Bike to work clothes are simply what one would wear while commuting to work on a bicycle.
A lot of people cycle to work because of the health benefits of cycling and its economic advantage. Considering that not many offices have changing rooms where you could change from a cycling/ sports outfit to your work cloth, you need to know what clothes you can bike to work with. This is another way of asking what work clothes will be convenient for cycling with, because your bike to work clothes will also be your work clothes.
There are clothes you should totally avoid cycling with, not just for the discomfort they give, but for the danger they could pose. Certain factors should influence your choice of bike to work clothes and we’ll be outlining those factors in this article.
We also list clothes that are best suited for cycling- for both male and female cyclists- based on the features we discuss, accessories that make cycling safer and guidelines on how to bike to work without ruining your suit.
Bike to Work Clothes for Men
Gentlemen, you can look stylish while riding on your bike to work and the following clothes can help you achieve this feat.
Lee’s Extreme Comfort Khaki Pants
The nice thing about plain trousers is that they can be used as both corporate and casual outfits. Plain trousers are made to be well-fitting, but not tight-fitting, giving room for you to pedal comfortably.
We endorse Lee’s extreme comfort khaki pants because, unlike most plain trousers, they are loose-fitting around the groin. This reduces the chances of experiencing friction around that region.
Dickies Men’s Short Sleeve Work Shirt
Short sleeve shirts make for wonderful casual work shirts. This shirt by Dickies is a great choice of cycling shirt because it has a generous fit in the shoulders and chest. This means that your shoulders won’t feel restricted within the shirt when your hands are stretched to grab the handle bar.
There’s also the luxury of wearing a shirt that’s crease-resistant and wicks moisture away from the body, leaving it dry. The shirt comes in different sizes.
Amazon Essentials’ Long Sleeve Oxford Shirt
The first thing to look out for in a long sleeve shirt for cycling is its underarm fitness underarm. You don’t want a shirt that’ll be sticking to your armpit, especially when you sweat because this can make you uncomfortable.
This long sleeve shirt from Amazon Essentials, has a loose-fit around the under arm, which not only allows for better aeration within the shirt, but also promotes the flexibility of the hands while cycling.
Dickies Loose Fit Twill Cargo Short
While shorts may not be generally accepted as formal work cloth, there are firms/ companies that are ok with dressing casual to work. If yours is, then cycling to work just got more interesting for you.
Shorts may be the most convenient cycling clothes because they’re super comfortable, giving your legs room to pedal freely while you show some legs. *Winks*
Dickies loose fit twill cargo shorts are your go-to cycling shorts. Although they’re loose-fitting, they have a nice fit on the body. An additional benefit of investing in these shorts would be the crease-resistant quality it possesses, courtesy of its cotton/poly twill-weaving.
Carhartt Men’s Quilted Flannel Lined Duck Active Jacket
This would come in handy when the weather gets cold and wet.
As a water-resistant and windproof jacket, this jacket topples most to make a great choice of cycling jacket. Personally, this is my favourite jacket for cycling to work with because it’s hooded and has a simple yet classy design. Furthermore, it easily fits into my pannier pack when properly folded.
Bike to Work Clothes for Women
Women are more flexible dressers than men, so there are more bike to work cloth options for women than there are for men. However, let’s look at these few below.
Rekucci’s Comfort Fit Stretch Pant
We know we earlier advised against wearing tight-fitting clothes to cycle, but we endorse this because it’s stretchy and poses no challenge to your knees while cycling. You’d also notice that the pants are less tight-fitting around the knees and downwards.
The trouser comes in different colors, giving you different options to choose from.
A stylish Women’s V Neck Roll-up Sleeve Top
We make this selection because this is a really comfy and versatile top. Neither tight- nor loose-fitting, the shirt serves in both warm and mildly cold weather conditions. You can decide to undo a few buttons and roll up your sleeves when cycling in hot weather or leaving your buttons done to your neck with your sleeves down when it’s cold.
It can be used as both a formal and casual shirt, depending on how you style it.
Sidefeel’s Pull-on Distressed Denim Joggers
While we do not always recommend denim trousers because some are rigid, we recommend this because it’s loose-fitting and relatively stretchy.
If casual dressing is permissible at your place of work, then this will make a great TGIF work cloth. You can easily style this with a pair of canvas and sleeve top.
Meanwhile, if you’re just starting out on your cycling journey as a woman, you want to check out the best women’s bike for beginners here.
Shoes form a major part of our outfit, and it’s important we chose the right shoes especially for cycling.
