How many cycling bibs for a weekly commute?

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  • I'm shopping for clothing for the upcoming cold and wet months that'd be easy to commute with too. With waterproof cycling bibs, its prolly obvious but do you guys have one for each day of the week if they're for cycling to work everyday? Can't imagine only have one pair for the week, but would still be costly to have so many?

    I'd imagine could probably get away with 1 x waterproof jacket + overshoes + cap as for the other items. I is well skint and would prefer the absolute minimum required but also a vain bastard so I'd want to go for quality gear.

    I have some overtrousers I used to wear over office trousers which were so baggy, and they're not really suited to riding with a fixie anyway. Essentially just want the minimum fuss of cycling without getting too wet or cold, and especially not getting me socks soggy.

  • I go with 2 bibs and a pair of overtights (none are waterproof). They get about 1hr 30 minutes - 2hrs a day so I reckon they’re good for a 3 - 4 hour ride each - so two day’s worth. If one gets particularly wet or needs washing you can turn that around in a day whilst using the others. The overtights are generally good for a week. I have two merino base layers (One sleeveless, one long sleeved) which are good for a week, two long sleeved jerseys for winter two short sleeved jerseys for summer, one gilet and one waterproof softshell jacket for when it’s properly cold or wet.

  • It depends a bit on how long your commute is, if it's short you can get away with wearing the same bibs for longer. My approach so far has been non-padded tights that go over regular bibs so even if you're putting them on after work and they're still wet from the morning commute it's not too gross cos it's the tights that get wet. Also this way I don't need particularly good bibs and can wear ones with rips or holes in. I have 2 long sleeve winter jerseys and a thick waterproof jacket, I just wear one of those with a baselayer depending on if it's raining and if it's really cold put a gillet over the top. Don't forget some proper waterproof overshoes too because even if you've got spare socks in your bag, putting on wet shoes always sucks.

    For bang per buck it's hard to beat Altura and DHB.

  • Don't wear special cycling clothing?

  • Yeah when i was commuting I came.round to not wearing lycra after going back and forth over the years. I did like rapha touring shorts but only because they lasted much longer than a £20 pair of shorts from h+m or whatever

  • Also, i had a dress code which helped

  • My commute is short but it’d have to be a hell of a lot longer for me to get properly kitted up in bibs and the like.

    Normally I ride and work in boxers and chino shorts.

    For the cold I have knee warmers that I throw on for the ride.

    When it’s wet I have a pair of waterproof trousers that I’ve cut the bottoms off so I don’t need to worry about them catching in my chain. They dry pretty quickly as they don’t absorb anything so will be good to go on the way home or pack away if the rain has stopped.

    When it’s very cold I have some fleece lined, unpadded bib tights that go on over my boxers, with either the waterproofs or the chinos over the top depending on the weather. I can whip the tights off in the workshop as I’m not getting my dick out and as my balls and ass ain’t resting right in them, they don’t need washed so often.

    On top I wear cheapo polyester karrimor running tshirts from sports direct. They dry quick, don’t get stinky and pack small so I can always have a spare or two in my locker incase I’ve been running late and gotten sweatier than usual on the ride in. I just add more and more layers on top as it gets colder and I try to avoid riding in a waterproof jacket as much as possible because it’ll keep the rain off but I end up just as wet with sweat.

    Joys of working as a mech in a velodrome though, I don’t need to look particularly presentable and even in the depth of winter the building is kept warm enough that I rarely have to ride home in wet kit.

    On very wet days I’ll lob a spare pair of gloves in my bag just incase.

    My commuting bike has full guards and I always have a pair of shoes with toe covers fitted. I don’t think I’ve needed full overshoes for my commute for a few years now.

  • As everyone said length of commute is key.

    Absolute best thing is to get some decent hard-wearing over shoes.

    When I commuted (20-40m) on a bike I either wore Rapha touring shorts, Zara stretch chino Jean things, or if it was cold PX thermal unpadded bibs with the touring shorts.

    I generally got changed at work. I also had radiators in my flat so just had one of everything except Zara trousers.

  • Unless your commute is very long and/or you go full racer, none?
    Obviously depends on your bike and how well your behind likes your saddle, but it's actually possible to cycle quite far without padded shorts.
    I went from always bibs to shorts/trousers and breathable odlo boxers unless I am on the bike with the unpadded saddle.

    Like the approach of having nice tights so you can wear the oldest bibs you own underneath.

  • Why not wear your normal tights and have a pair of waterproof overtrousers for when it rains? depending on where you live and how flexible you are about leaving for work/home you might find you seldom ride in full rain.

    Oops you mention you don't like the overtrousers... I dunno I have some that are fine from decathlon. Maybe look into cycling specific overtrousers?

  • If people are getting changed at work anyways it doesn’t really matter if what you’re wearing is cycling gear or not. My commute is a 25mile round trip, little longer depending on whether I take a scenic route. For me this is just about long enough to justify cycle-specific kit. What I like is being able to dry it quickly on the radiator in the back room at work, I’ve done it in normal clothes in the dry but don’t really have any regular clothes that would dry in the time I need them to.

  • Thanks bunch for the answers all!

    My commute will be around an 1 hour to a shirt+tie office (FML) by bike and I'd be especially keen to avoid public transport what with ya know and costs.

