Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Short, 4-mile commute; how will jeans work?

Notices
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.

Short, 4-mile commute; how will jeans work?

Old 11-12-08, 01:02 AM
  #1  
iDevourPie
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
iDevourPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Short, 4-mile commute; how will jeans work?

Hi everybody, I'm new to these forums and to cycling in general. I plan to get a road bike (something like a Giant TCR, OCR, or something similar) for exercise and maybe riding to school. My problem is that I don't know what I can wear for just a short, 4-mile commute. This is important because I don't think I can bring a change of clothes. So here are my questions:

1. Does a backpack work well with biking on a road bike?

2. Are jeans and a t-shirt ok for a really short commute assuming that I'll ride in something like 60 degree weather at like 10-15 mph? (chafing, sweat, etc)

I'm in shape from running cross country if that matters...and my legs look more like a cyclist's than a runners somehow. Weird quads.

Thanks

Last edited by iDevourPie; 11-12-08 at 01:06 AM.
iDevourPie is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 01:17 AM
  #2  
tjspiel
Senior Member
 
tjspiel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 8,097
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
I'm sure you'll be fine in jeans at that temp and pace.

A lot of people prefer racks and panniers but since you're likely to be carrying your stuff with you once you get to school anyway then a backpack or messenger bag may be your best bet. You'll want a backpack that has a strap that secures around your waist.

It all comes down to comfort. If you're carrying a lot of books, that may be tough on your back. You may also end up being more sweaty.

My commute is about 7 miles and I use a messenger bag. As long as I pack it well it's comfortable. Usually I carry a light laptop, clothes, and lunch plus a few misc items. Probably ends up being well under 10 lbs.
tjspiel is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 01:27 AM
  #3  
antchen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: MIT
Posts: 142

Bikes: Black Sheep

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I find jeans to be fine. I would just be sure to have some way to secure your right pant leg so that it doesn't find itself as food for your chain rings.
antchen is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 01:36 AM
  #4  
markjenn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,160
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 154 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 10 Posts
I have a 2.5-mile commute each way with some hills. I wear jeans (with some metal clips to keep them out of the chain) and other casual street clothes in temperate weather. I sometimes come in a little warm, but never seriously sweaty. I try and keep a very deliberate pace on the way in and push a bit harder coming home.

Not fond of backpacks though - I use a messenger bag. My main commuter has a rack, but I sometimes take my CX bike or mountain bike in which event I just sling the bag over my shoulder or get by with a fanny pack.

I do wear SPD shoes and keep a spare set of shoes at work.

- Mark
markjenn is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 01:38 AM
  #5  
jbucky1
Senior Member
 
jbucky1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: portland, Ore
Posts: 397

Bikes: Moots Routt

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 20 Posts
4 miles, i'm sure jeans will be fine. Wish I had 4 miles
Backpacks work fine.
Buy a good lock. You will not regret spending the extra cash on a good one. Kryptonite Evolution would be my suggestion.
jbucky1 is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 01:39 AM
  #6  
superstator
Man about town
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 105

Bikes: '04 Giant OCR1, '85 Team Fuji

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd bring a change of undies at least. Avoiding jungle crotch is well worth stuffing some extra boxers in your backpack and changing in the restroom...
superstator is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 01:43 AM
  #7  
starseeka
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 28
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've never had any problems riding in jeans. I definitely would recommend a rack though. It's amazing how much less sweaty I am if i strap my backpack down with some bungee cords compared to actually wearing it.
starseeka is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 01:50 AM
  #8  
GTALuigi
Senior Member
 
GTALuigi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: GTA
Posts: 764

Bikes: Dahon Mu SL 08 / Matrix 08

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
i use jeans all the time, even at these times of the freezing year.
and no over top nor under neath protection for warm.
just good old plain jeans

we'll see how lower temp it can hold without adding another layer
GTALuigi is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 02:07 AM
  #9  
Sirrus Rider
Velocommuter Commando
 
Sirrus Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,676

Bikes: '88 Specialized Sirrus, '89 Alpine Monitor Pass, two '70 Raligh Twenties, '07 Schwinn Town & Country Trike, '07 Specialized Sirrus Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by iDevourPie View Post
Hi everybody, I'm new to these forums and to cycling in general. I plan to get a road bike (something like a Giant TCR, OCR, or something similar) for exercise and maybe riding to school. My problem is that I don't know what I can wear for just a short, 4-mile commute. This is important because I don't think I can bring a change of clothes. So here are my questions:

1. Does a backpack work well with biking on a road bike?

2. Are jeans and a t-shirt ok for a really short commute assuming that I'll ride in something like 60 degree weather at like 10-15 mph? (chafing, sweat, etc)

I'm in shape from running cross country if that matters...and my legs look more like a cyclist's than a runners somehow. Weird quads.

