There’s lots of clothing out there designed for cycling that makes the entire experience more comfortable. But quite frankly, for day-to-day commuting and errands, much of that form-fitting clothing is overkill for most people’s needs. And spandex and neon clothing doesn’t exactly transition seamlessly to off-the-bike activities. In truth, the standard clothing staples that most of us wear on a daily basis, like jeans and jackets, work fine for most quick trips on the bike, but can be a little restrictive. Pearl Izumi’s Bikestyle line meets in the middle, offering clothing you wouldn’t think twice about wearing around town, made with elements that enhance comfort and safety on the bike. We’ve been riding around with a couple items from the line, including a pair of pants and a thermal flannel shirt, perfect staples for fall.
Men’s Rove Pant
With the look of slim cut chinos, the Rove Pant hardly looks like it’s designed for riding a bike. But that’s the point of the Bikestyle collection. It’s small details that make these pants a great choice for those who find themselves on a bike frequently. Made from 70 percent cotton, these pants feature the comfort and familiar look of cotton. But a blend of 27 percent nylon and three percent elastane adds enough stretch to the pants that they move well with the body as you pedal, allowing plenty of movement at the knees. The comfort while pedaling is especially surprising considering the modern, slim cut of these pants. The fabric, which features a durable water repellent coating that’s good enough to temporarily hold up to a light drizzle or mist, is also light enough that brisk riding shouldn’t cause much overheating. Easy to miss details in the cut of the pants also make them a great choice for riding. The waistband is higher in the rear, to prevent sagging, and the seams at the crotch are repositioned to reduce irritation.
For safety, there are high visibility elements that tuck into a rear pocket as well as on the inside of the left leg. When riding, take out the flap and cuff your pant leg for added visibility. And when you lock up your bike, just as easily tuck those features away and no one would ever know you’re not wearing traditional pants. All that’s missing in our book is high visibility lining on the right leg, which we’re more likely to roll up to keep from getting chain gunk on it.
$115; 2 colors; 6 sizes; pearlizumi.com
Rove Thermal Shirt
The Rove Thermal Shirt has quickly become a fall favorite of ours, and not just for its seasonally-appropriate burnt-orange “rust” color. Even though it features a relaxed fit, this shirt fits close enough that you won’t be layering up much below it other than a long sleeve tee shirt or maybe a light sweater. But on its own it provides all the warmth we need for fall mornings, thanks to its thick polyester fabric with a warm, cozy fleece lining on the inside.
Where many shirts can feel tight in the bike-riding position when fully buttoned up, the Rove Thermal Shirt features a Bi-swing shoulder design, which allows you to comfortably stretch out to reach the handlebars. The cut, whether it’s off the bike or on, is impeccable, fitting nicely around the shoulders and never feeling restricted.
There are a few additional subtle details we like about this shirt. There’s a small reflective tab that can be pulled out of the back of the shirt for low light visibility, which can just as easily be stowed. And a side pocket with a zipper matching the color of the shirt is just as discreet, offering additional storage of important items like a wallet and keys. And there’s another reason to feel good about this shirt: it’s made with recycled polyester, which means it’s made of repurposed plastic diverted from a landfill.
$140; 3 colors; 6 sizes; pearlizumi.com