Poll

How far would your planned ride have to be for it to be worth wearing cycling clothes?

I always wear spandex, even when I'm not on the bike!
3 (5.3%)
1-2 miles
2 (3.5%)
3-5 miles
13 (22.8%)
6-9 miles
14 (24.6%)
10-14 miles
9 (15.8%)
15-25 miles
6 (10.5%)
I ride centuries in a cotton T-shirt and jeans, you wuss!
10 (17.5%)

Total Members Voted: 57

Author Topic: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?  (Read 11035 times)

Jack

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My bike commute is about 6 miles each way. It has moderate hills at the start and end and a relatively flat multi-use path in the middle. I ride it at what is for me a pretty fast clip, and invariably get sweaty enough that I choose to wear athletic clothes and change/shower when I get to work. However, I see lots of people who appear to be riding similar distances but are wearing street clothes, and that makes me wonder if I'm over-thinking it.

EDIT: This poll is about having a separate outfit for the ride and changing when you get to work, not specifically about whether said outfit is spandex or not. (I had assumed that if people were going to bother changing clothes then they might as well wear athletic stuff too, but that's apparently not the case for everyone.)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 08:32:10 AM by Jack »

Paul | pdgessler

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 08:55:11 AM »
My current commute is 14 miles one-way, which is definitely cycling clothes territory for me. I think anything less than 8 miles would be manageable in street clothes for me, as long as there weren't significant hills.

johnny847

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 09:03:54 AM »
My commute is also about 6 miles each way, with moderate hills. I enjoy riding fast though, so I work up a sweat. Luckily there are showers at work.

I prefer cycling clothes for this distance because
1) I sweat
2) If it is raining, I definitely want a change of clothes anyway. I adopt the just get wet and ride through the rain philosophy, as opposed to trying to stay dry by using stuff like GoreTex
3) I am just more comfortable in cycling clothes. They're far better at letting sweat evaporate while keeping you warm. Cotton clothes suck at this big time, which most of my work appropriate clothes are made out of.

AlanStache

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 09:07:46 AM »
I have done my 6 mile commute in cycling shorts that have baggy shorts built-in over the spandex.  These give a good compromise between the padding of cycling specific gear and a low key look that is more appropriate in non-cycling settings.  Also I dont have a shower available at work so it is baby wipes and ridding at a lower exertion to keep the sweating down. 

6 miles seems to be a bad distance, is sufficiently far to want cycling gear and a proper bike and then to need to get cleaned up at work but not far enough to be considered a workout.  It has the hassle of needing prep-time, taking long (than driving) and getting cleaned up at work but is not sufficient for a days exercise.  I have done it mostly for the sake of doing it so far.  Longer routs are not viable and would leave me more in need of a shower.  Maybe I need to stop bitching and just do it but I really have trouble finding a tangible rational for riding to/from work.

ditheca

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 09:44:53 AM »
7 miles each way.

I just wear business casual and then throw anything on top that I need to keep warm.  I've never owned cycling clothes, so maybe I'm missing out on an opportunity to buy expensive things?  Darn.

frugaliknowit

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 09:52:43 AM »
My bike commute is 8 miles each way on flat, though there can be some pretty strong head or cross winds.  I shower before leaving, wear all the gear, babby wipe and change when I get to work.

For errands:  In the summer always wear shorts (cycling or other); in the cold weather wear thermal tights.  I hate getting grease on jeans (no chainguards).

Jack

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2015, 09:56:03 AM »
I have done my 6 mile commute in cycling shorts that have baggy shorts built-in over the spandex.  These give a good compromise between the padding of cycling specific gear and a low key look that is more appropriate in non-cycling settings.

My typical warm-weather outfit is cycling shorts with nylon baggy cargo shorts over them, and a loose-fitting athletic T-shirt or mountain-biking-style jersey. Of course, the "more appropriate in non-cycling settings" part goes out then window when the shirt in question is high-vis orange...

6 miles seems to be a bad distance, is sufficiently far to want cycling gear and a proper bike and then to need to get cleaned up at work but not far enough to be considered a workout.  It has the hassle of needing prep-time, taking long (than driving) and getting cleaned up at work but is not sufficient for a days exercise.