Thanks
Jeans would work for that short of a distance as well as a backpack. Anything over 5 miles I'd start thinking about a rack and panniers as well as cycle specific clothing even if it meant living with my spandex under street clothes.

Last edited by Sirrus Rider; 11-12-08 at 02:07 AM. Reason: spelling
Sirrus Rider is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 02:17 AM
  #10  
Obstinate
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 76
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
man, people here act like you'll immediately burn to death from the chafing while riding in jeans. Man, I ride everywhere in Jeans. My commute to and from school is 8 1/2 miles round trip, and I ride in jeans fine. Just make sure to cuff up your right pant leg and let all the nasty grease get stuck in there instead of on the side that shows. And get a messenger bag Backpacks suck ass for riding; they make your shoulders overkill. At least with a mess bag only one of them hurts. Plus messenger bags are all the rage these days, so you'll probably get compliments and the like with them.
Obstinate is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 02:35 AM
  #11  
the_joncarlo
Member
 
the_joncarlo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Los Feliz, CA
Posts: 31

Bikes: 2009 Mercier Kilo TT - Green

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a 4 mile commute to work that 3 out of 5 days is taken with my Kilo TT. I ride with jeans everyday at a fairly quick pace, and cover flats as well as hills. Jeans are fine, and as far as your pack, it's a personal comfort thing. If you're used to the backpack, stick with it, you'll be solid either way. But do make sure to cuff up your pant leg, because ripped up pants make for a bad start to any day.
the_joncarlo is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 02:55 AM
  #12  
ascend
free mallocs
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: melbourne, australia
Posts: 520
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you wear slimmer fitting jeans you won't have to mess around rolling up/tucking in/strapping down
ascend is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 03:08 AM
  #13  
iDevourPie
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
iDevourPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sweet. Thanks for all the tips.
iDevourPie is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 04:52 AM
  #14  
Torrilin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 1,522
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Some bikes eat pants more than others. If there's a ring guard on your bike, it will be *much* better behaved than a regular bike. Some double chainring setups have space for a ring guard, so it might be worth looking into.
Torrilin is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 07:52 AM
  #15  
VolGirl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 201
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Most jeans have flat felled seams, so they should be OK for commuting. It's pants that have a regular seams, that aren't sewn down, that have a potential for rubbing. Not all of them will either, but when you hit that pair, it's miserable.
VolGirl is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 09:07 AM
  #16  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,696

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 536 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1825 Post(s)
Liked 330 Times in 218 Posts
Jeans are fine. It depends a lot on your saddle; jeans work particularly well with a hard saddle (leather is good) because there's less friction between saddle and pants.

It's good to do something to keep the cuffs from snagging on crank &c. I use velcro reflective straps, but you can also pull your socks up over your pant cuffs. This look goes especially well with a tweed jacket with leather patches on the elbows. They'll think you're a college professor!
rhm is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 09:15 AM
  #17  
Tobias Greenich
Lone-Star-Fred
 
Tobias Greenich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Arizona: Oven of the US
Posts: 154

Bikes: 08 Motobecane Fantom CX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by superstator View Post
I'd bring a change of undies at least. Avoiding jungle crotch is well worth stuffing some extra boxers in your backpack and changing in the restroom...
Listen to this. A change of undies and a change of shirt. Commuting with a backpack works just fine, remember to tighten the straps to snug to keep them from shifting too much. Carry a second shirt to replace the first sweaty, wet one when you get there. Also carry deoderant.
Tobias Greenich is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 09:16 AM
  #18  
savethekudzu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 575
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Jeans worked fine for me, 6 miles in, this morning.

60 degree weather combined with moderately brisk riding can have you sweating pretty heavily: my rule is to consider the "felt temperature" when riding to be 20 degrees higher than the thermometer temperature. My ride in was in 40-45 F weather, and lightweight, close-fitting jeans (plus a long-sleeved T-shirt) were great for that.

