip-less/clip-in is a lost cause on commute and all of the shoes look like athletic gear and/or cheap/old-man leather shoes.
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Old 01-10-19, 06:40 AM
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My office has no specific dress requirements. I don't have to wear a tie or anything like that. In fact I probably could come to work in cycling clothes if I wanted to, but I don't.

My commute is 25 minutes on the bike, then an hour on the train, then another ten minutes on a bike. I wear the same clothes all day. I don't wear any cycling specific clothes, other than a helmet. Today I'm in jeans, but jeans are not great for cycling --too tight.

The bike I ride is set up for long distance riding; drop bar, mudguards, dynamo lights. The pedals are platform on one side, SPD cleats on the other. For commuting, I just wear regular shoes.

The only issues I can mention are that I have to carry warm clothes to wear on the train, which is often quite cold. I'm rarely cold on the bike.

If my commute involved more time on the bike, or if my job required different clothes, then my approach might be different.
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Old 01-10-19, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
My office has no specific dress requirements. I don't have to wear a tie or anything like that. In fact I probably could come to work in cycling clothes if I wanted to, but I don't.

My commute is 25 minutes on the bike, then an hour on the train, then another ten minutes on a bike. I wear the same clothes all day. I don't wear any cycling specific clothes, other than a helmet. Today I'm in jeans, but jeans are not great for cycling --too tight.

The bike I ride is set up for long distance riding; drop bar, mudguards, dynamo lights. The pedals are platform on one side, SPD cleats on the other. For commuting, I just wear regular shoes.

The only issues I can mention are that I have to carry warm clothes to wear on the train, which is often quite cold. I'm rarely cold on the bike.

If my commute involved more time on the bike, or if my job required different clothes, then my approach might be different.
That's a nice mutlimodal commute. Do you go with backpack or pannier. That commute would be prime backpack territory for me but I get a lot of blow back on BF from the pannier-only crowd.

Oops, do you take the bike or have a bike left outside on each end (that's what I'd do over here). If you take the bike, I can see the use of panniers.
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Old 01-10-19, 06:58 AM
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I'm on the opposite side. I never cycle in work clothes. My cubicle drawers are full of my work clothes :-) that I refresh either by carrying replacement in my handlebar bag or on a mass scale once every few weeks whenever I go by in a car.

I wake up, don't shower, get into my biking clothes and bike to work. It used to be 14 miles one way. Now it is 20 miles one way.

Get to work, take a duffel bag with my work clothes, shoes, shower kit and a towel and go take a shower. I dress in clean work clothes and feel great.
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Old 01-10-19, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by oj. View Post
Did you have any issues regarding pedals and dress shoes. This is something I have come across myself buI don't know if It's just a personal issue. Also I should point out that video shows well what I think cycling should look like here in the UK, rather than the daily Lycra clad race which I usually see.
If other cyclists find lycra more comfortable, why would you care?
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Old 01-10-19, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
If other cyclists find lycra more comfortable, why would you care?
It's just different, as in the video that I showed. No different that just walking around in lycra. Would elicit similar commentary.

I don't think anyone stated that would "care." I wouldn't, I would find it odd.
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Old 01-10-19, 07:19 AM
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I always wore work clothes while commuting. I was lucky as my commute was mostly downhill to work and a train ride. I always wore nylon/synthetic or wool (winter)materials. Cotton would never dry easily. I would wear nylon hiking style pants, poly tops, all looking like regular clothing. I never wore lycra. I always kept a change of clothes at work in the event of hard rain.
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Old 01-10-19, 07:29 AM
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I don't commute in Lycra, but I don't commute in my work clothes, either.

My standard "kit" for cycling is gym shorts and inexpensive "dri-fit" type t shirts. In the rain, I use cycling specific rain pants and a cycling specific rain jacket because I live in Portland OR and cycling specific rain gear just works better. Some of my gloves are cycling specific, and some are not.

I do run clipless pedals and drop bars, but I don't own a road bike. I commute on a touring bike with racks and panniers or a cyclocross bike with racks when I'm feeling sporty. My commute is about 10km one way, so relatively short.

i have showers at my office and plenty of space to store clothes, shoes, towel, and Dopp kit.

Whatever works for someone is fine with me.
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Old 01-10-19, 07:40 AM
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I have a 3-mile one-way commute in coastal California AND I work in the software industry which has a super casual dress code. (Shorts and t-shirts are perfectly fine). We very rarely host customers or other VIPs at my site.

I personally don’t wear shorts or t-shirts, but I never wear a suit and tie either.

Still, even with this ideal commuting situation, I do appreciate Bluffworks products, especially their pants. They are made of a technical fabric and the company has acknowledged bike commuting in their designs.
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Old 01-10-19, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
I don't commute in Lycra, but I don't commute in my work clothes, either.

My standard "kit" for cycling is gym shorts and inexpensive "dri-fit" type t shirts. In the rain, I use cycling specific rain pants and a cycling specific rain jacket because I live in Portland OR and cycling specific rain gear just works better. Some of my gloves are cycling specific, and some are not.

I do run clipless pedals and drop bars, but I don't own a road bike. I commute on a touring bike with racks and panniers or a cyclocross bike with racks when I'm feeling sporty. My commute is about 10km one way, so relatively short.

i have showers at my office and plenty of space to store clothes, shoes, towel, and Dopp kit.

Whatever works for someone is fine with me.
What's with your username/handle?
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Old 01-10-19, 08:54 AM
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I work in a factory and cycle to work in work clothes. I wear nice jeans, a polo and shoes with no laces. I do wear a bright vest if the shirt or jacket isn't bright. I also change into the steel toes when I get there.
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Old 01-10-19, 09:14 AM
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It helps if you don’t ride through mud puddles on purpose.


Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
What's with your username/handle?
There are several universities where the students are called Aggies, most notably Texas A&M and New Mexico State but near here University of California at Davis.

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Old 01-10-19, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
That's a nice mutlimodal commute. Do you go with backpack or pannier. That commute would be prime backpack territory for me but I get a lot of blow back on BF from the pannier-only crowd.

Oops, do you take the bike or have a bike left outside on each end (that's what I'd do over here). If you take the bike, I can see the use of panniers.
My commute starts in New Jersey, where I live. I rent a bike locker at the train station, which costs me $90 per year. After the train ride I end up in New York City, where there is a bikeshare program (Citibike) and I have an annual membership of that. So the bike for the longer ride is my own, and it sits safe in a locker all day. The bike for the shorter ride is a different one every time --but they are all the same as far as I'm concerned.

I've been doing this for almost twenty years, and my technique has evolved. For a while I was doing the whole thing on a folding bike, which I would take on the train with me. For a while I used a bike with a rear rack and panniers, and at that time I kept a jacket in the bike locker. But I've now given up on the panniers, and I use a messenger bag.

Here's the bike in front of a row of lockers:

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Old 01-10-19, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
My commute starts in New Jersey, where I live. I rent a bike locker at the train station, which costs me $90 per year. After the train ride I end up in New York City, where there is a bikeshare program (Citibike) and I have an annual membership of that. So the bike for the longer ride is my own, and it sits safe in a locker all day. The bike for the shorter ride is a different one every time --but they are all the same as far as I'm concerned.

I've been doing this for almost twenty years, and my technique has evolved. For a while I was doing the whole thing on a folding bike, which I would take on the train with me. For a while I used a bike with a rear rack and panniers, and at that time I kept a jacket in the bike locker. But I've now given up on the panniers, and I use a messenger bag.

Here's the bike in front of a row of lockers:

Wow, those are really nice and I'm shocked that you have the space for those at only $7.50/mo or 25c/day :wow:
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Old 01-10-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
...lycra-clad wannabe racers...: "Are you in the lead mate?


You never should have told me that.
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Old 01-10-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Wow, those are really nice and I'm shocked that you have the space for those at only $7.50/mo or 25c/day :wow:
Oh, I am lucky, that's for sure! What you don't see is that the interior space is triangular; each rectangle is divided on the diagonal, and has a door at both ends.

For comparison, parking in the garage at the station costs $115/mo unreserved, $165/mo reserved. And that's to say nothing of the costs of owning a car.
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Old 01-10-19, 09:56 AM
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Thanks very much for all the replies guys. Good info on here about what people do when they are cycling to work. Does anyone have any more problems that they face when they are cycling to work.

Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
If other cyclists find Lycra more comfortable, why would you care?
I don't so much have an issue with Lycra and how people find it comfortable I just think in most of the cases I see around here It's a bit extra for what people are doing. IMO it just makes it seem more daunting to non-cyclists looking into cycling to work as it portrays the image that they have to be some super fit Lycra clad athlete that has all the kit, rather than just what they would normally wear riding a 'normal' bike. This is just my opinion for city/work cycling Lycra definitely has a place.
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Old 01-10-19, 10:11 AM
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This winter yes, I usually cycle to the office in work clothes, which for me are slacks, button down shirt and running shoes. I do keep a pair of dress shoes at work. The commute is 7.8 miles each way, including parking lots, when I take the Greenway as I usually do. I'm using a fixed gear road bike with a chain cover, & fenders, which helps immensely because I don't have to worry about oil stains or torn cuffs.

The issue is when it rains, or it has rained and there's mud and water everywhere, and I'll then switch to biking clothes and change at work. I'm fortunate to have access to a fitness center and showers if I need it, though I usually don't. That will change after it warms up and I'll be wearing jerseys, shorts etc on a regular road bike and change or shower every day.
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Old 01-10-19, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post


You never should have told me that.
I'm in NOLA the week after next (SUN through FRI), if you want a BF meet-up IRL. Maybe for a fat-soaked breakfast as I have a feeling there will many late nights at the conference.
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Old 01-10-19, 10:50 AM
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I wear bike specific stuff on my commute. It's 8+ miles so 30 minutes or so when pushing hard. Living in Phoenix also means that about 8 months of the year my morning commute is over 70 degrees, and 4 months of the year it is close to 90 degrees. Wearing work clothes wouldn't make sense since I would have to shower anyway.

In the summer I wear lycra shorts and either a jersey or a technical T-shirt, winter it will be either tights or mtb shorts sometimes with leg warmers, tech T, and arm warmers or jacket.

Even if sweat wasn't an issue, I find most non-riding pants/shorts to be uncomfortable on the seat. The seams just aren't in the best places and with the effort to find non-cycling clothes that are comfortable to ride in I may as well just go with cycling clothes.
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Old 01-10-19, 11:58 AM
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Depends. My direct one-way commute is about 4mi/6km. Most mornings I will ride from my house, drop my backpack with my lunch and office clothes, do an interval set or meet a buddy for a training ride, and then back to the office, shower, change, be presentable at my desk. On those days I'm wearing bibs, jersey, and whatever other necessary warmers, vest, gloves, etc. And then in the evening, I will usually just ride straight home in my office clothes. I won't even bother changing my shoes since my SPD-SL road pedals work fine as platforms for a short ride (as long as you're wearing rubber soled shoes). The only special equipment necessary for that is a velcro band to keep my pant cuffs out of the chain. (And that's not even necessary, since I could just tuck them into my socks.)

During the cool season (say from Nov. to March), I can also ride to work in my office clothes if it's dry and I'm not taking a training ride detour. If it's raining I prefer not to get my office clothes soaked. In the summer, it can already be over 80 at 8 am, and I will be soaked from sweat even from a short mellow ride.
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