Bike commuters are a special breed. They eschew the car and public transport to go it alone on their own two wheels. Their daily rides deliver fitness, fun, freedom, and a set of unique challenges. Depending on the length of your commute, it may not be worth it to pull on a full spandex kit. You’re not trying to win a race, after all, you just need to get to work. But you can’t show up sweaty, smelly, and gross either.
So what do you do?
Fortunately, the scientists at 37.5 Technology have pushed the envelope of particle technology and material engineering to deliver a fabric that manages the microclimate around your body by attracting moisture and then releasing it using your body’s infrared energy.
Embedded inside the fibers are activated carbon particles derived from coconut shells that attract moisture then expel it through an electrostatic reaction that vaporizes it almost instantly, keeping your skin cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. Since it’s part of the actual fiber woven into the fabric, it will never peel, flake, or wash out either.
Normally a high-tech fabric like this is made exclusively for professional athletes pushing the boundaries of human performance, but several forward-thinking brands realized the amazing potential of clothing that can go anywhere from your commute to work to drinks after—and without missing a beat.
Kenneth Cole’s AWEAR-TECH line features 37.5 technology and has a range of options to satisfy any dress code, from the casual short sleeve shirt and long sleeve Henley to the more formal button-down, no-iron dress shirts and sweaters. Their AWEAR-TECH black pants feature stretch fabric throughout for on-the-bike comfort and range of motion. And, they look good whether you’re sprinting to beat the red light or to make that 8 a.m. meeting.
But 37.5 technology isn’t limited to Kenneth Cole’s clothing – they also have a line of shoes. The men’s and women’s leather sneakers in the TECHNI-COLE footwear line are casual enough for the weekends, but won’t garner any odd looks at the Monday meeting. They also make a Plain Toe and Suede Ankle Boot , as well as Monk Strap or Moc Toe Loafers for men if you want to dress it up a bit.
What if the “office” isn’t an office at all? Snickers is there, and they’ve been making hardcore workwear for hardworking craftsmen for 40 years. They dress up the humble tee with their AllroundWork short-sleeve T-shirt that sports a V-neck and a chest pocket. Their LiteWork long sleeve is just as at home on a build site in the woods as it is at a startup in Brooklyn.
Just because it gets a little cooler doesn’t mean the bike commuting has to stop. If the weather is looking iffy, grab an adidas Stockhorn Fleece Jacket. The men’s version of this mid-layer adds warmth on cool days and offers full stretch material throughout. The women’s version sports a hood, a windproof membrane, and rocks a full DWR finish to make it fully water-repellant. It also only weighs 10.7 ounces! The jacket looks sporty, but not so much that it wouldn’t blend in at work.
Anybody who has taken off their shoes at the end of a long day knows that feet can sweat a lot. Point6 takes high-quality New Zealand Merino wool—already a wonder fiber—and enhances it with 37.5 fibers. The quality is unmatched, crafted from imported premium wool and made in the USA.
The 37.5 Light Crew socks have a little extra padding and are made with 63% wool, 7% spandex, and 30% nylon—and they go with cycling shoes or dress shoes. The taller Tactical Commanders have no cushion, so they fit dress shoes perfectly. They feature reinforced heels and toes, as well as ankle and arch support. They’re 66% wool, 5% spandex, and 29% nylon.
Tommy Bahama fits in perfectly with modern business casual style. The super-soft Tropicool IslandZone line is an entire collection for big and tall men that actually fit—with proportionally adjusted sleeves, a relaxed midsection, and a straight hem at the waist. Plus, all the benefits of quick-dry, breathable 37.5 tech of course. In testing this garment, the fiends at 37.5 cycled up Vail Pass in Colorado in the shirt trying to pit it out. It couldn’t be done! We dare you to try and sweat through it.
While Tommy Bahama covers big and tall men, women are covered by Rsport, who make serious performance wear for Athena women. Through clever, thoughtful design, they have jackets that convert to vests, a cycling jersey that doubles as a running top, and capris that can be worn to the office to make it easy to get in that after-work ride. Their PDQ Multi-Sport Capris may end up being perennial favorites with features like a figure-flattering comfort waistband, calf-accommodating hems, abrasion panels on the inner thighs, and double-knit construction for opacity and a smooth finish. Perhaps best of all? Pockets that are actually useful!
The folks at Homeschool are known better for snowboarding clothes than bike commuting, but commuters are a crafty lot and they know how to find good gear that works. Perfect for those crisp fall rides, the Cinder Reversible Flannel takes the chill off that early-morning jaunt to the job, and keeps riders warm heading home after that after-hours get together without sacrificing style. Finishing details include hand warmers and chest pockets. And it’s worth mentioning again: It’s reversible!
Ok, so sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate with the day’s plans. But clever commuters are always prepared, like Boy Scouts on bikes. Mavic’s Ksyrium Pro H2O Jacket is the shell that should be in your courier bag at all times, just in case. Made from 37.5 Xcelerator fabric, this seam-sealed jacket is fully wind and waterproof while of course, being extremely breathable. (Because what’s the point of keeping the rain off if already soaked with sweat, right?)
There are also Clima Vent zippers to let in extra air. Key features include adjustable Ergo cuffs that keep out water and stay put while on the handlebars, an on-the-bike fit with a drop tail, an asymmetric zipper that gets out of its own way, a chest pocket, and reflective accents for low-light visibility.
With any of the above pieces, commuting can get a whole lot cooler, drier, and more stylish. All that’s missing is a good set of lights, a helmet, a lock, and of course a bike. Happy riding!
Originally written by RootsRated for 37.5.
Featured image provided by 37.5 Technology