It would be appropriate to stuff a change of shirt into your bag. Heavy jeans tend to absorb moisture and odors more than lightweight jeans do, so consider that as well.
savethekudzu is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 10:03 AM
  #19  
Ka_Jun
Who farted?
 
Ka_Jun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 1,287

Bikes: '06 K2 Zed 3.0, '09 Novara Buzz V

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Jeans suck. Better hope it doesn't rain.
Ka_Jun is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 10:12 AM
  #20  
gamecat
Hoopy Frood
 
gamecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 457

Bikes: Trek 7.3fx, Peugeot PX-10, Fuji Roubaix Pro ('04), Cannondale R600, Triumph Roadsters, Raleigh 20, Univega Nuovo Sport, Schwinn Sierra, Bianchi Osprey, Peugeot NS-22, Batavus Champion, Haro Pulse.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Depending upon the conditions, you might find a featherweight under-layer beneath denim makes you more comfortable and in fact keeps you cooler rather than the reverse (which is what you might expect.) Not necessarily spandex or lycra, either.

I like the lightest weight of Patagonia Capilene, myself.

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/bookings..._1_bottoms.htm

Carry a pair of shorts/briefs/dayglo g-string to change into at work/school. Comfier riding and no crotch rot.

BTW, if you're riding to a school that has dorms, you might look into getting an assigned locker somewhere and access to the laundry facilities. Makes things even easier.

Last edited by gamecat; 11-12-08 at 10:18 AM.
gamecat is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 10:40 AM
  #21  
charles vail
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 987
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
the old days

Originally Posted by iDevourPie View Post
Hi everybody, I'm new to these forums and to cycling in general. I plan to get a road bike (something like a Giant TCR, OCR, or something similar) for exercise and maybe riding to school. My problem is that I don't know what I can wear for just a short, 4-mile commute. This is important because I don't think I can bring a change of clothes. So here are my questions:

1. Does a backpack work well with biking on a road bike?

2. Are jeans and a t-shirt ok for a really short commute assuming that I'll ride in something like 60 degree weather at like 10-15 mph? (chafing, sweat, etc)

I'm in shape from running cross country if that matters...and my legs look more like a cyclist's than a runners somehow. Weird quads.

Thanks
When I was a child we didn't have 'fancy pants' for riding a bicycle. Levi's and Chuck Taylor's coupled with any shirt we had on were the norm. Not even gloves or a helmet (imagine that) and we rode everywhere on one speed bikes, unless we were lucky to have a genuine ten speed. Mountain bikes? Not invented yet! None of us died or lost skin from our crotch........heck we didn't even think about these things. We just used our bikes to get around, go fishing, ride to the store for candy or go to a friends house to play football. Our rides varied from about 1-10 miles and as much as 40 on occasion as we got older. Strap all your books on a rack or inside a saddle bag or front bag, then you don't have to get extra sweaty or have the load constantly shifting around on your back. Messenger bags always remind me of an old woman's purse!!! Buy a bike that can take fenders and a rack.........perhaps a cyclocross or touring style for a more versatile ride.

Sorry but these types of questions make me shake my head in disbelief!
charles vail is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 10:44 AM
  #22  
gamecat
Hoopy Frood
 
gamecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 457

Bikes: Trek 7.3fx, Peugeot PX-10, Fuji Roubaix Pro ('04), Cannondale R600, Triumph Roadsters, Raleigh 20, Univega Nuovo Sport, Schwinn Sierra, Bianchi Osprey, Peugeot NS-22, Batavus Champion, Haro Pulse.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You must be one of those famed Oregon Trail riders.

gamecat is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 10:48 AM
  #23  
charles vail
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 987
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Orygun

Originally Posted by gamecat View Post
You must be one of those famed Oregon Trail riders.

Yes........that's the state I did much of my riding in.
charles vail is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 01:18 PM
  #24  
HiYoSilver
Rides again
 
HiYoSilver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: SW. Sacramento Region, aka, down river
Posts: 3,282

Bikes: Giant OCR T, Trek SC

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
There are jeans and then there are jeans. The best for riding are not the heavy duty style but more the flexible stretch style jeans. They may be harder to find, but they are very nice to ride it. If riding in wet conditions, should plan on having slipon outerwear available.
HiYoSilver is offline  
Old 11-12-08, 01:25 PM
  #25  
thdave
Senior Member
 
thdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,242
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
4 miles is maybe 15 to 20 minutes, right? Jeans are perfect. Don't get this.
thdave is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.