Yeah, I agree. But on the bright(?) side, the "taking longer than driving" part isn't true for me: rush-hour traffic sucks so bad here that I can get to work faster on the bike! My 6-mile bike commute takes about 40 minutes (which sounds slower than it is, since that includes waiting at a few long stoplights), but when I tried driving on the freeway (7.5 miles) it took 45 minutes! (Maybe longer -- I didn't think to start my GPS until about 5 minutes in, when I was still next to my office's parking garage!)

Maybe I should start taking a longer route home to make it more of a worthwhile exercise session.

BlueMR2

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2015, 10:12:20 AM »
The only "cycling specific" piece of gear I own is actually a running shirt I got for free from the local running shop.  I don't do full centuries, but besides my errand running, I also occasionally do fun rides of 30-50 some miles in my regular clothes.  I have gel saddles on my bikes and make sure to wear clothes that fit well.  Loose clothing leads to chafing as does overly tight clothing.

AlanStache

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 10:26:44 AM »
...
6 miles seems to be a bad distance, is sufficiently far to want cycling gear and a proper bike and then to need to get cleaned up at work but not far enough to be considered a workout.  It has the hassle of needing prep-time, taking long (than driving) and getting cleaned up at work but is not sufficient for a days exercise.

Yeah, I agree. But on the bright(?) side, the "taking longer than driving" part isn't true for me: rush-hour traffic sucks so bad here that I can get to work faster on the bike! My 6-mile bike commute takes about 40 minutes (which sounds slower than it is, since that includes waiting at a few long stoplights), but when I tried driving on the freeway (7.5 miles) it took 45 minutes! (Maybe longer -- I didn't think to start my GPS until about 5 minutes in, when I was still next to my office's parking garage!)

Maybe I should start taking a longer route home to make it more of a worthwhile exercise session.

Traffic is almost a total non-issue for me in the car, driving takes ~10min with a few lights.  Riding takes 26-30 min.  Parking is free at work and there are no tolls so it costs ~5$/week in gas + minimal car maintenance/insurance that I would mostly be paying even if I rode 5 days per week (but if I rode every day I would need to buy rain gear and panniers).  I dont like the situation but riding takes over 1hr per day, driving takes ~20 min/day; I can spend those +40 minutes running/lifting at be in better shape than if I had ridden to work.  "Why not both?" I have finite time and would like to spend some with GF.  Again maybe I need to stop bitching; just do it and let the details sort them selves out.

Eric222

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2015, 10:29:26 AM »
If I'm getting on my bike, I'm putting on my bike outfit(s).  They just make the ride so much more comfortable.

jeromedawg

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2015, 10:32:21 AM »
I typically wear my biking clothes even though the commute is 4-5miles each way max. I actively try to work up a sweat when biking in just to get *something* in along the lines of exercise. It's not a big deal to change into "work clothes" at my current place either.

GuitarStv

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2015, 10:37:03 AM »
I've commuted to my work (about 11 miles each way) just fine in regular clothes.  In our humid summers especially I would often get chafing and be sore.  I've done 20 mile rides in basketball shorts and a cotton t-shirt . . . and it's doable.  It is far, far, far, more comfortable to wear bike shorts though.  A decent pair of bike shorts is not too expensive.

I do a lot of cycling in the winter as well . . . and I can tell you that having a close fitting jacket and warm tights tremendously improves your speed and reduces the difficulty of cutting through a headwind on your way to work than wearing track pants and your typical baggy jacket.  Having a very visible flourescent jacket with reflective patches reduces near misses with cars (or at least it did with me).

Cycling clothing is ugly, but it's functional.  The side bonus is that it makes you go faster . . . because you don't want anyone to see you dressed like that.  :P


Personally, anything over 5 miles and I'll probably need to change clothes because I'm all sweaty anyway.  Might as well wear comfy clothes then . . .

sol

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2015, 10:37:38 AM »
I only wear cycling specific clothing when I'm going on a cycling specific trip, which usually means a minimum of 30 miles for fun on a weekend.  I wear regular clothes for all other trips, just like I would in a car, though these trips are rarely longer than about ten miles each direction.

mikedom

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2015, 10:57:25 AM »
I only wear cycling specific gear if I'm going on a road ride (>20 miles) or mountain biking. Any sort of commute/errand is done in normal clothes.

