What do you wear to cycle into work?

Woman wearing a white rank top and skirt into work? A friend of mine, Sam. Has made his big move down to London. Or, more specifically, his big move into our lounge in London. This is while he waits for his house to be available to move into. Soon he will be starting his training as an estate agent. (And yes he is being asked to give up his weekends for the next few months!). As part of his job he will be given a car which he will use to chauffeur people around prospective houses. In the mean time he needs a way of getting into work. Why don’t you cycle? Was of course my suggestion. His reply: “Cycle into work in a suit? Very tough.”

He has a point. Unless you have a bike with a chain guard then the chances of getting oil on your suit are pretty big. Plus I don’t know what kind of provision his company will be making for bikes so it may be tough to get changed in the office. Hence this weeks question..

Considering last weeks “nosy question” was a big success asking everyone “What’s in your bag?” and getting over 40 comments I thought we would continue this trend and ask a new question: “What do you wear to cycle into work?”

When I was working along Gray’s Inn Road I would always cycle into work in a pair of shorts, t-shirt and cycling jacket if there was bad weather. Then I would hop in the shower and change into my suit which I would leave in the office. Personally I can’t see myself ever cycling in a suit unless I fit a chain guard to my bike. I’d like to know what you guys typically wear to cycle into work? Do you go for the Lycra approach, the suit, or casual shorts?

See also:

Image via Skarpetka Flickr

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75 Responses to What do you wear to cycle into work?

  1. peterS 11/06/2010 at 9:32 am #

    Get a chainguard!

    Not only do they keep oil off your clothes (and legs), they keep your chain clean and lubed. The increased efficiency of a clean chain far outweights the few hundred grams extra weight – leaving off the chainguard is just another piece of cycle fashion that makes cycling worse.

    • russell 13/06/2010 at 3:57 pm #

      Its lycra shorts and cycling jersey. But have to carry jeans and shirt AND trainers in bag. Shower after gym workout.

    • Andreas 14/06/2010 at 11:54 am #

      It’s true! Yet why is it so difficult for me to make the switch..

  2. Will 11/06/2010 at 10:02 am #

    It’s all about the rolled up jeans for me! I can get away with wearing pretty much what I like at the office, so don’t bother with a change of clothes. my commute isn’t that far so I don’t get too sweaty! Well no-ones pointed it out yet anyway. I keep a pair of waterproof shorts and a thin waterproof in my bag so if it’s raining I can do a quick change on the train.

    • Andreas 14/06/2010 at 11:55 am #

      This is what I tend to go with – it used to be the jeans in the socks but not good for getting oil on the jeans.

  3. Sukh Pabial 11/06/2010 at 10:04 am #

    I’m one of those pseudo-enthusiast types who wears the cycling shorts, hugging T-shirts and cycle trainers. But it helps me on my ride which is a 14 mile round trip! Shower at work then into work clothes. Thankfully we’re a business where you can dress casually and only if you’re meeting clients do you wear suits. Means my bag is often heavy with daily clothes but I don’t mind.

    • Andreas 14/06/2010 at 11:57 am #

      14 mile round trip is fairly decent so can see the need for the cycling gear

  4. MarkA 11/06/2010 at 10:06 am #

    I’ve got a chain guard and can cycle in whatever clothes I like as a consequence: that and a decent pannier rack made urban cycling so much more enjoyable for me. I usually cycle to work in jeans and a T, with my shirt and trousers folded in my pannier bag. If I feel like I’m going to break into a ridiculous sweat I just ride a bit slower. As my fitness has improved I find I get less sweaty riding to work at a steady pace than I do on the boiling hot Central Line.

    • Andreas 14/06/2010 at 11:58 am #

      Ah your part of the chain guard crew? I should seriously join you!

  5. Jo 11/06/2010 at 10:07 am #

    My stretchy skirt… well it’s a boob tube worn as a skirt. Great to cycle in.

