This Season’s Best-Looking Commuter Kit
Who says roadies don't have a sense of style?
The line between commuter kit and office clothing is totally blurred these days. Sweaters that wick moisture on the bike also look great in the morning meeting. Pants with reflective hits go great with button-downs. And even if you have to change your shoes and ditch your helmet, at least they don’t scream “bike nerd” out in the street. To get you dialed for your own commute, here’s a list of our favorite spring gear.
Catlike Kompact’o Urban Helmet ($125, pictured above)
For the Kompact’o Urban, Spanish-based Catlike took the aero circular-hole pattern of a performance lid and applied it to a commuter helmet. All those vents dump heat quickly. We also like that the helmet has great coverage on the back and sides for increased protection, and an included brim to keep the sun off your face.
Rapha Track Jacket ($180)
The back, arms, and collar of this jacket are made from lightweight merino, so it's warm and moves moisture when you’re cruising through traffic. Up front, Rapha used a softshell material that blocks wind. If that all sounds overly technical, have to fear: the varsity collar and understated Rapha colors hide this piece's cycling heritage.
Cadence Dark Raw Denim Pants ($120)
A reflective patch on the belt loop boosts visibility, while the reinforced crotch and double-layer pockets on these burly 12-ounce denim jeans will stand up to years of abuse on bike saddles. We particularly like the raw denim color because it goes with nearly everything. Just don’t wash the jeans until you absolutely have to, as the fabric is made to wear in over time.
Mission Workshop The Orion ($445)
The Orion has been around for the while, and that’s why we like it. Our old black one has seen hundreds of miles and is still totally trustworthy when it comes to keeping us dry in a downpour. Made from lightweight Polartec NeoShell, this new yellow version maintains all the performance cred, with pit zips that add extra ventilation and an internal media pocket to keep you bumping but tangle-free.
Giro Rumble VR Shoes ($80)
A shank in the clipless Rumble VR sole creates solid power transfer on each stroke, while the hiking-shoe design keeps it from looking like dorky bike shoes. And the thick, grippy Vibram sole ensures we don’t eat sh*% when we have to walk.
Swrve Lightwright Bamboo Belgian Cap ($30)
Spring mornings are still chilly, so we don this cycling cap to prevent a cold-ear headache. Made from bamboo and cotton, it pulls moisture well on shorter rides and features ultra-flat seams that all but disappear under a helmet.
Patagonia Black Hole Backpack 32L ($150)
The new version of this classic pack has a zipper that runs the entire length of one side, allowing for easy access to everything inside. Like it's predecessor, it’s still cavernous and will swallow everything you need for the day, including a 15-inch laptop, lunch, and extra clothes. Built with a 13-ounce, 450-denier polyester ripstop with a TPU film laminate and DWR finish, the pack shrugs off light precipitation and normal wear and tear.
Duckworth Vapor Tee ($60)
It looks like a plain old cotton T-shirt (which we like), but the Vapor has high-tech credentials. Made from Montana wool and recycled polyester, it pulls sweat off your body and fights stink. It’s also durable: we’ve worn this piece for months and it still looks brand new.
7Mesh AK1 Undershort ($125)
Bibs are a must for long epics, but we prefer undershorts on the way to work because they’re cooler and less restrictive. We like the AK1s for their polyester knit mesh vents, ability to pull moisture, and trim though not compressive fit. The high-density chamois is plenty supportive, even when we’re riding with a backpack, and a well-shaped waist band never slips.
Zeal Cascade Sunglasses ($130)
There’s no need to wear funny-looking bike glasses on the way to work. We like the large lenses of the Cascade, which provide ample coverage to keep debris out of your eyes, but still look good with a button down. We also appreciate that Zeal makes the frames with a plant-based material instead of petroleum.
Kitsbow The Icon Shirt ($195)
As with all their kit, Kitsbow nails the fit on this well tailored, hand-sewn shirt made from Pendleton Wool and packed with clever bike features. Articulated sleeves and cuffs plus stretch gussets at the shoulders don't restrict movement when you hit the drops, while panels of 3X Dry Schoeller fabric on the body protect against backpack-strap chafing.
Velocio Breton Sock ($20)
Your sock game needs to stay strong, even on the commute. These socks from Velocio provide just enough color when we roll our cuffs and, thanks to the Coolmax construction, they kept our feet sweat-free all day.