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Transporting Work Clothes

Old 11-05-10, 10:34 AM
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Transporting Work Clothes

I've been commuting 3-4 days a week for about 5 months now and I'm ready to kick it up a notch and see how many consecutive days I can go. Normally, I bring about a week’s worth of clothes (bus casual) with me whenever I do drive. I am looking into a garment pannier bag such as the transit one form performance. Anyone have any suggestions about bags or other methods of getting clothes to the office?
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Old 11-05-10, 10:38 AM
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I currently just keep shoes and a belt at work, along with a tie and jacket for when the need arises, wear the same wool socks and undies I ride in, and carry my pants and a shirt rolled up in my rack trunk bag, along with my lunch.
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Old 11-05-10, 10:39 AM
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There are the garment bag panniers and they are very nice. I do business casual at my office and manage to get my clothes to work in a single pannier (with lunch and stuff in the other one). I fold up my shirt, then lay it, my underwear & socks, and my towel on the pants and roll them all up. It comes out at the other end reasonably wrinkle free (I don't think it would be any better in a garment bag pannier). I can use a locker room at work, so when I get there I simply take all that stuff out and I have my towel and underwear handy with the shirt, pants and socks ready to go.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:05 AM
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Iron clothes nicely, fold carefully, place random things inside (towel, underclothes) as they get rolled tighter, then pants, then shirt on the outside as it'll get rolled less. Then into my trunk bag, backpack, or side panniers. I put them in, ride 35 min to work and they come out just as nice as they went in. Hang them in a small closet at work and they stay nice a long time.
I sweat easily so I do a full change every day to ride to/from. The clothes stay at work all week and only get worn at work so they get little use/dirt.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:22 AM
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+1 on rolling. Works with pants, sweaters, and shirts that aren't ironed.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:28 AM
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Yeah, I just bring mine each day too. +1 on the rolling.

Having forgot to bring a pair of pants one day, I've since learned to keep a spare change of clothes at work just in case. I always leave my work shoes at work.

As far as hauling goes, I have a cycling specific backpack but I've used panniers and messenger bags too. Having to bring just one change of clothes gives you lots of options but in the winter I need something with a fair amount of capacity. Those sweaters can take up a lot of room.

Last edited by tjspiel; 11-05-10 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Yeah, I just bring mine each day too. +1 on the rolling.

Having forgot to bring a pair of pants one day, I've since learned to keep a spare change of clothes at work just in case. I always leave my work shoes at work.
Can't stress the spare set of clothes at work enough....Murphy happens.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:45 AM
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Yeah, i need to figure this out too. I've been hauling just the day's clothes every day in a big side pannier. Its like a sail on windy days. I do leave my shoes at work since they are the heaviest thing I have to carry. The worst thing I have forgotten was underwear. I wore my fancy padded shorts on the bike.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:59 AM
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I carry my stuff every day and don't keep spares at work. Never had an issue unless you count that one day I had to go commando.
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Old 11-05-10, 11:59 AM
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I carry slacks, shirt, socks, underwear, and a tie most days in my panniers, folded and rolled. My lunch actually goes in on top of them, and no problems yet. I will admit that I prefer permanent press shirts for day to day work wear, to avoid excessive wrinkling, but even my 100% cotton ones do fine (unless you're super picky).

I keep a suit, a sport coat and slacks, 2 belts and some extra ties hanging on my office door. 2 pairs of shoes grace a spot on the floor. One drawer in my desk has spare everything else (just checked -- 4 dress shirts, one more pair of slacks, undershirts, underwear, socks, and a couple of additional ties -- and a pair of shorts and t-shirt to ride home in, just in case, I guess) This seems a bit excessive even to me, so I'm thinking it is time to thin my clothing herd a little... but maybe I'll wait a while and see how water resistant my panniers are ;-)
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Old 11-05-10, 12:00 PM
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I make a car trip each Saturday while I am out running errands. All the clothes I will need are at work, bring the used ones home to wash.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:12 PM
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I dress very casually at work so I just carry my daily change of clothes with me every day in panniers. I just keep few pairs of sneakers, belt, toiletries and some spare clothing at work. Driving once a week to resupply is um.. cheating a bit But whatever works for you.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:25 PM
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Lots of good suggestions here. Keep 'em coming. I have a 25 mile roundtrip so I'd like to be able to bring about a week's worth of clothes. I sometimes ride my mountain bike (usually only if I'm riding with a coworker who's on a mountain bike). Mostly, I'm on a road bike so I can get on the road bike and get some real miles in most mornings.