  6. Chrissy 11/06/2010 at 10:08 am #

    Well it varies based on the weather – what I am doing that day – where I am going that evening…
    Generally jeans, merino cami, sandles or converse, t-shirt or jumper of some sort…
    Or – dress, leggings combo if I need to be smarter from the off…
    Jeans become denim shorts in summer!
    I have a stock of skirts I keep in the office and usually a change of clothes for when I get there in my paniers – i like to go fast so work up a bit of a sweat!

    • Andreas 14/06/2010 at 12:01 pm #

      Agreed on your go fast – I enjoy it way more too! Good to see plenty of people who read this blog cycle in casual wear..

  7. tim 11/06/2010 at 10:38 am #

    bike gear -> shower and change at work, suit & shoes live in the office

  8. craig durkee 11/06/2010 at 10:51 am #

    I always wear bike gear, lycra is the only way for me. I am lucky enough to have a shower in work, plus living in Perth Australia the weather is usually fine.

    I only ride 40k round trip but still think lycra is a must.

  9. Andy 11/06/2010 at 10:51 am #

    My commute is pathetically short, so I wear the usual shirt-jeans combo that I wear in the office. The only biking clothes I wear is a high-viz waterproof jacket.

  10. Claire 11/06/2010 at 11:03 am #

    We have a formal dress code at work, so I lycra-up for the ride and leave suits, dresses etc at work.
    We’re lucky, we have cycle parking and showers at work – hideously embarrassing tottering through security on the marble floors in my cycling shoes, tight shorts and cycling jersey til I get to my floor though!

    I always wonder if the security guards recognise me when I’m properly dressed!

  11. Fabian 11/06/2010 at 11:53 am #

    Suit up when I get to work, otherwise it’s generally whatever comes to hand when I wake up. It’s only a short 6 mile commute so no real need for perfomance gear.

    • Claire 11/06/2010 at 11:57 am #

      Hey – is that Numero Uno Fabian, of Team London Cyclist – right at the top of the tree with 413 points?

      Hats off!

      Clairo

      • Fabian 11/06/2010 at 12:27 pm #

        Guilty…

        Only at the top of the tree though as I had a slight head start with a bike ride to Paris last week. Did not really change my general cycle apparel for that either…just wore shorts instead of my usual trousers, a polo shirt, some old boat shoes, with my only concession to modernity being some padded shorts beneath the normal shorts. I really don’t think all this high tech gear is that necessary…unless of course it is for racing etc – I mean I would not dress up in the full F1 gear just to drive my car, so why would I for cycling?

  12. Ben Brown 11/06/2010 at 12:29 pm #

    just normal clothes, tucked into sock, in the spirit of copenhagen cyclechic, normalising cycling for the masses, not scaring them off with lycra

  13. Dave Holladay 11/06/2010 at 12:35 pm #

    Tweed jacket – water resistant, hard wearing both warm and cool (wool after all is endorsed by sheep world-wide as all weather outer clothing) shirt with/without a light pullover according to weather conditions.

    Trousers dark (blue/black) wool/viscose mix – doesn’t look bad when damp and dries out quickly.

    Mudguards (everyone mentions chain guards – do they assume mudguards?)

    Single speed or hub gear (making full chainguard or similar an option)

    Gloves – handy when you need to slap down on the roof or side of a vehicle that gets too close and saves gravel rash if you crash

    Wool hat in winter – keeps head warm and I suffer from cold on sinuses when riding in very cold & wet conditions – massive frontal headache.

    Nest Poll (and appropriate given imminent Tube Strike) I’d suggest that you find out how much time people are saving on their door to door journey by cycling (all the way or to & from the train) against the alternative options. Many also save money as well (a bike in London is worth £500/year in not buying Central Zones travel on the bus & Tube, and a folding bike for Surbiton commuters saves a potential £2000/year in car parking and tube costs – pays for a Brompton in 4 months!)