I'm of the opinion that wearing normal clothes helps normalize biking. It might lower the barriers to entry if someone doesn't want to wear spandex and a tech shirt to bike.

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2015, 11:08:38 AM »
If I'm getting on my bike, I'm putting on my bike outfit(s).  They just make the ride so much more comfortable.

This. I also don't want to get splashed, sweaty, or dirty in my work attire.

AlanStache

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2015, 11:15:21 AM »
To everyone that wears normal clothes around town and then spandex on proper road rides, how do you manage your peddles/shoes?  I assume you have clipless for road rides but use normal shoes while shopping/going to work?  Do you have two bikes each with different styles of peddles?  Or do you have one bike and use mountain bike shoes where the clipless shoe-mount-part does not hit the ground?  I understand there are some pedals that are both flat and can also take a clipped shoe.  Or do you KISS and just carry a pair of sandals to change into while in the store?  Just wondering what others have found to be good options. 

KCM5

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2015, 11:21:55 AM »
I don't own any cycling specific clothing. I commute 4 miles each way year round. For longer rides, they're all recreational but I like to enjoy myself so I don't ride fast. Sure, there's sweat involved, but I sweat in normal clothes doing other daily activities, so no worries about it being on a bike. One thing I do is if I have a shorter skirt on, I have some spandex shorts I wear under them to reduce chafing.

That said, my bike is not a road bike. If I had one of those and went on road rides I'd probably get some padded shorts. Also, I use platform pedals so no shoe issues.

Eric222

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2015, 11:22:06 AM »
To everyone that wears normal clothes around town and then spandex on proper road rides, how do you manage your peddles/shoes?  I assume you have clipless for road rides but use normal shoes while shopping/going to work?  Do you have two bikes each with different styles of peddles?  Or do you have one bike and use mountain bike shoes where the clipless shoe-mount-part does not hit the ground?  I understand there are some pedals that are both flat and can also take a clipped shoe.  Or do you KISS and just carry a pair of sandals to change into while in the store?  Just wondering what others have found to be good options.

I took my clip-in pedals off of my bike, as that substantially raised my threshold for getting on the bike in the first place.  I just wear running shoes while I bike now.  If I need to have nicer shoes  at work (clinical work!), they get thrown in the messenger bag. 

AlwaysLearningToSave

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2015, 11:35:35 AM »
I assume by "cycling-specific clothing" you mean the fancy stuff you would need to go to the cycling section of a sporting goods store to purchase.  I do not own any of this type of clothing and bike my seven-mile commute regularly with no problems.  I just wear a pair of athletic shorts and a t-shirt.  Add thermal underwear, long pants, and/or a warm, form-fitting athletic jacket depending on temperatures. 

But if by "cycling-specific clothing" you mean anything other than what you wear during the work day, then I always ride in cycling-specific clothing.  My commute includes some decent hills and I try to push hard through the entire ride to get a good workout.  I end up pretty sweaty by the end of the ride so a shower and change of clothes at work is absolutely necessary for me to be presentable.  My work requires business attire, so I would not even wear work clothes if I took the ride easy-- I don't want to ruin a pair of slacks with chain grease stains or road grime. 

Jack

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2015, 11:46:18 AM »
To everyone that wears normal clothes around town and then spandex on proper road rides, how do you manage your peddles/shoes?  I assume you have clipless for road rides but use normal shoes while shopping/going to work?  Do you have two bikes each with different styles of peddles?  Or do you have one bike and use mountain bike shoes where the clipless shoe-mount-part does not hit the ground?  I understand there are some pedals that are both flat and can also take a clipped shoe.  Or do you KISS and just carry a pair of sandals to change into while in the store?  Just wondering what others have found to be good options.

