Author Topic: Pants for Biking  (Read 4148 times)

meg_shannon

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Pants for Biking
« on: May 07, 2015, 01:55:48 AM »
For years I've limited how much clothing I buy. I now pretty much have, handmade (I sew) and high quality retail clothing. I've just started taking my daughter to nursery school by bike, about 10-15 km per day total. And I'm interested in using the bike to run errands since we have a trailer for the kid.

I don't want to wear out the seat of my nice clothes, but since that's pretty much all I have, minus some sweatpants for cleaning and other house stuff, I need some pants for biking. Cheap retail stuff seems like it will wear out quickly, which is why I don't usually buy it, and it's not particularly comfortable for biking. The pants ride down in the back and there's not enough flexibility in the groin.

I will still bike in my usual clothes if necessary. The normal routine is to come home after dropping her off at school, so it would be very easy to have cycling only pants.

Also, any tips for cycling a skirt would be appreciated. I wear them a lot in the summer. Do women usually wear little shorts underneath, not care if people see their underpants, or fasten their skirt in some way?

Thank you!

killingxspree

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2015, 06:32:45 AM »
A line style skirt is your best friend. Preferably in black in case you sweat. My knickers don't show unlike the one time I erroneously tried a narrow skirt with a slit (oops). The reason it needs to be more of an A line is because you scissor your legs wider then you think when you pedal and because it wont ride up when you cycle. So far I haven't found it flying up either.

also you can weigh you skirt down with little magnets similar to what people do with their curtains. =)

vhalros

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2015, 07:17:29 AM »
I can't vouch for how well it works, but this about a solution for bicycling in a skirt made the rounds on cycling forums recently (warning: excessively cheerful): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svhpJKvZZac

I haven't had much trouble with pants wearing out myself, but you would be doing a bit more mileage than me. I use a leather saddle, which is pretty smooth and probably helps.

humbleMouse

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2015, 07:38:17 AM »
I would suggest buying some levi commuter pants.  They are reinforced in the groin area so they don't rip easily, and they are made from an extremely comfortable nylon blend.  The nylon blend rejects stains amazingly well.  I have spilled wine on mine multiple times and it doesn't stain.  The material also rejects smell, so you can wear them for days on end without washing and they still seem clean/don't stink.  It's amazing really. 

NumberCruncher

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2015, 07:42:42 AM »
also you can weigh you skirt down with little magnets similar to what people do with their curtains. =)

That...could be very interesting if you have a steel frame bike...or work in a kitchen...


I wear shorts or leggings underneath skirts, personally. Nice bike shorts would work especially well.

mskyle

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2015, 07:44:01 AM »
I bike in skirts very often, and usually don't wear anything special underneath them. A-line is indeed the best - the other day I rode about 20mi/30km in an a-line skirt.

To minimize flashing incidents I weight down the front of the skirt. If I'm wearing a lightweight skirt I will clip a binder clip (like these) to the center front hem of my skirt. This makes the skirt want to hang down between my legs rather than blow up around my face. With, say, a heavy, lined wool skirt, I don't usually bother doing anything; it will stay down on its own, and anyway I'm probably wearing tights if I'm wearing a skirt like that.

To minimize skirt-caught-in-brakes-or-spokes incidents (only a problem with longer/fuller skirts), I bunch up the front of the skirt in an elastic band (preferably a rubber band, not a hair band, as hair bands can be too slippery), to make what I delicately describe as a "skirt-wang". One of my bikes has hub brakes, so it's impossible to get the skirt caught in the brakes. That bike also came with skirt guards but I'm not crazy about the look of them so I haven't bothered with them yet; the rack and fenders act as a sort of rudimentary skirt guard, and anyway I have only had problems with getting caught in the wheel at the half-circle skirt level (and every then it was below-the-knee).

I'm biking similar distances to you - my commute is 12 km - in my regular clothes, which are mostly off-the-rack (all of my trousers are off-the-rack, and not especially high-quality), and I haven't really had any problems with wear. I also have some inexpensive workout pants ("performance polyester" kind of stuff from TJMaxx) that I wear on the bike if it's very hot or very cold, and they don't wear out either. Honestly I think walking is probably more wearing on my trousers than biking - when I walk, my thighs are rubbing against each other, but when I bike there's just a little rubbing against the seat (which is much smoother). Your thigh gap may vary :P My boyfriend wears the Levi Commuters and loves them (and they are good-looking trousers).

Fodder

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2015, 11:12:29 AM »
I haven't had any issues with clothing wearing out.  I have biked in a skirt/dress and echo the other suggestions for a mid-length A-line.  I've had no issues.

In terms of pants, I love biking in skinny pants/jeans.  They don't get caught and they usually have a good amount of stretch to them, so they are comfortable.

enigmaT120

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2015, 02:26:09 PM »
Somewhere I read an article about making knickers for bicycling, out of Goodwill wool dress pants.  You could make them as long as you want, just be able to snug up the bottoms to stay out of your chain.  My problem is the pairs I find that look like they would fit and be comfortable (light weight wool!) so far say "dry clean only."  I don' t know how seriously to take that warning.

I have a couple of pairs of MUSA brand bicycling pants I bought from Rivendell Cyclery or however you spell that.  Nice nylon, but I only wear them when it's below 40 degrees and not raining.  Like this morning.  I prefer shorts if it's over 40.  Especially when it's supposed to go up to 70 this afternoon.




lise

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2015, 02:33:57 PM »
I would suggest buying some levi commuter pants.  They are reinforced in the groin area so they don't rip easily, and they are made from an extremely comfortable nylon blend.  The nylon blend rejects stains amazingly well.  I have spilled wine on mine multiple times and it doesn't stain.  The material also rejects smell, so you can wear them for days on end without washing and they still seem clean/don't stink.  It's amazing really.

My boyfriend loves the durability/comfort/repelling benefits of Levi commuter pants too ... the ladies ones look stylish.

smalllife

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2015, 05:53:26 AM »
I bike in skirts with no issues. My old jeans wore through the thighs from the saddle, so skirts are the best from a "wear' perspective.  I've got two wool a line skirts.  Since I change at work I go from leggings to shorts depending on the season, but the fall/spring I'll be in my skirts or dresses.  No weight, nothing special. I've yet ro have an underwear flashing scenario,  but my philosophy is that a bathing suit is no different so why should I care ;-)

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2015, 07:36:05 AM »
I'm a dude, so no skirts (or kilts) for me. I usually wear sweats, rain pants, tights underneath shorts, or shorts - all depending on weather.

None of those are stylish but I'm a SAHD so I'm not exactly concerned about style. If I need to be more presentable for some reason I just change at the destination.

The only crotch I've worn out or torn was on a pair of rain pants from a cheaper brand (Columbia). And I've done thousands of miles so far in my current set of clothes.

MoneyCat

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2015, 07:42:45 AM »
I wear waterproof nylon windbreaker-style pants and they serve me well.  I got them at Target with a gift card, so they were free.  They fit over your regular pants too, if you are riding to work.

sol

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2015, 10:05:00 AM »
In all of my years of biking, the only wear and tear on my clothes I've had was from my cuff or shoelaces getting caught on the chain or chain ring.

I've never had an issue with wearing out the crotch of my pants.  Maybe that's a problem specific to wider "comfort" style seats?

SailAway

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Re: Pants for Biking
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2015, 10:23:05 AM »
I would suggest buying some levi commuter pants.

.....

I have spilled wine on mine multiple times and it doesn't stain.

I feel like we should be besties.

Anyways, I'm embarrassed to say I usually wear yoga pants or nylon shorts when I bike.