Gear to Stay Stylish on the Back to Work by Bike Commute

When your work attire demands more than a crumpled pair of jeans and a tee shirt, having solutions that help you feel your best without sacrificing your professionalism are important.

Getting to work looking your best supersedes feeling your best. This may be a shock to some, but it’s the truth of the modern workplace. Commuting by bike will have you feeling your best, but post-ride, you may not be looking your best. The approach to solve this problem comes in a few flavors that fall into two categories: will you work in your cycling gear or will you change when you arrive at work. Some approach it with an electric bike that will get you to work sweat-free, others choosing a combination of routes that limit the exertion. In the other camp are the group that embrace the morning workout and change into work attire at the job. But when your work attire demands more than a crumpled pair of jeans and a tee shirt, having solutions that help you feel your best without sacrificing your professionalism are important.

The discipline of regularly cycling to work or school has logistical hurdles that add to the complexity of an already challenging endeavor. Some gear from Thousand Helmets and Henty Bags help clear those hurdles and let you focus on the ride

Crossing Over

As wild as it may seem, not everyone appreciates that you ride your bike to work. You and I know all the money you’re saving, and we can understand how much better you look, feel and perform. But your office mates don’t care. And it will come across in a way that is damaging to your success in the workplace. I get that it is motivated by a desire to share this new religious fervor you feel in your heart. Daily commuting can change a person in ways that you will be itching to scream from the mountain tops how much more engaged, and productive you now are. But refrain and contain your zealotry.

A more successful approach is the ‘surprise’ conversion. When a co-worker sees you riding your bike while they sit in traffic, the process begins. They will remark how ‘surprised’ they are that you’re a cyclist. They will be curious. You always come in so fresh and clean. They will begin to ask questions, ‘ Don’t you live 15 miles away?’ They will want to know what life is like on two wheels. This is when you will let them know emphatically, how it has changed your life, but with little further explanation – keep it mysterious. The next step is to invite them on a ride. As a cycling zealot, you have a purpose-build loaner bike just for this occasion. Start converting until a majority is reached. Then go after management. Once they have been brought into the cycling family, you may actually be able to waltz into work in a Lycra speed-suit, but until then, we have some gear to keep your corporate cool.

Thousand Helmets Heritage Collection ‘Stealth Black’, $85

We’ve shared Thousand Helmets with our readers before, and for those not in the know, they are a great value from a Southern California company that shares the idea that cycling is about the experience, and their products are centered on improving that experience. The helmet options available for commuters are limited, especially for anyone concerned with coworker helmet ridicule. The latest color-way from Thousand solves that, Stealth Black. Safety ignored, this is the color to blend in.

Along the same lines as keeping a low profile, not everyone is interested in carrying the self-proclaimed “badge” of an active cyclist, the dangling helmet snapped casually onto ones bag. Some would prefer to leave the bike gear with the bike, and a helmet that is purpose built to address this is welcomed.

Thousand helmets is a favourite in the BICYCLIST stables. The lightweight and unassuming style make them a stand-out, while several clever features make them a breeze in use. The new Stealth Black color-way will be popular, and at $85 it’s understandable.

The design of the lid itself features an integrated visor that keeps the sun out on hot days. The shell also 7 vents to keep air moving through the plastic shell. And the shell itself meets all requirements for helmet safety including CPSC and EN1078 ratings. Padding is included and the scale tips over 460g for a size medium.

All Thousand helmets features a clever pop-out in the rear of the helmet that allows for easy locking using a variety of lock styles. This may not seem like something useful, and if you aren’t locking your bike up now, it isn’t. But shame on you for tempting fate. Start locking up your bike! In case your helmet is stolen while using the Pop-N-Lock feature, Thousand will replace it with their theft guarantee. Another clever feature that Thousand implements across their helmet line is the magnetic buckle used to secure the nylon straps. It’s a one-handed release, and super convenient.

The ability to securely lock the helmet to your bike gives it a home when it’s not on your head with the Pop-N-Lock insert at the rear of the helmet. Not having to carry a helmet as an accessory makes the drudgery of walking on foot more tolerable. Also useful is the magnetic clasp, a feature that once you use, will have you never wanting to go back to a mechanical clasp. Also from Thousand, the kit Courier gloves with Vegan synthetic materials, also in Stealth Black $23

Henty Bags: The Wingman Backpack, $249

For the office commuter that cares about the condition of their clothing when they arrive at the workplace, Henty Bags offers the Wingman Backpack as a innovative way to solve the problem of keeping work clothes looking fresh while still being able to commute by bike. And the way the Wingman achieves this is in a word, brilliant.

The Inner Tube

A key component of the Wingman is the 18L dry-bag stuff sack that is included with the backpack. The sack is entirely waterproof, and made of a thick rubberized plastic material built to last. It has attachment points for shoulder carrying the sack by itself, but the idea is to roll the main backpack around the stuff sack, creating a form to keep your outfit free of wrinkles. All of this cinches down with a couple straps, and a pocket behind the straps is available for technology storage, such as a laptop or iPad. A 15” MacBook Pro fits great.

The Wingman includes an 18L fold-over dry-bag, perfect for carrying accessories, shoes, liquids and foods, without worrying about spillage on your precious suit cargo.

In Practice

The Wingman includes chest and hip straps that keep it in place even when packed heavy. The shoulder straps are comfortable, and the material on the back allows for some breath-ability. The versatility of the bag is where it really shines. Having a back-mounted garment bag is really handy, both on and off the bike. You may find that not only is it convenient for taking to work, but also as a weekender bag. Again, a back-mounted garment bag is a rarity, and one that is lightweight and comfortable, even more so.

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