Cycle gear for urban easy riders and MAMILs
Do you like Lycra outfits that protect you from the elements, aid top two-wheeled performance and leave little to the imagination? Move right on to page 12 of this feature.
Prefer a less vigorous mode of cycling, especially on a single-speed bike? With cycling now as much a lifestyle as a pastime, there's more and more brilliant cycling kit that's also suitable for the coffee shop, craft beer emporium or open-plan office in the creative industries.
Whatever your preference, be it technical or fashionable, we've got the best bike clothing and other cycle gear right here. We make no judgements, either way. It's all good.
Lumo Regents Parka • £400
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.
Giro Republic LX • £150
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 – see Fox Wilson Preston, further down – you could easily wear them in the office without too many funny looks.
Fox Wilson Preston Jeans • £89
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…
Dashing Tweeds x Fred Perry Harrington Jacket • £595
Another high-visibility top that won't make you look like a lollypop man, this Harrington jacket from British menswear company Dashing Tweeds, uses cloth from Fred Perry that incorporates 3M reflective yarn into the Tweed.
We've tested the jacket and it's surprisingly effective. During the day, it looks like a normal jacket, but in darker conditions it manages to reflect a lot of light, making the wearer crazy visible. The Dashing Harrington boasts Teflon treatment for extra protection against water and bike grease, and the collection also includes a backpack, tote bag, messenger bag, and flat cap for the full 'highly reflective country squire' look.
Gore Element Urban Print Windstopper • £200
When it comes to keeping you dry, little beats a Gore Bikewear product. As rain and wind-proof as Gore-Tex is, though, you usually have to settle for function over form, but the camo-print Element Urban addresses that, scoring points for style too, especially if you want to look like demented cycle courier Tyres from 90s sitcom Spaced.
Of course, there’s also plenty of practicality with your urban-militia chic. As you’d expect, there's rigourous weather-proofing, plenty of reflective bits and neon touches that you can deploy when on your steed.
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 Henty
Endura Flipjack • £100
Good casual-slash-urban cycling kit needs to works brilliantly on the bike but then be as equally at home in the pub. Although please don't cycle home from there, people. You want to be able to unclip and not look like an off duty out-of-bounds instructor.
For riding to and from work on cold days in fog-wracked gloom, the Flipjack offers Primaloft insulated warmth and makes you VERY visible. No, subtle it ain’t, but turn it inside out it and voila: the Flipjack now looks like a classy down jacket.
Ted Baker Zipthru • £95
Ted Baker’s Raising the Handlebars range is designed specifically with urban cycling in mind, and includes ride-friendly shirts, polos and chinos that echo the aesthetic of Baker’s mainstream clobber - ie: they're for cool dads.
The Zipthru invokes the look of a classic cycling track jacket and works well under any of the increasing number of cycling specific blazers now available, letting you work that classic 'stylish-Italian-football-manager-riding-to-training' look. Blue Steel!
Brooks Leg 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 Brooks
Technical and speed bike wear aka MAMIL clobber
Many a cycle-owning man 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, even as you laugh in the face of inclement British weather.
Endura FS260-Pro SL jacket • £130
We love Endura's Pro gear for its ninja styling, effortless weatherproofing and impressive ruggedness. But maybe because it looks so damnably sharp. Yeah, we're shallow.
The latest version of its flagship jacket offers, and we quote, 'four-way stretch windproof fabric with a thermal grid lining on front and sleeves, 'high stretch, thermal rear panels' that are 'extremely breathable and wick sweat away quickly'.
With great glove integration and a sculpted fit, cold air is kept firmly at bay, but be aware: the cut is described as 'athletic', and yes that does mean that having a gut whilst wearing this is not advised, unless you envisage the tight, Lycra construction acting as some kind of latterday sports corset. Us? We've got no worries, mate.
Comes in stealth black, a brilliantly sporty red and retina-searing hi-viz green. Ew.
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.
Briko Shot Evoluzione • €150
Iconic in appearance and packed with features, Briko’s latest update to the Shot Evoluzione boasts a 7.6-inch mirrored polarised lens and nifty UV blocking Nasa tech. The real killer thing with these specs though is the weight, which comes in at just 28 grams, making them perfect for lovers of speed.
Sportful Fiandre Light No-Rain jersey • £100
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.
Rapha Pro Team Rain Gilet • £140
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.
Hoy Vulpine Roubaix Jersey • £80
Earlier in 2015, sextuple Olympic champ Sir Chris Hoy teamed up with the British brand Vulpine, best known for it’s stylish urban/commuting kit, to create the Hoy Vulpine performance range.
Available online and at Evans Cycles, items like the thermal Roubaix jersey show that although Chris spent most of his career racing inside he knows all about training in harsh British winters.
Chpt III • £various
Former pro-rider David Millar is a man of many talents – a brilliant racer, a reformed drug cheat, an acclaimed author and now a clothing designer. Although we're not wholly convinced about his skills as a male model.
The dandy Millar has teamed up with Italian cycling brand Castelli to create the stylish, but superbly functional Chpt III – it refers to the third phase of Millar’s career, apparently – collection. It includes rain repellent jerseys, base layers and arm warmers and can be found on Mr Porter as well as more traditional outlets for bike clobber. For an idea of pricing, the jersey above is £240 and the slightly alarming gilet's £75. Premium.
Inov-8 Race Ultra 10
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.
£120 | Inov-8