The Bike Commute Essentials of 2016
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You can do better than jeans and a T-shirt.
Ibex Shralp Jersey
Ibex calls this a jersey, and while it does have some nice tech details—including odor- and moisture-resistant wool fabric, a drop hem, and reflective hits on the back—the wrinkle-free, plaid button-up hangs just as well at the office as it does in the saddle.
Du:er Slim Utility Rinse Jeans
These trim-fit jeans are excellent on the bike, thanks to the proprietary, slightly stretchy, bomber denim and hidden gusseted crotch. We found ourselves wearing them almost full-time since they don’t show their cycling heritage with oddball darts and seams.
Kitsbow Merino Mountain Hoodie
Leave it to this California-based apparel company to elevate the hoodie from lowly top to precision gear, with stretch-mesh panels under the arms and at the sides that complement the cozy heathered merino. A long, trim fit and button-down extension cuffs keep the cold out on brisk mornings. We put on this piece and hoped to never take it off.
Search&State S1J Jacket
There are tons of cycling shells on the market, but none combine the clean, urban good looks (we love the bright sandstone color) with the all-weather insulation of Schoeller C-Change, a fabric that protects from the wet and wind yet breathes as you heat up.
Bell Hub Helmet
The full-coverage Hub offers impact protection on the sides and back, an ICEdot sensor to store emergency contacts in case of trouble, and 15 well-placed vents that kept us cool. It also looks reasonably hip, thanks to the soft, fabric visor. Nice touch: the integrated light mount in back.
DZR H2O Shoes
These seemingly ordinary skate-style high-tops feature DWR-treated sheepskin leather and fully sealed seams. The H20 kept our feet toasty and dry on even the sloppiest days. The gum-rubber sole includes a removable port for clipless pedals, but we left ours intact for better weather protection.
Mission Workshop Black Camo Messenger Bag
Yep, this messenger bag costs a small fortune, but the fully waterproof interior, with a roll-top for especially nasty days, will protect your more-expensive electronics. All zippers are weatherproof, the aluminum hardware is tough, and the 35-liter main compartment swallows everything you’ll possibly need in a day.
Rapha’s fashionable Italian-made sunnies draw their inspiration from flight goggles. They fit tight and keep out the wind, and the Carl Zeiss lenses don’t fog. The tortoiseshell frames look sharp, too, meaning you won’t need to switch shades for a post-ride stop at the bar.
Knog Pop Duo Light
It isn’t the brightest torch—35 lumens up front, five out back—but it’ll do the job in a pinch. And what this single AA battery-powered light lacks in power it more than makes up for in style, with half a dozen colors to choose from. Plus, the price can’t be beat.
Wigwam Downtown Socks
The 110-year-old footwear manufacturer sheds its stodgy reputation with these dapper merino-spandex socks that feel as good as they look. For a little extra capriciousness, buy several pairs to mix and match colors.