Commuting to work - advise please

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Commuting to work - advise please

Postby Mitch1985 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:05 am

I'm a new rider and was thinking I would ride to work,
I work in an office and have to wear a suit.How does everyone manage to ride to work and keep there suit and shirt in a presentable fashion ?

Is there a backpack or system that works, I have a road bike so I think the panniers are not an option?
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by BNA » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:43 am

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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:43 am

G'Day Mitch, welcome outside. :)

Have you considered driving in once a week with a supply of clean shirts etc? Of course this option is dependant on suitable storage facilities at work...

What sort of distance and effort level is involved in a possible bike commute?

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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 23, 2013 10:48 am

It really depends on how far you ride, how many hills you top, and what sort of time or pace you plan for. Arond the world many just ride in their suits.

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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby bychosis » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:07 am

I have a locker at work and good shower facilities. Taking in several shirts in a trip then allows them to hang for a while after being stuffed into a backpack (folded properly). Pants tend not to crease so much while folded, but they hang at work too. Towel stays at work, aft a while I take a new one in and the old back home so I can't get caught without a towel. Most days I'm only carrying lunch and underwear. I do drive two days a week at the moment to drop off kids on the way so that is restock day for shirts etc.

If you are showering at work don't forget to allow cool off time. If I don't wait 5-10 min after arriving I keep sweating after the shower and might as well not have bothered.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:20 am

bychosis wrote:If I don't wait 5-10 min after arriving I keep sweating after the shower and might as well not have bothered.

Cold shower time :twisted:
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:23 am

il padrone wrote:
bychosis wrote:If I don't wait 5-10 min after arriving I keep sweating after the shower and might as well not have bothered.

Cold shower time :twisted:

Just for the last 30 seconds is enough, follow it up with a line dried towel down and all is well with the world.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby Nobody » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:26 am

il padrone wrote:Around the world many just ride in their suits.
Well if I was riding around the world, I might just wear Lycra/spandex. :wink:
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby nezumi » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:44 am

My commute is between 17 and 20kms each way.

I am fortunate enough to have a wardrobe on my office floor which is intended for suit jackets, but is unused. In it I keep 3 suits and 8 shirts.

Each day I cycle in to the office with clean socks & jocks and a pair of running shorts. I shower upon arrival (leaving towel and toiletries in the change rooms), change into the shorts (wearing cycle jersey), go up to my floor, pull out a clean shirt and suit and get changed in the bathrooms.

If I had a locker in the change rooms I would be taking a clean shirt and pants down each night and bringing the dirty one up with me each morning.

I get my shirts washed and pressed in the city, that way I don't have to miss cycling days. Fridays I bring in casual wear in my panniers.

For you, depending on the length of ride you can either get a suitable bike (no pun intended) and ride in dressed for work, taking it easy, or you can look into something like the Henty Wingman, which is a bag designed for cyclists wanting to transport a suit.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby human909 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:47 am

il padrone wrote:It really depends on how far you ride, how many hills you top, and what sort of time or pace you plan for. Arond the world many just ride in their suits.


Quite true.

The notion of going at a leisurely pace and remaining sweat free seems to get lost on most cycling enthusiasts. I include myself in this category! :oops: That said on road facilities are often less conducive to a slower pace....

Some CBD workers certainly do cycle to work in their work clothes. I was speaking to a tailor who was measuring me up for a shirt in the CBD... I was surprised to hear that he cycled to work in his work clothes every day from Hawthorne. A crisp appearance was important for his job. My sister also cycles to the CBD in her business suit. A very practical Gazelle Tour de Populair makes for a leisurely ride.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby trailgumby » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:21 pm

Nobody wrote:
il padrone wrote:Around the world many just ride in their suits.
Well if I was riding around the world, I might just wear Lycra/spandex. :wink:


I'll believe that when I see it :P

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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby trailgumby » Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:27 pm

Depending on the length of your commute, riding to work every day is probably not practical anyway. Mine is 20km minimum, with hills, so the most I do is three days a week to allow for a longer ride with mates on the weekend. If I skipped the recreational ride, then maybe four days would be possible but not every week, and some of those rides would have to be at a much slower "recovery" pace to avoid overtraining/burnout.

Bottom line: on those "recovery" days, I bring enough shirts and underwear for the week, and I leave a towel, washer, suit, ties and shoes in a locker at work in the bike cage.

Some guys at work with shorter trips ride every day, but they dry clean their shirts (expensive!) and occasionally wear backpacks which I detest when riding road.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby nickobec » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:02 pm

Henty Wingman

I have used it for my 40km commute/training ride (include 18km of uninterrupted PSP for interval training) and while it gets your suit + shirt or shirts to work uncreased, it is hard on your shoulder/back.

