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The Bike Geek: Bike commuter fashion

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I was really excited to get back to bike commuting but I noticed that I was sticking out like a sore thumb during my train ride. I normally don’t give a shit what people think, but this got me thinking about “Bike commuter fashion” and I was curious to see what the new trends are.

If we go back to when the fixie fad was raging, riders were all about capris, knickers, tight pants, wool shirts and snickers shoes. From what I have observed, this trend has pretty much faded and now is all about looking “normal” while doing the train/bike thing.

So my challenge was to find something I could wear on the train, on the bike AND basically at my desk. I work as an IT professional (surprised?) with a relaxed dress code; collared shirt and jeans will do.

A few searches regarding “Bike Commuter Clothing” revealed quite a few articles of what to wear and also a few companies that offer specific clothing for “bike commuters” or “urban riders”. My main focus was tops, I don’t see myself riding with pants or knickers; there is a reason why I pay through the nose to live in Southern California and that is the superb weather we enjoy year-round so shorts are my choice for bottoms.

Here is what I found:

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Zoic Jerseys-They look like Polos with a collar and no funky graphics nor ugly colors. Their prices range from $60 to $100 but I scored one from Nashbar for about $29.

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CHCB clothing by Performance Bike – Wool/Polyester polos on sale for $29? Sign me up! I purchased their VC polo jersey in brown with stripes and their Overby Hoodie.

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Club Ride Apparel-I found a casual top with no collar for $24.00, their polo shirts were over $40 and that seem a little too much for what I wanted to spend.

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Danny Shane – I went out on a limb and got one of their Jerseys for $32.00. These are supposed to be “designer cycling jerseys” made out of bamboo white ash fabric and sell for $85.00. The fabric is nice BUT the fit is way too “slim” for my non-European body. The cycling jersey that I got is not suitable for the office so this may go back to Ebay.

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Ben Hogan – Yeah, this brand is sold at big box stores and Amazon, but if I’m gonna be spending upwards of $29 per “commuter” shirt, I wanted to see what a $15.99 “performance” shirt would bring to the table.

Interestingly, none of the brands mentioned above are made in the USA. You would think they do for the price they command.

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The last piece of clothing is not a top nor a bottom; they are shoes. I’ve had my DZR GMT 8 shoes since 2011. As you can see, they still look great except for all the white material. Chrome Industries and DZR seem to be the major players with stylish shoes for bike commuters, I’m thinking that an order for the DZR Minnas is in the near future.

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Next week on The Bike Geek: 2 Wheel Gear Pannier Backpack Convertible

2 Comments

  1. Claudia

    Both Vulpine & Rapha (both out of England) make some great on/off bike clothing although they aren’t cheap. Betabrand also makes some bike-friendly/specific clothing that’s easy to wear and sometimes it’s actually made in San Franciso. You might also check out Ligne 8. A lot of this depends on what you find stylish…

  2. Max Power

    I’ve found that I can get collared shirts made out of wicking synthetics by going to the tennis section of sporting goods stores. They often are cut with longer tails so they don’t expose your lower back.
    End of season sales can save you a lot of money.

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