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New cycling commuter here - chafing question

(18 Posts)
Noitsnotteatimeyet Sun 01-Nov-15 08:34:52

I've just started cycling to work- it's about 10 miles each way and part of the route is quite busy so it takes me about an hour. When I cycled to my old job it was only 15 minutes away and I never bothered with anything cycling-specific so I'd assumed I'd be all Dutch and just hop off my bike and rock up to my desk with a slight healthy glow - pah!

What's the best clothing for a longish commute? I've already discovered that tights are bad news .. Hence the chafing question blush

Any other tips gratefully received

yeOldeTrout Sun 01-Nov-15 14:02:39

What do you need to wear to work?

Do you have pannier racks & showers at work?

sky1010 Sun 01-Nov-15 14:26:55


I live a short cycle to work and own a bike, so I should really be doing this.

Off topic OP, but how do you find it? Was it a struggle to begin with? I am on my feet all day, and the thought of cycling uphill home after a long day sounds dire.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Sun 01-Nov-15 15:43:07

trout yes to panniers and showers (although not sure how I'd dry my hair) - I don't have to be ultra-smart but it's not jeans and a t-shirt either

sky its fine actually and definitely more pleasant than the tube

yeOldeTrout Sun 01-Nov-15 17:35:33

I wonder if you could cycle in proper shorts (or any proper trousers, just not tights) & change & wash up at work?

Castrovalva Sun 01-Nov-15 18:46:26

I'd commute in bike clothing and change at work. Then you aren't worrying about getting splashed.

Endura have some great commuter kit. (Beware, they size small) get some shorts liners. They are awesome.

CMOTDibbler Sun 01-Nov-15 19:34:48

I'd wear cycling tights and a cycling jersey, then quick shower and a squoosh of dry shampoo. My cycling stuff is mostly from Wiggle.

If you still get chafing, then BodyGlide is your friend. If you buy chamois cream instead, then read the label carefully as many contain menthol which is not good for ladies!

headexplodesbodyfreezes Sun 01-Nov-15 19:40:16

I wear cycling gear and change at work. Also have a quick clean up with some wipes and a squirt of deodorant. I have a shorter commute though and manage to avoid getting too sweaty.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Mon 02-Nov-15 19:45:38

Thanks everyone- I checked out the showers today and oh joy there are hairdryers smile

sparechange Mon 02-Nov-15 19:52:42

Proper gel padded cycling shorts, without underwear. Anything else will chafe...
If you have got a men's or unisex bike, get a women-specific saddle as well...
Wiggle have an own-brand make called dhb which is good value.

A week's cycling wardrobe for me is 3 technical (not cotton) t-shirts, 3 shorts and cycling jacket.
An ear warmer band and good pair of gloves (mountain bike ones are great) for the winter, plus a pair of basic running tights to put over the top of your shorts.

ragged Tue 03-Nov-15 09:15:52

Because cycling gear can be so expensive...

I would be happy commuting in cotton (or any) shirts, but a good breathable waterproof long-sleeve top is worth the investment. I'd choose SPD shoes & pedals over padded shorts or leggings myself. Good footwear can be the most important part of a good cycle ride.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Tue 03-Nov-15 14:45:06

There's no way I'm using clip-in pedals riding around London- the last time I did I had a spectacular fall and narrowly avoided being squished by a taxi...

I got some dirt cheap muddy fox knickers (such a stupid name!) and gloriously there was no chafing at all ..,

MrsHarveySpecter Tue 03-Nov-15 19:13:03

Off topic OP, but how are you finding the commute by bike? I'm very keen to start cycling some of my commute (Balham to Canary Wharf) and run part of the way on some days. I'm mostly worried about getting in the way of more experienced, faster cyclists. DH tells me it's dog eat dog on the cycle superhighway!

Noitsnotteatimeyet Tue 03-Nov-15 20:13:59

Mostly I go on the back roads which are pretty quiet but it's a bit hairy around Blackfriars bridge - the worst people I've encountered so far have been male cyclists in their 30s - I got sworn at this morning for being in the way angry

yeOldeTrout Tue 03-Nov-15 20:33:59

I got yelled at by another cyclist for letting a bus pull out. FFS. Think about it. Where I am I safer, with that 3 tonne vehicle behind or in front of me? Sheesh.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Tue 03-Nov-15 22:42:21

Yes ... Today's swearing was because I wouldn't squeeze through a tiny gap between the pavement and a cement mixer hmm

MrsHarveySpecter Wed 04-Nov-15 07:34:36

That's what I'm expecting! It's bad enough running during rush hour. Avoiding the main roads is definitely the way to do it.

Wuffleflump Mon 23-Nov-15 12:26:11

"Off topic OP, but how do you find it? Was it a struggle to begin with? I am on my feet all day, and the thought of cycling uphill home after a long day sounds dire."

I went from cycling about a mile once a week to 3 miles each-way commute. Not a huge distance by anyone's standards, but something I wasn't used to doing.

By the second week it was no effort. You get used to doing the same thing again and again very quickly, especially starting from a low base. It's easy to improve from very little!

I've also found that regularly cycling short distances mean I can occasionally cycle long distance (60 miles etc) without training. Not necessarily fast, but for long distance chafe and pressure on hands is more of a problem than the actual exercise! Bikes are very efficient machines when correctly maintained.

What sort of uphill is it? Short, sharp, or long slow? If you're in a hilly area could also consider electric assist - you can just pedal, or the electric can cut in at various points to help e.g. acceleration off lights or up hills. Not so good for exercise, but if the alternative is no exercise it is better! They are expensive though, so only worth it if you'll use it as a main mode of transport.

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