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Further Questions on Cycling in Work Clothes

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Further Questions on Cycling in Work Clothes

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Old 02-06-19, 04:24 AM
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oj.
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Further Questions on Cycling in Work Clothes

Following up on a question I asked a couple of weeks ago regarding cycling to work in work clothes I have some more questions to ask. You donít need to have responded to the original thread to answer these and of course if you responded to the original thread then donít feel obligated to respond to this. This time Iím looking for more hard-core data rather than opinions.

Iím thinking of designing a bike bag purpose designed for people who change at work and cycle in alternative clothing. At the moment itís looking like it will be a bike mounted bag rather than a backpack or body mounted bag (to reduce sweating for those who donít have showers at work). Although if it looks like a body mounted is superior then Iíll run with that. This bike mounted bag may have carrying features to allow it to be moved from the bike and carried around the office or workplace

Anyway the questions I have are:
  • How old are you?
  • How much would you spend on a bike bag (of reasonable quality)?
  • What are the sort of items do you carry daily or would you like to carry?
  • What is your weekly work clothing consumption (e.g shirt every day, two days etc.)?
  • If you currently carry stuff to work what is your preferred method?
  • Do you have storage available to you at work?
  • Do you have large issues with your current luggage system (if you are using one)?
  • What sort of things do you look for in luggage systems that you will use whilst riding you bike?
  • Does weather affect how you ride to work?

Donít feel like you have to answer all of these questions and thank you for any questions that you do take the time to answer.

Original post - Cycling In work clothes.
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Old 02-06-19, 04:39 AM
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Um - many workplaces have change rooms, showers etc so you can leave your work clothes there. I've done that in a miscellany of places, usually taking all I require in on Mondays for the week in a backpack.

I don't wish to be negative, but I suspect most people are like myself, so a purpose designed bag would seem superfluous.
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Old 02-06-19, 05:01 AM
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Don't worry about being negative

Don't worry about being negative I need honest feedback for this. At the moment I'm trying to find something to improve cycling to a job that requires formal dress. It's a high school portfolio project and unfortunately I need to make it work so as long I can show some Improvement in what currently exists then I'm all good. I can see where you're coming from as far as a specific bag goes, my main argument against backpacks is from my personal experience of them causing a lot of back sweat when they're heavily loaded and I'm riding my bike.
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Old 02-06-19, 05:23 AM
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  • How old are you? 42
  • How much would you spend on a bike bag (of reasonable quality)? Ä100 on an ARC'TERYX SPEAR 20L rucksack in 2010. Probably nearly 1000 commutes. Zipper just broke (has nearly 10000 zips in it). Excellent purchase.
  • What are the sort of items do you carry daily or would you like to carry? 13.3" MBP. Bike lock. Lights. Keys. Wallet. Passport. Lunch in an IKEA 365+ box. Groceries on the way home for the next 24-48h. It's a rolltop which is excellent for baguettes/long items. Can fit rolled trousers, shirt and extra shoes as well.
  • What is your weekly work clothing consumption (e.g shirt every day, two days etc.)? Usually 2-3 trousers / 7 sets of undergarments (socks/briefs) / 2 dress shirts / 2 T-shirts is the usual work-based wash. Also, shoes/blazers/bowties/overcoat/watch employed but not washed regularly.
  • If you currently carry stuff to work what is your preferred method? As per above, 20L rucksack.
  • Do you have storage available to you at work? Office/research lab/shower/washing/drying facilities.
  • Do you have large issues with your current luggage system (if you are using one)? No, it's brilliant for multimodal commute that involve trains/planes/hovercraft/cars. Much better than the Ortlieb panniers wanna be rucksacks that are totally uncomfortable on the back.
  • What sort of things do you look for in luggage systems that you will use whilst riding you bike? Back in best. Traveling through London often on the tube, I need both hands free. Also, a backpack that fits under are airline seat is a necessity. It should also fit in the small luggage rack on the London-area trains and ICE/TGV/X2000.
  • Does weather affect how you ride to work? It doesn't, I just bought an excellent raincoat that I get a huge number of complements upon. I keep a hair dryer at work to dry my clothes while they remain on if the rain is excessive.
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Old 02-06-19, 06:00 AM
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Further Questions on Cycling in Work Clothes
Originally Posted by oj. View Post
...I’m thinking of designing a bike bag purpose designed for people who change at work and cycle in alternative clothing. At the moment it’s looking like it will be a bike mounted bag rather than a backpack or body mounted bag (to reduce sweating for those who don’t have showers at work).

