Dressing for your bicycle commute

Riding your bike to work or school is good for your health, good for the environment, and fun. Dressing appropriately for both your commute and work can be a challenge sometimes. Here is our best advice on dressing for your commute:

First, you need to decide whether it’s feasible to ride your bicycle in your work clothes. This will depend on the clothes you wear to work, the length of your ride, and the weather. For example, it’s much easier to ride a bicycle in shorts than a business suit, and you’re less likely to break a sweat and need a shower on a shorter, slower commute. It’s also much more convenient to wear your work clothes in the mild spring and autumn months than the heat of our Macomb summer or the cold of our winter.

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If you wear pants to ride, your cuffs can get dirty with chain grease or even caught in the chain and torn. To prevent this, you can roll the cuff up to just below the knee, tuck it into your sock, or purchase a velcro cuff strap for a few dollars at The BIKE SHOP. In addition to keeping your cuff clean, the reflective stripe on the strap will make you more visible to motorists and help keep you safe.

Another option is to wear comfortable cycling clothes as you ride, and then change into work clothes when you arrive. Some people carry their work clothes with them in a backpack or on a cargo rack, others keep work clothes at work and drive once every few days to replace the work clothes with clean ones.

Most bicycle commuters will choose to drive when the weather gets bad, but some are either extremely dedicated or have no choice. For them, we recommend a cycling raincoat for rainy days. A bicycle-specific raincoat is shaped differently than a typical one to accommodate the way you sit on a bicycle, and is also designed so that you don’t overheat from wearing an extra layer. For the winter, there is winter cycling gear for every situation including caps, balaclavas, winter gloves, shoe covers, etc.

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Regardless of what you choose to wear, a helmet is always a necessity. Modern bicycle helmets are lightweight, more protective, and full of “vents” to keep your head cool as you ride. We also highly recommend that you wear cycling gloves as you ride. Cycling gloves have specially padded palms that make your ride more comfortable help prevent injury should you fall off your bike.

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Finally, you should consider a few other accessories for commuting. If you leave your bicycle in a public place while you work, a good lock is a must-have. If you’re carrying books, electronics, or other items, you may want to consider a rear rack. Putting your cargo on a rack instead of a backpack will make for a more comfortable (and cooler) ride. If your commute is more than a few miles, you might consider either to clips or “clipless” pedals and matching shoes. These hold your feet in proper position and make you more efficient and more stable on your bike.

All of these items are available at The BIKE SHOP. Stop in and tell us about your commute, and we’ll help you and your bike get set up!

 

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