I think I'll be putting a rack on the mountain bike and hall clothes once a week. Sounds like rolling in regular panniers is the way to go. Any recs on a good set of panniers and/or rack?
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Old 11-05-10, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wisaunders View Post
Lots of good suggestions here. Keep 'em coming. I have a 25 mile roundtrip so I'd like to be able to bring about a week's worth of clothes. I sometimes ride my mountain bike (usually only if I'm riding with a coworker who's on a mountain bike). Mostly, I'm on a road bike so I can get on the road bike and get some real miles in most mornings.

I think I'll be putting a rack on the mountain bike and hall clothes once a week. Sounds like rolling in regular panniers is the way to go. Any recs on a good set of panniers and/or rack?
Personally I used Vaude panniers and a blackburn rack for years. Left jacket, a couples of pairs of pants, shoes and belt at work and brought about three or four days worth of shirts, underwear, socks in the panniers so that on the intervening days I could go in on my road bike, unencumbered. Worked well.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:36 PM
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I love riding with panniers. IMHO, it's the best way to commute. I have waterproof Axiom front AND rear panniers. I have lots of options, very flexible: I can keep my Airzound bottle and Magishine batteries in the front panniers, I have enough room to stop do some grocery shopping, etc.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:40 PM
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Old 11-05-10, 01:18 PM
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Nashbar ATB panniers work great for me. Put some garbage bags in them for waterproof liners and you're good to go.
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Old 11-05-10, 01:33 PM
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I keep a spare set of clothes at work, and bring my daily wear rolled in panniers. I never needed the spares for having forgotten something, but once, on a lunchtime walk, a hidden waterline leak prompted me to slip in a patch of swampy-wet grass and slung mud all over my trousers. It was very nice to have a spare set to change into for the rest of the day.
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Old 11-05-10, 02:10 PM
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I've been commuting to a business casual office for 5+ years. I keep a spare set of clothes at work, along with my shoes and belt. Each day I fold my work clothes inside my pants (folded in thirds), place that into my pannier or messenger bag, then put my lunch box in the bag. I've used a Chrome Citizen messenger bag most days. Recently I've been using a single rear pannier more often. An Ortleib Back Roller would be perfect for my clothes, lunch, and bike tool kit. However, I use a Jandd Mountain pannier with a 20L dry bag inside (because that's what I've got). The messenger bag keeps things organized and non-wrinkled, and it's easy to get everything in and out. The down side of the messenger bag is a sweaty back and my eyeglass mirror can't see past it. The pannier is a little slower to get things into and out of, but the bike ride is more pleasant.
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Old 11-05-10, 02:23 PM
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I think I'm going to go with the Ortlieb Backroller Classic Panniers (Orange) with a Blackburn EX-1 Expedition Rack. I'm always a sucker for products with classic in the name, plus the orange is going to look pretty sweet with the orange accents on my frame.

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Old 11-05-10, 02:24 PM
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Holy crap, that's a huge picture! Sorry
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Old 11-05-10, 07:03 PM
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I used panniers and Eagle Creek folder to keep everything nice. Had a fitness center at work so I kept a locker with shoes, belt etc....now I commute to coffee and watch others go to work....
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Old 11-06-10, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wisaunders View Post
Lots of good suggestions here. Keep 'em coming. I have a 25 mile roundtrip so I'd like to be able to bring about a week's worth of clothes.
Just a thought -- I never bring my work shirts home, I take them to the dry cleaner across the street from work. I don't wear them at home, why bother storing them at home and schlepping them back and forth?

I use a cube-wall hanger that holds two weeks of dress shirts, suit, blazer, etc.

I commute with just one pannier, which gives plenty of room for slacks, laptop, socks and underwear, etc.
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Old 11-06-10, 02:04 PM
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I used to carry my clothes daily. Rolling them up works really well. The one downside was that I had to use a bike with a rack every day.

I changed locations last March and now have a locker. I haul in the week's worth of clothes on Monday, and haul them home on Thursday. (I have four-day work week.) On Tuesday and Wednesday I have the freedom being able to ride any bike I want. I found that my crit bike is just a hoot to ride in the daily cut-and-thrust of downtown traffic. My century bike is just as nice to ride across town to work as it is to ride all day long. And I still have my two commuters to choose from.


I use a pair of Ortlieb Sport Packer Plus in commute-friendly yellow. A week's worth of work clothes (rolled), and a week's worth of snacks fit comfortably inside. There's still room for a library book or two, (occupational hazard) and if necessary, I can add my trunk bag on top.

Last edited by tsl; 11-06-10 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 11-06-10, 02:06 PM
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Even better than rolling is the "bundle-folding" method. It is explained very well here. It works best when you use a whole week's worth of clothes. I am VERY finicky about my ironed shirts (I get asked a couple of times a year who "does" my shirts), and they come out fine. I only wear 100% cotton dress shirts, and they do fine as long as they are on the outside of the roll.

Bundle folding doesn't let creases get into the fabric, so it works very well for putting in a pannier. My bundle goes directly into a Arkel Utility basket one day a week.

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