Commuter Cycling Apparel for everyday cycling comfort to and from work. We have clothes for cycling commuters that is technically designed for riding your bike in an urban area. Commuter apparel dries quickly.
The price of gas. Health and fitness. Fun. Climate change. There are a lot of good reasons for considering bike commuting as an alternative to your car or even mass transit. Before you get started, consider the following options for your commuter check-list.
You'll want to start off considering the bike itself and what variety of gear options work best for your commuter needs. There's no one kind of bike that's best for commuting. It can depend on the terrain, the road conditions, the distance, your personal preference, and aesthetics.
This lightweight features narrow tires for reduced rolling resistance and fast speed, making it suitable for any length of commute. However, the tires are more susceptible to getting flats, making them less ideal if your commute involves riding on unpaved trails or singletrack. The handlebars offer a stiff ride that is energy-efficient, but not as relaxed and comfortable as some alternatives.
This type of bike offers wider tires for a stable, well-balanced ride and are generally more resistant to flats than road tires. The flat handlebars give the commuter a more comfortable, upright riding position that's more visible in traffic. This bike adapts easily to any road or off-road commuting conditions, however, it is heavier with a greater rolling resistance. Not suitable for long commutes.
Often considered a hybrid bicycle, it combines both the mountain bike's geometry for a relaxed, upright riding position, and the road bike's alloy frame to minimize weight and maximize energy efficiency. Most commuter bikes often include a rear rack for panniers or a rack trunk. They are not as rugged as a mountain bike, nor as sleek and light as road bike, so you may need a second bike to enjoy either activity.
Bicycle commuting offers many physical health benefits as a form of exercise. Avoid a "chainring tattoo" on your office pants by wearing bike shorts or cycling pants. If your commute is longer than 3 or 4 miles, we suggest using cycling shorts (or liner shorts) with a chamois padding to make the ride more pleasant. Bike shorts are available in both the sleek, body-hugging road-racing style or the looser, laid back mountain-bike style. A moisture-wicking top is also a good choice because it will help keep you cool and dry when it's warm.
Our Aero Tech Designs Urban Commuter clothes are technically designed for riding your bike in an urban area. Most of our Urban Commuter Clothing have stretchy fabrics, reflective trims for visibility, and quick-dry materials for all-season comfort. Also check out our Men's Bicycle Commuter Apparel.
Be Prepared For The Weather
Biking in the rain can be miserable without the right apparel. A poncho can be dangerous with windy weather and has a chance of catching in the bike gears. For most commuters, an investment in a waterproof, breathable jacket, pants, and neoprene shoe covers makes the ride to and from work a whole lot more comfortable. Even fair-weather-only bike commuters should be prepared for a surprise rain shower.
Along with waterproof outerwear, fenders are a must for anyone commuting in wet weather. The alternative is getting to work with a dirty wet stripe up your back. Choose the kind that fully covers the tires.
Front and rear lights are invaluable at night and advisable on rainy days or low-light instances. For short distances along brightly lit streets, an economical light system may serve your needs. But if you travel a greater distance or where lighting is poor, a high-quality high-lumen system is well worth the investment. In addition to front, back and side reflectors, put a reflective band on your helmet and wear reflective clothing. The more visible you are in low-light conditions, the safer you'll be. Be safe! Be seen!
Never get on your bike without first strapping on a helmet. Even the most experienced rider can take an unexpected spill. Your helmet can be the difference between a few scrapes and bruises and a serious, even life-threatening, injury. A helmet liner can add a welcome layer of warmth on chilly rides. It can also keep sweat from rolling into your eyes and provide UV protection. For rainy weather, we recommend using a helmet cover.
Cycling gloves are not worn as fashion statement. The padded palms absorb road vibration, reducing hand and arm fatigue. They also protect your hands from abrasion in the event of a fall. In warm weather, fingerless gloves are a popular option. As the weather cools, switch to full-finger styles, including waterproof and insulated versions, when needed.
The type of shoes you select depends on the kind of bike you're riding, and the type of pedals: clipless pedals, toe clips, or platform pedals. Shoes designed for cycling have rigid or semi-rigid soles. This ensures that the energy of your leg stroke drives cleanly through the pedal. Soft-soled shoes diffuse that energy, contributing to foot and leg fatigue.
Depending on weather and commute times, your ride to work may present different light conditions than your ride home. Sunglasses with interchangeable lenses let you adjust accordingly and maintain an optimal view of the route ahead. Lighter-colored lenses help to enhance contrast when it's cloudy or in other low-light conditions. Darker polarized lenses reduce sun glare and eye strain. Sunglasses also protect your eyes from dust and debris while riding.
Unless your commute is short and your work environment casual, you may need to carry a few items like a set of clothes, a towel, or any work-related materials that come and go with you. Check out our variety of bike bags and our guide on how to choose the right one.
The best choice if you ride more than one bike since it doesn't attach to the bike itself and is available in hydration models. But since you are carrying it, the pack can increase fatigue, increase sweating, and shift weight while cycling.
These are easily accessible, but have limited capacity and can obstruct other accessories, such as a light, bike computer or GPS unit. Carrying weight on the front can also effect the handling of the bike.
These bags are a little smaller than backpacks, but can still hold more than most bags and it attaches to a rear rack, so no stress on your back. However, it's important to check the placement of your pannier, as it can impede your It also can increase wind drag.
A convenient way to carry your repair tools, keys, phone, or wallet. Some bags are large enough to hold a lightweight rain shell, but not much else.