    • Fabian 11/06/2010 at 12:41 pm #

      Fully endorse the tweed…but have you ever seen a sheep when it’s wool coat is soaked? It sort of capsizes due to the weight and then can’t roll over and is then left with four feet wiggling in the air with a rather lost and desperate look in its eye, until the shepherd (or some kindly passing by fellow) rolls it back over. A very poorly designed animal…especially as the result is usually death if it isn’t righted in time (burst bladder the poor beast).

      • Claire 11/06/2010 at 1:01 pm #

        Tweed would be fine if I hadn’t seen how much dirt comes out of my kit when I rinse it every night…

        Is it really the burst bladder that does for the sheep? I thought it was compressed lungs.

        • Dave Holladay 11/06/2010 at 1:17 pm #

          Evolution is delivering some sheep who can now roll across cattle grids – but internal workings of a sheep are the fundamental issue. Malfunctiong of the guts in a 2-stage digestion system can produce great volumes of gas and this often requires the drastic move of stabbing the sheep accurately with a pointy object and deflating it rapidly (no naked lights and stand well back). This will compress the lugs and cause other internal distress – killing the animal

  14. Cait 11/06/2010 at 1:09 pm #

    I’ve got an ancient pair of lycra shorts and at present, I would heartily recommend having a look on ‘howies’ website for their merino vests, which were on special when I bought my second one recently. They’re *divine* they’re so snug and lovely and cosy but they really don’t turn smelly. I was lucky enough to get given a howies merino jersey for my birthday and for cooler days it’s the loveliest thing I think I’ve ever probably worn. And my Teva sandals of course, for the summer.

    Winter – ugh, I don’t like to think about it. Longjohns, shorts, long sweat pant type trousers, thermal vest, inner fleece, reflective yellow waterproof; merino inner gloves under my knuckle duster cycling gloves (I nearly lost my knuckles in my one big argument with a van) and an excellent super-thin wee stretchy hat under my helmet. Oh, and neoprene shoe-cover-uppers when it’s raining.

    but summer cycling – swoon! It’s wonderful. Let’s just forget about the November-March bit, eh.

  15. Adam S 11/06/2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Fully agree with the comments about cycling in normal clothes. I’d only consider wearing cycle specific gear for long rides in hot weather. I like to have a good laugh when I overtake people in full-on lycra gear and clipped in shoes while I wear my smart-casual work outfit (although we probably look equally as sad). I do pop on a pair of trainers however as I’ve yet to find shoes that grip well on my flat pedals.

    I have a cheap plastic push on cover for the chain ring which combined with an ankle clip stops oil from getting on my trousers, and I keep a pollution mask handy in case I get stuck behind a bus or a two stroke moped in the advance stop line.

    Oh and I wear a helmet, although I suspect that needs a separate topic.

    • Fabian 11/06/2010 at 2:33 pm #

      I’m a huge fan of boat shoes for cycling in. Their soles are designed to help sailors stay put on a deck awash with sea spray and work rather well on pedals too. You can usually pick up a fairly decent pair for about £30 in a boat shop. They also have the additional bonus of looking fairly smart at a pinch…well mine used too until the stitching came undone – but that was after 3 years of solid continuous wear!

      On the sheep front, I think it is a combo of the two – both lungs and bladder. The poor beastie can’t pee when on its back, and eventually the pressure can lead to “over stretch”. I remember the one forlorn fluffy chap I saw in Dartmoor once – after checking to make sure the crows hadn’t been at its eyes (another danger for them), I tipped them over and off they skipped having released an almighty torrent…

  16. Tim 11/06/2010 at 1:30 pm #

    I was always told roll not fold if you are packing clothes in saddle bags and panniers. A tip that seems to have survived the fashions of the last few decades. I was a hippy in the seventies and riding around London in Loons (very wide indeed bell bottomed trousers) was impossible without serious injury. Most day I can go casual so no worries. A suit is OK if you just wear the shirt in summer and don’t get yourself too hot. Jacket and tie rolled in the panniers. In the winter though to wear a suit at work, in my view, you must have changing facilities.

