Technical cycle gear for MAMILs
Do you shun technical, Lycra cycle gear? Prefer a less vigorous mode of cycling, especially on a single-speed bike? Pedal straight to page 11 of this feature right now, you brogue- and button-down-wearing hipster, you.
Okay, you're still here, so we assume you LOVE technical, Lycra cycle gear. Given that it protects you from the elements, aids top two-wheeled performance and leaves little to the imagination, what's not to love, really?
Many a cycle-owning gent now has a selection of Lycra outfits amongst his PE kit, and there's nothing wrong with that, so long as it co-ordinates, and you have the physique and/or the gumption to pull it off. The same body fat percentage as a locust is advisable.
Obviously, mismatched bargain bin bits will no longer pass muster, but fear not: with stylish ex-pros lining up to design cool clobber and ever more technical fabrics, you’ve no excuse to not look the business on your bike, especially in summer, when everyone looks, ahem, 'sexier'.
UPDATE: we've added new bike wear and accessories for summer 2016. The less technical, more street-fashionable stuff starts on page 11. First up is technical bike clothing.
Rapha Pro Team Aerosuit
Wear this and it's physically impossible to get any more aero. Honestly, you'll slice through the air like a greased up kipper.
The Aerosuit from Rapha's Pro Tea range has been tested in wind tunnel and Rapha claims it's "the world’s fastest road-race skinsuit". The lightweight fabric has been treated with a special anti-bacterial coating to keep you smelling fresh when you're speeding, basically naked, across the finish line.
It also comes in white, for the truly brave.
Price £230 | Buy Rapha Pro Team Aerosuit
Specialized S-Works Prevail
Lightweight, comfortable and packed with improved features, the Prevail range from Specialized is the perfect addition to any road racer's noggin.
Constructed from multi-density EPS and packing a new pad design, it has been constructed to perform when needed but also offer the sort of comfort that can become a real godsend on longer rides.
Price £160 | Buy Specialized S-Works Prevail
Pearl Izumi Pro Leader III
A cracking pair of SPD shoes with, at time of release, the thinnest upper available, which is partly made via the miracle of 3D printing.
That helps them mould quickly to your foot for ultimate comfort, and they weigh just 235g and are also very low.
However with a carbon fibre insert, there's absolutely no lack of rigidity here, and we were more than happy with the power imparted when tootling up to Selfridge's of an afternoon.
These are excellent shoes, available in vivid red or more muted black. We also think Pearl Izumi deserves a lot of praise for going with the above promotional photo, which may be the least exciting we've ever clapped eyes on.
Price £249 | Buy Pearl Izumi Pro Leader III
Hoy Vulpine Senko Jersey
Constructed from soft, lightweight Italian fabric, this aero-perfected race jersey is good for those seeking to boss a sportive, while looking the part. The muted colour scheme isn't as 'shouty' as some rivals and the fit is excellent.
We found the pockets slightly loose on a test ride and a lack of zip pocket frustrating, not least because we kissed goodbye to a £10 note - thanks wind. Still, it's ultimately a 'less is more' garment for serious summer spins.
Price £75 | Buy Hoy Vulpine Senko Jersey
B'Twin Aerofit Bib Shorts
The top spec road bike range from B'Twin is often cited as a hidden gem among the two-wheeled community. Yes, you have to get it from Decathlon, but as a result, it's nowhere near as expensive as big brand rivals, yet still built to last, and offering impressive levels of comfort.
These bib shorts are a perfect example: with an ergonomically designed gel chamois (the padded bit that protects the nether regions), it rivals products three times the price. The fit is definitely suited to the lithe racer but you can't beat this gear for the money.
Price £50 | Buy B'Twin Aerofit Bib Shorts
Sportful Fiandre Light No-Rain jersey
Kickstarted by Castelli with its Gabba, water repellent tops that sit half way between a conventional cycling jersey and a showerproof jacket are SO HOT right now, and one of the best on the market is the Sportful Fiandre No-Rain.
This slightly Star Trek TNG-styled number offers warmth, windproofing and protection from light rain, making it an ideal addition to your autumn/early winter/spring riding wardrobe.
Price £102 | Buy Sportful
Inov-8 Race Ultra 10
This is actually built for runners but just as good for cycling.
Each of the 10 pockets packed into this ultra-light racing pack has been specially positioned for the upmost comfort and accessibility. Multiple hydration options are included too, to keep the water flowing and there's 10L of space for all the essentials.
Price £100 | Buy Inov-8 Race Ultra 10
Fizik R5B • £130
Formerly better known for its excellent range of saddles, Italian brand Fizik also makes some of the sweetest serious cycling shoes available. You can cane almost 300 quid on the top of the range Kangaroo leather R1s, but you won’t feel short changed with the equally stylish R5Bs.
They’re exceptional comfortable – the Boa closure system means getting a great fit is simple – and the carbon reinforced soles help you put the hammer down efficiently.
Price £108 | Buy Fizik R5B
Rapha Pro Team Rain Gilet
Team Sky’s outfitters Rapha are known for their understated and subtle designs, and you can get the Pro Team Gilet in plain old black if you wish. If you’re more flamboyant, though, the Data Print gilet is for you.