I use Crank Brothers-style pedals, and my commuter bike has the "Mallet" model pedals that have a decently-large platform. It's not as good as dedicated platform pedals, but it's usable without clipless shoes for short rides. I wish the platform had more grip / texture, and might pick an "SPD on one side / platform on the other" type of pedal if I had to do it over again.

(My road bike and mountain bike also have Crank Brothers pedals, but those are the "Eggbeater" style without a platform at all.)

But if by "cycling-specific clothing" you mean anything other than what you wear during the work day...

That's more what I meant.

GuitarStv

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2015, 11:52:56 AM »
I only wear cycling specific gear if I'm going on a road ride (>20 miles) or mountain biking. Any sort of commute/errand is done in normal clothes.

I'm of the opinion that wearing normal clothes helps normalize biking. It might lower the barriers to entry if someone doesn't want to wear spandex and a tech shirt to bike.

For close to home errand running, sure . . . wear regular stuff.  I don't think that anybody would bother to put on a full spandex kit to go a mile down the road to the local grocery store.

How far is your commute?  At about 11 miles each way for me, I can't bike to work two days in a row unless wearing spandex shorts.  Regular clothes literally chafe my ass.

galliver

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2015, 11:58:02 AM »
I only need to go 2.5 miles, but I think I could double or even triple that pretty easily without discomfort.

I do bring a warmer/more wind-resistant jacket and gloves because I bike, when it gets below 45-50F (which it now does at night, even in LA). If I only had to get to a car or bus, or if I was walking home, this would be unnecessary.

The Guru

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2015, 07:49:00 PM »
It depends. In summer I get to wear shorts at work, so I just wear my work shorts w/ a high-vis cycling jersey and change the shirt at work. I hate to ride in jeans (usual work clothing) though so in cooler weather I wear some combination of a wicking shirt (short- or long-sleeve), long-sleeved t, and cycling jacket depending on temp on top, wind pants over tights if necessary  on the bottom. FWIW I like cycling specific shorts & shirt for recreational riding but not work (too much potential for co-worker abuse if I showed up wearing Spandex!). Commute is 7 miles one way-downhill going in :-) uphill coming home:-(

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #23 on: November 12, 2015, 08:14:21 PM »
I answered the poll in the "I wear spandex all the time!" option, but the actual answer is going to vary considerably with your weather, speed, and other riding habits.

I live in FL and for anything over about 5 miles, I'm probably going to be sweaty anyway, so most of the time I'll put the spandex on.  My ride to work is 15 miles one way; it's immensely more comfortable to dress in cycling shorts and a jersey.  The stuff works; wearing "normal" clothes would be the stupid option for me.

For those who asked about clipless pedals vs. street shoes, my commuter and any bike I ride off road have SPD pedals, and the commuter has a Shimano pedal with a platform on one side and SPD on the other.  I can walk around just fine with the mountain bike shoes (treaded with a recessed cleat), and if I want to skip bike shoes for short distances, I can use the platform side.  My longer distance road bikes have Speedplay pedals which I vastly prefer for security, ease of use, weight and durability.  On long rides with those I often carry cleat covers for store stops and the like.

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2015, 01:17:28 AM »
My bike commute is about 6 miles each way. It has moderate hills at the start and end and a relatively flat multi-use path in the middle. I ride it at what is for me a pretty fast clip, and invariably get sweaty enough that I choose to wear athletic clothes and change/shower when I get to work. However, I see lots of people who appear to be riding similar distances but are wearing street clothes, and that makes me wonder if I'm over-thinking it.

My commute is about 2.5 miles to the train station, then about .5 to the office after disembarking.  If I had to wear a second set of clothes, it would just be too much bother to cycle it.  Dress in bike clothes. Get to work: change to work clothes (not to mention, how did they get there?  Did I carry them on the bike, without wrinkling? So I have to CAREFULLY PACK a set of clothes, too). Work all day: change back into bike clothes.  Get home: change to casual clothes for evening activities (optional).  Change to PJ's for bed.  That's 4-5 changes of clothes in one day, plus packing a change for the office EVERY DAY.  It's quicker to just ride slower. Plus, I got better things to do.

mikedom

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2015, 06:47:05 AM »
My commute is about 6 miles one way, and very flat (woot Michigan!). In the summer I wear shorts and a t-shirt and change into pants/nicer shirt when I get to work. When it's cooler, I wear pants and have extra socks, underwear, a shirt, sweater, etc. at work in case I get rained on.