  17. Sarah 11/06/2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Only 4 miles so normal work clothes (shirt, trousers/skirt) with leggings under skirts if it’s dry. If it’s raining then a raincoat and lightweight trousers and then change when I get into work. I keep a spare pair of shoes and a coat under my desk.

  18. wee folding bike 11/06/2010 at 5:11 pm #

    T shirt and Craghopper shorts. When it gets below 0℃ i wear longer trousers.

    Craghoppers are my normal kit but I wear long trousers in class. Sometimes I use the zip off version to save time when the bell rings.

  19. Cafewanda 11/06/2010 at 6:47 pm #

    I’m one of the lycra brigade I’m afraid as I sweat so very easily. Actually managed to cycle in a dress and ‘ballet’ shoes one Saturday, albeit very slowly and I was irritated so would rather bring clothing with me and change in a toilet somewhere!

    Merino is a good investment.

  20. Ciarán 11/06/2010 at 6:53 pm #

    Wear t-shirt and jeans to work, so cycle in the previous days t-shirt, a pair of shorts, or jogging bottoms in the winter and a hi-vis vest.

    Shower at work, and away I go.

  21. welshcyclist 11/06/2010 at 10:37 pm #

    I wear cycle specific tee shirts and shorts, waterproof socks, Tuf workboots, for their hard soles, with or without a waterproof cycling jacket in the summer. In winter I wear the same gear, until the cold sets in, when I upgrade the jacket, to a Hi Viz one supplied by my work. This is a smashing piece of Goretex all weather kit, which with perhaps another base layer, keeps me toastie. I’m afraid I don’t look good in lycra, and wouldn’t be seen dead in the stuff.

  22. Angi 12/06/2010 at 3:01 am #

    At the moment I am wearing whatever takes my fancy…meaning short skirts/dresses and tights…sometimes slipping on a pair of shorts underneath to maintain a sense of modesty (of sorts). Skirts and dresses are so much more comfortable than jeans or trousers too.
    Though not having a chain guard on either of my bikes leaves me with interesting prints on my colourful tights…though some washing-up liquid usually does the job!

    If it’s raining I’ll pop on my waterproof jacket…if (like now) it’s too warm for such a thing…I just get wet and then get changed. But my commute to work is very short (around 2.5miles each way).

    Winter…a whole different story…Layers! Well, normal clothes again (I double up on the tights), mid-weight fleece and cycling jacket. And when it rains or snows I slip on the waterproof trousers and jacket.

    I’m not into the full on lycra look…but you know, whatever floats your boat!
    Oh and I always have my helmet on…padded gloves are also very useful.

  23. Glen Mehn 12/06/2010 at 10:29 am #

    Clothes. Typical, normal-ish clothes (though I do have a rowing splashtop for very rainy days). Suits kept at work and I shower when I get there.

    Keep thinking seriously about fitting a chain guard…

  24. EddieT 13/06/2010 at 6:55 pm #

    I have a reasonable distance, 20 mile round trip so go for the cycling shorts (baggy, MTB kind, not lycra) and sports t-shirt – of the “technical” variety, so that it dries really quickly rather than hanging at work staying sweaty for hours.

    I just can’t bring myself to wear fully lycra, though I do appreciate the padding in the MTB shorts so that works for me just fine.

    Shoes is something I’m still undecided on. I don’t fancy going for the clipped in approach as I use my bike for more casual things and wouldn’t like to be restricted to only wearing road shoes. I currently wear my tennis shoes which have a fairly stiff sole. Would like to find a decent cycling specific approach though. Been looking at the cheaper BMX type shoes as a good alternative to clipped in approach. (any thoughts on this welcome!!)

    • wee folding bike 13/06/2010 at 7:04 pm #

      Shimano do pedals with clips on one side and a platform on the other. I find them a wee bit narrow and I almost always ride a Brompton so I prefer to have a folding pedal.

