Cyclists are right to be smug. Commuting on two wheels boosts your well-being, according to research from Norwich Medical School, and, if Dutch scientists are to be believed, you’ll slash your odds of getting sick.
But if you’re dressed like a MAMIL (that’s middle-aged man in lycra, to the uninitiated) then it’s time to lose the grin. When colleagues see you hobbling through reception in your bike clip shoes and skintight maillot jaune, you can bid bye-bye to that hard-earned authority.
Fortunately, cycle-savvy designers have have your back, with clothing styled for the office, but fashioned from fabrics that make sense in the saddle.
The Shoes You Can Step Out In
Cycling shoes are a triumph of function over style. Strapped in, you’re a harmonious whirl of man and machine. Unclipped, you totter like a newborn foal. Which kills your look, before we even get to the garish colourways that would be more at home in a Mr Motivator video than the pub.
Recessed cleats not only do wonders for your walk, but also mean the rest of your shoe can enjoy a makeover. This sneaker style from Quoc Pham owes a styling debt to the Jack Purcell, so you can wear it wherever you’d take Converse’s classic, but trades up the canvas for water-resistant woven nylon. The fabric is also impregnated with visibility-boosting reflective panels – because winding up under a bus is never trending.
Quoc Pham Hardcourt Low SPD Shoe, available at gbcycles.co.uk, priced £149.
The Bomber Ready For Weather And Street Style Snappers
Cyclewear design tends to fall into two camps: retro, and space age. Wear the former and a certain type of bike aficionado will seek you at work to deliver a 20-minute diatribe on gear ratios. Sport the latter and, well, the same result. Only for twice a long.
British brand Huez is different, crafting fashion-forward pieces from next-generation fabrics, to protect you from the elements on the bike and the nerds off it. So despite this bomber being a cyclist’s dream thanks to a fully waterproof construction, taped seams and rear vent for breathability, it’s styled to pair with denim and a button-down. Not lycra.
Tempest Bomber, available at huez.co.uk, priced £285.
The Jeans That Won’t Tear
Denim is sore in the saddle. Rain makes raw selvedge run, which does no favours for your fades, and the pedalling stresses the crotch, putting you at risk of reaching the office with an unsightly blow-out.
Swap instead to Muxu’s jeans, which are fashioned from naturally dyed Japanese denim blended with lycra, so the fabric stretches instead of ripping. You also get triple-stitched seams in problem areas and a 3M reflective lining on the turn-ups. So you can stay safe cycling when the days get short, but don’t have to turn up to work draped in high-vis.
Muxu Ride Japanese Denim Cycling Jeans, available at alwaysriding.co.uk, priced £90.
The Jacket That Keeps Your Cool
The second iteration of this hook-up between workwear hero Oliver Spencer and performance cycling brand Vulpine builds on the success of its predecessor. From the latter you get a water-resistant cotton-nylon blend and a reflective lining under the collar and cuffs, plus a rear vent that only appears when you’re hunkered over your handlebars.
The former provides a multiplicity of pockets for stashing keys, phones and wallets, a typically roomy fit ideal for weather-beating layering, and a bang-on-trend military green fabric that’s also crease free. So you can sling it in your bag for these sweaty hill climbs.
Oliver Spencer x Vulpine Barragan Jacket, available at oliverspencer.co.uk, priced £155.