I have flat pedals so just wear sneakers as shoes. I only have clipless pedals for road/mtb riding.

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2015, 07:32:17 AM »
I answered in the poll 6-9 miles, because if I'm biking for errands or to the train station or out to a bar I'll happily travel that distance in comfy stretch jeans. 

But for my 4 mile one-way commute, I wear non-specific athletic clothes (yoga pants, smartwool tops) and put my work clothes on at the office.  This is both to make it easier to dress for the weather and, mostly, to protect my work clothes.  As long as I'm only wearing work clothes while I'm actually in the office, I rarely have to wash them (at least work pants and sweaters), and they hold up much much longer. 

I don't bother with actual cycling gear unless I'm going on an actual cycling ride.

Once I accidentally biked 20 miles in jeans, and that was......uncomfortable. 

FLBiker

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2015, 07:44:38 AM »
Interesting question.  I picked the last answer, but a more accurate response would have substituted cargo shorts for jeans.  I bike to work everyday (6 miles, FL) in cargo shorts and a (cotton) t-shirt.  I keep saying I'm going to use a running shirt, but I like to wear my biking shirt as an undershirt at work, and those look a little weirder.  I don't sweat too much (except in the summer, when I might change my t-shirt) but it's flat and I go pretty slow.  I keep all my work shirts / pants in my office.

I've also done a fair bit of bike touring, too.  I never had cycling gear, but I do wear good travelling clothes -- quick dry stuff, mostly.  I like those Columbia titanium button down shirts for sun protection -- I spent 30 days on the Tibetan Plateau, and the sun was extremely strong (but not overly hot) so I wanted long sleeves.

At the risk of revealing too much about myself, I wear boxer briefs, so I've never seen the point of spandex shorts.  Am I missing something?  And on my commuting bike, I use The Seat, which is pretty comfortable.

GuitarStv

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2015, 08:26:36 AM »
I get not liking bike shorts.  They make you look fat.  They can show off your wiener.  They can be expensive.  They turn you from a normal into one of those guys.  It's kinda how I felt for an awful long time.

To anyone who has never worn bike shorts, I'd strongly recommend you pick up a pair and given 'em a try for a month or so.  The difference in comfort is astounding.

Jack

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2015, 08:29:50 AM »
Interesting question.  I picked the last answer, but a more accurate response would have substituted cargo shorts for jeans.  I bike to work everyday (6 miles, FL) in cargo shorts and a (cotton) t-shirt.  I keep saying I'm going to use a running shirt, but I like to wear my biking shirt as an undershirt at work, and those look a little weirder.  I don't sweat too much (except in the summer, when I might change my t-shirt) but it's flat and I go pretty slow.  I keep all my work shirts / pants in my office.

I should have been more clear (or used less hyperbole) in my poll: if you wear "normal" clothes, but change clothes after you get to your destination, then that still counts as "cycling-specific."

sol

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #30 on: November 13, 2015, 08:41:05 AM »
I should have been more clear (or used less hyperbole) in my poll: if you wear "normal" clothes, but change clothes after you get to your destination, then that still counts as "cycling-specific."

Why is that?  I wear a jacket when I walk to work, and then when I arrive I take it off.  I don't consider that "walking-specific" clothes, that's just extra layers you need because you're outside.

FLBiker

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #31 on: November 13, 2015, 08:54:43 AM »
I get not liking bike shorts.  ...  They turn you from a normal into one of those guys.

To anyone who has never worn bike shorts, I'd strongly recommend you pick up a pair and given 'em a try for a month or so.  The difference in comfort is astounding.

Ha, that's it exactly!  Maybe I'll have to bite the bullet...

Jack

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #32 on: November 13, 2015, 10:00:12 AM »
I should have been more clear (or used less hyperbole) in my poll: if you wear "normal" clothes, but change clothes after you get to your destination, then that still counts as "cycling-specific."

