In the UK and the US, when people think of a ‘cyclist’ they often conjure up an image of a middle-aged man in Lycra (a MAMIL). It’s not a pretty picture. Nor is it an accurate stereotype.
For anyone who’s ever visited Amsterdam, Copenhagen or many Belgian or German cities, they’ll tell you about the vast swathes of cyclists – often outnumbering cars.
Is this a dystopian future where the bikes have forced cars off the road? No. These are places where bike lanes are plentiful, air and noise pollution is low, people are healthy and happier, and where everyone can travel around quicker due to the lower congestion.
People will also tell you that you don’t see many Lycra-clad cyclists in these places, and most don’t even wear a helmet.
You mean to say you can wear everyday clothes when cycling!? Shock horror.
Illustration by Ste Illustrates
Well, yes, you can. But admittedly not all gear is built for cycling. Those jeans might chafe a bit, and your jacket might be a bit snug around the back.
Recognising this problem, many innovative start-up brands are popping up to offer cool urban clothes that boast discreet cycling functionality – helping people to ride in stylish cycling clothes that don’t look like cycling clothes!
Regular trousers, in particular, can be troublesome on a bike, so I’ve put together a list of five brands that have kick-ass keks for cycling and everyday life.
I basically live in Resolute Bay jeans. Not only are they great for cycling, but they look great and are comfy as hell. Made from Raw Japanese Denim, the Resolute Bay jeans are ridiculously flexible, meaning you can even squat in them without putting a strain in the material. All Resolute Bay products also feature discreet reflective functionality so aid visibility when you’re on your bike.
If you love chino-style trousers in an array of colours, then Vancouver-based DUER will be right up your street.
DUER focuses on creating trousers that can go wherever you go, and do whatever you do. So riding a bike, climbing a mountain or a quick run after the bus are no problem with the No Sweat Pants, which again offer tonnes of flexibility. DUER also have a great selection of urban cycling shorts, which again provide wonderful flexibility without compromising on style.
While not as technical or comfortable as the Resolute Bay jeans, global giant Levi’s also have a range of stylish gear for cycling known as the commuter range. Their range offers raised rear waistline to prevent unintended behind exposure and look great in their classic Levi’s style.
Having been founded in 2008, Osloh are one of the more established members of the urban cycling market and have cracking range of cycling jeans and chinos for both men and women. They’ve been designed to ensure a great fit when riding, while maintaining a sweet urban style when going about the rest of your day.
Okay, they’re not actually bulletproof, but with the amount of features that these cycling trousers boast, it wouldn’t surprise me. These trousers offer a more classic design and fit, meaning they are ideal for a casual meet with friends or evening combing with a short for the office. The Bulletproof Trousers are also water resistant, keeping you dry in all but the most severe of downpours.
Pete Reynolds is the founder of Discerning Cyclist, a blog devoted to reviewing stylish urban cycling clothes, following the mantra “we don’t want cycling clothes; we want stylish clothes we can cycle in”.
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