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.
UPDATE: we've added new hipster gear for summer. Check back in for the hottest new gear for MAMILs tomorrow…
• Go full MAMIL with the best carbon fibre road bikes
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.
£79 | vulpine.cc
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 | paulsmith.co.uk
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 | Chapeau.cc
CityBrix by KitBrix0
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.
£99 | kitbrix.co.uk
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 | quocpham.com
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 | Fox Wilson
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 now
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 | Lumo
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 – see Fox Wilson Preston, further down – you could easily wear them in the office without too many funny looks.
£135 | Evans
Dashing Tweeds x Fred Perry Harrington Jacket
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.
£850 | Dashing Tweeds
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
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, especially in summer, when everyone looks, ahem, 'sexier'.
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.
£108 | Buy Fizik
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.
£102 | Buy Sportful
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
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. It's built for runners but just as good for cycling.
£100 | Buy Inov-8