Why is that?  I wear a jacket when I walk to work, and then when I arrive I take it off.  I don't consider that "walking-specific" clothes, that's just extra layers you need because you're outside.

Really? You're going to be that pedantic about it? Fine, let me put it this way: if you put on different articles of clothing afterwards and/or you feel the need to have privacy to do it, then that counts as changing clothes whereas merely taking off a jacket does not. If the set of clothes worn while biking contains (arbitrarily-chosen) 50% or less of the set of clothes worn while working, then that counts as changing clothes.

Faraday

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2015, 10:07:53 AM »
My bike commute is about 6 miles each way. It has moderate hills at the start and end and a relatively flat multi-use path in the middle. I ride it at what is for me a pretty fast clip, and invariably get sweaty enough that I choose to wear athletic clothes and change/shower when I get to work. However, I see lots of people who appear to be riding similar distances but are wearing street clothes, and that makes me wonder if I'm over-thinking it.

EDIT: This poll is about having a separate outfit for the ride and changing when you get to work, not specifically about whether said outfit is spandex or not. (I had assumed that if people were going to bother changing clothes then they might as well wear athletic stuff too, but that's apparently not the case for everyone.)

THANK YOU JACK, this is a GREAT THREAD.  My "clothes decisions" are influenced by the seasons. In the summer here in the southeast, I don't get on the bike in street clothes at all. I'll be wearing either bike shorts or bike shorts I found that have a cargo short shell.

In the summer when commuting to work, I'd wear a set of bike clothes for the ride in, carry my street clothes in the pannier and have a second change of bike clothes for getting home. Beware: this is a 65 mile round-trip commute, so it's absolute hell to do it in uncomfortable clothes.

Now we're into the fall and it's gotten pretty cool. I'm thinking I might soon be able to wear bike clothes on the ride in, change to street clothes at work (with little-to-no sweat) and then re-use my inbound bike clothes for the ride home.

This is a great thread, thanks!

Faraday

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2015, 10:15:03 AM »
I get not liking bike shorts.  They make you look fat.  They can show off your wiener.  They can be expensive.  They turn you from a normal into one of those guys.  It's kinda how I felt for an awful long time.

To anyone who has never worn bike shorts, I'd strongly recommend you pick up a pair and given 'em a try for a month or so.  The difference in comfort is astounding.

GuitarStv, truer words were never spoken. The functional comfort of true bike shorts cannot be rivaled when riding long distances on a bicycle. I used to own a stretchy-wool pair of bike shorts with an ACTUAL lambskin shammie sewn in that were the most awesome ever. I wore them until the holes got so big I had to stop. If I can ever find those wool bike shorts again, I'll buy three pair.

The rest of the world reacts very...sexually...to bike shorts on a dude. Teen girls working in the grocery store stare at my crotch trying to see my dick and balls. (I always wear a tee shirt that hangs down that far and doesn't make it easy to see...)

I've been hit on (aggressively) by gay men, I've been assaulted by F-150-driving Good 'ol Boys who assume I'm gay, gotten shit from my neighbors and HR-sensitive type comments from co-workers as I've self-consciously walked directly to the bathroom to change.

Fuck 'em all. I won't give up the functional comfort of bike shorts. I can wear my longish shirts and it's OK.

(Side note: What I've had to put up with for bike shorts has made me extremely sympathetic to the cause of equal rights for the LGBT community. You get a tremendous amount of shit from the herd for being different.)

Hopefully, my bike will be the path to avoiding the ravages of diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. I'd like to hit the grave with all my appendages attached.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 10:25:42 AM by Faraday »

WorkingToUnwind

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2015, 10:37:01 AM »
I commute six miles each way and really prefer to pedal hard and get sweaty. This means I definitely prefer the padded spandex so that I can change after the ride, but also so that my butt's more comfy.

Jack

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2015, 10:40:19 AM »
I get not liking bike shorts.  They make you look fat.  They can show off your wiener.  They can be expensive.  They turn you from a normal into one of those guys.  It's kinda how I felt for an awful long time.

To anyone who has never worn bike shorts, I'd strongly recommend you pick up a pair and given 'em a try for a month or so.  The difference in comfort is astounding.

