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  1. #1
    Trail Cubist
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    Best riding shorts/shirt for NOT changing when you get to work?

    I've been wanting to commute by bike, but the main thing that's kept me from doing it so far is the hassle of having to change clothes.

    So I'm just wondering if anyone here has any ideas/recommendations for riding shorts/pants and shirts that actually look half-decent for wearing in the office (and don't make you look like a teenager or like you just stepped in from a MTB race).

    Thankfully I work at a university so no formal businesswear required.

    I'm also only considering the bike for temps of 70F and below (no way I'll do it above—I sweat too damn much!) So mainly fall/winter/spring.

    I have a pair of Eddie Bauer shorts (non-riding shorts) made of some synthetic, stretchy fabric called Travex that are super-nice (impossible to wrinkle, the stretchiness is awesome when riding, sitting, etc.)...and I keep thinking if they just had crotch pad they'd be great.

    Then again, do I need a crotch pad? My commute is only a few miles...so maybe I could do without (does anyone else here forego the crotch pad?).

    Maybe what I need are better underwear? LOL some kind that are hyper-wicking and comfortable...

    Anyway, just throwing this out there for discussion!

    Scott

    PS - Forgot to mention---another thing that would be great is if I could find some riding shoes (for SPD cleats) that also look decent for office wear (and are all-day comfortable for walking around even with cleats).
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  2. #2
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    Best riding shorts/shirt for NOT changing when you get to work?

    Padded underwear. Makes any shorts riding shorts or pants for that matter.
    Chances are .. You're full of !$@&?

  3. #3
    Trail Cubist
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    Yep, I know—Google is my friend. Found these Keen Austins that look like about the best-looking SPD-compatible shoes out there...
    Amazon.com: Keen Men's Austin Pedal Cycling Shoe: Shoes

    Still looking for shorts...
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  4. #4
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    According to this company, any shoe can be SPD compatible.

    see - retrofitz

    Price seems reasonable, although I have no experience with this system. I've been looking into commuting myself and their ad keeps popping up.
    The cake is a lie.

  5. #5
    Trail Cubist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerth View Post
    Padded underwear. Makes any shorts riding shorts or pants for that matter.
    Good idea. Except (and this might be TMI)...I can't stand wearing boxer-style undies. I'm a "low-rise brief" kinda guy. And I'm guessing it might be harder to find padded "brief"-style underwear...(but I can always try the boxer-style ones).
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  6. #6
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    Pickup a pair of liner shorts and wear whatever stretchy shorts you want over them. The liner shorts have a pad but the material is more of a lycra mesh.

    If your commute is less than 5 miles, I would not even worry about padded shorts though. Just put a few less psi in your tires for cushion and get a saddle that fits right.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    I've been wanting to commute by bike, but the main thing that's kept me from doing it so far is the hassle of having to change clothes.

    So I'm just wondering if anyone here has any ideas/recommendations for riding shorts/pants and shirts that actually look half-decent for wearing in the office (and don't make you look like a teenager or like you just stepped in from a MTB race).

    Thankfully I work at a university so no formal businesswear required.

    I'm also only considering the bike for temps of 70F and below (no way I'll do it above—I sweat too damn much!) So mainly fall/winter/spring.

    I have a pair of Eddie Bauer shorts (non-riding shorts) made of some synthetic, stretchy fabric called Travex that are super-nice (impossible to wrinkle, the stretchiness is awesome when riding, sitting, etc.)...and I keep thinking if they just had crotch pad they'd be great.

    Then again, do I need a crotch pad? My commute is only a few miles...so maybe I could do without (does anyone else here forego the crotch pad?).

    Maybe what I need are better underwear? LOL some kind that are hyper-wicking and comfortable...

    Anyway, just throwing this out there for discussion!

    Scott

    PS - Forgot to mention---another thing that would be great is if I could find some riding shoes (for SPD cleats) that also look decent for office wear (and are all-day comfortable for walking around even with cleats).
    You undoubtedly have an excellent place to change and wipe down.....use it.

