THERE used to be three choices when it came to City bike-wear: highlighter neon, racing Lycra or crumpled suit with sweat patches. But bike fashion has evolved. And with many more of us cycling to work, thanks to Boris bikes and increasing take up of corporate bike schemes, there’s demand for kit that actually looks good.
The smart biker’s range of sartorial options now includes breathable jeans, quaint stylish jackets and clothes you won’t be embarrassed to wear as you stroll into the office. Not only will you look fetching, but you’ll be sweat-free and comfortable as well. Guy Andrews, editorial director of the quarterly cycling magazine Rouleur, says: “When I started 30 years ago, it was all woollen shorts, and leather hats that looked like a bunch of bananas on your head. But now, the technology and fabrics are amazing and have maximised the combination of comfort and style.”
Brands such as Rapha take the technology of bike fabrics and craft them for the stylish man. Its pair of breathable jeans is now a cycling cult classic and the company’s best-selling item. Dromati’s shoes look old school because they are made with beautiful Italian leather, but their soles are packed with new technology (a 2-point SPD fixing system allows the wearer to click into the pedal). Dromati also offers a gentlemanly twist on the cyclist’s glove. And then there’s Surface, which makes urban-wear for the grittier cyclist, and Dashing Tweed who caters to the more genteel man with tweed that is woven with practical reflective strips. Here are the items that will help you ride in style.
GET THE LOOK
1. Rapha jeans, £150, www.rapha.cc
2. Surface Pertex Jacket, £49.99, www.evanscycles.com
3. Dromarti Corio gloves, £112.97 includes P&P, www.dromarti.com
4. Brooks “Islington” rucksack, £249.99, www.evanscycles.com
5. Dromarti Classic “Sportivo” shoes, £159.67, www.dromarti.com