Just Ask Jack — Spandex on a Commuter?

An anonymous reader sent the following question:

“Is it OK to wear spandex to work? I usually ride a road bike, but occasionally ride my MTB to work.?

My feeling is to wear whatever you like that makes you comfortable — whether it is spandex jerseys and shorts or tight leather pants and a puffy pirate shirt . Spandex cycling wear wicks moisture and feels pretty comfortable…which is why so many “serious? cyclists and racers swear by it.

However, there are certain conditions where spandex cycling gear does not fit the bill. First, wearing a full team kit is pretentious, loud and annoying. You should only wear team gear such as Liquigas, CSC or Discovery Channel IF YOU ARE ON THE TEAM! Similarly, wearing a Cervelo jersey while riding a Trek is a big no-no. If we see you, we’ll report you to The Bike Snob. Stick to the brand of bike you own if you absolutely must wear a team jersey and shorts. For everyone else, cycling-specific clothing comes in bright solid colors, too.

Another exception is wearing spandex clothing on a one-speed beach cruiser, Kmart special or any bike that even vaguely resembles the bike ridden by the “40 Year Old Virgin“. You’re not fooling anyone into believing that you are some badass fitness freak or serious racer…mostly, you just look overprepared (and a bit silly) to go fast on a bike that is physically incapable of going fast.

Finally, leave the spandex alone if, after putting it on, you look ANYTHING like this guy:

(Picture “borrowed? from How To Avoid the Bummer Life)

Seriously, no one should have to look at that!

Have a cycling-related question? Just Ask Jack! Click on the link in the right-hand column to send me your questions.


5 Comments

  1. FlynRyan October 6, 2007 7:31 pm 

    Question, If you commute to work but bring all your work clothes on the Monday that you drive to work are you still considered a commuter?

    Q2: Lets say that you live oh…36 miles from you job and it takes about two hours to get there (one way) and you park your truck half way is that still commuting to work?

    I ride an entry level road bike and live to far to commute from my house (36 miles) and the only way possible it to park my truck halfway. Am i still considered a commuter ?

    The only way i ride my bike is in lycra it’s like second nature. If it was socially acceptable to wear on a regular basis i.e. work attire i would do so. I am pushing to wear my bike gear for Halloween but my 9yo daughter is not having any of that! Why is it so frowned uponmor made fun of?? Please bike gods for why has thy bretheren been labeled as an outcast for clothing thyself in such garmet that feels so natural? Uhh…. NEVERMIND!!

  2. FlynRyan October 6, 2007 7:33 pm 

    LYCRA!! LYCRA!! Spandex is what my wife wears to her body fitness class at the gym or shall we call it Aerobics Hmmm….

  3. Ghost Rider October 7, 2007 6:07 am 

    Straight off the GK Elite Sportswear Company website:

    “What’s the difference between Antron/Lycra and Nylon/Spandex?

    Absolutely nothing. There is no difference between the two fabrics, except for the name. “

  4. FlynRyan October 7, 2007 7:41 pm 

    True, The word spandex just sounds so 80’s . As a youth my friend wore spandex shorts and he was not even a bike rider.

  5. chente May 19, 2008 1:55 pm 

    WHAT EVER PEOPLE WEAR NOW DAYS IS UP TO THEM I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT SOME PEOPLE DO NOT LOOK GOOD IN SPANDEX YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE BODY TO WEAR THEM OTHER WISE GET READY TO BE MADE FUN OF

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