Although if it looks like a body mounted is superior then I’ll run with that. This bike mounted bag may have carrying features to allow it to be moved from the bike and carried around the office or workplace.
Being really speculative, thinking outside the box, how about a tall pole on the rear rack with a secure hook from which a pressed suit, pants or shirts(s) could hang properly on clothes hangers as in a closet. Then a brightly colored garment bag to cover them for protection, and perhaps some kind of band to hold the bag close to the pole so it doesn't flap in the breeze.

The highly placed bright garment bag would act as a banner for visibility. The drag produced by the bag would act as a sail to increase the workout of the commute if so desired, especially on a short commute, and the clothes would stay flat and pressed.

Frankly though, my workplace accommodates me well, as I previously posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I have shower facilities and can store clean clothes at work, though usually I wear scrub shirts and pants, I don’t have much close interaction with staff, and they would let me know if I offended…

If I have to wear regular clothes though, I always want to take a shower.
So if I wanted to wear nice clothes for work or a special event, I would want shower facilities, and if provided, storage space would likely also be available. I drive in occasionally to bring in the nice clothes as needed. FWIW.
Originally Posted by avole View Post
Um - many workplaces have change rooms, showers etc so you can leave your work clothes there. I've done that in a miscellany of places, usually taking all I require in on Mondays for the week in a backpack.

I don't wish to be negative, but I suspect most people are like myself, so a purpose designed bag would seem superfluous.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 02-06-19 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 02-06-19, 07:23 AM
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I'm 56.

As mentioned in another thread on this subject, I ride about 9 km to a train station, where I leave my bike in a sealed locker while I take the train into the city. The locker costs me $90 annually, which is about 9% of what it would cost to park a car at the same station, and of course it frees me of the necessity of owning a car. So if I have to spend a couple hundred dollars to make it possible for me to commute by bike, it's worth it. There is no theoretical limit. But I'm a cheapskate by nature and I'm generally reluctant to spend much if I can avoid it. So, that said... I have a handlebar bag on my bike, that I also use for randonneuring; they cost around $200 and if I had to get another one, I would spend that much again. I also carry a messenger bag on the bike. I have to get a new one every couple years... and that's another $100 or so.

I carry a fleece pullover in case I get cold on the train (I usually do), some work to do on the train or a book to read, sometimes a laptop, and a bunch of other stuff that gets into my bag and i forget to take it out

Clean shirt every day, clean pants almost every day.

I've been doing this long enough that I have the system worked out pretty well. I'm not saying it's perfect, but it seems to be as good as it's going to get and I'm not actively trying to improve it any more.