GuitarStv, truer words were never spoken. The functional comfort of true bike shorts cannot be rivaled when riding long distances on a bicycle. I used to own a stretchy-wool pair of bike shorts with an ACTUAL lambskin shammie sewn in that were the most awesome ever. I wore them until the holes got so big I had to stop. If I can ever find those wool bike shorts again, I'll buy three pair.

The rest of the world reacts very...sexually...to bike shorts on a dude. Teen girls working in the grocery store stare at my crotch trying to see my dick and balls. (I always wear a tee shirt that hangs down that far and doesn't make it easy to see...)

I've been hit on (aggressively) by gay men, I've been assaulted by F-150-driving Good 'ol Boys who assume I'm gay, gotten shit from my neighbors and HR-sensitive type comments from co-workers as I've self-consciously walked directly to the bathroom to change.

Fuck 'em all. I won't give up the functional comfort of bike shorts. I can wear my longish shirts and it's OK.

(Side note: What I've had to put up with for bike shorts has made me extremely sympathetic to the cause of equal rights for the LGBT community. You get a tremendous amount of shit from the herd for being different.)

Hopefully, my bike will be the path to avoiding the ravages of diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. I'd like to hit the grave with all my appendages attached.

Behold: bicycle undershorts! All the comfort of bike shorts, while accommodating socially-acceptable "normal" pants over top.

(They're relatively cheap, too!)

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #37 on: November 13, 2015, 10:53:11 AM »
I am a fundraiser for an organization that focuses on bicycles. So I have a lot of policy meetings, donor meetings, etc to attend where I must show up on my bike (like I would do anything else!) but also need to look fancy. I wear skirts, heels, stockings, riding year-round. My commute was 20 miles/day for a long time and I still did this, though for a few years I wore bike shoes on the commute and changed shoes as work. I wear a motorbike rain poncho when it's raining.

I also do 30-100 mile rides in dresses, tights, but I usually lose the heels for flats (with firm soles) and often a wool bike jersey because I like the pockets in the back. SOMMMMMETimes I wear bike shorts under the dress, but never anything that would make me stand out as a "BIKER" in a small town bar.

Faraday

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2015, 11:07:20 AM »
Behold: bicycle undershorts! All the comfort of bike shorts, while accommodating socially-acceptable "normal" pants over top.

(They're relatively cheap, too!)

KILLER FIND!

Mrs. PoP

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2015, 11:17:02 AM »
I'm in FL, so it depends a lot on the time of year.  In summer, anything over 3 miles and I want to change when I get there (the exception being if I'm riding somewhere where gym clothes aren't weird like to yoga or the farmer's market).  In winter, that can be pushed to 6 or 7, but even then sometimes it's just more comfortable to ride in running capris and toss jeans over them at the destination than it is to ride in jeans.  So it might depend on how I feel that day. =)

brooklynguy

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2015, 11:31:51 AM »
Behold: bicycle undershorts! All the comfort of bike shorts, while accommodating socially-acceptable "normal" pants over top.

I've tried a few brands of bicycle undershorts but found none with a thick enough chamois.  Instead, I wear REI-brand cycling shorts that are camouflaged as "normal" shorts (basically, an outer normal-shorts shell with built-in underwear-like lining containing a (quality) chamois).

My commute is a bit over 10 miles each way and I change when I get in to the office.

GuitarStv

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2015, 01:32:40 PM »
Behold: bicycle undershorts! All the comfort of bike shorts, while accommodating socially-acceptable "normal" pants over top.

(They're relatively cheap, too!)

KILLER FIND!

No way am I giving up my aero advantage.  You can all just learn to deal with staring at my shapely cycling ass.

fallstoclimb

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Re: How far do you bike commute in street clothes vs. cycling-specific gear?
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2015, 03:01:20 PM »
Also my work wardrobe and my cycling wardrobe are merging more and more together.  I just discovered "crossover" sports bras, which provide enough support for cycling but DONT result in the dreaded uniboob.  Before that I learned about lady boxers (like the Jockey Skimmies). 

These things have made my life infinitely better, but I guess these problems are specific to ladies.