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I have the bike, I have the best route; but now I want to know, how do I transport my clothing in each day? I typically wear suit pants and a business shirt, but not a suit jacket.

Am I better off leaving my clothes at work, or is there a special bag that would let me carry in shirt/pants without them getting crushed?

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I work someplace with a super-casual dress code, so it's not much of a problem. However, I find that folding along seams and then rolling is much better than all-folding. Otherwise, a packing folder would probably help quite a bit. – freiheit Aug 13 '12 at 22:48
I have seen advertised (never up close) a suit bag designed to be folded over the rack. Pretty much eliminates space for anything else, though. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 13 '12 at 23:30
It would help to know what sort of clothes you need to transport. Suit? Sport shirt and slacks? Polo shirt? – Daniel R Hicks Aug 14 '12 at 0:24
Importantly, how long is your ride? If it's a mile or so, there's no need to change at all when the weather is nice. – Neil Fein Aug 14 '12 at 2:22
Surprisingly a dry cleaning bag can be folded with clothes in it without leaving creases – Carson Reinke Aug 17 '12 at 16:54

12 Answers 12

up vote 20 down vote accepted

You have two options, essentially: You can either carry each day's clothing on every trip, or store clothing at work.

Carrying clothing daily

If you're going to do this, you'll need to find a way to roll up your clothing so it's not completely wrinkled. Be aware that even packing clothing in the most wrinkle-free way possible will still not keep it as fresh-looking as when you pull it out of the closet.

Many business travelers have found that the best way to transport clothing is to roll it. Do some searching, not on bike sites, but on business sites, and you'll find videos that get into this in more detail. But the gist: Fold along seams, then roll your clothing. The parts that must be least wrinkled (shirt collar, for example) should remain on the outside. You can also experiment with rolling around a towel, leaving some extra towel at the end and then rolling that around the bundle. This will become your clean-up towel at work.

As you're showering at work (or taking a sink bath), hang your clothing up and let it hang up a bit. Allow a little extra time for this.

It's worth noting at this point that many people continue to sweat even after they stop exercising, so you may want to wait ten to fifteen minutes before showering. (Riding gently for the last mile or three can also help.)

There are special cases that hold clothes, but they all (to my knowledge) involve folding them. I think that this will invariably crease the clothing.

Storing clothing at work

If you have a spare closet or other space where you can leave clothing hanging at work, this is a great option. Consider doing a half-commute on Mondays, carrying the bike and clothing in, then riding home. On Friday, reverse the process.

If you have a space like this, you can also leave shoes there, and possibly even a travel iron for touching up clothes (if you want to look particularly sharp).

You might consider leaving a spare outfit at work in any case. I always worried that I would forget, say, underwear, or a belt, so I left an older set of clothing in my locker.

If your work doesn't have a space like this, look into nearby gyms. Some gyms will let you use the showers and locker room for a small fee, one that's smaller than a gym membership. Some larger businesses even have gyms on-site for employees.

It's worth noting that commutes of a mile or two may not require changing at all, but you'll still have these things to deal with in very hot or cold weather, or when riding in the rain. (Edit: Your 6k commute is a bit long for this, but it's still good advice in general.)

Best of luck on the commute! Speaking from personal experience, I recommend allowing a lot of extra time the first few commutes, and also doing a dry run of the route (if you haven't already). Also consider talking to any cycling co-workers: Some of them may have solved the problems related to your specific workplace.

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I wear a business suit everyday to work. I use a light weight garment bag and hangers. I hang the pants and shirt on one hanger and the suit jacket on a separate hanger.

Once the garment bag is zipped up, I roll it around my shoes from the bottom up. It fits right in my saddle bag. When i get work not one wrinkle. You can't leave it rolled up to long or it will wrinkle.

Based on my experience i have 3 hours to unroll before i see any wrinkles.

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I'd go for a regular hard suitcase (not a fancy one, lots of friction), strapped horizontally over the rear rack in the same position of the wings of a plane. Inside, I would fold the clothes the same way I would fold them to put inside a travel bag.

If possible, I would prefer to create two "environments": the inside of the suitcase, clean and ordered, protected from the elements, ant the outside, where you and your riding clothes are, a world of smoke, dust, sweat and possibly rain. When you arrive at your work, then you perform a "mode-switch" with the help of a restroom, perhaps a shower. There, you invert the environments, being dressed in a clean way, with the riding clothes encapsulated inside a plastic bag.

The "two-environments" strategy is opposed to the single-environment, "cycle-chic" strategy, in which one performs Slow-Ride while wearing the very same clothes that will be used during work.

The main factors affecting to choose one over another would be distance, speed and climate, and perhaps you could opt for one or another according to weather or time of year (summer vs. winter, etc.)

Hope this helps!

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I have over 3,000 commuting miles on the following pannier (it's more like a folding suit bag).

Two Wheel Gear Bicycle Commuter Pannier

I carry dress shoes, dress pants, a dress shirt, my 17" laptop, rain gear, a small tool bag, a towel for my shower at work, and more inside the pannier. It has several pockets/compartments that close with zippers, and is made of a durable canvas-like material. It has carrying handles, and a removable shoulder strap. The only complaint I have about it is that the zipper broke on 2 small pockets.