As for the weather, yes, it affects me. It was so cold last week I took two days off, rather than ride. That usually happens one or two days each winter. I also expect snow to keep me home one or two days each winter. If I have to take a day off, I can; I am lucky to have that luxury. In the past I have also taken days off because the rain was too heavy; but now that I have started using a rain poncho, I haven't had to do that.
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Old 02-06-19, 11:04 AM
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  • Age - 58
  • For a GOOD convertible pannier/backpack with laptop/tablet compartment, I'd consider $75-100. Poss. more if made in US, or made by people paid fairly for their work
  • Daily carry - lunch in glass jars in a lunch tote, 1.5L water in steel bottle, tablet or laptop, pocket-size camera, misc. bits (pen, cables, etc)
  • Clothing - I commute in my office duds, but an option to carry a day or two's change of clothes would be good.
  • Preferred Method - convertible backpack/pannier
  • Storage - available, but likely to change in near future (office reset)
  • Issues - no one has come up with a good, affordable combination of important features (see next point). Major issues are cr@ptastic mounting systems and little/no attention paid to heel clearance
  • Features looking for:
    • Easy reliable pannier-to-backpack conversion. See next point (weather); I frequently switch from bike to bus from one day to the next, sometimes even on the same day
    • Pannier mode - enough "offset" on lower mount/hook to allow heel clearance
    • Pannier mode - one-hand remove/install
    • Pannier mode - should not be so floppy as to allow aft corner to flop into spokes
    • Backpack mode - chest or above-waist cross-strap, so it's at least somewhat stable when I'm "trotting" to catch a bus (not that I'm ever running late.....)
    • Laptop/tablet compartment with separate access from the main compartment
    • A few small compartments for one-off carries of small items, similar to a typical school backpack or traditional laptop bag.
    • Side net for coffee travel mug
    • Bonus - compartment for U-lock and/or pump
    • Bonus - Removeable high-vis cover
  • Weather - always a factor. See any thread in this section, or the Winter Cycling section.
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Old 02-06-19, 11:14 AM
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So far, this thread delivers with well-thought responses. Nice job for the OP. As an example, I'm not a pannier guy for the reasons mentioned by the previous poster. The convertable pannier has been around a while, but it hasn't been cracked (and if Ortlieb can't do it; I'd imagine it's unsolvable.)
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Old 02-06-19, 01:50 PM
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When I worked I had a locker and shower for the last 20 years. I would run by clothes, neatly pressed on hangars once a week. I used a trunk bag on a rear rack for food, tool kit and bringing home dirty clthes daily. At one point I added Wald steel pannier baskets and they worked fine too. My job was about 3.5 miles from work but with road conditions and weather permitting I tried for around 20 daily by finding different routes. I could have driven in 10 minutes but found the bike commute to be great for stress and overall health. I have commuted in sub zero weather but the combo of ice and cold kept me to the short route. I didn't have one until the last couple years of work, but my Brompton became my favorite as carrying extra weight on the front, attached to the frame, actually improved the handling.
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Old 02-08-19, 01:34 AM
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  • How old are you? 41
  • How much would you spend on a bike bag (of reasonable quality)? A hundred bucks is a nice round number. I think my old top bag came from Amazon and was a lot less, the custom frame bag from Rogue Panda was a lot more.
  • What are the sort of items do you carry daily or would you like to carry? Tools, lock, lunch, rain jacket, first aid kit.
  • What is your weekly work clothing consumption (e.g shirt every day, two days etc.)? I work at a professional job but have really slouched off on my attire the last few years. I ride to work in jeans and a t-shirt and that's what I wear. I keep button shirts handy (my "engineer costume") and reload them on occasional car trips.
  • If you currently carry stuff to work what is your preferred method? Split of frame bag for heavy stuff I always carry, and Camelback for daily stuff and water
  • Do you have storage available to you at work? I have my own cubicle. I have somewhere to stash the bike inside and usually do if it's not too grungy. Locking bike boxes are available but I don't know if anyone is using them. We are slated to lose our fence and gate guards in the next year or so, and I'll probably start using them then.
  • Do you have large issues with your current luggage system (if you are using one)? No. Or rather, now I have one custom bike packing bag and I want more that match. I guess that's kind of a problem.
  • What sort of things do you look for in luggage systems that you will use whilst riding you bike? Adequate size. Expandable. Not floppy. Waterproof exterior, fluorescent interior
  • Does weather affect how you ride to work? Not much, I live where it's nice outside. If it's definitely going to rain I might take another pair of pants.
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Old 02-08-19, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Further Questions on Cycling in Work Clothes
Being really speculative, thinking outside the box, how about a tall pole on the rear rack with a secure hook from which a pressed suit, pants or shirts(s) could hang properly on clothes hangers as in a closet. Then a brightly colored garment bag to cover them for protection, and perhaps some kind of band to hold the bag close to the pole so it doesn't flap in the breeze.

