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Street clothes that double as cool weather clothes.

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Street clothes that double as cool weather clothes.

Old 06-07-12, 05:20 AM
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Street clothes that double as cool weather clothes.

Most of my cycling clothes are very specialized for cycling. High visibility shirts and vests and Lycra shorts are not suitable as street clothes.

I would like to pack lightweight street clothes that would also double as cool weather cycling clothes for weather in the fifties. Lightweight, warm and easy-to-pack would be ideal.

Any suggestions?
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Old 06-07-12, 05:29 AM
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First, go have a look at the Winter Cycling forum.

Second ...

-- long-sleeved polypro tops
-- long-sleeved merino tops
-- fleece jacket
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Old 06-07-12, 05:58 AM
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Trousers made of microfibre or similar. The sort made as travel pants by Columbia. I wear them with the cuffs tucked into socks or around the ankle and held in place by reflective bands. They are pretty well windproof and presentable as streetwear just about anywhere.

Many of these sorts of pants come with zip-off legs to convert them to shorts. But I find the zip band to be a nuisance when they are converted to shorts and to be frank, out of the four pairs I own, I have used them as shorts about... twice.

I've now invested in a pair of proper long-leg pants, and use proper shorts. It might seem like it's doubling up in the pannier, but it's not really because in touring mode, I am usually wearing one or the other.

On our next tour, I'll be dispensing with the traditional cycling jerseys and going with technical t-shirts. I picked up several from MEC the last time I was in Canada. One was in Capilene, and all have a nice smooth feel, and are very light in weight.

I've also toured before in polo shirts, of the polyester variety, not cotton.

Last edited by Rowan; 06-07-12 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 06-07-12, 06:22 AM
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I don't mind wearing bike shorts and jerseys (typically plain ones) for most of my tour. I actually like that I am instantly recognizable as the guy they saw on the loaded bike. That said I do like to get out of bike clothes in the evening. I tend to wear running shorts and a tech tee shirt when off of the bike for the day. If it is chilly I will add one or more of the following:
Pile shirt
windbreaker (rain/wind shirt)
rain/wind pants
pile hat
down vest (used to use as pillow, but now usually leave home)

I used to take a pair of light nylon zip offs, now I just use my rain pants when long pants are required.
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Old 06-07-12, 06:56 AM
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REI and similar stores are full of hiking shirts which would fit the bill. I'm sure they can work in between a base layer and a thin jacket.

You can always wear one of those lime-green high-vis vests, or stick a slow-moving-vehicle triangle on your bike, or use a bright red light.

But in general, I don't think that high-vis clothing helps much. At night, lights will do the job. During the day, if a driver doesn't see you it's not because your clothing wasn't bright enough, it's because they were fussing with the radio, or a child, or their GPS, or on their cell phone, or just not expecting you. (Read up on inattention blindness for more info.)

Granted it can't hurt. But I don't see a compelling reason to wear blindingly orange bike jerseys, and thus my cycling clothes tend to blend in a little better.
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Old 06-07-12, 07:07 AM
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I should add that I have a lightweight, black polarfleece jacket for when the weather cools right off. There's also a nice polypro long-sleeve top. And we've followed staehpj1's lead on the down jackets, while we'll stick with our Ground Effect Storm Trooper rain jackets. I'd be confident of going to a casual dinner with friends on tour in that gear.
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Old 06-07-12, 08:55 AM
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I like Patagonia capilene layers. On tour I live in 2 capilene 2 T-shirts that I rotate, and a capilene 4 long sleeve that functions as a sweater. Both pieces are really comfortable, dry fast, insulate well, and don't look too techy or outdoor activity specific. They do fairly well in the smell department too, they don't get the wet dog effect that wool does, although they do probably smell more than cotton does dirty. For me they are perfect on and off the bike.

For shorts I like the Rapha touring shorts. The cut is nice, it's not super baggy like most mountain bike shorts, but it's slim enough to function well when riding.

I like to have garments that work on and off the bike. That way, I can ride all day in 1 set, and change into the clean set at night and wash the riding set. Then the next morning I can still wear what I wore at night while riding, so the washed set has time to dry if necessary.
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Old 06-07-12, 09:16 AM
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I always like to have a set of casuals that work on or off the bike, in a restaurant or up a mountain.
There are a lot of companies doing quick-dry travel clothing. I mostly use Rohan.
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Old 06-07-12, 09:50 AM
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REI zip-leg pants and a merino pullover (short or long sleeve) go a long way. For a monthlong tour in a range of 40 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit I carried two PI bike shorts, REI convertible pants, a merino tee, bright colored USMC jersey (invaluable for motorist goodwill in the Southwest), merino socks of varied weight, arm warmers, knee warmers, windproof water resistant glove shells, a very light PI zip-sleeve jacket and a merino beanie. I also had a superlight pair of unlined nylon running shorts to sleep in and wear while doing laundry and a pair of Salomon Techamphibian water shoes for off-bike.

I currently commute by bike and train in the same shorts and tee's. They last a long time and look fine.

The long pants and tee shirt were plenty for casual restaurant dining, and shopping off bike or during days off in town.

Last edited by truman; 06-07-12 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 06-07-12, 06:13 PM
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I actually dislike the zip-leg pants. They tend to rub my legs above the knee... blech
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Old 06-07-12, 08:15 PM
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no thing tops a Marmot Driclime jacket for a screamingly versatile item of street clothing that doubles as cool weather wear.

from considerable, even exhaustive testing, I've found nothing beats the Driclime for versatility, light weight, and warmth with temperature regulation.

Jogging shorts, a set of long johns, and a microweight set of wind pants for lower body runs the gamut down to freezing for me.

Last edited by Bekologist; 06-07-12 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 06-07-12, 10:55 PM
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I like to carry this style of shirt for evenings and as a warm layer if needed on the bike. Several manufacturers make a shirt in this style.


I've used the REI zip-off pants for casual wear. If the weather get really cold, I'll wear my tights under the pants for off bike use. We were in an area with a wind chill of 28F, and had on just about everything in our bags.

The brown shirt (Sporthill) was used for cool weather off-bike wear as well as on the bike. We were leaving Iceland where the wind chill was below freezing with 25mph winds (early September). The other gentleman was our outstanding host who was giving us a ride to the airport.

Last edited by Doug64; 06-07-12 at 11:29 PM.
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