  8. #8
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    Then again, do I need a crotch pad? My commute is only a few miles...so maybe I could do without (does anyone else here forego the crotch pad?).
    I wear "street clothes" with unpadded underware exclusively when riding, have exceeded 8 hours in the saddle many times, with a personal slowness record of ~19 hours rolling time within a 24 hour period. YMMV.

    Powder helps, cream helps, chosing appropriate clothes and just plain getting your crotch/butt accustomed to being on a tiny bicycle saddle help even more.

    For shorts, I look for thin synthetic material with minimal seams, trying to stay away from baggy (catches on the nose of my saddle) as much as possible and avoiding restrictive at all cost. It`s hard to find shorts fitting that description, so I`ve taken to cutting and hemming cheap slacks. Well, actually, I send them to one of my wife`s friends who happily does the mods for extra spending cash- she does a much better job than either of us are capable of.

    Underware is harder than shorts, but I found some "Starters" brand undies at Wallys that I really like. They`re very thjin and smooth (non chafing) with minimal edge stitching and minimal seams, all seams they do have are strategically placed. They`re supposedly boxers, but don`t allow any dangling, so the fit is almost Jockey-style. They come in two lengths, and the shorter ones (6in) don`t stick out below the hem on my shorts. I can`t find them listed on Walmart`s site, or any other real store, but they look like this:
    Starter 1 Boxer Brief 6" Performance Dri Star White Underwear Mens Sz s XL New | eBay
    If you go looking for them, read the label bacause that brand has several recipes that all look very similar. The ones I found say 85% polyseter, 15% Spandex and have a fly. The ones labeled "compresion shorts" are similar, but longer legs (stick out) and have no fly.
    Recalculating....

  9. #9
    Trail Cubist
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    Thanks rodar—good info on the undies! I'll look for those at Wally World. And I get your comment about time on the saddle helping a lot—I'm sure that's true.

    I do have an office with a door, so I could change clothes/wipe down...but it's just another logistical hassle I'd rather avoid (I already have plenty between my job and a family with two little kids!) A lot easier to just get dressed once every day!

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  10. #10
    I Ride for Donuts
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    I do like the 'liberating' feeling of just jumping on the bike and going, but I typically change clothes for the ride twice a day. This becomes a necessity in the winter when your typical clothes just wouldn't cut it. Plus, dressing up like a superhero first thing in the morning is empowering.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  11. #11
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    I did this in Texas for my wimpy 3-4mi one way commutes. I'd wear athletic boxer briefs (synthetic) when I could. Riding on a bike puts a lot of wear on any cotton undies and I'd get holes where my sit bones contact the saddle. The synthetic boxer briefs don't wear out so easily and while I wouldn't wear them on a long ride, they do chafe less on short rides.

    I still found at minimum that it was a huge help to at LEAST change shirts, wipe down, and freshen my deodorant when I got to the office. A face wash in the sink was downright luxurious.

  12. #12
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    Rapha makes cycling clothes that look better than your regular clothes. Problem is Rapha is expensive and their sale ended yesterday. Next sale will probably be Jan.

  13. #13
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    So far, I've avoided bicycle commuting in hot weather---for me it's a fall/winter/spring thing—because I sweat a LOT less when it's below 60F degrees. (And about 45 is PERFECT.)

    Eddie Bauer has some good stuff for riding (and general active outdroos stuff) that looks good enough to wear in a casual office environment. Here's a link to their "Travex" line of clothing. I only have a pair of shorts made of this stuff, but they're great---cool, wicking, water-and-dirt repellent, stretchy, and don't wrinkle.

    Men's Travex Travel Clothing | Eddie Bauer

    I'll probably buy more of this stuff---at least another pair of the shorts and a couple shirts.

