Non-hideous bike clobber

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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professorlandslide
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Non-hideous bike clobber

Postby professorlandslide » 23 Nov 2008, 2:33pm

Anybody got any ideas on technical bike clothing (or adaptable other stuff) that doesn't make you look like a total dweeb? Forgetting hi-viz for a bit, i can always add some reflective patches to non-reflective stuff, and i'm not convinced that looking like some kind of health and safety superhero doesn't make taxi drivers actively aim at you anyway... :roll:

My work is a casual office, jeans and t-shirts mostly so i don't need to change into smart stuff when i arrive. I'm after stuff i can ride in without having to carry around a change of clothing, so roadie spandex is out, as is wannabe motocrosser mtb gear... I just want to keep the rain off without getting overheated and not look like a spanner when i ride past the architects office next door where all the hot secretaries work.. :lol: :wink:

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Si
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Postby Si » 23 Nov 2008, 2:59pm

I use walking trousers (rom millets, blacks, etc). light, comfortable, dry quickly, plenty of pockets and look just like casual slacks. My current ones cost £15. Do need to use a trouser clip or tuck the bottoms in your socks, but onl;y while on the bike.

Up top, a cheepo fleece over a cycling specific T shirt (looks like a normal T shirt but made of wicking fabric and has a slightly longer rear). Sometimes a wicking base layer under it.

thirdcrank
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Postby thirdcrank » 23 Nov 2008, 4:35pm

The fabric to go for is polyamide (which I think is only some sort of Nylon.)

It comes in all sorts of grades / qualities / what have you. Stuff like Rohan is a very tight weave and very wind-proof but priced accordingly, other stuff comes with a much looser weave, you feel the draught, but it is cheaper. The common factors are that it is not waterproof but it dries out PDQ. Also, for the brief time that it is drying out, it does not feel particularly uncomfortable.

Avoid like the plague cotton, especially stiffened cotton of the type used for jeans. Get cotton wet and it's like having dishcloths flapping around your legs for hours - it is awful to dry.

If you want complete waterproof I think you are stuck with overtrousers, I don't think there are any normal looking trousers - suitable for office work anyway - which are waterproof.

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essexman
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Postby essexman » 23 Nov 2008, 8:04pm

Shame its casual dress because i find the best thing to cycle in is a pair of trousers (light ones) , light leather shoes, a short sleeved shirt and a jacket (as in suit jacket).

add scarf , hat , gloves, jumper, tank top, to suit.

The light trousers dry quickly when the rain is finished. (cheaper more articifical ones dry quicker and are washable). A jacket and hat adds wind/light drizzle protection.

Nice looking practical waterproofs are a tough one. Also i find regardless waterproof=sweat.
I hate snow.

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squeaker
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Endura Hummvees

Postby squeaker » 24 Nov 2008, 9:47am

Been pleased with these.
"42"

GrahamG
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Postby GrahamG » 24 Nov 2008, 11:49am

This is one of my favourite subjects!

Right, there are a few companies/websites that make efforts in this area:

Swrve - a bit courier trendy but good ethical policy and the service from the UK people has been good. Ignore the hiding hoodie thing unless you do all your washes on 60, this thing positively clings to odour.

http://swrve.co.uk/ is the UK sales website

http://www.swrvecycling.com/ is the US website - greater range of products on here that the UK guys can order in for you; now the exchange rate isn't so great the UK store is cheaper than international shipping.

http://www.alwaysriding.co.uk/alwaysshop/ carry some swrve stuff and a range of other bits and bobs erring on the 'nicer' side of things.

If you are feeling particularly minted, try http://www.rapha.cc/ very stylish but really aimed at London city types with more money than sense, or those who just can't bring themselves to look anything other than utterly suave on the bike!

Next there's Swobo, they do some great wool stuff but I can't vouch for any of it as it's all a bit rich for me. Another US company.
http://www.swobo.com/

If you really want to stand out, there's always... http://www.dashingtweeds.co.uk/dt/?page_id=43
:D

Whilst very much cycling kit, the wool jerseys here look awesome: http://www.vintagevelos.com/clothing1.html


Edit: forgot to add a few companies that it's worth having a mooch through the range, the ones that make less obvious stuff and don't plaster logos all over their products quite so much (all IMHO of course):

Endura - good understated stuff, well regarded by most
Northwave - great technical stuff and nice designs although some stuff is hideous.
Pearl Izumi - really good balance of style and practicality, not always easy to find in the UK but Evans often have their stuff on sale.

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Si
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Postby Si » 24 Nov 2008, 12:16pm

Some good advice given - I think this thread worthy of going into "Too good to lose".

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Postby Biscuit » 24 Nov 2008, 1:14pm

Couldnt agree more just what I've been looking for too...........

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Postby Dee Jay » 24 Nov 2008, 2:28pm

GrahamG wrote:

http://swrve.co.uk/ is the UK sales website



I'm lovin' the women's shorts on this site!

Thank you for posting. :D

I see that the jeans only come in 'mens'? Am I being dim?

(And for putting it in 'Too good ...', Si!)
Dee

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Postby pigman » 24 Nov 2008, 3:23pm

As Si says ... Fleece up top. Lightweight, fairly waterproof, dries easy and looks ok anywhere. Just dont get an elasticated bottom (bottom of fleece that is) which will ride up your back and expose the kidneys. And if you do sweat, easily washed in a sink and dry in 1/2 hour. Also get spare non-creasing tee shirt rolled up JIC of sweat/downpour.

GrahamG
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Postby GrahamG » 24 Nov 2008, 3:32pm

Dee Jay wrote:
GrahamG wrote:

http://swrve.co.uk/ is the UK sales website



I'm lovin' the women's shorts on this site!

Thank you for posting. :D

I see that the jeans only come in 'mens'? Am I being dim?

(And for putting it in 'Too good ...', Si!)


No worries - I suspect the 'niche' nature of the jeans makes it hard to justify making men's versions! If you fancy some, I'd suggest just getting in touch to discuss sizing - you can always get someone with a sewing machine to gather the waist in for you to account for the different cut.

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professorlandslide
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Postby professorlandslide » 24 Nov 2008, 7:51pm

All good stuff, thanks people... :) Bit pricey though some of it..! I've got some ideas for making stuff myself, maybe i need to put some prototypes together and go on dragon's den.. :D

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Dean
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Postby Dean » 24 Nov 2008, 8:00pm

It must be Rapha. The economy needs you! ;)

Or try http://www.groundeffect.co.nz. I've got a couple of bits from here, and it's well-made, long-lasting, as well as looking pretty damn OK. Of course, with the pound careering downhill without brakes, it's probably not such a good time to go shopping abroad...

rualexander
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Postby rualexander » 24 Nov 2008, 8:26pm

Ground Effect are a New Zealand company and the exchange rate with the NZ dollar is actually improving at the moment, ie you get more $NZ to the pound now than for most of the past few years! So Ground Effect stuff should be getting cheaper!

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Dean
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Postby Dean » 24 Nov 2008, 8:31pm

Thanks for the info - we don't trade with NZ, so I haven't a clue about the exchange rate. It ain't a good time to be importing from the US, is all I can say...

In that case, go for it. It's good clobber.