EDIT: fixed the URL - stopped carrying the pannier

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That link doesn't seem to work. What is the name/brand of the pannier. – Omar Kooheji Aug 23 '12 at 9:49

My problem commuting - by walking, running or biking - to work was solved when I purchased a "Go-Pack" by Millenium Outfitters.

In it there's a folding garment bag where I can pack 2 suits or up to 3 pairs of pants and dress shirts and they arrive relatively wrinkle-free. On the outside there are 2 pockets for accessories where I can also pack shoes and my lunch, etc.

I've used it for about 2 years and it shows little sign of wear and tear.

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I use the Eagle Creek travel gear pack-it folder. They come in a couple of different sizes. Here's a medium one. A careful roll can do the trick as well, but I'm pretty lazy. This works great and quick if you have the shirt buttoned; I just drop the hanger out the bottom, lay shirt on the sofa, fold around plastic and done. I generally pack my work clothes the night time about 2 minutes.

The folder fits great in any of my packs: backpack, drybag, messenger bag.

I have a locker at work and leave my belt and shoes there. This frees up the bulk that I would have to pack.

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This Spring I decided to try out the Two Wheel Gear - Classic 2.0 Garment Pannier after getting sick of my sweaty backpack system. I'm two months in and I think it is pretty awesome.

Worked like a breeze with my existing Blackburn rack. I pull my hangers out of my closet in the morning and hang them inside the bag (or pack it the night before so it is ready). There is a padded pocket for my 15 inch laptop inside the main compartment. I pack my socks, underwear, belt and cufflinks in the two top shoulder mesh pockets. I usually use 2 hangers most days just taking a collared shirt and dress pants (occasionally bringing my suit jacket) but have used it on a couple trips for weddings already where I have had to pack a few outfits (maybe 5 hangers) and it worked great. Used it as a carry-on for the plane and had no trouble.

The mounting system is one of the best I've seen and pops off the rack after I dis-engage the little locks. The pannier overall is really well balanced if you pack it evenly. Outside pockets I take a towel, toiletry kit, usually a pair of shoes, a small pump, spare tube and a few wrenches and some little stuff. The bag came with a nifty rain cover that clips on the outside when the weather is crap (but the bag itself is lined with a sweet waterproof coating). The rain cover inverts like a K-way jacket and wraps around the pannier and has a little a draw string. There is one super handy zipper on the outside of the rain cover I can stash my keys in that is plain brilliant I have never seen before. Some cool reflective on the bag and some useful little D-rings and clips to hang extra lights on. Only downside is when using it as a carry-on travel bag it is a little tricky to get at the inside laptop pocket.

Overall, it has become my travel luggage that I also use daily. Pretty terrific if you need to pack your clothes in each day. Otherwise, get a dry cleaner close to your office and leave your clothes at work.

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I try to avoid carrying clothes that will crease on the bike. I will drive or catch the train to work one day a week and cart enough clothes for the week on that day and then leave them at work.

This assumes you have somewhere to store clothes, the ability to carry them off the bike and a good enough supply to keep going for a week (or whatever frequency you wish).

Basically, I try to have almost everything stored at work and only carry underwear and socks on a daily basis.

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I cycle to work about 5.5 miles every day. I bring trousers, shoes and shirt to change into, all fitted into one pannier. I carefully fold the trousers and shirt in a plastic bag and lay them flat against the back of the pannier and then put the shoes in to hold them in place. Lunch box fits on top.

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I have a Two Wheel Gear pannier type bag for over 2.5 years now and would be lost without it. I can bring everything I need to the office - suits, shoes, and even lunch. This one bag does it all. Highly recommended.

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Thanks for the answer! I didn't know something like that existed. Take a look at the edit I made (click on the edit link under your answer), you can see how I added a link to the site. Links can make it much easier to understand the answers, so they are nice to add if you have the time. – dlu Jul 18 at 2:52

First, I am childish roadie. My commutes often end up as races, but I do 300+km a week, so I have this one pretty much down now.

I use a back pack as paniers on a skinny road bike is just wrong.

I leave shoes at work unless I am taking holiday. Trousers I fold neatly and I tend to wear the same ones for a week (excepting lunch time accidents).

I take 3-4 shirts with me on a Monday and I fold them round a piece of cardboard or a magazine. These then go in the laptop section of my backpack (laptop stays at work, and I have other means for working remotely).

I also carry enough underwear/socks for the week. I take the used ones home in an unused bidon or my jersey pockets if I do not feel like taking even the smaller backpack. The socks I cycle in or not the ones I wear during the day.

Mondays mornings and Fridays evenings suck, but the rest of the week I can don the lycra and fly :-) If I am organised enough, I give my bag to a colleague who lives in a nearby hamlet and collect it from his place.

Finally, I always ensure I leave a complete set of clothing at work. I have previously had to stop to buy trousers on the way to work :-(

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My wife bought me a Shirt Shuttle from It's great for getting my shirts to work crease free and clean! I also use it whenever I'm away on a business trip.

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Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. How and why is this a good solution? Otherwise this post will likely be downvoted or flagged as spam. – Gary.Ray Nov 5 '14 at 14:38
In addition to @Gary.Ray's comment, if you are affiliated with either the product or the website mentioned, you must disclose your affiliation with the body of the post. – jimirings Nov 5 '14 at 16:22

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