    Scott
    29er wheels are dangerous. They may cause you to go faster which can result in serious bodily injury. —Jim311

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    I do have an office with a door, so I could change clothes/wipe down...but it's just another logistical hassle I'd rather avoid (I already have plenty between my job and a family with two little kids!) A lot easier to just get dressed once every day!
    I get up shower put on a tee shirt and bike shorts, eat some breakfast, then ride to work, at work I have several pairs of pants and shirts....I change (no wipe down it is dowhill) and work. When the work clothes get dirty they can be sent out to a cleaners (free pick up and delivery)...

    I bet in the end is the fastest and most convinent.

  15. #15
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    I ride with very lightweight lycra and shorts over that. I keep my long pants in my backpack to put on after I get into the office. This way if it's raining, I can always change when I get here. Otherwise, I just throw the long pants over. The other thing that really helps is using my old school Shimano MTB-41 shoe because I can walk and work in them (unless I need my steel-toe boots).

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    Finally, I know it's not in your original question but my pack has my neoporene shoe covers to keep my shoes dry so I'm not working in my my wet shoes and socks all day. Additionally, my pack has a rain fly to keep all the other stuff dry. Hope that helps a bit.

  16. #16
    Ariolimax columbianus
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    read this book Just Ride

    .....or just read the learn section of the site.

    merino wool, seersucker, flat pedals regular shoes. it's a bike, you're not racing. ride more, your ass will hurt less, build up some scar tissue. i've got a lot of rivendell clothing, i like their style, made in usa, no nonsense, just plain good stuff. i'm definitely a petersen fanboy.

  17. #17
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    I know this isn't what you're asking, but I'm in the "nothing beats a fresh change of clothes" camp.

    Building HVAC just doesn't do a good job of drying you off or cooling you down. It's designed to keep people comfortable when they're basically doing nothing. If I could wander around outside for half an hour before going in to work then I might ride in my work clothes, but going straight from the bike to sitting at a desk in a climate controlled environment is a recipe for feeling grungy for the first couple hours of the day.

    edited to add: I assume this isn't just me, but in cooler temperatures I'll often get to work without sweating because the wind and cool air keep me from overheating. But the second I enter the building air the sweat just starts gushing off of me. That's where spending a couple minutes to change clothes, wash up, and acclimatize yourself does wonders.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    Good idea. Except (and this might be TMI)...I can't stand wearing boxer-style undies. I'm a "low-rise brief" kinda guy. And I'm guessing it might be harder to find padded "brief"-style underwear...(but I can always try the boxer-style ones).
    ANDIAMO is a padded boxer very thin style and less than five mins. in the rest room you can put your regular briefs on.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I do like the 'liberating' feeling of just jumping on the bike and going, but I typically change clothes for the ride twice a day. This becomes a necessity in the winter when your typical clothes just wouldn't cut it. Plus, dressing up like a superhero first thing in the morning is empowering.
    Heh, motorcycle gear is better for that. Motorcyclist even call it the "full power ranger" something about a 20ish pounds of leather and armor..plus black lid with black visor, accept no substitute.

    For commuting I just wear underarmor (warm or cold gear depending on the temps) full leggings with some basketball shorts or cut off sweats ....or whatever doesn't smell to bad Starter/UA/Whatever the walmart UA copy is shorts also work, they call them "briefs" but they are really boxer brief style.

    Even right now when I'm riding home in 45 degree weather a couple times a week I still manage to work up sweat with just a t-shirt and a long sleeve T on.

  20. #20
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    Padded chamois would be overkill for a few miles.

    As for shirts, I've found that pretty much any of the polo's made by Columbia fit the bill nicely for commuting to work and continuing to wear throughout the day. There's an outlet nearby where I normally grab a couple every year at a large discount. That said, probably just about any golf polo will fit the bill.

    As for shorts, I often just wear an MTB shorts shell over underwear then change into pants at work. Not always though, I've got some shorts from REI that are good for biking in and for riding. Most active shorts will do a good job here.

    Of course, now that its getting cooler, I just commute in jeans.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

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