May 11th through May 15th is National Bike to Work Week 2015. It is an opportunity to celebrate the power of the bicycle, the many benefits it provides, the fashions that make bike commuting fun and, best of all, a chance to win a CLIF Bar prize pack!
I can’t even say the word “spandex”. I can only type it. Cycling skirts, knickers, capris, long shorts and Merino wool is the new Lycra. They breathe, they wick moisture, and they keep you cool.
Pearl Izumi Superstar ($75)
The Pearl Izumi Superstar ($75) is a sharp-looking skirt. It has an integrated chamois and skirt overlay ensures you’ll never get ribbed about your Tour de France race time.
Pearl Izumi SELECT In-R-Cool® short ($80)
But if you’re a confirmed spandex queen, and nothing I say will sway you, the Pearl Izumi SELECT In-R-Cool® short ($80) have what I think is the most comfortable waistband alive. It has a unique “V” waistband designed to accommodate the position of your belly when you’re stretched over the handlebars.
And let’s be honest. You can’t beat Pearl Izumi’s chamois for comfort in the saddle.
Ibex El Fito ($145)
But if you want to hide your knees, consider the Ibex El Fito ($145). Don’t let the Merino wool legs scare you off from summer riding. Merino wool is very, very breathable and comfortable.
Plus, these knickers will work well into the depths of fall. Bonus that the Ibex El Fito’s are made in the U.S.A.
Sugoi RC100 liner ($45)
However, bike clothing can be pretty pricey. If you’re on a budget, investing in one good padded chamois like the Sugoi RC100 liner ($45) that you can wear under any pair of shorts is just as effective.
Ibex W2 Sport T ($75)
If you’re looking for an all-around, multi-sport high quality top, the Ibex W2 Sport T ($75) is an 18.5-micron blend of 87 percent Merino wool and 13 percent nylon that is soft on the skin, warm in cooler weather and cool in warmer weather.
Its sleek, close fit makes it a great cycling “jersey”. Also, because wool is a natural fiber, it is naturally anti-microbial and repels the bacteria and odor that your body is capable of generating.
Search and State S1-J Riding jacket ($255)
Riding jackets are also an important piece of apparel for your commute. Spring mornings can be chilly and your commute can take you through a rainstorm. Also, it just makes sense to invest in a good jacket.
One of the best I’ve seen in terms of quality and detail is the Search and State S1-J Riding jacket ($255).
Why the hefty price tag? Two reasons. One, it’s made in the U.S. (New York City). Two, the fabric is Schoeller C-Change, which essentially “reacts” to changes in temperature and activity. It’s also waterproof and breathable.
The zippers are military-grade (military grade = nothing can destroy it).
Sizing runs a little on the small side in the shoulders and upper arms. I recommend going the next size up.
Sugoi RS riding jacket ($90)
An easier-on-the-wallet option, is the Sugoi RS ($90) bike jacket. It is wind-resistant, breathable and packs down into a tiny wad the size of my hand. Great for stashing permanently in your bike bag.
Talk fashion, enter to win a CLIF Bar prize pack!
CLIF Bars. Healthy, nutritious and tasty. They were born on a longer-than-anticipated bike ride twenty years ago. Today, they are a staple for roadies, mountain bikers and bike commuters the world over.
To recognize all that is cool and darling in commuter bike wear, I am giving away a box of eight pre-assorted CLIF Bars to a lucky reader!
Want to give it a go? Shoot me an email with a paragraph or two describing how you rock your bike commute.
Do you like cycling skirts? Are you more a Capri gal (or guy)? Do you prefer the sleekness of the classic bike short or the baggy style? Do you wear cotton t-shirts or synthetic? Sleeves or sleeveless?
Make me laugh, make me cry, make me jealous. You can even make me cringe. Winners will be chosen on May 15th.