  25. Lindsay 14/06/2010 at 12:34 pm #

    Depends on the weather, but I usually try to wear as much of my work outfit as possible, combined with a top I can change when I arrive. Usually this is a jersey wrap dress with a t shirt under it. I keep a kit of baby wipes, deoderant and a few hair make up essentials in my desk drawer and that plus a fresh top keeps me looking and smelling presentable!

    If I want to wear something that isn’t comfortable to cycle in (most smart trousers and pencil skirts fall into this category) then I’ll wear leggings and a stretchy t shirt dress, or cropped trousers (Uniqlo peg-legs are v comfy) and a t shirt. Always with work shoes, jewellery, make up, whatever. And if I’m wearing dark colours then I usually slap a high-vis sam brown on too. I’ve got a little blue fold-away waterproof jacket that I take if the weather is looking ropey.

    Generally I try to look as much like a normal person as possible, in the hope that someone will see me and realise that they could cycle too…

  26. James 15/06/2010 at 9:37 am #

    For my commute (11 miles each way) I wear a cycling shirt or a t-shirt, depending what’s clean, with padded shorts and normal shorts over the top. If it’s really cold I wear jeans and my hi-viz jacket.

    I’m lucky to have good facilities at work, so have a few pairs of trousers in my locker and carry a fresh shirt each day in my bag.

    Don’t normally bother with waterproofs unless I’m going out somewhere. If I get wet on the way to work or home it doesn’t really matter.

    When I cycle at the weekends I wear everyday clothing unless I’m going a long way.

    Padded shorts are highly recommended!

  27. Jonathan 15/06/2010 at 11:55 am #

    For my 24 mile ride to the office I wear baggy shorts with lycra underneath(no need to scare anyone). I am a recent convert to lycra shorts. For a long commute they are essential. In my pannier I have jeans, t-short, underwear and socks rolled up in a carrier bag.

    On top I wear a technical t-shirt that dries quickly at work. My best bit of kit? That would be my Endura baa-baa long sleeve merino top. Great in summer and winter. And as another poster noted does not whiff like polyester does. I can wear it for days without it smelling. Well worth the price.

    For shoes I wear a pair of mountain bike SPD’s to go with my double-sided combination pedals. These shoes allow me to walk normally in the office, not like a penguin!

    For wet weather I have a thin rain jacket in my pannier. I usually only wear it if it is cold otherwise, let it rain!! A lovely summer cloud burst is great and you quickly dry off. On the feet I wear coolmax cycle socks from Endura and for wet weather Sealskins socks. Soggy feet are not nice.

  28. Phil 15/06/2010 at 1:41 pm #

    For my summer work commute, baggy shorts, a dryflow T shirt and walking boots with regular socks or sandals ( no socks! ) if very hot. In autumn, Ron Hill DXB tights, Buffalo jacket ( zips adjusted to suit ) and Sealskinz socks. Winter- as autumn plus shorts over the tights, windproof fleece gloves ( £3.50 off the market, have not yet found a pair of ‘dedicated’ cycling gloves that I could afford that were any good ) and in snow/ice a pair of army surplus arctic mittens which are warm and waterproof. There is a shower at work, so I take my work clothes in panniers or a box. If I’m pootling about, regular trousers, band T shirt and whatever is on my feet for the day. I always carry an army surplus poncho on the bike for the unexpected showers or storms.

  29. thereverent 15/06/2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Spring/Summer:
    Shorts (normal not padded), short sleeve wicking top (Waterproof hi-viz jacket in the bag) and trainers. Oh and sunglasses to keep the dust out of my eyes.

    Autum/Winter:
    Shorts (normal not padded) with lyra tights under, long sleeve wicking top, waterproof hi-viz jacket, buff under my helmet (as I have a shaved head and it can get very cold otherwise) and trainers.

    I pack a shirt, pants and socks in my bag. I have two suits hung up at work and shoes under my desk. I have a towel and wash kit in my desk as well but don’t normally need them as its only 5 miles in.