The following are miscellaneous bike items you may need to consider when deciding which bag and/or bike you want to purchase.
Tire Repair Kit
If you ride long enough, you're eventually going to have a flat tire. So it's important to learn how to change or repair a tube. You can create your own for a cheap price.
*Tire Irons: The little plastic levers you'll need to get your tire off your rim.
*Spare tubes and/or patch kit: Once you have your tire off, it takes just a minute or two to slather some of this stuff on the tear and press a patch into place.
*Mini-pump or CO2 cylinder: A short pump is just a little longer than the length of your hand, and fit easily inside a back pack. Another option? A tiny CO2 canister, which is more expensive per use but smaller than a pump. You should only use these in emergencies-keep a floor pump for home.
*Cycling multi-tool: This is one of those items that just make you feel prepared, even if you rarely use it. You never know when you need to raise your seat, fix your chain, or tighten up a screw. You'll be glad you had it.
Many people wonder about showering after a ride to work. The need depends on the temperature (lower in the morning) and the level of effort and distance for the ride. If you don't feel too sweaty, you can wait to change your shirt 30-60 minutes after your ride and keep a tie at your desk. Other options include checking to see if your building has a shower somewhere. If it doesn’t, check nearby gyms or fitness clubs. Many offer shower-only memberships for bike or running commuters.
Worst case scenario, you can create a commuter kit to freshen up in the bathroom. Most kits include:
*Brush and comb
Customize your commuter bathroom kit to your needs and grooming routine!
*You need a safe place to park. Some of us enjoy ultra close-in parking right in the office. Why not try it? You might also find a "riding buddy" at work. A buddy provides another set of eyes to watch for problems, deters troublemakers and can help with repairs. If that isn't an option, invest in a good bike lock. If your bike is easily accessible, choose a high-quality U-style lock that's difficult to pick or cut. Get a cord if you’re worried about your front wheel going missing while you're inside.
*Be predictable to avoid collisions. This means to ride a good straight line, signal turns and lane changes, and generally look like you know what you are doing. Don't be a reckless rider! Obey the traffic laws: Don't run traffic lights or stop signs; Don't weave through cars in traffic; Don't speed through slow zones. If you act like the driver of a vehicle, then other drivers and bikers will usually understand what you are doing. Drivers may still misjudge your speed and "hook" in front of you. For these occasions, you need to know about hard braking and the instant turn. Learn to anticipate problems in order to avoid them.
*Practice proper lane position. On a road with substandard width lanes, ride near the center of the right lane. If you are as fast as traffic, it is neither safe nor necessary to squeeze over to allow cars to pass. But if you're going uphill at slow speed, you do not need much room and it is not reasonable to block traffic. Remember, drivers are generally used to looking for cars, not for bicycles. Always wear bright clothing and ride in or near the traffic lanes where drivers are looking.
*Understand time cost. A bicycle is usually slower than a car. Thus you need to figure out the "time cost" of cycling to see if commuting on your bike is best. Compare how long it takes to bike vs. drive the distance. For example, if it takes about 20 minutes to drive and 40 to ride, your time cost is 20 minutes. But do consider you get 40 min. of healthful exercise in this time, which can be more efficient than driving to a gym. Surveys of cycle commuters show that many consider 10 miles one way to be a maximum reasonable distance for regular riding. Those living further may decide to drive part way and ride the rest. A few cities, like Pittsburgh, have public transportation accommodate bicycles.
*Plan your route. An ideal bike route should be fast, convenient, and direct. It should be free from dense, high-speed traffic and have a wide, smoothly paved bike lane (or outside lane) without road hazards. You may have to choose between fast but busy arterial roads and side streets where you face delays at main road intersections by stop signs or traffic lights.
*Carry a small notebook. For the few who may try to run you off the road, learn to be assertive. When an incident occurs, write down the license number and other details, while trying to make it obvious what you are doing. The driver may watch in the mirror to see your reaction and may think twice if he/she sees you taking notes. The notebook is also handy for turning in bad commercial drivers, especially the ones with a "How's my driving?" sign on the back.
*Do your homework. Find out what the bicycle traffic laws are in your city. If a police officer orders you off the road or in the gutter, you can explain why you belong on the road. Carry a laminated page listing bicycle traffic laws to show the officer. If your community has a "sidewalk law" then you may have to choose between accepting the hazard of riding on the sidewalk or riding safely but risk getting tickets.
Bicycles are used for transportation and commuting all over the world. China and the Netherlands are both deeply endowed with bicycle infrastructure. In the U.S. bicycle commuters have been at risk on public roadways, so there are hard-working advocates who are dedicated to allocating a portion of our transportation budget to make space on public roadways that are safe for commuters. Ideal roads separate auto and bicycle traffic. One example are the green trails that keep commuters safe from motorized vehicles.
Expect it will take time to get used to riding in traffic -- perhaps 10,000 miles to learn by yourself; 5,000 miles if you get help or 2,000 miles if you take a safety course. Find a buddy, if you can, start riding, and have fun. The best time to start is now!
A separate bicycle lane is the best and safest commute through city streets rather than as traffic participants. Many motors do not have an acceptance of cyclists on the same road as automobiles. They may be well informed about cycling and thinks cyclists should not be on the road. They may honk and point at the sidewalk to show where you "belong".
This risky mindset is mitigated when a cycle community designates roads as "share the road" with signs, share-arrows and road paint until the bike path is an accepted part of the local traffic patterns. Join the movement for better bicycling! http://www.peopleforbikes.org/