Clothing check list!

J90LNE

Member
Location
Manchester
I am new to commuting to work on the bike. My commute is about 10 miles.

I don't have to use the bike everyday.

Any advice on what to buy first in terms of clothing? A sort of beginners tick list!

Also seen that alot of sizes seem to be smaller than usual clothing. Im 6"2 34"waist so if your a similar size fire away...

Thanks
 

Cycleops

Legendary Member
Location
Accra, Ghana
I'm the same size as you so in cycling clothing that equates to XL or XXL. Be guided by the sizing guides on retailers on line sites and customer comments.
 

Slick

Guru
XXL for me, although it does depend who makes it and I do like a bit of room to breathe.

The worst of the winter is all but over but you still need a half decent jacket, overshoes and gloves. That would be my minimum requirement anyway.
 
OP
J90LNE

J90LNE

Member
Location
Manchester
XXL for me, although it does depend who makes it and I do like a bit of room to breathe.

The worst of the winter is all but over but you still need a half decent jacket, overshoes and gloves. That would be my minimum requirement anyway.
Any particular brand of glove? I have seen some Sealskinz but are there any others out there that you recommend?
 

Slick

Guru
Any particular brand of glove? I have seen some Sealskinz but are there any others out there that you recommend?
Not really, although the sealskinz will be good. None of my commuter gear is top quality, as all year round cycling will knock lumps out your bike and your gear so I use whatever is on sale at the time. The found a bargain thread on here is very useful for that, probably too much if I'm honest.
 
A wicking base layer. Doesn't have to be cycling specific. Football training tops or running tops will do. Nothing worse than sitting around in a wet, sweaty t-shirt that's gone cold.

Gloves. If nothing else, they'll save the skin on your palms if you do come a cropper.

Clear cycling glasses. They'll keep road dirt etc out of your eyes.

Windproof cycling jacket.

Rain jacket / cagoule.
 

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
Don't rush out and get it all at once, you will make mistakes and end up with stuff you never use.

I will tell you what I use for my 10 mile each way commute and you can then have a think about if this will suit you too. I also don't have to cycle everyday so mix driving and cycling which is useful, as on my driving days I can take fresh clothes and towels to work ready for the cycling days. I have showers and a locker so start each day freshly washed in clean clothes.

I don't wear padded cycling shorts so have a mixture of walking/MTB type shorts and some running leggings for colder days. Eventually moved away from the tights type leggings to a slightly looser jogging legging as I get changed 30-40 minutes before the end of the day and walking around the office in tights for that last 30 minutes wasn't really appropriate. I'm not self-conscious so don't really care, but the looser pants do the same job without having to inflict the sight of my finely chiselled contours on the rest of my colleagues :laugh:

Tops are a mixture of general base layer vests, sport tops and some MTB tops. Nothing roadie or aero for the commute (or any ride actually). As long as it is comfy, doesn't get too sweaty and can dry before hometime (then gets washed after one trip!), although anything will get sweaty on a 10 mile sprint/commute.

My favourite jacket ever is THIS from Decathlon. Great in temperatures below freezing with an extra layer underneath. apart from heavy rain it is my go-to commute jacket pretty much right through autumn, winter and early spring.

Gloves are tricky to balance warmth and dexterity, but without getting too hot and sweaty. I use Decathlon ones again, either cheap ski gloves or THESE. Cold hands are about the worst thing possible when commuting in winter :cry:

For that biblical monsoon day I also have a full wet weather kit of breathable nightvision jacket, Endura gridlock over trousers and BBB heavyduty overshoes. It might sound daft but even when the conditions are at their worst you will still want to do the ride 'just because you can'..... :okay:
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
10 miles each way or 10 miles return trip. For the former I would just wear my work clothes and enjoy the ride. For a longer ride then I would be using my old knackered kit that I already own. This does not help you because you don't have that old kit, so you have to start somewhere. In my experience it is not possible to remain totally dry, you either get wet from the outside in or the inside out. You can hold off the rain/sweat for a while and prevent the worst of it, but accept you will get wet, the key is to keep warm, it can be pretty cold first thing in the morning even in summer.