  30. Roy 15/06/2010 at 5:29 pm #

    No Chaingaurd for me, but do wear Lycra, with a 25 mile round trip it’s just practical and comfortable doesnt matter too much getting wet, easy to dry. Also carry clean shirt & underwear each day & showers at work make life easier too. do like the look some of the fixie boys have though.

  31. Filippo Negroni 16/06/2010 at 10:49 am #

    Going for job interview on Monday. London city. Wearing a suit.
    Will probably take waterproof over-trousers and jacket in rucksack, just in case.
    But otherwise will wear my suit while riding the two miles from Waterloo station to the office.

    I commuted to the City for several months in the past and considering the overcrowding on the tube, the frequent trips on foot due to cancellations, and missing train connections, I know that sweat is an issue no matter your method of transport.

    For anything above 3 miles I would recommend a change of clothes *if* you are likely to go fast and break into a sweat.

    Otherwise, just chill: wind resistance increases with the square of speed, which means to go 1 or 2 mph faster you might be busting a lung, and gain a mere 5 minutes over 12 miles. Hardly worth it unless you are combining commuting and training (which is what I do now).

  32. Pingus 16/06/2010 at 1:21 pm #

    7.5 miles e/w

    not winter:
    padded lycra shorts under ordinary shorts (for reasons mentioned above). s/s cycling top under pearl izumi zephyrrrrrrrrrrrrrr hi viz gilet (i go right thru the city of london so like to be seen).

    winter:
    padded lycra tights under shorts. l/s helly hansen base layer. altura hi viz waterproof/windproof jacket.

    shimano shoes and helmet, obv.

    i carry a complete change of clothes (non suit) for work which will do me – i like to get a sweat on (otherwise what’s the point?) but a towel down and a good spray (mitchum) keeps me pleasant. plus part of me likes dressing up, i’ll admit it.

  33. Higgs 16/06/2010 at 4:38 pm #

    cycling shorts, shoes and t-shirts with a hi-vis jacket and helmet
    bring work clothes in a pannier with me

    I use my commute as my main form of exercise so do want to break a sweat (thankfully have shower facility too)

  34. Roy 16/06/2010 at 5:22 pm #

    Hi Peeps,

    Anyone going over to St Pauls Cathedral on Friday 18th 7.30–10.00, free breakfast, raffle prizes, free bike maintenance, safety advice, and change places with a lorry driver and see what he can see, or not see.

    Thats all I’m of to play with the traffic, maybe see some of you Fri morning.

    Roy

  35. Nicole 16/06/2010 at 5:30 pm #

    I leave a suit, shoes, a coat and one or two skirts plus smart bag at work. I cycle in a top and cashmere cardigan/jumper which looks ok with the skirts when I get there. Sometimes just a t-shirt, sometimes a wicking top or a merino base layer and take another with me depending on how smart I have to be.

    Gore Packlite jacket, fleece and waterproof trousers when needed, over crops in the summer and skinny black jeans in the winter. No need to shower, only 5.5 miles to the railway station and then 45 min journey into London Bridge and 10 min walk to the office. I’m warm in the winter and cool in summer.

    On the subject of shoes, The North Face trail running shoes for winter (great grips) and italian driving shoes (Tod’s) in the summer with the nobbly bits under the sole. Perfect and smart enough to wear with the suits if you like flat shoes, as I do.

    I carry a rucksack with a hi-vis cover and snap bands for the dark and leave a v cheap pannier on my bike which has not yet been stolen so that i don’t have to carry anything on my back!

    I lock my helmet to the bike.

    This has taken years of trial and error!!

  36. bathory 16/06/2010 at 11:26 pm #

    I bike in what I”m wearing that day but I don’t have a dress code. I’m usually in skinny fit trousers, some girly tshirt, either knee high Panama Jack Basic 41 boots, Carvela Skint Heels or leopard print chuck taylors + helmet.

