How to carry a suit on your bike

For commuting cyclists a question I’ll commonly hear is:

“How do you carry your suit in to work when you are riding a bike?”

There are a few different solutions.

1. Take it in by public transport and leave it at work

The first option is to leave the bike at home once per week and simply wear or carry your suit. However, this isn’t an ideal option as it’s a shame to miss out on a day of cycling. Plus, not everyone will have space at work to leave a few different suits in a locker.

2. Use a suit bag

There are a number of different suit bags available to cyclists. Here are three popular ones.

Slicks Suit25 – £132

Slicks suit bag allows you to carry your suit in to work

Chris Askew, a London cyclist, came up with the design for the Suit25 bag after he was having problems getting his suit in to work. I’ve posted my first impressions on the Slicks Suit25 here. The bag is an impressive piece of kit. So much so, that my house mate has been borrowing it almost continuously.

  • Wateproof cover
  • Fits in laptop
  • Can also fit in your shoes, lunch etc.

Available from Slicks website: http://www.slicks.cc/suit25

Henty Designs Wingman – £115.49

Henty wingman suit bag

The Wingman is a new bag by Henty Designs. It’s designed to help you carry your suit in to work. I really like the throw over the shoulder design of this bag, as well as how quick it is to unfold it and then hang it up.

  • Space to fit an iPad
  • Waterproof cover included
  • Additional bag that fits inside the roll for your shoes and so forth
  • Don’t need to fold your suit in half – just needs to be rolled around the rigid structure of bag.

Available from Henty Designs website with free shipping: http://henty.cc/ and also from V02 Sportswear for £118.99.

I’ve met one of co-founders of the Wingman (Jon Gourlay) who introduced me to the product and I’ve reviewed the bag here.

SuitSak – £65

suitsak

With a very wide design, the SuitSak is not something that would instantly appeal to me. However, it does have the most competitive price point.

  • Space to fit your laptop
  • Space for your shoes, lunch etc.
  • Only need to fold your suit in half

Available from Suitsak.com

3. Wear your suit on your bike

There’s also nothing to stop you wearing your suit on your bike. This is generally easier on certain bike types. Boris Bike style bikes for example have chain guards and a relaxed riding position. This means you don’t get your suit caught in the chain and you don’t stretch the trousers.

How do you carry your suit in to work? Leave a comment below.

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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15 Responses to How to carry a suit on your bike

  1. Simon Wilcox 26/09/2012 at 11:26 am #

    The suit stays in the office most of the time and I bring in a new shirt each day, rolled up to avoid creases. It gets hung in the shower room whilst I shower which helps any creases drop out.

    I use the odd day when I’m not on the bike to change the suit over for dry cleaning.

  2. Barton 26/09/2012 at 1:57 pm #

    I bought a suit commuting pannier a few years ago when I first started cycling to work. I was looking for a link on line and cannot find it, but it was made by a Canadian company. It worked fine, Uou didn’t have to carry anything else, as it was a double sided pannier: I could get my make up in the side pocket, but no a lunch or other stuff. It’s now hanging in my closet not being used.

    I’ve taken to folding my suits inside out and placing in my Altura Urban pannier. Even silk shirts look fine if they are properly folded and put into the pannier. They are never wrinkled any more than if I’d sat on public transport. So, one bag, with proper packing has turned out to be the best thing – conveniet, practicle and still able to look sharp at work.

  3. OxfordSpring 26/09/2012 at 5:09 pm #

    I’ve aways found that careful rolling, before inserting into a plastic carrier bag works well. You just need to make sure you tie the bag tightly and push all the air out so there is no room for movement. When you put it in your cycle bag or pannier, keep it on top. I dont think I would ever spend £100+ on a special fancy bag when this technique seems to do the trick.

    It has to be said thought it often depends on the quality of the suit. A crease resistant/machine washable suit will fare far better than a top end garment. Non-iron shirts also a must for me!

  4. Ben Spodris 26/09/2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I wear chino trousers to work cycling as they are comfortable like jeans but don’t rub too much at the same time. Sometimes ordinary work trousers are too rough so chinos are a happy medium being smart for work at the same time I find.

    I also wear short sleeve shirts which a bit more airy I suppose. I only have a 6 mile commute so I don’t get too sweaty too much. I wear bicycle clips but I don’t think people notice any oil stains at work except me as they are dark trousers.

    Great Post BTW
    Ben

  5. Amanda O'Dell 26/09/2012 at 10:37 pm #

    Folding things carefully works fine for me. I mostly leave shoes at work & just take a change of clothes. Even my long flared dress came out fine at the other end – things don’t get creased too badly if they’re only folded for an hour or so. I use a fabric ‘shopping’ bag to keep the clothes fairly flat and just drop that into the pannier. Buying waterproof panniers did make a huge difference though!

  6. Richard 26/09/2012 at 11:33 pm #

    I just wear my suit whilst cycling, but the suitsak looks cool.

  7. Andrew 27/09/2012 at 10:50 am #

    After 7 years battling with the suit / cycle commute conundrum, I felt the only solution was to give up work. I found this has worked most effectively. All my suits are not crumpled in the slightest.

    • Andreas 27/09/2012 at 11:01 am #

      I think you reached the correct conclusion.

  8. Martins 27/09/2012 at 9:46 pm #

    Suit is everyday necessity for my work. So far for me following has worked pretty good:
    - keep one or two suits / shoes at work;
    - on daily basis carry only shirt etc. (folded)

    Time at a time I have to carry suit, then travel coat hanger and suit cover works best. Folded in 3 parts it fits quite well in 15″ Targus backpack, even in the laptop compartment.

    Waterproofing of bag is important – had unpleasant surprise of having wet shirt after cycling in rain, despite of having bag cover.

    Probably will not buy designated suit backpack. A decent backpack with wide opening could serve pretty well.

  9. Sisa 14/10/2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Interesting – I cycle with my suit on No problem although I`m the only chap around where I stay and commute around who does this . The cycle in a suit trick I saw in London and Thought I`d try it I did and never looked back , its suit on laptop backpack on back off to work works anywhere .

  10. Rbtcdvc 15/11/2012 at 3:20 am #

    I really like the look and volume of the Suit25, but it’s not available for purchase or delivery in the U.S.

  11. Nick 09/01/2013 at 4:07 pm #

    The Suit25 website doesn’t seem to be working – have you got their direct contact details?

    • Andreas 09/01/2013 at 6:09 pm #

      I don’t Nick – perhaps the Slicks Suit bag has been withdrawn as I’ve emailed the founder a few months back and not heard anything.

      • Jeroen NL 30/05/2013 at 9:58 pm #

        The Slicks Suit 25 is back again, now sold bij the producers and codesigners Flink, with free EU shipping as well as a US availability. I am certainly considering this because it’s a great design and highly universally usable. I own the Antler Commuter already at half-price, and am deeply impressed by the build quality. Where I cycle in Holland space is ample so size is not an issue. It is not a Deuter in wearing comfort, but well designed though.

  12. Michael Watson 23/08/2013 at 12:10 pm #

    I use this, it’s great: fully waterproof and folds neither the suit jacket nor the trousers. It has separate spaces for shoes as well as side bags for laptop, sandwiches etc. There’s a big photo here http://road.cc/content/image/31379-pacific-outdoor-pannier-and-suit-carrier.

    I’m tempted by this http://www.twowheelgear.com/products/classic-bike-suit-bag-1 but it’s expensive, and another $50 to ship from the US.

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