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Commuting clothing

Hi folks,

I’m going to be using my bike to commute to work three days a week. I’m normally a fair weather cyclist so I have the usual pair of bibshort and bibtights.

Is there a way to keep your gear “hygienic” enough to wear all week or is it a case of multiple pairs of whatever you wish to wear?

Don’t fancy washing stuff every day!

Posts

  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,077
    My commute is fairly short 25/30 minutes each way so I use some thin, non cotton, trunk style pants I found in M&S. They are fairly snug so don’t bunch up and rub. Wear these under my bib tights and all is well.
  • drhaggisdrhaggis Posts: 804
    How many miles each way? Having the benefit of a shower at the office, I extend my commute to 10 miles each way, and cover them reasonably fast (within my abilities). I change bibs every other day. Base layers more often, unless they're merino in the winter. These can survive two days, if not too sweaty.

    Tl,DR; yeah, multiple pairs of everything. The first few months you won't save in fuel.
  • It’s three miles each way so only six miles per day.
  • drhaggisdrhaggis Posts: 804
    Is it flat? Some paths can be taken easy. In my case, I can do 12 mph without sweating at all, and I found that cycling on normal clothes reins me back. In Edinburgh, however, I can't do it. I face at least 120 meters of climbing no matter how I go, and going slow up the hills is just no fun.

    As is, I'd say your choices are:
    a) go slow, forego the lycra, avoid sweating
    b) maybe a base layer plus some mild zone 2-3 is OK. Base layers dry superfast
    c) find some extra 5 miles each way, get the lycra, and burn those calories!
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    I have enough bib shorts to wear a different pair each day and I buy padless bib tights to wear over the top so they will last a week without washing.

    Unfortunately pad less bib tights are getting scarcer.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • It’s three miles each way so only six miles per day.

    Honestly, you'll be doubling the time of your journey if you're changing into and out of lycra twice a day. Just wear normal clothes and slow down
  • timothywtimothyw Posts: 2,482
    Yep, another vote for normal clothes. 3 miles is nothing - perhaps wear a different t shirt and put on a fresh shirt at work.

    To be honest, if I had a commute of that sort of distance I'm not sure I'd even bother getting the bike out - perhaps get one of those adult scooters (electric or otherwise)? Less things to go wrong, can leave it under your desk....

    I've just had a look and on the days I get the train in (which admittedly are pretty rare) my walk to the local station plus my walk to work at the far end is only a smidge under three miles (for which I will wear different clothes to avoid being sweaty at work, as I do like a brisk walk...)

    Certainly 3 miles is a distance sufficiently short that you have to think carefully whether a bike is worth the faff - factor in the time locking it up, checking the tyres, getting changed, charging lights etc - I remember when I was in sixth form I gave up riding the bike after a few weeks because there was always some little thing that came up that meant it was nearly as quick for me to walk the two miles.
  • 3 miles is totally worthwhile if it makes your life better/easier. I'm freelance and work from home, but my 'commute' to the city centre is 2.5-3 miles depending where I'm going and it is 100% always faster to take a bike than any form of public transit or walking. Even if it wasn't faster, if it improves your physical or mental health to cycle commute then it's worth doing.

    I'm with the others in saying I wouldn't bother to kit up or anything for a ride like that though. If I do use any separate gear for rides of that length then it's probably more like gym clothes than cycle kit. MTB baggies or joggers or something. Synthetic always beats cotton, and if it's cold then wool beats synthetic. My hooded hillwalking waterproof is best for wet commutes as it fits over more normal clothing and is more useful off the bike. I have waterproof overtrousers if I need them, but usually I just let the legs get wet if I'm changing clothes anyway.
    2020 Ribble CGR SL
    2019 Vitus Vitesse Evo CRS Disc
    2019 Cannondale Synapse AL 105 SE Disc
    2017 Dawes Galaxy Plus
    2014 Boardman MTB Pro 29er HT
  • thompsonmax465thompsonmax465 Posts: 2
    edited November 2019
    Hi everyone. I am new to this forum. Nice to be here B)
  • Cycling in normal clothes, what if it's raining? Do you change into other clothes or sit in wet clothes at work?

    There's something nice getting out of cycling clobber and into nice, dry work clothes. You kind of warm up quicker in fresh clothes.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    3 miles - I wouldn't bother with cycling clobber - I used to do 4 in works clothes just taking Little Slowbike to pre-school (returning home, dump the bike and get in the car) - I did swap trousers if it was wet or had been wet - because the path was a lot of grit and covered my legs - despite mudguards.

    But yer - if it's raining - you're going to get wet - depending on the commute terrain - I'd probably just have a pair of waterproof trousers & jacket to wear.

    I do 9 miles each way - change into cycling clobber - because I'm riding for 1/2hr+ I just leave work clothes at work ...

    All depends how smart your work clothes have to be I guess!
  • It’s three miles each way so only six miles per day.
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    I wouldnt wear work clothes to ride my bike,its just never going to work, for a variety of reasons I know that are gender specific and whats acceptable office wear for me, but even that aside the roads especially this time of year now that the sludge of molasses & rock salt is being spread on them, you just get caked in brown muck,even when it isnt raining. cycle paths arent much better the ones I use are all covered in leaf mulch and mud at the moment.

    but you dont need bibtights specifically with or without a pad, running tights,leggings, tracksuit bottoms or tracksters are just as good and more versatile and given its only 3 miles you can probably skip padded shorts anyway and just stick with your choice of underwear
  • edited November 2019

    Confusing statement. What ever speed you cover the 10 miles, goes without saying they are within your abilities because you just done them. Reasonably fast may not actually be within your abilities. Your perception of reasonably fast may or may not be what is actually reasonably fast. Actual numbers would be more useful, I.E "I done the 10 miles in little over 35 minutes."