Sans arms, a gilet is easily packable in your back pocket on days when rain is a possibility, which is most days in the UK, let's face it. Should the rain start to wazz down, the form-fitting Pro Team will keep your all-important torso dry and warm.
£140 | Rapha
Cycle gear for urban easy riders
Paul Smith 531 waterproof jacket
Almost uniquely, here's a garment that could work for BOTH cycling tribes.
Named after the material blend ratio of the iconic Reynolds bike tubing, which was ridden by many Tour de France winners, the Paul Smith 531 range eyes up the ultra-stylish rider but is also techinical. To an extent that verges on ridiculous.
A drop-down spray guard, high-vis neon orange panels and underarm vents all help while riding but for us, this is to be worn more for the kudos points than the performance gains. It's also available in ninja black, should yellow be slightly too lollypop man for y'all.
£295 | Buy Paul Smith 531
Vulpine Button Down Oxford Shirt
The good old, preppy Oxford shirt is a style staple, which doesn't show any sign of going out of fashion.
This neat cycling-enhanced version from Vulpine takes a classic cut and adds 4 per cent Lycra mix for added stretch, while the flat internal seams prevent chafing. Ergonomic darts around the shoulder and sleeves ensure it doesn't ride up when riding.
Chapeau Lightweight Cap
Summer is just around the corner and that means it's time to protect the head from the sun's harmful rays. Preferably with a hat that says "Hat!" on it, but in French.
Chapeua's retro-tastic caps - they have others that are polka dotted, like a jockey's cap - look the business, even when worn underneath a helmet (you do wear a helmet, right?) The polyester material is said to keep the bonce a lot cooler than traditional cotton rivals.
In short, nothing screams 'hipster!' quite like a Chapeau cap, but this one, perhaps most of all.
£15 | Buy Chapeau
CityBrix by KitBrix
The brainchild of a former military man, this stylish backpack features a cool pocket design that means you can stash work shoes and sweaty cycling gear in the base, while the top half remains clear for iPads, diaries and clean work gear.
The solid base means it stands up, which is great for summer evenings outside bars, while the robust zips and materials mean it can withstand the daily commute to work.
Quoc Pham Urbanite Low shoes
A genuine bovine leather upper, reinforced mesh inner and a natural cork footbed greet those stylish individuals keen on 'clipping-in' without looking like a clown and sounding like a clog dancer when walking.
Quoc's shoes fuse classic bravura with the latest cycling tech, meaning you can turn up to the boozer or church in SPD cleat compatible shoes without drawing too much attention to yourself.
£169 | Buy Quoc Pham Urbanite Low
Fox Wilson Preston Jeans
Fox Wilson’s Preston jeans look like, well, jeans. But they’re actually a highly technical bit of cycling kit.
Made from water-resistant Schoeller 3XDry denim, which has plenty of ride friendly stretch, they also pack anti-odour and heat repelling treatments to up the practicality. Other neat touches are a loop that’ll take a D-lock and reflective details on the rear pockets and inside the right leg – just turn 'em up and ride…
£89 | Buy Fox Wilson Preston
Henty Wingman suit bag
How many of you have to wear a suit and shirt to work? We bet it’s quite a few, but unless you have changing facilities at your place of business, your only option is to wear it while you cycle. To avoid the horribly sweating mess at the end of the journey, wear proper cycling gear and take this Henty Wingman bag with you instead. It’s designed to carry a full suit – just pop your attire into the pocket, zip it closed and then roll it into a waterproof bag that you can carry over your shoulder. Genius.
Price: £119 I Buy Henty Wingman
Lumo Regents Parka
Netaly bestraddling the line between style and safety, this coat from Lumo's London Collective range is, primarily, a very sharp jacket. The silhouette and cut are excellent, and thanks to Lycra inner cuffs and a magnetically-closing top flap, it's also a lot warmer than it looks.
The ace up the sleeve - or more accurately, hovering just above your arse, and to the right side of the zip, are two sets of 14 LEDs, flashing bluey white on the front and red at your rear. Visible from 400 metres away, they’re visible regardless of riding position and whether you use a rucksack. Waterproof and washable, they're powered by a USB-charged battery pack.
If we're being honest, the lights are just a handy side thing, though. Mainly, this is a damn smart, comfortable, well designed jacket.
£386.66 | Buy Lumo Regents Parka
Giro Republic LX
A lovingly restored retro bike simply doesn’t go with day-glo race shoes. Instead you need something leather. Step forward the Giro Republic LX. The gorgeous Republics are one of the most successful old-school-but-bang-up-to-date shoes on the market.
Two-bolt SPD compatible, they’re plenty stiff enough for pacy riding, but not so stiff that you can’t walk in them. Paired with riding jeans – the Fox Wilson Preston in this list, for instance – you could easily wear them in the office without too many funny looks.
£135 | Buy Giro Rebublic LX
Brooks Leather Trouser Strap
Unless you’re wearing shorts, it doesn’t matter how fancy a bike you own – oil will inevitably find its way plastered to your nice beige trousers, and good luck getting that stuff off in a wash. The solution, if you’re not brave enough to bare your legs, is to get a trouser strap. Before you run and hide, they can look cool, like this leather number from Brooks which comes in a range of colours to help match your bike.
Price: £20 I Buy Brooks Leather Trouser Strap