The highly placed bright garment bag would act as a banner for visibility. The drag produced by the bag would act as a sail to increase the workout of the commute if so desired, especially on a short commute, and the clothes would stay flat and pressed.
Well that would certainly be abstract lol. At the moment anything floats as I have to provide 'evidence' for why things are bad. All the formalities are a real PIA
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Old 02-08-19, 03:53 PM
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This is great info guys I'm sure it will satisfy the criteria for the assignment. Thanks for taking the time to help me out here, I would be pretty stuck without you.
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Old 02-09-19, 05:16 PM
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How old are you?
72

How much would you spend on a bike bag (of reasonable quality)?
$500 for good, durable, easy to open/close panniers with room for a laptop and groceries in addition to normal rain/cold gear

What are the sort of items do you carry daily or would you like to carry?
Overcoat, overpants, overshoes. Sometimes, I pick up something from the store on the way home and that goes in the panniers.

What is your weekly work clothing consumption (e.g shirt every day, two days etc.)?
New shirt every day

If you currently carry stuff to work what is your preferred method?
Carry rain gear in pannier.

Do you have storage available to you at work?
Yes

Do you have large issues with your current luggage system (if you are using one)?
Zipper on one pannier no longer works. Panniers won't carry laptop. I am required to use a special secure laptop and it would be more good if it would fit in pannier instead of on my shoulder on those rare occasions when I must take it home.

What sort of things do you look for in luggage systems that you will use whilst riding you bike?
Long term durability and convenience. I cycle because it is more convenient than driving, so convenience always trumps cost.

Does weather affect how you ride to work?
If it is raining, snowing, or cold, I wear the overgarments over my office clothing.
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Old 02-09-19, 06:16 PM
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  • How old are you? - 59.5, been cycle-commuting for awhile
  • How much would you spend on a bike bag (of reasonable quality)? $25 or $30
  • What are the sort of items do you carry daily or would you like to carry? work clothes, lunch, sometimes spare jacket & gloves, laptop
  • What is your weekly work clothing consumption (e.g shirt every day, two days etc.)? two days per outer clothing article
  • If you currently carry stuff to work what is your preferred method? Have rack trunk bag, several handlebar bags, side-mount (hooks on rack) laptop bag
  • Do you have storage available to you at work? yes, I have file cabinets at work that I store clothes in
  • Do you have large issues with your current luggage system (if you are using one)? Have no issues at all currently
  • What sort of things do you look for in luggage systems that you will use whilst riding you bike? 1. convenience. attaching, removing, carrying around. On road bike: 2. has no hardware on bike. 3. light weight, does not hamper aerodymanics & handling.
  • Does weather affect how you ride to work? very much so
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Old 02-10-19, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulH View Post

How much would you spend on a bike bag (of reasonable quality)?
$500 for good, durable, easy to open/close panniers with room for a laptop and groceries in addition to normal rain/cold gear
Was "$500" a typo?
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Old 02-10-19, 10:02 PM
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How old are you?
51

How much would you spend on a bike bag (of reasonable quality)?
$200 for waterproof (I'm in the Pacific Northwest)

What are the sort of items do you carry daily or would you like to carry?
Towel, work clothes, deoderant

What is your weekly work clothing consumption (e.g shirt every day, two days etc.)?
Daily shirt, every other day pants, every day undergarments

If you currently carry stuff to work what is your preferred method?
Axiom Panniers

Do you have storage available to you at work?
Sort of. I keep my bike in my office, panniers stay on.

Do you have large issues with your current luggage system (if you are using one)?
Sometimes. They're not waterproof, though they're advertised as such.

What sort of things do you look for in luggage systems that you will use whilst riding you bike?
Waterproof. It's kind of a big deal in the Pacific Northwest.

Does weather affect how you ride to work?
Absolutely. Ice with slush on top is unreasonable to ride on. (I'm not running spiked tires.)
When the wind blows hard, loads of tree branches fall on the unlighted trail. It's dangerous, especially in the dark when it's raining.

My commute is around 12 miles each way, fairly hilly. We don't have showers at work, I bought a membership at a gym about two blocks from the office. It'll be a bigger deal when the weather warms up.

John
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