Regarding kit for a 10 mile each way route. In my view:

Essential
Lot's of cheap merino base layer tops
A windproof top
Comfortable hard wearing shorts and longs
Gloves, a selection - no such thing as truly waterproof, so concentrate on warmth (I am a big fan of neoprene gloves for the really cold days), some long fingered gloves for spring/autumn and then old battered short fingered for summer.
Some reflective items (not necessarily high vis, but something reflective)

Nice to have
waterproof overshoes or if you are really flush some winter boots
waterproof jacket
water resistant longs
merino socks
synthetic fibre tops.

When I buy kit new, I buy it out of season. So I buy my shorts in winter and my longs in summer, it is much cheaper to pick things up in the sales. For commuting you really don't need to be spending big bucks, it will get ripped and dirty and wear out. I would not aim for the posh brands like Castelli, but look at cheaper stuff to start with like Tern, Polaris and Karrimor.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
A buff needed for cool days :okay:

You’d be best off going to Decathlon with plenty of time to try stuff on. Look in the running and other sports departments for base layers etc, not just cycling as you’ll pay a premium

Today I had a pair of 3/4 padded shorts, thinnish running longs, a LS running top and an Altura jacket and long finger padded gloves. That was 4 miles and I was pretty hot when I got to office. I like the jacket as it’s bright blue with plenty of reflectives but at 11deg it was a bit warm after 5 mins uphill. Probably better in a LS jersey and gilet but it is still cool in evening once dark
 
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icowden

Über Member
Location
Surrey
I'm similar to vickster. 3/4 Endura shorts with padded liner. I don't bother with longs / tights as I don't get cold legs. I have MTB shoes as I discovered my pedals were eating my trainers. BUt I wear a regular T-shirt and a warm coat - jumper if really cold. Fluorescent Endura gloves work well and are really visible when indicating.

If you are follically challenged then a skull cap stops your brain freezing and a buff keeps the ears and neck warm.
 
+1 for Decathlon. And again, look in the hiking / running / football departments for things like base layers, beanies etc.

Another place worth a look is Lidl when they do their cycling offers. I have their windproof Crivit jacket with the removable sleeves. One of the best tenners I've ever spent, as I can wear it as a gilet and tuck the sleeves in the back pocket and have them on hand for when needed. It's not waterproof as such, but it kept me dry (more or less) in a biblical downpour last week.
 

Vantage

Carbon fibre... LMAO!!!
I use 3 pairs of gloves for year round cycling. Mitts for the summer/warmer weather.
These for pretty much everything bar freezing temps and some ski gloves for when it's stupidly cold.
The Decathlon 500's I have to say are one of the best cycling related purchases I ever made.
What I would say, is that don't get gloves that are perfectly fitting. You want a bit of wiggle room inside so there's a layer of air between your fingers and the glove material otherwise even the warmest gloves will be f all use.
 

jay clock

Massive member
Location
Hampshire UK
+1 for Decathlon. I have something like this in an older model https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rr-900-winter-road-cycling-jacket-red-id_8502379.html Says 0-12 degrees, and I would agree 100%. I just wear a short sleeved merino base layer. If I thought it was not going above 2 degrees I might have a long sleeve based layer

If you work in a place where you need to be fairly smart and unsweaty aim to have a shower. If that is not possible, stay as underdressed as you can to keep heat down. Hard in the summer. Last year my 4km across London I wore a t shirt and changed into smarter shirt at work.

On the sweating front, avoid a backpack. Leaves me dripping even if cold out.

Finally this from Decathlon is a fave of mine. https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rc-500-ultralight-windproof-cycling-jacket-white-id_8283388.html Rolls to the size of an apple and provides extra protection. Ideal for summer mornings
 
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