If my commute was 10 to 16km, (and not involve training or a TT bike) I would happily use it everyday.

However, as I only do the full commute a few times a week, I load up the Henty the days I ride to the train station 2km away, and keep a supply of clean clothes at work.

That was I do not need to carry anything when I do the long 40km commute/training ride on my race or TT bike.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby thejester » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:05 pm

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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby jasonc » Sat Nov 23, 2013 5:23 pm

my commute is 22-23kms each way. i ride 5 days per week
I use a dueter backpack with the aircomfort system. it provides an air gap between your back and the bag
I also commute some days without my backpack, so the days I commute on my flat bar I take multiple days clothes and multiple days food. works for me
I'm lucky enough to have shower facilities
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby rodneycc » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:22 pm

Just a normal $10 back pack does me. I don't wear a jacket but have suit pants and shirt folded into my towel with underwear and socks. I ride 19kms each way which takes about 45mins. Also lucky to have shower facilities which I only really use on days over 20deg or where I raise a bit of a sweat. Im not sure why all the dramas about wearing backpacks, I've never had any issues and not that heavy ( if anything the cheap ones are lighter!)

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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby gospeedracergo » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:27 pm

Ride REALLY slow. Like heart rate less than 100bpm slow.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby Mitch1985 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:41 pm

Thanks for the advice i purchased a bag from the local bike shop and I think ill take some shirts and other stuff in Monday ride for a few days and bring it all home Friday by car, commute is 10km so not that far.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby jasonc » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:57 pm

100bpm? i start any pedalling and I'm doing 110
I think my lowest average HR commute is 109

the alternate is an e-bike
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby __PG__ » Tue Dec 03, 2013 10:25 am

I keep a suit in the office and an additional pair of trousers, along with my nice work shoes.
I ride into work with underwear, socks, shirt and (sometimes) a tie in the backpack. If I iron the shirt and roll it carefully it usually survives the backpack fairly well. If I was really worried there is an ironing board in the change rooms.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:33 pm

If you have some sort of end of trip facilities then, like others here, just organise a few shirts at work.

I am in agreement about paniers not working well. Especially witha quality racing frame as these have very short chain stays and so leave little room plus add excessive weight tot he rear wheel. However, if you have no other choice then you can do it, as I had to for many many years. Do something to reduce the chances of breaking spokes first.

I am in the enviable situation of having a wife who brings in a couple of dozen shirts on request. With the exception of a three day spell this year(injury) I have managed to get to work for several years riding 5 days a week all year without EVER having to leave the cycle home.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby lobstermash » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:28 pm

I've got a big locker at work, in which I can fit a couple of weeks worth of shirts. I don't find it too inconvenient to pop in on the weekend every couple of weeks in the car to pick them up, give them a wash and take them back. But then Civic is dead on a weekend. Would be very different in a major city.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby bychosis » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:57 pm

I'm a back pack user. I just didn't like the way my bike handled with a rack and gear on it.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby cancan64 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:27 pm

If you can, roll your clothes up when placing them in the back pack instead of folding...you will have less creases.

I commute 17km each way 1 week per month...Mondays and Fridays are a pain as I carry laptop, shoes, clothes and lunch plus anything else I need for the week... the other days I just carry clothes and lunch and normally go a bit harder on the ride...always have a shower as I sweet a lot.
rest of the month I fly to work and I also roll clothes and rarely have to re iron them.
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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby external » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:28 pm

Another thumbs up for rolling. I commute 19km each way 5 days a week. I fold and rolla shirt and pants around a cardboard tube and then put this into a bag. I leave a pair of shoes at work and also have a share complete outfit at work including socks and jocks, this comes in handy when you forget something. Never had an issue with the shirt liking like crap, the worst that it has looked is no different than after sitting in a chair for ten minutes.

My technique for shirt and pants I'd to lay the shirt down and fold the arms in so the width is about the same as the cardboard roll. Place the pants on top of the shirt with the waist at the bottom of the shirt and hems over the top of the collar. Grab the cardboard roll and roll up from the waist. Starting at the waist makes it netter to roll the pants and also means the shirt at the top is wrapped around a larger diameter with less chance of causing creases.

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Re: Commuting to work - advise please

Postby Blackrock » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:31 pm

As I have a car I can use, I take in enough clean shirts for a couple of weeks. I do have to get the wife and kids to take the bus to school, but they understand and it's not that bad for them.
As above, I hate big back packs when riding and actually do like to put on neatly ironed shirts and pants. I couldn't get away with rolling and packing after all that ironing!!
I have shower and locker facilities, so am quite fortunate.
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