    If it’s chilly/cold I layer a hi-vis jacket from primark with a down Northface/Columbia vest thing over top and wear leather gloves. In the winter I wear an american apparel circle scarf around my ears and neck and then tie a scarf like a bandito around my face to keep my breathing air warm.

    I always keep a pair of cheap primark rain trousers in my pannier. No chain guard. I commute 10km a day so not sure far.

  37. becksldrt 17/06/2010 at 10:51 pm #

    summer: padded cropped lycra trousers, a cycling t-shirt and a merino hoodie when it’s chilly.

    winter: long lycra trousers, sometimes tights underneath, thermal socks and then layers of long and short sleeves on top.

    i never thought i’d be a lycra cyclist. i’d love to look like a normal person on a bike. but even with just a 10km e/w commute i’ve found it’s just not possible, and if i’m going to have to change i figure i may as well wear lycra. it’s really quite comfy, after all…

  38. tanoshii9NO 19/06/2010 at 9:47 pm #

    “What do you wear to cycle into work?”

    *Inoffensive albeit garish “walkable” Mtb cycling trainers with SPD cleats.
    *Invisible half-length “sports socks”
    *Baggy cycling shorts, with padded inner. 3/4 length, preferably.
    *Offensive ironic bike theft related t-shirt
    *Plain white cycling gloves w/ gel padding (Sugino; sourced NOS)
    *Crumpler bag, over filled with bargain store tat/bike bits.
    *Bloodstained “urban camouflage” cycling cap

    +DEFINITELY NO PANNIERS+
    +DEFINITELY NO CHAIN GUARD+
    +DEFINITELY NO GEAR INCHES UNDER 70+

    #nofakengerer

  39. Emo 22/06/2010 at 6:07 pm #

    I currently live in the sunny southwest USA. We are gearing up to relocate to London next year. I have the opportunity to shop at backcountry dot com’s discount sites for bike gear and I went a bit crazy in preparation for my move to the UK. I am determined to commute by bike providing my [unattained] job is close enough and reasonably safe to get to (even then I am going to try my best to go by bike).

    Anyway here in New Mexico it gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter (35C+ down to -5C easily), and my commute is about 7 miles each way. My work environment is casual, but I am lucky as not many financial support centers allow for shorts, jeans, t-shirts, etc. In the winter I like to dress semi casual and sometimes formal. Since I sweat very easily I think it’s more reasonable to get biking gear sweaty and just change into my work clothes when I arrive at work. So usually I wear a jersey and lycra, and in the winter I wear merino under my lycra pants (trousers) and layer on top. I clip in with MTB shoes so I have a little tread when climbing the stairs, etc and keep a couple sets of shoes in the office. Oh and one more reason for the bike shorts/pants – comfort. It really makes a difference on the rear end, especially if the commute is over rough road. Also aerodynamics play a small part, but a bigger part in the wind.

    With all of this said we don’t get the rain like you guys do. So by watching the discount sites, I went kind of wild and got a pretty much completely waterproof outfit. For bottoms got half price on a set of Endura MTB pants made from eVent material. For milder days I have a light eVent jacket made by Cutter (paid $60 from $300 – not worth the full price but so far the breathability seems to be excellent). I also have a Gore-Tex jacket for the really cold. Finally, I invested in the Gore helmet and shoe covers. I honestly feel like I could do a MTB race in pouring rain.

    My commuter is a Surly CrossCheck – a fantastically versatile bike currently run as a single speed although may make it a 1 x 7 for the UK as I am unfamiliar with the terrain. It could take a full road setup as well if I want, or anything in between. What I love about this bike is that it will accept 700×45 tires without fenders (mudguards?) or 700×40 with fenders. So I think I will add fenders and a chain guard for the UK it’s not what falls from the sky that you have to worry about, it’s what comes up from below. Even in New Mexico in the winter I run fenders, I haven’t had the Surly in the winter here yet, but I did run fenders on my old bike and on those precipitous days they were a godsend. The Surly has braze-ons for racks; while it is a cyclocross frame it’s touted for being a versatile child carrier, light tourer, etc.