Flat work shoes are best used for cycling to work because they’re least likely to get entangled in the pedal, and their flat base help you stay balanced on the bike. They also have slip-resistant outsoles which means they have a better grip with the pedal.
Canvases also make good cycle shoes, but you have to knot their lace firmly, so it doesn’t get entangled in the pedal.
Vans Unisex (Checkerboard) Slip-on Skate Shoe
We chose this shoe for three reasons: it’s unisex, it has no shoe lace which could loosen and get entangled with the bike pedal and it’s comfortable.
If you own a pair of these already, you’d understand what we mean. If you don’t, you really should get yourself one.
We also like that this shoe comes in different designs and colors and fits both formal and casual clothes.
Conclusively, bike to work clothes aren’t a ‘big deal’. What we mean is this: you do not have to break the bank or change your wardrobe because you’ve decided to start cycling to work.
Most of your regular clothes easily fit as bike to work clothes, you just need to keep certain factors in mind while making your selection (we’ve earlier discussed those factors), as well as what’s permissible or not at your place of work.
Let us know in the comment section below, do you cycle to work? What clothes do you find comfortable cycling to work with?
Factors to Consider before Investing in a Bike to Work Cloth
You may be wondering what colour has to do with your choice of cycling cloth. We’ll tell you.
Colour is an important feature to look out for, especially if you’ll be cycling at night. You want to choose a cloth with a bright colour so you are visible to other road users, especially motorists who may be ‘blinded’ by the brightness of headlights.
Dull cloth colours could make you less visible.
You should always dress according to the weather and season. When it’s cold, go for warm clothes such as jackets, sweaters, etc. You also want to wear waterproof and windproof clothes during winter and invest in light fabrics during Summer.
Additionally, consider getting clothes with reflective features, or adding reflective features to the cloth especially while riding during winter because then there’s fog and heavy precipitation leading to low visibility.
Cycling creates a lot of sweat. It’s important that you chose clothes with breathable fabrics to help moisture (sweat) leave the body and keep you dry.
Go for clothes with simple designs. Avoid outfits with complicated designs that could get in your way while cycling. This could lead to a fatal accident, especially on a busy road.
Your cycling outfit shouldn’t be tight-fitting, especially around the knees to allow for full leg rotation and flexibility.
Accessories that Make Cycling Safer
There’s no such thing as being ‘too safe’. Apart from whatever existing road regulations/ laws there are that keep cyclists safe, you should optimize your safety with the following accessories.
The palms produce a lot of sweat because of the friction they have with the bicycle’s handles. Gloves reduce this friction and absorbs the sweat.
A helmet is a protective headgear you could easily put on while cycling to work. According to the report by the WHO, helmets aim to reduce the risk of serious head and brain injuries by reducing the impact of a force or collision to the head.
This could be on the cloth, bike, helmet or on all three. Reflectors are materials that redirect light. Using reflectors is important especially at night when there’s less visibility.
The reflective feature of the cloth could be from the fabric it’s made of or the reflective bands sewn onto it.
Bike laser light
Checkout this MEILAN X5 Wireless Remote Control Smart Bike TailLight on Amazon
LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Bike laser lights projects an image ahead of your bicycle to beam you out of blind spots, junctions and situations where you’re otherwise unseen. Most useful at night when seeing oncoming cyclists can be tough, it promotes your safety by warning other drivers exiting side roads of your arrival.
How to Bike to Work Without Ruining Your Suit
There’s 90% chance that you’ll have to wear suit to work. While this is not the best option of a bike to work cloth because of the lack of comfort it poses, it’s almost inevitable. The challenge becomes how to bike to work without ruining your suit.
The following tips work for most cyclists, they should work for you too.
Use a Pannier Pack
Instead of riding with a backpack which will crease your shirt or jacket and make you feel sweaty on your back, use a pannier pack. Apart from the discomfort pannier packs help you avoid, they look stylish.
Ride at a Slower Pace
You burn up less fat and feel less sweaty when you ride at a slower pace. The only downside to this is that you’ll have to leave for work earlier to beat time.
Use trouser straps
This helps to fasten your trousers to prevent them from being caught in the chain ring. It also helps to keep it straight and ironed.
Clean your Bike
This is the first thing you want to do before getting dressed for work. Keep your bike grease and dirt free to avoid turning up at work in a dirty suit.
Now you know what are the best clothing option when biking to work. Check out our review of the most comfortable bike seat for additional cushion and relaxing cycling time.