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Old 05-19-07, 02:32 PM   #1
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How to dress well while riding on a bicycle

I am normally a mountain biker and have been recreational riding in the city and commuting to work. When I ride I wear khaki shorts, t-shirt (cotton) and running shoes. The shorts and shoes are ok in my opinion but I'm looking for some shirts that are comfortable to ride in south Texas and that have some style. What kind of clothes do you wear and where do you shop? I'd like cycling clothes that look like everyday casual clothes, or even business casual, if that's possible. I don't want to look like I'm riding in the Tour de France! As for shoes, any casual shoes that you can cycle in?
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Old 05-19-07, 02:59 PM   #2
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You can ride in anything -- when I lived in Europe I commuted to work by bike in my work clothes, just made sure the pant legs were tucked in, or the skirt didn't flap around too much. But you will be more comfortable in pants that don't have thick seams at the crotch (not jeans) or ones that are not cotton, so won't get damp and clammy if it rains, or if you work up a south Texas sweat. And there are sports shirts, or golf shirts that look quite decent, and are not made of cotton which work better for riding too. Stiffer shoes are better, because they transfer power to the pedals better, but I commuted in dress shoes. Germany was cooler than south Texas though.

But it's also going to depend on the length of your commute, and how you want to dress for work. You don't want to arrive at work dripping sweat and your coworkers will not like it if you have work in the clothes you rode in with. In the long run, you may find that it's more comfortable on a longer commute in biker clothes, and you might find it easier to take a change of clothes with you and change when you get to work. Just keep trying various combinations, and eventually you will find something that works for you.
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Old 05-19-07, 03:02 PM   #3
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i was cyckling in running shoes and fotbol training warm -ups and a collMax longSleeved shirt .. it was ok Comfortable but not near what i needed to keep me cool and dry in the climate here in sthlm , Sweden . so about 2 months ago i bought a set of CRAFT ( Swedish running & cyckling clothing company ) tights + jacket . its running clothing , but it made all the difference in staying dry and comfortable . I dont know how i have survived all these years not wearing this type of clothing .
i would suggest to check out for a decent set of cyckling / running tights and jacket it will make all the difference ..
i also recently bought a pair of "sidi blaze" mtn biking shoes and shimano SPD pedals 1 sided clip and other side platform . very nice and stiff shoes BY BY to those old running shoes -

my general daily commute clothing is .
giro helmet . my old scratched SPY astro sunglasses , helly hansen coolMax long sleeve, Craft light weight jacket . coolmax ( craft ) undies <-- Craft tights , Craft coolMax socks , sidi blaze shoes ..and ofcourse my Cannondale bad boy 700 disc , or if i am feeling like a few jumps along the way to work i take out my Crescent mtn bike and bang away .
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Old 05-19-07, 06:36 PM   #4
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Several decades ago I commuted five to six miles to work as a bank teller. It was summer in St. Louis. The 85 degree F. days were not too bad. The 95 degree F. and above days were more difficult. I cycled in shirt and slacks. I went to the men's room when I arrived and sponged off my face and arms with a wet paper towel. Then I put on my tie. As long as I bathed daily, I had no problems. I had pedal clips, but planted my feet on the other side of the pedals to avoid scuffing my shoes.
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Old 05-19-07, 08:40 PM   #5
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I'm in Québec, not in Texas, so our Summer temperatures are not the same. That being said, whether I tour, commute, ride for fun or shop in the neighbourhood, I always wear normal clothing. Here are a few tips :

– Avoid light-coloured trousers.

– Clips keep trousers in check. Strictly speaking, you might only need the right one, but I like to keep both legs tucked to avoid dirtying the left leg on the bottom bracket.

– Some women ride with a skirt. I friend of mine keeps her in check with one or two clothes pins.

– Avoid too tight clothing, so you'll have some ventilation underneath. If you wear a suit, keep the tie and 1st button off until you reach destination. And keep the suit itself nicely folded in your pannier.

– If it's too warm and your ride is long, just change the top part. If you arrive at your destination, remove your riding shirt (or jersey or sweater), quickly wash your torso and put a new shirt, then you'll look fresh.

– Fenders – preferably with mudflaps – are great. You might say that you won't ride in the rain, or that you'll wear rain gear anyway, but what about those light sprinkles? Or the odd time that a short section of the road is wet, dirty, etc.? It doesn't take much to have dirty droplets thrown all over you by the wheels.

– As for shoes, I generally wear Shimano laced-up SPD shoes. They look fairly normal, work with SPD pedals and are good for long walks off the bike. When I visit shops, I bring along my safety footwear.

P.S. I haven't heard of SPD safety footwear with steel insole and steel caps.
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Old 05-20-07, 12:26 AM   #6
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If you're looking for a Tshirt or a Polo you should check out golf and/or outdoor clothing manufacturers. There are a lot of companies that make high quality synthetic and even wool Tshirts and polos that will handle heat and sweat better than standard cotton. Just make sure that you don't buy cheap synthetics because they stink.
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Old 05-20-07, 06:29 AM   #7
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If your commute isn't super long and you don't have mountain shoes/pedals put on a clips and straps. - I completely stopped riding my road pedals + sidis because they were 100% annoying to do errands off the bike with them.

Messanger style shants also work really well if you don't want to commute in tights.
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Old 05-20-07, 09:00 AM   #8
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Old 05-20-07, 06:26 PM   #9
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Believe it or not Haggar makes some wicking casual office clothes. Slacks and shirts. They are made for golfers but work well on bikes too.
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Old 05-20-07, 09:12 PM   #10
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I try to avoid dressy type slacks when I commute. I've torn those at my rear just from sitting on the saddle. I'm not talking suit slacks, but those Dockers limited edition/fine label slacks. THey don't seem to be stitched together well at all.
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Old 05-21-07, 12:25 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by becnal
We need a store like that in the USA!
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Old 05-23-07, 08:42 AM   #12
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If i'm riding just to ride around and come back, baggy padded mtb shorts, whatever shoes, wickiest shirt i have.

If i'm riding to the store or to hang out with family or friends, khaki shorts, t-shirt that is wicky but is a thicker woven version, so as to not show off my unflattering clydesdale physique. Whatever shoes.

If i'm riding to work, I have some leather sketcher's business casual shoes that are great for biking and shrug off water and dirt well. I can either wear the biking getup listed first, and just change at work, or wear work clothes, (nice tshirt and newer jeans) and just ride slow and easy so as to not get all sweaty.
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