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I cycle to school and intend to wear my new Lycra shorts for my commute as they are much more comfortable. But I want to know if I will look dumb wearing the tight shorts, as my legs are only average and I'm only 15, and also if it will be weird stripping down to no underwear when I get changed in the locker room at school.

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Raj, welcome to Bicycles.SE. Your question is a little unclear; are you asking how to change into regular clothes discreetly, or are you rather asking if you need to wear cycling shorts at all? (Questions on Stack Exchange sites need to be clearer than those on a forum.) I cycled to and from school for 8 years, and the ride was always the best part of my day. – Neil Fein Feb 2 '11 at 21:07
"Should I feel self-conscious wearing cycling shorts?" might be be a better way to ask this question. – darkcanuck Feb 2 '11 at 22:16
I ride into work every day and believe me--nobody wants to look at me (or smell me) sitting around my office all day in my cycling clothing. I arrive about ten minutes early, take a change of clothes to the restroom, and change there. Stripping down to nothing in a public hallway is somewhat less than discreet, but a restroom is often a handy changing-room and offers more privacy. – DC_CARR Feb 3 '11 at 0:07
I don't consider this a relevant question for this site. It is more appropriate for a psychologist. – David LeBauer Feb 7 '11 at 17:27
up vote 25 down vote accepted

I'm currently a senior in high school, so I understand your concern about style. In my opinion, and that of all my friends, wearing lycra shorts to school looks ridiculous, no offense. I don't know how far your commute is, but when I take my road bike to school, it's only 3 miles, so I just wear regular shorts and bring another t-shirt I can throw on so I'm not all sweaty and throw a pair of sneakers into my bag so I'm not stuck wearing cleats all day. If you have a longer commute, just put a pair of basketball shorts on over your lycra shorts. It looks good, feels fine, and others can't even tell you have lycra shorts on underneath them. Baggy cycling shorts don't look much better than lycra when you're in high school, even just for your commute.

As far as changing in the locker room, that should be fine. I've done the same thing plenty of times. If you're self-conscious about it, you can always use a shower stall or something so you have some privacy.

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Wear some non-Lycra shorts/tracksuit bottoms over the top of your Lycra ones if you are self conscious about them.

Change out of the Lycra ones in a toilet cubicle if you are concerned.

You can also buy baggy cycling specific shorts which have many of the advantages of Lycra based ones but without the concern about showing off your entire package.

A quick google for "baggy cycling shorts" found me loads of hits, top of which was this page from Wiggle a UK cycling shop.

For instance here are some possibilities:

Shorts from Wiggle

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Unless you are travelling really far (5+ miles) or going for some kind of home to school time trial record, just wear your regular clothes (tuck your trousers into your socks if need be) and cycle a little slower.

Too many people are too obsessed with racing their bikes places, but if you think of cycling as a faster and more efficient way of walking then you'll get on just fine.

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+1. My brother (and I, though less often) cycled to school in his uniform every day. It's perfectly doable. (Ireland: most schools have a uniform. Ours was navy trousers, blue shirt, tie, v-necked navy jumper.) – TRiG Aug 21 '12 at 16:03

Rivendell has a lot of non-lycra clothes. Some of that stuff might pass for hipster.

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