    Fortunately working from home for now, but will try out a couple of your suggestions - main key is probably keeping the feet from getting wet whilst being easy to change out of too.
    Seems like a couple bibs would be needed.

    Pretty much only wear trainers, so may need to invest in cycling shoes to be able to use a decent overshoe - overshoes I've seen for trainers in shops look massive and kinda too baggy for my liking.

    Definitely would be keen on not having to expose my genitalia getting changed in an office environment regardless of what the new normal in these uncertain and unprecedented times may hold.

  • 1 different pair of knicks per day, sometimes I'd take a second pair if it was pissing down.
    1 pair of tights over them reused every day until particularly filthy.
    Sponge and wet wipes for sink washing unless office has showers in which case luxury.

    Some people might get away with wearing normal clothes, some people might get away with wearing a pair of knicks for more than one day (I do for racing), but if you're wet and chaffing and then you've gotta ride 30hrs over the weekend you don't want a raw arse before you start.

    You can try getting away with fewer pairs but if you start to get rashes, raw skin, saddle sores, etc. you know what you need to do.

  • My office has showers and a changing room, it's the first place I've worked that does so going full kit wanker is somewhat easier. Generally I've always just commuted in normal clothes unless it's raining, the downside is you're liable to wear a hole in your jeans/shorts quicker.

  • always have a spare pair of clean, dry socks in your desk draw

  • Used to do an hour each way 3-5 days a week
    1xlong bibs
    1x running tights to go over bibs alternating with long bibs

    Could have probs got away with 2x bibs

    Also for jersey in crap months, gabba or similar rather than a jacket

  • Imagine 2 as the minimum, freezing days and mild days. Find dhb stuff is always nice and not overly pricey. If your 1 hour is in the London heat bubble, something like these roubaix 3/4 for the colder days­oubaix-34-bib-tight
    For mild weather, perhaps some regular bibs + knee warmers?

    Pretty much only wear trainers, so may need to invest in cycling shoes to be able to use a decent overshoe - overshoes I've seen for trainers in shops look massive and kinda too baggy for my liking.

    Trainers are liks sponges for cold water, can get grim fast. Also, if you've not got mudguards on the bike, they make a huge difference on wet and cold days.

  • Definitely would be keen on not having to expose my genitalia getting changed in an office environment...

    Disappointing attitude. Don’t bother turning up on Monday there is a box for your personal possessions on your desk. Can I remind you that all stationery is company owned.

  • ftfy

    "Socks and undies"

  • "Socks and undies"

    Socks, undies, and shirt.

  • I keep my shirts in the office so that's not an issue.

  • My commute varies from 8km to 25km each way depending on schedule, weather, bike choice etc. I have showers at work so am able to get changed easily. For commuting I have 3 short sleeve jerseys, 3 long sleeve jerseys, 3 pairs of bibs, 2 pairs of 3/4 length bibs and 1 pair of bib tights. Added to that, arm warmers, a windproof gillet and a waterproof jacket, plus gloves and too many caps. This means I can put stuff through the wash every couple of days rather than daily.

    Even with a short commute, my view is that I am better/more comfortable riding in proper cycling gear, knowing I am going to have to get changed at work anyway. Cycling kit also dries way quicker so if you have access to an airing cupboard/drying room.

  • X2 merino base layers
    X2 padded bib shorts
    X1 DWR non padded bib tights
    X1 long sleeved jersey
    X1 water proof jacket
    X2 water proof socks (essential I'd say!)

    Don't bother with overshoes in the rain, in my experience they just make the whole thing worse on rainy days.

    I just dry the wet stuff out over night/the next day and alternate bibs/base layer. Then wash all of it over the weekend.

    Also helps if you can store uniform at work, enough for the week then just bring it all back at the weekend. That's what I try and do!

  • overshoes I've seen for trainers in shops look massive and kinda too baggy for my liking.

    I know I said I’ve not worn a full overshoe for years but from before that I have a pair of ugly as sin motorcycle boot covers that are ah-maze-ing in rancid weather.

    Here they are,

    They’re completely sealed at the bottom, with their own sole so keep you way drier than a cycling overshoe and extend a decent way up the leg so water doesn’t just get in at the top.

    Like I say, look horrendous but in really wet weather I loved riding in then pulling them off to reveal shoes drier than people that had just walked from their car.

  • I often get the piss taken out of me at work for being a full kit wanker.

    I do a 30km round trip 5 days a week, which takes about 35 mins depending on traffic. It does sound a big mad to spend 10 mins either side of that getting changed. But if I was going to do a 5-10km run - I’m not going to do it in my shirt and trousers am I?

    My kit is:

    3x short tights
    3x jerseys (zip off long sleeves)
    2x merino thermal for winter
    1x gore waterproof jacket / jersey for very wet
    2x sets of leg warmers

    I could ride in civilian clothes but then it would be super sweaty and gross and generally just uncomfortable, I’d still have to change out of whatever I rode in when I have a flannel wash anyway (no luxury showers).

    Wearing cycling gear is just so much more comfortable and practical. Especially in the rain.

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How many cycling bibs for a weekly commute?

Posted by Avatar for ambassdor @ambassdor