How long does your commute have to be before you don your biking specific gear ? My commute is about 8 miles one way, I'm generally in just comfortable clothing, sometimes jeans, sometimes chinos and usually just a t-shirt or a light jacket. I ran into a guy the other day at our job whose commute is about 4 miles one way. He had the appearance of getting ready to qualify for a time trial stage . We chatted a little bit and went to different work areas . It got me thinking , does he dress that way for just a mile or two. BTW, he only rides back home after work. Anyhow , when do you, at what length of commute , do you break out the wind pants, fitted shirts,gloves,  etc ?

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I wear my work clothes when I bike to the el station but pack a change of clothes for the full 5-mile ride to work.  If I'm trying to get to work quickly, 5 miles certainly is long enough to work up sweat, especially on a day like today.  Would not even consider wearing jeans for an 8 mile ride.


I don't own a cycling kit, though, and I'm not really putting myself out to throw on shorts and an appropriate shirt in the morning.  Also, if I expect to bike home in the dark, I make sure that the shirt is bright enough to be seen.

Ditto.  One of the nice things about commuting in winter is the ability to wear my business clothes. I don't think any of the respondents here are talking about riding in kit, though. Just wicking, bike-specific clothing when the weather gets warm.

I always wear wicking bicycle clothing, because I change clothes at work.

Whatever you feel comfortable riding in Steve. There is no steadfast dress code for big city cycling. Bike specific, venting, wicking clothing available at R.E.I. and others. Wearing a kit is okay if that's what you prefer.

I commute by road bike and averages between 45 minutes to hour and fifteen.

I started bike commuting (12 mi each way) in good weather only at a moderate pace in non-biking-specific clothing. I now always don the bike specific clothing as it is much more comfortable and my riding style is more fast paced. If I only go a couple of miles and take my cruiser bike to the store then no reason to dress for riding.

i sweat WAY too much to wear anything but cycle clothing on my commute if temps are above freezing. and my commute is only 5 miles one-way. i start sweating even if i just look at one of my bikes. hell, here i am typing a message on an internet forum about biking and i think i'm starting to sweat a little bit. my body just absolutely abhors being warm, so at the slightest hint of a suggestion that i might be engaged in some kind of physical activity, my body turns on the water works, BIG TIME.

yes, it's annoying, but it's just the way it is.

in the winter i can usually get away with just wearing my work clothes on my commute, but i have to be very careful about how i layer and not over dressing so that i don't overheat, otherwise it's sweat-city, just like the other 3 seasons.

I think it really comes down to "exercise specific" more than "biking specific". However if one likes to go fast  (or fastER) then aerodynamics are important as well. If your prime interest in cycling is transportation or being "green" then "cycling specific" clothing might be still be in order but look very different than someone who is cycling with exercise as the main goal; of course exercise levels vary and some may feel more comfortable in "normal" clothing (whatever that is for you). Another issue is if you need/want to change your clothes when you get to your location for any reason. If you don't break a sweat, wrinkle your clothes or get dirty then no need to have another set of clothes. (Personally, at one time or another, I've been tarnished by varying levels of dog poop, goose poop, blackberry, mud, salt, gravel dust, grass stains, chain grease, chewing gum, gooey candy, etc. and prefer not to wear that all day.)

The other issue of "comfort" is personal appearance or "projection of personality". Some people may really dislike the look of the cycling athlete or feel like one should have a high performance ability or be going a certain distance in order to wear such type of clothing. Some might want to wear that type of clothing to feel like they are part of that genre. The only thing that matters is that you are doing what you want to do and that you are comfortable with how you perceive yourself. Others will always judge, you will also be tempted to judge others but the challenge is to be and let be.

I never wear bike specific clothes. I just wear casual clothes to bike and change when I get to work. If it's cold enough I might wear my work clothes to work. The hotter it gets the less I wear.

Always the full (non team) kit commuting for me.

Around a 12 mile commute now, 10 when the office moves back downtown.  Why?  Because I've got the clothes already, gave up caring what people think when I walk in the elevator or office long ago, and it's leagues more comfortable.  I give a pair of jeans about 6 rides before I start wearing out the crotch in them, so having bike shorts has already saved me a lot of money.  

I put on mountain bike baggy shorts and technical T-shirts or technical golf polos just tooling around on the weekends and running errands/meeting up with friends/barhopping/etc.  

Ride what you want, where you want, when you want.  There's no reason to be uncomfortable - whatever your definition of uncomfortable is - on a bike.

Not a MAMIL. Bike commute each day 5 mile each way. Even on my longer weekend rides don't wear it. Merino wool t's and pants that I can roll up in the warmer weather and ankleband when it is colder. Jogging shorts on longer weekend rides. My seat is already conditioned for long rides....

I bike 8 miles each way and bike in skirts/dresses with a pair of tights or regular bike shorts underneath, I find this to be the most comfortable and practical. I've biked in all kinds of weird shoes, heels, wedges with no problem. I think this might be one of those rare occurrences in bike commuting that women have an easier time.  I have a good rain jacket and an extra outfit at work in the event something catastrophic happens but never have had to use it. I also have panniers to avoid back sweat and try give myself a bit of time to cool down on really hot days before I start working. 

The only thing I find annoying about this routine is that the more 'put together' I look, the more other people will shoal me at lights :/


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