    So what do you think guys? Did I go a bit overboard? Think I may tone it down when I get there? Seems a pannier is needed just for my rain gear, although none of it is particularly heavy, just will take up valuable work clothes and lunch bag space in my backpack (rucksack!).

    For anyone interested in cheap stuff and has a contact to ship it to in the USA, backcountry.com is fabulous, and they run one-at-a-time deals (often 50-75% discounts) at steepandcheap.com, bonktown.com, and chainlove.com. No you can’t ship stuff to me.

    Oh and – great site Andreas et al., I love reading the posts and the comments are fabulous too. Funny and enlightening. Hopefully next year when I arrive I can get involved with some of the activities you all do. All the best!

  40. DAvy 22/06/2010 at 8:09 pm #

    interesting discussion. I love to cycle, used to wear shorts and change at work, but now have a job nearer to home so have just been cycling in my work trousers, rolled up…but.. I’ve worn through the material on the bum of all my trousers now. No good at all. I’m thinking of investing in a pair of cordarounds or swrve, but expensive.

  41. Natasha 23/06/2010 at 12:49 pm #

    I have a trip of 15 miles a day (7.5 there and 7.5 back)…..legings, t-shirt & trainers do me fine…..I shower in the hospital & then on with the smart clothes…you’d never guess that I’d just got of a bike after doing a 7 and a half mile bike ride.

  42. sophia 24/06/2010 at 4:57 am #

    Just normal clothes when cycling!

  43. Joe 24/06/2010 at 2:45 pm #

    For me it has to be rolled up jeans and simple polo t-shirts. If I’m cycling somewhere far enough that I’m going to get hot, I pack a spare one in case! But yes, it’s annoying especially when raining!

  44. John 26/06/2010 at 9:23 am #

    Personally I prefer a tutu which means no need to change at work.

    • Andreas 26/06/2010 at 10:50 am #

      Good man John! Great choice of gear..

      • Emo 28/06/2010 at 1:56 am #

        pictures or it didn’t happen!!!

  45. Lee W 05/07/2010 at 2:12 pm #

    It might sound disgusting but if you shower before you leave the house your sweat is pretty clean and you can just get dressed when you get to the office. Ive not had any complaints :-)

  46. John 07/07/2010 at 7:20 pm #

    Normal cotton mix trousers and cotton shirt, leather work shoes that keep out the rain and breathable leggings and top for the summer for wet weather.
    For the winter I wear a hi vis jacket and a polar fleece hood for when the temp starts falling low with Berghaus gloves.

  47. Heron Cleaning Supplies aka naughty spammer heronsupplies@esterlingstats.co.uk 13/07/2010 at 9:51 am #

    **Naughty spammer caught**

    • John 13/07/2010 at 12:56 pm #

      Dear Heron Cleaning supplies,

      My choice of cycling gear mentioned above:-

      (Personally I prefer a tutu which means no need to change at work.)

      Means I am always highly visible.

      Regards

      John

      • Andreas 13/07/2010 at 3:02 pm #

        You gotta hate the spammers ey!

  48. Justin Rolfe 19/07/2010 at 6:38 am #

    With 18 miles each way, it’s full garb, but flourescent tops/jackets. I aim for 55 minutes, so I get sweaty. People do complain if I don’t get changed.

  49. Luke 21/07/2010 at 10:59 am #

    12 miles each way so lycra + baggies (its a mental thing – weekends on the road bike I’m fine with 2mm of spandex). I use panniers so the sweating could be worse… although I use my commute as training. So, change of smalls and tee in the pannier, keep jeans and trainers at work. Shower and change of the essentials and jobs a good ‘un

  50. Fab 23/07/2010 at 10:36 am #

    I normally wear tracksuit bottoms, a cycling t-shirt (often one i got from the LCC) trainers, cycling gloves and helmet. I am not very fashion conscious, i go for comfort.

    I have a shower as soon as i get to work, and change into my daily clothes.

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