    For commuting I just wear normal everyday clothes. (not lycra). I also use a waterproof cycling jacket, waterproof over trousers and overshoes. The waterproof jacket has the advantage of keeping me rather warm even when it's freezing. So it doesn't necessarily need to be raining for me to wear it.

    Also my sig has changed!? Can't remember what it was but I never said anything about 20p or swearing. WTF?
    I'm not a racist! My f'in car is black!
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    awavey said:

    I wouldnt wear work clothes to ride my bike,its just never going to work, for a variety of reasons I know that are gender specific and whats acceptable office wear for me, but even that aside the roads especially this time of year now that the sludge of molasses & rock salt is being spread on them, you just get caked in brown muck,even when it isnt raining. cycle paths arent much better the ones I use are all covered in leaf mulch and mud at the moment.

    but you dont need bibtights specifically with or without a pad, running tights,leggings, tracksuit bottoms or tracksters are just as good and more versatile and given its only 3 miles you can probably skip padded shorts anyway and just stick with your choice of underwear

    Ok my commute is just under 2 miles but I don't get caked in muck cycling in. You do have mudguards on ? Maybe a quick wipe of my work shoes getting off the bike but that's about it.

  • drhaggisdrhaggis Posts: 804
    edited November 2019


    Confusing statement. What ever speed you cover the 10 miles, goes without saying they are within your abilities because you just done them. Reasonably fast may not actually be within your abilities. Your perception of reasonably fast may or may not be what is actually reasonably fast. Actual numbers would be more useful, I.E "I done the 10 miles in little over 35 minutes."
    I'm sure you will have noticed "within my abilities" qualified the speed, not the distance. The only speed that needs no qualifications is the speed of light in vacuum. Feel free to translate "reasonably fast" to some FTP% using a perceived exertion scale. And yes, that's all it matters because I sweat based on my performance limits, not those of Peter Sagan.
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,177



    Also my sig has changed!? Can't remember what it was but I never said anything about 20p or swearing. WTF?

    it's the swear filter. Your sig presumably had a swear word in it and the swear filter has replaced it with an 'amusing' phrase.

    FCN = 4
  • awaveyawavey Posts: 2,368
    fenix said:

    awavey said:

    I wouldnt wear work clothes to ride my bike,its just never going to work, for a variety of reasons I know that are gender specific and whats acceptable office wear for me, but even that aside the roads especially this time of year now that the sludge of molasses & rock salt is being spread on them, you just get caked in brown muck,even when it isnt raining. cycle paths arent much better the ones I use are all covered in leaf mulch and mud at the moment.

    but you dont need bibtights specifically with or without a pad, running tights,leggings, tracksuit bottoms or tracksters are just as good and more versatile and given its only 3 miles you can probably skip padded shorts anyway and just stick with your choice of underwear

    Ok my commute is just under 2 miles but I don't get caked in muck cycling in. You do have mudguards on ? Maybe a quick wipe of my work shoes getting off the bike but that's about it.

    yes I have mudguards, no a quick wipe of my work shoes wouldnt ever cut it not that I could ever ride in them anyway :p maybe caked in muck is over egging it a bit but theres enough rubbish on the roads I ride on, cycling clobber just is the best solution for me at least but there are lots of alternates
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,077
    Why not just wear what you usually wear when out riding the bike for fun? It's stuff you already have so why buy more? That's what I do. If you are not comfortable on the bike then you are less likely to use the bike to commute. That's what I found when I tried to commute on an old beater I found abandoned one day. Did it up with parts I already had to use as a pub/town/commuter. It really was such an uncomfortable bike to ride I only used it 5 times before flogging it as I didn't want to use it.

    A work place that supports commuters really does help though. I'm lucky in that we have plenty of bike shelters and racks, showers, lockers to keep stuff etc. If you don't have that then possibly more "normal" clothes might be a better option?
  • My commute is only ~4 miles and ~120 feet climbing going in, half of which is a short ~4% incline. Approx 15-20mins depending upon wind/legs/how late I'm running.

    I'm not good in the mornings, especially during SAD time from September to March, so I only usually wear basic cycle gear above and beyond my work clothes...
    Helmet
    Old SPD shoes during spring/summer to clip into my Time ATACs, now replaced with old trainers and pinned platform pedals for winter
    Jacket if it's cold and/or wet
    Skullcap in winter
    Gloves in winter


    On a good day I have ~8mins to ditch cycling stuff into locker and change to work shoes, on a bad day it might be ~3mins. Did try wearing a cycling jersey once and I've worn the arm/leg warmers a handful of times (instead of wearing work trousers and long sleeved shirt), but it's just extra faff and time I don't have most mornings.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • photonic69photonic69 Posts: 1,077

    My commute is only ~4 miles and ~120 feet climbing going in, half of which is a short ~4% incline. Approx 15-20mins depending upon wind/legs/how late I'm running.

    You are lucky! Mine's short too just over 4 miles but 620ft of climbing and most of that it one hill at the end!! Over a mile long and average of 9% No matter what I do I always end up sweating by the time I get to the top. Like two days ago Zero degrees at the bottom - jersey unzipped to waist halfway up the hill. Need a shower and change of clothes after that.

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