How far would you commute in normal clothes?

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by clf, 17 Jan 2018.

  1. confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    I love the idea of cycling in regular clothes, as it would remind others that cycling is a practical means of getting about. As an ambassador of cycling, I sort of see it as my duty to cycle everywhere in my regular clothes as often as I can.

    But on the commute, I suffer with chafing, particularly with jeans. My commute is 10 miles and very hilly, as I like to go at a fair old pace to keep time spent travelling to and from work down but also get my exercise, I sweat a fair bit, so regular clothes just aren't practical. If I wasn't in a hurry, I'd be happy to wear normal clothing on the commute, but as others have said, jeans can be uncomfortable. I really like Levis commuter series though, technically not "normal" clothes, but they look it. Sadly, they are too hot in the summer, and not quick drying in the wet, so their use is limited to jaunts to the supermarket, social calls, the pub, fair weather rides etc. I picked up 3 pairs at some decent discount in the US discount stores, so tend to wear them as often as my regular jeans, even around the house.
    Last edited: 18 Jan 2018
    Pat "5mph", Brandane and Drago like this.
  2. Drago

    Drago Soiler of Y fronts

    Depends on the weather, but probably not more than a mile or so.
  3. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Yes, jeans are often poor and in general you have to be careful about clothes choice. Many clothes now seem designed only for walking from office chair to car seat to armchair but I guess that's enough for mass market now :sad:

    You may also want more of your padding on your saddle if there's to be none in your pants, and avoid seams near the sit bones.
  4. ABikeCam

    ABikeCam Throwing Frazzles at a badger

    I'd do my usual commute. Ten minutes, train journey, then ten minutes in normal clothes - but only if I had to do something straight after work that I didn't want to wear my commuting clothes for. I wouldn't do it often either, as I feel most of my "normal" clothes don't look professional enough to wear at work.
  5. confusedcyclist

    confusedcyclist Über Member

    You raise a good point, I had never connected chafing from walking to that experienced when cycling, I had always assumed the saddle was at fault... but it's the same offenders responsible when walking for any period at length. Therefore if you have a good pair or walking specific trousers, they might also be good for cycling. Not for the fashion conscious though!
  6. mjr

    mjr Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next

    Yes, my Rohan trousers are pretty good for cycling. I don't like my Craghoppers as much but others say they're OK for them. I was going to write more but instead I posted an update to
  7. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    I'll happily do 40+ miles in jeans. They don't chaff, and they're comfortable enough. I don't really see the point in cycle specific clothing other than padded undies.
    classic33 likes this.
  8. Bodhbh

    Bodhbh Veteran

    tbh I don't bother washing jeans till they start getting musty, which may be several weeks or more. For me at least, it doesn't take much riding with them on before they stink and need washing. Plus they always seem to wear out first beneath the crotch just with walking, cycling is probably going to make it worse. I'd say the point of bike specific clothes is it's there to be trashed and get stinky, in leu of your civvies.
  9. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    but civvies cost less. :okay:
    classic33 likes this.
  10. lazybloke

    lazybloke Über Member

    Surrey Hills
    Another one bothered by clothes wearing thin. I do cycle in office clothes for approx 5-10 mins of riding each morning, 3 times a week. Can definitely see accelerated wear in office trousers and especially in underwear.

    i always change into bibtights/shorts for the longer ride home, they seem to be harder wearing.

    Besides, get a bit warm after 15 minutes or so.
    BrumJim likes this.
  11. Thorn Sherpa

    Thorn Sherpa Senior Member

    I normally wear cotton jogger bottoms and a fleece for commuting and rides neither of them being bike specific clothes but they do the job for me. My commute is 19-22 miles round trip and I'll normally do 60 miles+ on my days off work and I've never been in discomfort.
    Pat "5mph" likes this.
  12. BrumJim

    BrumJim Poster

    Biggest problem is probably not the length of the ride, but the frequency. You can do a ride of 40 miles or above in normal clothes, but a daily commute will wear through the crotch in a short time.
    Thorn Sherpa likes this.
  13. I happily ride 10 miles in civvies if I'm going shopping or to a social event, yet when I've commuted the same distance I've always worn bike gear and changed (and showered if possible) when I got there. It's largely because I like to ride fast on my commutes in the morning, and worry about being a bit smelly and sitting in crumpled clothes all day, but it's also just a question of habit. I've been a bit spoilt in that every workplace since 1998 has had a shower and changing area, but before that I just used to go and change in the toilets.
    Slick likes this.
  14. MontyVeda

    MontyVeda a short-tempered ill-controlled small-minded troll

    depends on the length of the commute. The OP states 6 or 7 miles. I've commuted in shoes and trousers five days a week for this sort of distance with no adverse wear in my troosies. (plus i've never worn the arse out of my jeans on longer leisure rides)
  15. ADarkDraconis

    ADarkDraconis Cardinal Member

    Ohio, USA
    I have a job where the dress is business, so casual non-cycle specific clothes for the ride and then changing and freshening up once I get there (baby wipes and extra antiperspirant, anyone?) is my game plan. Not only are my work slacks and skirts kind of restricting, I would probably get them covered in all sorts of muck and road grime.
    Pat "5mph" likes this.
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